Shoe Review: Saucony Peregrine 12

A side view of the men's Saucony Peregrine 12.

The Saucony Peregrine 12 is a significant update to one of the most popular trail running models available at Fleet Feet. The latest version launches February 1.

As with previous Peregrine models, this new edition is an agile, neutral-oriented model with a low-to-the-trail feel and a nice blend of cushioning, traction and protection.

The updates include a new engineered mesh upper, updated outsole and more protective features. The improvements have made this version considerably lighter, faster, more comfortable and more protective without changing the inherent vibe and versatility of the Peregrine.

“After five or six wear-test runs, I could tell this is a nice update to a shoe that I really liked,” one of our reviewers says. “It still feels like the Peregrine that I have known and loved for the past several years, but it’s noticeably lighter, more nimble and grippier.”


Tech Specs

Saucony Peregrine 12

Weight

9.7 ounces (men’s size 9.0); 8.3 oz. (women’s size 7.0)

Drop

4mm (26.5mm in the heel, 22.5mm in the forefoot)

Category

Neutral

Use

Daily training, moderately long runs and short-distance racing

Surface

Dirt, mud, rocks, gravel and grass


A birds eye view of the men's Saucony Peregrine 12.

New and Improved Upper

The new engineered upper features a tighter weave than the previous versions of the Peregrine, and it does a much better job of keeping dirt, dust and trail debris from penetrating the shoe without negatively impacting the breathability.

The laces are now fed through durable fabric eyelets instead of the holes through reinforced eyestays. Our reviewers found that the change improves the fit, security and comfort of the shoe.

The addition of more trail-specific protection helps keep your feet out of harm’s way without inhibiting their natural motion. That includes a more flexible rock plate embedded in the midsole to defend against sharp, protruding rocks and roots, smartly placed TPU overlays that protect against sidewall abrasions and a reinforced toe bumper to minimize painful toe stubbing.

“The Peregrine 12 is really, really comfy and stable,” says one reviewer. “I have a wider foot toward my big toe joint, and I can definitely feel a bit of a rub there, but not enough to deter me as I feel they’ll loosen up over time.”

Smaller Lugs, Improved Traction

A rear view of the men's Saucony Peregrine 12.

The updated outsole’s slightly smaller and more spaced-out lugs provide better grip on a wider variety of surfaces without collecting mud or pebbles. The moderately aggressive, 5mm directional lugs are made from a sticky rubber outsole compound called PWRTRAC that is distinctively adhesive on wet and dry rocks and wooden stair steps, but it doesn’t collect mud like some other shoes with well-lugged outsoles.

“I feel more confident and more in control in this version of the Peregrine,” one wear-tester says. “The slightly longer and more dense array of lugs on the previous edition tended to make it unstable on more technical terrain. With this version, I feel more connected to the ground.”

Peregrine 12 vs. Peregrine 11

A side view of the men's Saucony Peregrine 12.

The first thing we noticed between last year’s version and this year’s model is the lighter weight. Last year, the sample size weights were 9.5 ounces for women and 10.9 ounces for men. This year, they’ve been slimmed down to 8.3 ounces for women and 9.7 ounces for men. That’s a significant weight savings that, along with the bendable rock plate and improved upper, helps the Peregrine 12 feel more agile, more responsive and more energetic. Overall, it feels more stable — especially on uneven surfaces.

“The refinements to this shoe have been really well thought out and executed,” one tester says. “I ran a lot of miles in the Peregrine 11 last year and after several training runs, I’m confident this is an improved shoe all the way around. I really appreciate the new streamlined upper, the more subdued outsole and the lighter overall weight.”

The Peregrine 12 fits true to size with a performance-oriented fit that secures your foot to the chassis of the shoe without allowing excess internal slipping and sliding. Although it’s only available in a medium width, it serves up comfort and feel to that of a road running shoe, with a narrow heel cup and secure sensation at the midfoot. The toe box is compact but not tight, allowing your toes to flex and wiggle as they adapt to different types of terrain.

“They fit comfortably around my foot, leaving just a little bit of wiggle room for my toes,” one of our reviewers says. “The heel and midfoot are snug enough to keep my feet from sliding around. I really like the thin stretchy tongue and the textured laces.”

This is the third edition of the Peregrine with PWRRUN midsole cushioning. As a result, the new Peregrine feels softer but also returns a bit more energy than many trail running shoes, especially when running at moderate to fast speeds.

Because it’s so light, agile, comfortable and stable, the Peregrine 12 will appeal to a wide range of runners, from novices who only occasionally run off road to experienced trail fiends who live and breathe the wild life in the mountains and forests.

“I did my first long trail run in a while, 9-ish miles, and my feet never felt like they took a beating,” one wear-tester says. “My run route took me across both flat trails and stony riverbeds, and the terrain never affected my stride in any way or the other. Honestly, it’s the fastest I’d been on a trail in a long time, and it felt good knowing I had a performance shoe beneath me.”

Final Thoughts

The men's Saucony Peregrine 12 sits propped up against a chair.

Overall, we really like the Peregrine 12 and find its many updates to be value-added enhancements. In essence, it is a vastly improved, do-everything trail runner that’s equally at home on sloppy trails with a lot of mud and moisture as it is on routes with rocks, roots and gravel or smooth, dry dirt paths.

It’s an ideal shoe for training multiple times a week on trails, but it could also be a great race-day shoe for trail running events from 5K to half marathon. It could be sufficient for a trail marathon or an ultra-distance race for runners who are light on their feet, but because it doesn’t have hefty cushioning like some maximally cushioned trail shoes, we suspect some runners might prefer a shoe with a thicker midsole for longer distances.

If you liked running in the Peregrine 10 or Peregrine 11, you’ll love the Peregrine 12. Our testers appreciate that Saucony designers went out of their way to significantly upgrade this model without drastically changing it. If you’re looking for just one trail shoe for all of your off-road running endeavors, the Peregrine 12 is a good one to consider. It does everything pretty well without any significant shortfalls.

“This could be the only trail running shoe I need,” one reviewer concludes. “I run trails a few times every week and this shoe would serve me well.”

To make sure you have the right pair of running shoes for your unique feet, it helps to get fit by an expert. At Fleet Feet, we use best-in-class technology and personal expertise to find you the best shoes for your feet. Head into your local Fleet Feet or make an appointment to get fit.

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