The Saucony Peregrine 7 is the latest update to this always popular trail running shoe, and more importantly, vastly improves on some design flaws that plagued the redesigned Peregrine 6. The most notable change is that the heel cup is smaller and softer, and no longer gouges into your Achilles tendon, causing lacerating blisters as the previous version did. An entirely new lacing system combines with new TPU overlay patterns to do a far more efficient job of holding the foot securely in place, while also providing more upper durability. And the Everun foam compound has been extended from only being present in the heel to provide responsive cushioning throughout the entire midsole. All of these improvements, paired with the same pin-cushion like outsole, make this one of the most sensitive and grippy shoes in our review — and one of the highest scorers!
Upper Weehawken Basin is one of the closest mountain basins to our home in Ouray, and is a mere 5 miles of pleasant uphill trail running to access. Somehow we had overlooked it and never made the journey before, but testing the Peregrine 7's gave us the excuse!
When focusing on underfoot protection, we would say that the Everun midsole paired with the carbon fiber rock plate protects pretty good, but not great. On the other hand, this is one of those shoes that for us offers a nearly perfect blend of both adequate protection and great sensitivity, without unduly favoring either. When performing our foot protection test by running back and forth over a pile of jagged talus blocks, we felt like it offered nearly the same amount of protection as our best overall trail running shoe, the Nike Air Zoom Terra Kiger 4, but was not as protective as the Vasque Constant Velocity, which had a harder outsole and midsole. The upper has been redesigned this year with far more TPU overlays, intentionally shifted to cover the points on the forefoot of highest wear, and that is an improvement. On the other hand, the toe bumper is nothing more than a TPU overlay, and we wish there was more to help against stubbing our toes on rocks. 6 out of 10 points.
The Saucony Peregrine 7's were one of the highest rated shoes in this review and we loved how well the lacing system and overlays on the inside of the upper, shown here, both gripped our mid-foot, as well as protected the shoe well from abrasion in rough terrain. This was taken on top of 13,500ft. tall Whitehouse Mountain in the San Juans of Colorado.
Traction is, without doubt, a selling point of this shoe, and we found that it was extremely useful across all mediums. It is comprised of a ton of deep, multi-directional lugs that are reminiscent of a bed of nails. In our testing on steep grass, dirt, rock, and mud, it gripped nearly perfectly. Only when we tested it intensively on slabs of wet rock was it anything but perfect, which allowed the Inov-8 Roclite 290 to slip in and take top honors for this metric. We thought it performed the same as the longtime benchmark for trail running shoe traction, the Salomon Speedcross 4. Worth pointing out, however, is that these lugs have a propensity to rip off before the shoe is worn out. We experienced this with our old pair of Peregrine 6's, and have seen it happen to friends' pairs of 7's. 9 out of 10 points.
While it has awesome traction and grip, there is a durability concern when it comes to the lugs ripping off the bottoms of the soles. This is a friend's pair of Peregrine 7's with about 150 miles on them.
Cody in front is wearing his Peregrine 7's on a long 30 mile point to point long run that we did between Silverton and Durango in the Weminuche Wilderness of Colorado. They stuck great on the many slippery snowfields we encountered.
When it comes to stability, we ranked this shoe slightly above average. While its low 4mm heel-toe drop and minimal 17.5mm stack height under the forefoot mean that it rides low to the ground, we experienced slight amounts of foot slippage inside the shoe that compromised our stability while on steep side-hills. We found this effect to be very similar to what we experienced when side-hilling in the New Balance Vazee Summit v2, which was also very comfortable but allowed a small amount of sideways foot slippage. No doubt we are being nit-picky here, but it wasn't as stable as the Nike Air Zoom Wildhorse 4.
Descending a steep rocky ridge high on Corbett Peak above the town of Ouray in Colorado. The awesome stability of the low riding Peregrine 7's allowed to cover terrain like this with ease.
As we have already mentioned, this shoe fixes the drastic comfort errors of its immediate predecessor by changing up the materials used in the heel cup and adding more padding, such that this no longer presents a blister and curse-word inducing appraisal of the shoe. It is wider than an average shoe in the forefoot and has a relatively narrow heel, and hugs the foot through the midfoot fairly well.
Shown here is the inside of the upper on the Peregrine 7. While we loved the stretchy black inner liner, seen below the laces, the sewn junction point just below the unused eyelet was actually a knobby friction point that would annoy us on longer runs.
We think that it is true to size when considering length. If we had any complaints, it would be that there is some stitching overlaps near the top eyelets of the laces that rub and proved to be slight hotspots against the tops of our feet. We also found it to be about average in our water bucket test, neither absorbing a ton of water, nor the least. In the end, we think this shoe was of The North Face Ultra Endurance and Altra Lone Peak 3.5, but doesn't quite display the ultimate comfort of the two Nike shoes we tested.
The heel cup of the Peregrine 6 on the left, and the new design of the heel on the Peregrine 7 on the right. Happy to report that the horrible rubbing and blister issues that came from the fit of the old heel seem to have been solved.
Our pair of men's size 11 shoes weighed in at 21.4 ounces, slightly better than average. This accorded it the same score as the HOKA ONE ONE Challenger ATR 4 and the Nike Terra Kiger 4. When out running, we felt that the weight was unnoticeable.
As we mentioned before, this is a very sensitive shoe for how protective it is, offering nearly a perfect balance between the two attributes. While the deep rubber lugs effectively dampen a little bit of the sensitivity, it remains very flexible and adapts well to what is underfoot. We felt that it was of similar sensitivity as both the Inov-8 Roclite 290 and the New Balance Vazee Summit v2, both of which were markedly less protective. So for those who like to dance around the rocks but also not pay the price when they mess up, this is a great option for you. 8 out of 10 points.
Getting out for a first test run in the Peregrine 7's on the mellow local trails with the dog chippy. While we often used these shoes off trail, they are so comfortable that they are also a great option for everyday trail running.
The Peregrine 7 is a high performing, low profile shoe with excellent traction. It is best suited to difficult conditions, such as cross country and mud, but is also light and sensitive enough to be great in any trail running circumstances. While we love it for scrambling due to the very sticky thread, there is no doubt running too much in excessively rocky conditions will shorten the life of the tread.
We feel that these shoes are best used for gnarlier terrain, whether that means rocky trail races, or for 14er running missions. Shown here on the summit of Culebra Peak, a 14er in the Sangre de Cristo range of Colorado.
This shoe retails for $120, which is right about average for a trail running shoe these days. Because it is one of the highest scorers in our review, we feel that it obviously presents good value. However, if you expect a top end amount of usage before the shoe begins to break down, then we think this shoe only presents average value overall.
Traversing wildflower filled basins with blue skies and beckoning peaks like Potosi in the background, this is why we love trail and mountain running! The Peregrine 7 was so comfortable we felt like we could go on like this for days!
The Saucony Peregrine 7 is the third highest rated shoe in our review due to its steady and even performance across all our testing metrics. It is especially noteworthy for the awesomeness of its traction, and the fact that it strikes a fantastic balance between underfoot protection and sensitivity, two attributes that are generally at odds with each other. While it retains most of the familiar features of its predecessor, Saucony has done a great job of fixing the most glaring problems with that shoe, in particular, the fit and comfort of the heel.
As one of the best shoes in the review, and with unrivaled traction and stability, we felt that the Peregrine 7 was an awesome choice for adventuring to the tops of mountains.