Why We Chose The Saucony Peregrine 12: lightweight, responsive, grippy
The enduring appeal of Saucony’s award-winning Peregrine trail running shoes is testament to the way the American brand have continually optimised an effective design. Now on its twelfth iteration, evolution – rather than revolution – is very much the word.
So, how has the Peregrine mutated since we last saw it take flight? Well, it has managed to shed 35g and features a new protective rock plate to give a smoother ride on technical terrain. It still maintains the same appeal as its previous incarnations: a stripped back but not overly minimalist trail shoe that offers a good mix of trail feel, responsiveness and cushioning.
Who are the Saucony Peregrine 12 trail shoes for?
The beauty of the Peregrine 12s is their broad appeal to all kinds of trail runners. Though, with a heel to toe drop of 4mm, the Peregrine 12s are more suited to those whose forefoot or midfoot hits the ground first, rather than those who heel strike.
They’re a bit of a jack of all trades, simply doing everything well without specialising in any one particular area, though it’s worth stating that these are not hybrid road/trail shoes – their 5mm lugs are a bit much for lengthy sections on tarmac. With an attractive price, race-ready weight and a solid reputation for quality, it’s easy to see why they’re the go-to for so many.
In some ways, it’s easier to consider who the Peregrines are not for. Their traction is impressive, but they don’t feature the claw like grip of shoes designed for overly muddy conditions. Boasting a blend of trail feel and cushioning, those at either end of the minimalist and maximalist spectrum should look elsewhere. Basically, barefoot warriors or those that value ultra-cushioning need not apply.
The Peregrines boast soft, springy, award-winning cushioning that absorbs the impact of each strike without removing the feel of the terrain. This blend of responsiveness and comfort is a feature that the Peregrines are renowned for. The upper is as minimal as ever, featuring pliable overlays to shield against trail debris. To get the optimum fit Saucony offer half sizes which, in addition to the contoured sockliner, makes for personalised feel. A fabric loop on the heel means they can be clipped into a harness, while a D-ring towards the bottom of the laces makes them compatible with gaiters too.
The ability to change direction, turn sharply and deal with uneven terrain is essential for a pair of trail shoes and the outsole is key to this. The Peregrine 12s feature a redesigned tacky rubber outsole that gives rugged grip on a range of surfaces, from grassy hillsides, rocky scrambles, muddy ground and rooty forest tracks. The 5mm lugs allow for an aggressive approach and are shaped to shed mud, while the abrasion resistance of the rubber means that this is a pair of trail shoes that should last pretty well.