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Trail Running Shoes • July 22, 2020

Saucony Peregrine 10 Performance Review

saucony peregrine 10 feature 1

What You Need To Know

  • Weighs 10.7 oz. (303 g) for a US M9.0/ 9.1 oz. (258 g) for a US W8.0
  • An exceptional upgrade over last year’s Peregrine ISO
  • 6 mm lugs on PWRTRAC outsole provide great traction
  • A peregrine falcon can fly 200 mph, this shoe can’t but it’s still cool

TAYLOR: The Peregrine: Petite. Nimble. Fierce. The fastest thing on the planet. I’m talking about the actual falcon, topping out at more than 200 mph as it snatches prey out of the sky with dive-bomb tactics. I’ve been lucky enough to see one of these birds zip past in pursuit, and I can attest that it’s an incredible sight.

Saucony’s new version of the Peregrine shares some attributes with its namesake bird of prey, but let’s be honest– it’ll never be cool as a frickin’ falcon. But hey, at least it can run aggressively on earth, allowing runners to embrace their speed potential on most any terrain.

The Peregrine 10 has a few updates that elevate its backcountry cred. Overall, if you’ve loved the Peregrine, Salomon Supercross series, or the newish Merrell MTL Skyfire, you might want to pay attention to what’s coming next.

MATT: I was excited to get my hands on the latest in the Peregrine line from Saucony. It has been one of the staples in the trail segment for years and I had not tried out the last few versions due to some unflattering reviews. With the Peregrine 10, Saucony rolled out some major changes from the Peregrine ISO and it seemed like the perfect time to hop on board.

ERIN: I was way less excited to try the latest Peregrine, based on my experience with last year’s Peregrine ISO. Like a lot of people, I had a lot of issues with the fit and flexibility (or lack thereof) in that shoe. However, the rumors of a major overhaul had me tentatively interested: They certainly couldn’t make the shoe any worse… right?

saucony peregrine 10 upper

The Good

TAYLOR: As touched on before, the Peregrine is an aggressive shoe. And it should be if it’s named after the fastest predator on earth. I took them out on some technical Rocky Mountain trails and smooth black dirt trails of the Midwest. They performed well on both, but it would be most at home somewhere in between.

Flip it over to check out its talons. The outsole is made of deep 6 mm chevron-style and multidirectional lugs. PWRTRAC is excellent (not quite Vigram MegaGrip or inov-8 Graphene Grip status though) for grip on a variety of terrain. Muddy, dry/dusty, rocky, grassy and generally wet terrain were all handled fine. I did slip on a wet wooden bridge and some saturated slabs of granite, but those are basically warm-weather black ice.

Moving up a layer, the PWRRUN midsole gave a firm and somewhat responsive base for speedy and technical running. It does feel like a more protected ride, slightly softer even, than the Mad River TR 2. The midsole is the same in both, but I think a little bit more of a drop (4 mm drop – 22 mm to 18 mm) and an added rock plate makes a very noticeable difference in that department. The overall feel made me think of the Merrell MTL Skyfire (my go-to shoe for speedy mountain objectives). Some of my favorite trail shoes for technical and fast running occupy that 4-6 mm drop range.

Continue upwards and you have a fine flexible mesh upper. It’s quite breathable and dries decently quick– great for runs involving moisture. Even better, the reinforced upper keeps out the extra debris that usually comes with a moist environment. FORMFIT creates a very secure fit for those steep downhill bombs! The fit and durability of the upper alone show that the Peregrine is more than just fast– it’s ready for some off-trail action too.

A couple more appreciated touches to this year’s Peregrine come directly from its less-aggressive cousin, Mad River TR. For starters, the outsole has the same style of map that shows you optimal places to drill holes for optimal water drainage and the best spots for adding sheet metal screws for added grip. BITR officially encourages Saucony to add this to all of their trail shoes. Gaiter attachments and a couple of bonus lacing eyelets add range to an already versatile trail shoe. Right on!

MATT: Let’s talk about looks first. Saucony is on a roll in 2020 with the aesthetics. The Peregrine has a low and aggressive look that is obvious out the box, and the “Steel” colorway features a greyish aqua upper with some very subtle neon yellow. I think they should have called it “Mer-Man” but what do I know?

In terms of traction, the Peregrine might be the most secure and stable shoe I’ve tested in the past two years on the trails. I took them through over a dozen creek crossings and not one slip. Take that Nike! (Why no, I’m not still bitter about breaking my arm in the Terra Kiger 6.)

Not only was it great in slippery conditions, but the widely spaced 5 mm lugs are sharp around the edges, which helps when cutting and twisting through winding single track.

In terms of stability, the shoe sits low and wide to the ground. Despite the weight, I felt really in touch with the trail. My steps were confident and sharp. One of my pet peeves with shoes is heel slippage; I think it can ruin an otherwise wonderful shoe. The Peregrine felt locked in.

Another pleasant surprise was the drainage and breathability of the shoe. Temps were 90+ on all of my runs in the Peregrine and my feet did not feel overly warm (a sharp contrast to the Saucony Canyon TR).

As a result of the heat, I wasted no time tip-toeing through water crossings and just plowed through. (I also ended my run sitting in about 3 feet of water). Drainage was good and my feet didn’t feel sloppy, nor did I end up with any blisters post-run.

ERIN: The Peregrine got a major makeover and I am here for it. Last year’s Peregrine ISO was an aqua and black colorway– maybe the only thing I didn’t hate about that shoe. They were pretty, if also pretty clunky looking. The Peregrine 10 is a major improvement as far as the profile of the shoe is concerned; it is much sleeker and trimmed-down.

I get it. Finally. People have always raved about the insane traction of the Peregrine, which I’ve never been able to appreciate because I haven’t been able to get past the rest of the shoe. But man, this shoe is such an improvement in every way, and now the grippy outsole really shines. It really provides the best traction of almost any trail shoe out there.

The fit and flexibility of the Peregrine 10 make this feel like an entirely different shoe compared to the ISO. The ISO felt heavy, stiff, and clompy (real word) to me. Unless I’m running in a HOKA, I do like to get a little feedback from the trail, and it felt near impossible in the ISO. The Peregrine 10 is light, flexible, almost nimble but without sacrificing forefoot cushioning. The upper of the ISO was voluminous and suffocating, and that has been replaced by a much more pared-down, breathable, comfortable upper.

Shop Saucony Peregrine 10 – Men Shop Saucony Peregrine 10 – Women saucony peregrine 10 outsole

The Bad

TAYLOR: A fairly common negative, for most, when wearing a “sleek” performance shoe is that they are often narrow and can lead to some forefoot/toe discomfort. The Peregrine 10 falls prey to that. I consider myself to have a fairly common foot size (most comfortable in ASICS and New Balance for road shoes and most trail shoes fit well too), and this shoe feels pretty slim every time that I lace it up.

The toe box felt very similar to the Nike Wildhorse. I can only get around an hour and a half of running before I’m wanting to take these off. Looking at the shoe from the top reveals a pretty distinct torpedo shape. FORMFIT gives a very comfortable heel and slimmer midfoot that locks down really nicely. That trend just continues through the forefoot rather than widening slightly to accommodate for a little more toe splay and comfort. This model might work well for foot security and a nimble feeling shoe, but the forefoot is an aspect that really distinguishes the Peregrine from the more accomodating fit of the Mad River TR (which performs similarly).

Lastly, the PWRTRAC outsole holds onto mud behind its chevron lugs. Nothing more to elaborate on that.

MATT: I don’t have a lot to complain about with this shoe, however, I should call out a few limitations that may influence when and where you may choose to wear this shoe.

First off, it’s a heavy shoe. Despite the low ride and minimal feel to the upper, it comes in at nearly 11 oz. for a US M9.0. That’s not light.

In terms of support, if you run trails often and you have strong feet and ankles the Peregrine seems to offer just enough to feel secure. I personally had no issues on my outings, but there is not a lot of padding around the ankles and the toe protection is not the heftiest. So if you’re a notorious ankle roller you may want to take some caution.

With the heavier weight, aggressive lugs, and minimal cushion, I am not sure I would recommend this shoe for runs or races over 50K. I think up to that mark this would be a great shoe, and for the lower price point I think Saucony has a winner here.

ERIN: I actually don’t have anything negative to say about the shoe.

Shop Saucony Peregrine 10 – Men Shop Saucony Peregrine 10 – Women saucony peregrine 10 tongue

Saucony Peregrine 10 Conclusion

TAYLOR: I’d say that Saucony has some decent modeling here with the Peregrine 10. It’s a shoe that’s slim and trim and ready to rumble on fast and technical terrain; however, the “slim” part, both in the toe box and the midsole, takes away the desire to go far. It could be a decent choice for some racing under the ultra distance, but probably not my first choice. Overall, the Peregrine 10 is a fun shoe that’s built for speed and versatility. If you’re looking to get in on the party, head on over to Running Warehouse and pick up a pair for $119.95.

MATT: I’m sold on the Peregrine 10. Traction is always a good thing, and this has plenty of it. And although I’d love to see the weight come down, for a firm and nimble shoe for aggressive trail running, it’d be hard to beat this, especially at its price point.

ERIN: I’m telling you guys, you coulda knocked me over with a feather after my first run in the Peregrine 10, and not just because I lost 15% of my body weight during a 6-mile run in the humid Maryland summer. This shoe has exceeded all of my expectations. I need to turn in my Peregrine hater card. Heck, I even did an impromptu 2-miler on the track in these guys and didn’t hate it. Zero complaints from me about the Peregrine 10.

You can pick up the Saucony Peregrine 10 for $120 at Running Warehouse (featuring free 2-day shipping and 90-day returns) by using the shop link below.

Shop Saucony Peregrine 10 – Men Shop Saucony Peregrine 10 – Women

Have something to say? Leave a Comment

  1. Dean says:

    Thanks for the review! Would any of you know about the Peregrine sizing and fit compared to a Topo Ultraventure? I wear a men’s 12 in the Topo Ultraventure, but I have read different things about the Peregrine may running small. I assume the toebox is not roomy, but if you have the experience, would you know if it is unpleasant for someone familiar with Topo and Altra?

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