Sunday, March 06, 2016

Saucony Peregrine 6, A Big Step Forward


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.
Saucony Peregrine 6. Photo Credit: Jeff Valliere

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.
Saucony Peregrine 6. Photo Credit: Jeff Valliere
Initial impressions:
Saucony Peregrine 6. Photo Credit: Jeff Valliere

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.
Saucony Peregrine 6. Photo Credit: Jeff Valliere

Outsole: 
Saucony Peregrine 6. Photo Credit: Jeff Valliere
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.
Saucony Peregrine 6. Photo Credit: Jeff Valliere

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.

Midsole:

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.  
Saucony Peregrine 6. Photo Credit: Jeff Valliere

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.

Upper:
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.  
Saucony Peregrine 6. Photo Credit: Jeff Valliere

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.

Fit:
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.

Feel/Performance:
Saucony Peregrine 6. Photo Credit: Jeff Valliere

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.

Comparisons:
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.

Conclusions:
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.
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Reviewer Bio
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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7 comments:

andrea dugato said...

like it very much!

Dan said...

Jeff, I got a pair of the 5s not too long ago and have been really enjoying them for mountain runs here in Virginia. I can't see the stiffness being a problem, and they performed well at a recent 50k. That said, I know what you mean about the fit. I have to crank a little too much to get a secure fit without my feet moving around (don't have this problem with other Sauconys). One shoe I'd compare it to is the Salomon Sense Pro. While the Peregrine has a far more aggressive outsole, I think both of them ride similarly.

bamboogirl said...

Thank you for the review. I had heel rub for the first few runs on my 5's and after reading your review, got the 6's. Just arrived today and the tread is super beefy, which is exciting since my terrain is hilly, rocky and rooty all year round. LOVE this new model and color options. Less visually crazy, too.

Esther said...

Another thank you for the review! Thank you so much for the Saucony Xodus ISO as that led me to the Peregrine 6. I am so disappointed that the ISO the improved version does not have any rockplate! Because you said that you stood on a sharp stick and it went right through so I can not buy it now because of that one nagging issue.

No other review apart from yours mentioned the piercing and gave it high reviews while doing extensive test on it so perhaps you should let them know!

Also i went through dozen of other trail shoes and the ones with good thick grip sole are the ones that are stiff and will cause you pain! The Salmon Ultra shoes are stiff and painful so not a good buy if you going for 2 hours or more. I am not sure if the eclipse is any better or not? Could they pls be a review to find out how comfortable it is compared to the Peregrine 6?

I also am a bit annoyed the Peregrine is going out of fashion as well as the Xodus. These are the only shoes with thick grip soles for going on trails.

Thank you for the reviews as it been very helpful!

Jeff Valliere said...

Hi Esther, thanks for reading. I find tread wear/durability on both the Peregrine 6 and the Xodus ISO to be very good, minimal wear on the Peregrine after nearly 80 miles, just a bit where I toe off on steep rocky trails. I have fewer miles on the Xodus ISO, but they are hardly showing any wear. As far as your comment on the stick penetrating, I really believe that to be a fluke, as it has never happened again. My wife also has a pair of the Xodus ISO with nearly 200 miles and they show impressively little wear. She has never had a problem with them and they are so protective, you really don't even need a rock plate. Of course wear is somewhat influenced by terrain, gait and the individual user. Anyways, hope this helps. Jeff.

Anonymous said...

Hi! Good review! How do you compare the peregrines with Nike Zoom Wildhorse 3, Scott kinabalu 3 / Supertrac and Inov 8 Trailtalon 275? Which ones are best for everyday training such as racing >2h? Thanks // Fredrik

Jeff Valliere said...

Thanks for reading Fredrik. I have not run in the shoes you mention, so unfortunately could not compare, but I can say as a follow up to this review, I like the Peregrine more and more each time I have run in it and is a rare shoe that can pull double duty as a race shoe for most distances or an everyday trainer. Ultimately much of it will hinge on what fits your foot best. Hope this helps, Jeff.