Article by Jeff Valliere
The Saucony Peregrine 6 is a 9.4 oz. (men’s size 9) 8.5 oz/241 g (women's size 8), heavily lugged, up tempo trainer/racer built for moving fast over varying terrain. With a 4mm drop (21.5 mm heel/17.5 mm forefoot), new Everun heel insert, bulletproof rockplate and supportive upper, the Peregrine 6 is a major improvement over previous versions.
For years I had eyed the Saucony Peregrine, with its low profile, aggressive outsole and race ready look, yet did not get to try them out until version 5. I wanted to like the shoe so bad and though it ran well and I liked many aspects of the shoe, I found it to be way too stiff for my liking, causing severe heel blisters any time I went up a sustained steep gradient (which comprises the majority of my running). I kept them around for nearly a year, giving them several chances every few months (enough time to forget how severely they ate up my heel), I eventually gave up.
When presented with the opportunity to test the Peregrine 6, I was a bit reluctant, giving my difficulties with version 5, but given all the changes, updates and revamps, I figured I would go ahead and see what they were all about. I was very glad I gave them a chance, this is a whole new shoe.
Right out of the box, the first thing I noticed was the toothy, aggressively lugged outsole, which is what first drew me to the shoe. I enjoy steep technical trails and especially going off trail on just about any type of surface, so I was eager to push its limits. The upper received substantial changes as well, with reconfigured welded overlays, maintaining good security, while looking less busy (and better ventilated). Also new for version 6 is the Everun TPU heel insert, aimed to soften the ride a bit while returning more energy.
Less important, but of note, I also found the Blue/Citron/Black colorway of my test pair to be very pleasing to the eye, subtle, yet sporty with a race ready look.
The new PWRTRAC outsole is the highlight of this shoe in my opinion. The lugs are seriously aggressive in shape, depth and quantity, which makes this shoe one of my top choices when I want to move fast on varied terrain. I was able to run through a variety of conditions, steep rocky trails, steep off trail that featured loose dirt, pine needles, grass, duff, snow, scorched ground from forest fires, loose rock, etc… and I never had one slip. It also performs well in the snow, mud and even some low grade (dirty) ice. I found the rubber compound to stick surprisingly well in the wet, much better than the previous Peregrine 5. Durability seems to be excellent as well, as there is minimal wear despite having put 40+ miles on them, mostly on rough terrain. The EBO rock plate does an amazing job minimizing (nearly eliminating) impact from the sharpest of rocks at any speed, yet still allows enough flexibility for the shoe to contour well and give good trail feel.
Other shoes I have run in with lugs of similar depth have been noticeably annoying when running on hard surfaces (rock, road, hard graded dirt paths) due to shifting under load or feeling individual lugs poking through, but I never felt that with the Peregrine 6, which is due to the greater quantity of lugs to distribute the weight and impact, as well as the inclusion of the rock plate (where some similarly lugged shoes may simply rely on deep lugs for protection and cushion).
Though not made for road or graded paths, I was surprised at how well this shoe could hold its own on more mellow terrain, as it did not feel awkward like other more aggressive shoes might.
Saucony hit a homerun with the combination of Everun heel insert and SSL EVA midsole, which is noticeably more plush and forgiving, while being more responsive. Though not the most highly cushioned shoe, the midsole offers a level of support in the Peregrine 6 such that it can easily provide enough comfort, protection and support for ultra-distance events and full days on your feet.
The insole is remarkably thin, so thin that at first, I thought it was a sewn in liner. Though not thick like many other insoles, it is perfectly appropriate for this shoe and never felt as though I needed more. Those who are particular about arch support though should (like any shoe) try this one on or consider a new insole/insert, as this one is somewhat flat (but again, not a problem for me.
|Saucony Peregrine 6. Photo Credit: Jeff Valliere|
The upper is very light weight and well ventilated with Flexifilm welded overlays arranged in a pattern that offers good foot to sole security, stability and comfort.
The tongue is moderately padded, just the right height and is fully gusseted, keeping out any errant debris. The heel collar has good padding as well (though maybe just slightly too much for my liking in this particular shoe) and is semi rigid for a nice balance of protection, security and comfort. The toe bumper is on the thinner, more minimal end of the spectrum and would probably withstand light to moderate stubs, so best to avoid the big kicks if possible.
|Saucony Peregrine 6. Photo Credit: Jeff Valliere|
I found the fit of the Peregrine 6 to be true to size. A notable improvement over previous versions is the roomier toe box. Though I typically lean more toward precision fit, especially for steep/technical terrain, I did appreciate the additional room for splay and foot swell on longer runs. One minor issue I had was getting the laces dialed to just the right snugness, which took me several attempts over the course of multiple runs to get it figured out, but eventually was able to consistently achieve a good balance of security and comfort.
The Peregrine 6 feel light, fast and nimble, ready to push hard in any condition. I found them to be quite responsive on the up, down and flats. On steep and technical downhills, I felt as though they were quite stable and agile and could handle just about anything I (and the terrain) could dish out. When pushing really hard though, I think the upper could benefit from having a bit more of a locked down feel, though it is still good. Though much more compliant in my opinion than the Peregrine 5, I found this shoe to be a bit stiff on my first few runs, particularly on longer, sustained steep climbs (~20+ % grade), where I would get hot spots on my heels. Though I did not get the blisters like I did with the 5th version, it was noticeable, however I found that it lessened over the course of the test.
Peregrine 6 vs. The North Face Ultra MT – The fit of the upper on the Ultra MT is more precise and offers better control when pushing hard in technical terrain and also has an outsole with better grip on rock, particularly on wet rock. The Peregrine 6 however has much better cushioning for longer days and the fit, though not as precise, is also more forgiving for longer days, accommodates larger feet and has better ventilation.
Peregrine 6 vs. Salomon S-Lab XT Wings – The XT Wings is one of my favorite shoes due to its precision Sensi-Fit upper, durable outsole with amazing traction, protection and reasonable weight. Like the Ultra MT however, the XT Wings has minimal cushion and the ride can feel a bit harsh at times, especially over 2 hours. Again, this is where the Peregrine 6 really shines, with its excellent combination of light weight, protection, cushion and all day comfort.
The Saucony Peregrine 6 is a top notch mountain racer/trainer geared toward technical terrain, yet versatile enough for all around running at just about any speed. It is light, quick, agile, well protected, responsive, and comfortable. As a bonus, it just looks great. For these reasons, it is my favorite trail shoe from Saucony to date and has earned a place in my “favorites” rotation.
Jeff's Score: 4.65 out of 5
- 0.2 for foot to sole security/upper stability when really pushed
- 0.1 for stiffness/heel chafe
-.05 laces are too long
Available now. $120.
The Saucony Peregrine were provided at no charge to Road Trail Run. The opinions in the article are entirely the author's.
Jeff Valliere is a former pro cyclist who now runs and climbs the mountains of Colorado. He has been top 5 Masters, top 25 overall, at the Pike's Peak Marathon several times, finishing 3d Masters this year. Jeff loves vertical accumulating more than 500,000 vertical feet per year, has climbed all the 14's and 200 of the 13's and has held FKT on several. He often runs and climbs at night. Passionate about the sport but also the gear he has reviewed hundred of shoes for various magazines and sites and participated in product testing for many brands. Formerly a bike mechanic he now works in Satellite Imagery. He has twin 5 year old daughters who keep him ever busier yet. ________________________________________________________________
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