Thursday, January 20, 2022

Saucony Peregrine 12 Multi Tester Review: Same Great Taste, Less Filling! Lighter, Grippier, Faster & Superb Fitting. 12 Comparisons

Article by Renee Krusemark, Jeff Valliere, John Tribbia, Jacob Brady, and Mike Postaski

Saucony Peregrine 12 ($130)


Introduction

Jeff V:  I have run in every Peregrine since version 5 and they have always been a favorite of mine.  Early iterations were well protected, reasonably light, fast, but super stiff and I had trouble with heel lift and blistering. Even so, I appreciated their competence in technical terrain.  

Eventually, those concerns I had with stiffness and heel blistering were eliminated, but there was a steady upward trend in weight, mass and bulk, to the point where the Peregrine morphed from a lowish, lightish trail racer, to a more all around daily trainer for longer distances. I still liked the newer versions a lot, but in my mind, they were really no longer related to the Peregrine of old.  


Enter the Peregrine 12.  The Peregrine 12 has dropped 1.5 oz in my US men’s size 10, mostly due to the full reworking of the upper, as well as a new outsole.  While the midsole remains unchanged, the drop in weight along with the aforementioned changes brings the Peregrine back to being a fast, technical trail racing shoe.  They are also significantly more flexible, without really losing any underfoot protection.


Pros:

Significant drop in weight from previous versions, now racing-class weight for such a capable shoe - Jacob/Jeff V/ Sam/Renee/Mike P

Excellent fit; soft materials, enough space to be comfortable, but locked in and secure - Jacob/Jeff V/Sam/Renee/John/Mike P

Stable with good ground feel from the relatively firm midsole combined with a substantial TPU bead sockliner - Jacob/Jeff V/Sam/Renee/John/Mike P

Style: streamlined, bright, and fun but not overly flashy - Jacob/Jeff V/Sam/Renee

Great traction on a variety of terrain - Jacob/Jeff V/Renee/Mike P.

Almost 100% recycled content in the upper-Sam/Jacob/Jeff V/Mike P

Updated lug pattern much improved at shedding mud - Mike P



Cons:

A bit firm for my preferences on hard surfaces such as pavement - Jacob/Sam/Jeff V/John

Ride can feel a bit flat on moderate/runnable terrain - Mike P


Stats

Weight: men's 9.6 oz  / 272g (US9)  /  women's 8.32oz / 237g (US8)

  Samples: men’s  9.29 oz  /  263g US (8.5), 9.8 oz / 278g (US 9.5), 10.1 oz / 285g (US10)

                  women's 8.32oz / 237g (US8)

Stack Height: 26.5mm  heel / mm 22.5 forefoot 

$130. Available now including at our partners at the end of the article.


First Impressions and Fit

Jeff V: Out of the box I am immediately struck by the noticeable drop in weight, the retooled, minimal and streamlined upper, the newly redesigned outsole and increased flexibility. The Peregrine is back!  The yellow colorway of my review sample is for sure loud, but I like the look and they certainly do pop.  Fortunately, there are more mellow color options available for those who prefer a more modest look.  Fit is true to size and the new streamlined and pared down upper is exceptionally comfortable and accommodating, with a little bit of stretch, which I believe will accommodate a wider range of feet.

Renee: Jeff V said it all. The weight is the story here. Eve nbefore weighing the shoes, the difference in weight in hand between the 11 and 12 is dramatic. I ran the Peregrine 11, GTX, and ST, and my only major fault for those shoes was the weight. Losing more than 1 ounce in a women’s size 8 is a miracle, but Saucony somehow made it happen. Still more amazing is the performance and fit of the Peregrine are not compromised. For sizing, typical Saucony size for me.

John: Out of the box, the Peregrine 12 looks so awesome. The yellow is fun and brings a great contrast to the trails. The upper looks refined and, as Jeff said above, it is less bulky and padded than the previous models. The fit is true to size and has great midfoot and heel hold with enough toe room to not feel constricting.  Not only are the 12s considerably lighter, they feel lighter on the foot and are very responsive.

Jacob: it was a surprise to receive the Peregrine 12 to test and out of the box it seems amazing. It felt lighter and more streamlined than the last Peregrine I tested, which was version 10. Setting it on the scale confirmed the substantial weight drop from version 10 (and 11, which is similar to 10): it drops 32 g / 1.1 oz from version 10! This puts it in the same weight class as two of my favorite all-purpose, raceable technical trail shoes, the VJ Ultra and Inov-8 Terraultra G 270. That is only the start of the things the Peregrine 12 does right. It also feels soft around the foot with a balanced fit that is locked in but has just enough space to feel comfortable as well. I have a bit of pressure on my little toes from the overlay with thick wool socks—I had the same issue with the 10—but it is still comfortable and certainly not overly narrow. Underfoot it is on the firm side, like the previous versions, but has the excellent addition of a TPU bead sockliner which adds a bit of softness and an energetic feel. It felt like a race-ready, all-terrain trail shoe and I was excited to take it for a run.


Mike P: Out of the box, the first thing that jumps out at you is that they look so much more streamlined than previous versions. The upper feels much thinner and more flexible than previous versions which seemed to be a sandwich of overly thick layers. The weight loss is clearly noticeable both in hand and on foot. If you looked at the shoe and disregarded the trail outsole, you could easily mistake them for lightweight Kinvaras. I’m glad to see Saucony re-positioning this shoe into the lightweight/possible racer category. They don’t really have a presence in that category, aside from the Switchback which is not technically-oriented.


Upper:

Jeff V:  The upper of the Peregrine 12 is a radical improvement over the previous version.  Don’t get me wrong, the upper of the Peregrine 11 is amazing, exceptionally comfortable, padded and secure, but Saucony has really trimmed the fat so to speak, reducing a lot of the extraneous padding in the tongue, the heel collar and overall replacing with thinner, lighter, more flexible and breathable materials.  


In doing so, they really reduced the weight of this shoe, without compromising comfort or foothold.  The lighter, more compliant and flexible upper materials allow for a bit of flex, or perhaps a better way to describe is it just less stiff and confining, which provides the sensation of more roomy flexibility and give to them.  

While the foothold does not have quite the same “locked in” feel as before (Peregrine 11 right above) I have found that the new upper provides an equally secure, predictable and confidence inspiring feel when running fast on technical terrain, be it fast rock hopping, steep off trail, off camber side hilling, etc…..  In fact, I set an unexpected PR on a very steep, technical, sometimes off camber and dynamic off trail segment which caught me off guard, as I was not trying and I also never once thought of the shoe on my foot or the security.  This lack of thinking about the shoe is the ultimate testament in my opinion to a shoe’s performance and prowess.  


I have found the reduction in padding around the heel collar and tongue to not have any negative effects on comfort, nor do I feel any lace bite, as Saucony has strategically placed bolstered tabs at the top center of the tongue for added protection.  While the upper is thinner and lighter than the previous model, I first wondered if protection from rocks and dings might be compromised, but thus far have not noticed any weakness as there are plentiful protective overlays down low.


Renee: As compared to the previous version, the upper is now a lighter, more race-orientated fit, style, and weight. The security remains great, as was the case with the Peregrine 11. As Jeff V wrote, the padding in the tongue and heel collar is reduced. I did not notice a change in comfort from the upper changes, but I did notice the improvement in flexibility. The breathability seems improved from version 11. 

For cold weather running, I wore wool socks and had no issues with cold weather or moisture. The upper will show a lot of dirt/mud, but it cleans up well enough. 


Over time, I wonder if the durability of the upper will hold up as compared to the previous version. 

The heel collar sat higher on my foot as compared to the previous version, which might be caused by a change in the midsole instead of the upper’s collar. I had some slight irritation from the high collar, but not a deal breaker. 


John: The upper provides a comfortable and secure fit. This updated version is notably focused on less and that’s a good thing. Overall, there is reduced padding throughout, the upper material is thinner, and the toe bumper is more strategically built into the upper as opposed to being a rubber toe cap.  

The minimal overlays and integrated sockliner ensure that the fit envelopes your foot, providing exceptional security. 

And, as Jeff and Renee point out, despite the reduction in padding in upper I noticed no compromises with performance. 

I felt secure and protected in mellow to gnarly terrain. The lacing is extremely efficient that secures the foot easily and well; there is still a convenient lace storage strap that keeps laces from going all over the place in this version. I’ve worn the shoe in warm and cold temperatures and I found it breathable enough for the warm days and my feet didn’t turn to icicles on the really cold runs. 



Jacob: The Peregrine 12 upper is sleek and streamlined with enough structure and padding to be comfortable and locked in but without much excess. The nearly 100% recycled mesh is soft on the foot and breathes well. In sub-freezing temperatures (with wool socks) my toes didn’t freeze, so it’s not overly airy. 

The elegant, gusseted, semi-bootie tongue reminds me of the Endorphin road line and works very well here in being simple to lay flat, hugs the foot, and is easy to dial in the right lace pressure. 

The foothold for my medium-width foot is glove-like with a bit more space in the toebox which matches my preferences exactly. There is no slop at all. It is overall similar to the fit of many of Saucony’s road line which typically fit my nearly perfectly true to size. It is an excellent upper overall without unnecessary bulk, a great balance of comfort and hold, and use of recycled materials.


Mike P: Not much for me to add on top of the others’ commentary. I agree that the upper is absolutely secure, but as Jeff V mentions, perhaps not the exact “locked in” feel as the previous version 10/11.  Not issues whatsoever though.  I do find there is slightly more room in the forefoot - which is a very welcome addition. This is possibly due to the upper being slightly more stretchy, but also visually, it seems to me as if the front of the shoe does not taper as sharply toward the very front (in comparison to my version 10’s). 


I did find the heel cup also has slightly more volume, but not by much - it was noticeable with a very thin sock. But I also tried a sock with slightly more heel padding, and the fit was nice and snug. The tongue is also very lightweight, and wraps the foot well. They’ve also (strategically?) placed an extra diamond-shaped piece of thicker material with the Saucony Trail logo and a pull tab at the top of the tongue. I find this sits directly under the lace knot and eliminates any pressure that might have been felt through the thinner tongue.


Sizing-wise, it seems Saucony has adjusted ever slightly to be a true 9.5. I find just a slight touch more volume all around, bringing it in line with other brands’ sizing. I found that previously my Saucony size 9.5’s were always the most snug in that size.


Midsole


Renee: While Saucony advertises the midsole as a “soft, springy PWRRUN cushioning,” I don’t quite get a “soft” or “springy” feel from the midsole. For me, the midsole is firm but not harsh. With the dramatic weight reduction, the Peregrine 12 works well for me during short fast runs or long runs. As compared to the previous version, the shoes now function as a race or trainer option, and all at a decent trail shoe price. 

I ran an 18-miler on uneven surfaces and my feet felt great. 


Jeff V:  I find the PWRRUN midsole to have a perfect balance of firmness, cushion, protection, response and predictability that makes the Peregrine 12 ideally suited for technical running at any speed.  While the midsole has reportedly not been changed, I have found that with the overall reduction in weight, the added flexibility due to the improved upper and retooled outsole, the 12 feels so much more quick, responsive and agile.  No matter the terrain, I find this midsole to be adequately cushioned and protective for hours of hard running.  The combination of the PWRRUN midsole and rock plate provide excellent protection, while the now improved flexibility allows for very good ground feel and contouring that I appreciate when running fast through rocky, technical terrain.

Another nice improvement over the previous version is the upgrade to a PWRRUN+ TPU sockliner, which very much improves the overall ride, cushioning and enhances the overall feel of the midsole through the gait cycle.

John: Hard to disagree with what has already been said above. The Peregrine 12 offers a wonderful balance between comfort, response, light weight, and stability. In fact, like Jeff, I felt more inclined to be aggressive in this shoe because the midsole offers a nice balance of cushion that stays comfortable and protective all day long, and predictability + control.  

The midsole performs well at a variety of speeds and distances, though still a bit stiff for it to be a go-to road shoe. Notwithstanding, whether on roads for a brief duration, or on longer outings in the trails with extended downhills, the cushion is really effective at absorbing impact and helping the legs stay fresh.



Jacob: The midsole primarily uses Saucony’s PWRRUN foam which in this deployment is relatively dense and firm. It is also relatively low stack, but is accompanied by a braided rock protection layer and most importantly a thick PWRRUN+ TPU bead sockliner. The sandwich of rubber outsole, flexible rock protection, firm foam, then softer energetic foam creates a stable, protected, and performant shoe with balanced flexibility. It has a touch of bounce from the PWRRUN+ on top of the connected feel of the PWRRUN. I find that overall it is nearing feeling harsh on hard terrain like frozen dirt and pavement, but appreciate the lower feel on more rugged terrain. 


Mike P: The standout feature update for me is the PWRRUN+ TPU beaded insole. It’s quite thick- I’d estimate 5-6mm. I’m sure Saucony was able to shave some weight by eliminating the layer of PWRRUN that was glued to the footbed of previous versions, and integrating that layer of cushion into the new insole. 


In my opinion, TPU insoles are the future - they are much more durable and show very little/no compression over time. I have several of Inov-8’s Boomerang insoles that I swap in and out of different shoes, and they show zero compression. I actually prefer this Saucony TPU version, as it has more contouring and support under the arch. I will definitely be testing this insole in a variety of other shoes.


In terms of cushioning, it is perfectly adequate for what the shoe is designed for. This is really an all-mountain shoe, but not an all-day shoe. Short to moderate distance runs over varied terrain where you value traction, protection, and a bit of ground feel - that is the sweet spot. Saucony really does do a good rock plate. I find it very protective, but flexible enough where you almost don’t notice it’s there. 


As mentioned by others, it’s not a great road shoe, but that’s more due to the outsole than anything else. The cushioning and ride is obviously not tuned to the road. I would say it performs well on dirt or fire roads - the softer the better, since the traction would be an advantage. For extended sections of hard-packed dirt, it wouldn’t be the pick.



Outsole

Renee: I have seven (I think?) trail shoes with the Saucony PWRTRAC outsole, and all of them work well in mud or soft conditions. The rubber shreds mud easily, the 5mm lugs provide grip and traction, and the spacing between lugs ensures mud is not caked to the bottom. The pattern of the lugs is slightly different from the previous version, but I did not notice any difference. 

Jeff V:  I first thought that the outsole, despite modest changes to the 5mm lugs would be comparable to the already great outsole of the 11, but I was mistaken.  It is surprisingly better!  The new lugs are not quite as broad, leaving a bit more space in between and I believe that the smaller lugs actually penetrate better on loose terrain as well as on frozen, snowy surfaces.  


Additionally, the rubber compound feels a bit more sticky and the added flexibility of the shoe from the front outsole chevron shaped cut outs that now cross the forefoot instead of being longitudinal help the outsole/lugs better conform and adhere to the undulations of the terrain underfoot.  

I have been lucky during this review period to run on just about every type of surface, from steep and loose off trail, steep rocky technical trails, slabby rock, dry, wet, snow, ice, mud, slush, pavement, cement, hard packed dirt, gravel and I am amazed at the level of grip I am experiencing.  


Even on ice, they grab better than any shoe I have worn without metal spikes built in and while I would not run them on steep bulletproof ice, I was able to safely navigate lower angle strips of icy trail without incident.  Durability thus far has proven to be average to slightly above average and I am confident that they will last a long time over many miles of rough and rocky terrain.

John: The PWRTRAC is awesome. In addition to the comments above, I took these on one of my standard Boulder mountain routes that starts with groomed trail and eventually takes you through highly technical terrain with steep incline/decline. I also tested the Peregrine 12s in snow, ice, mud, dried rutted mud, dry trail, and on road. Let me just say the outsole can handle pretty much anything you throw at it. Like Jeff mentions, the PWRTRAC outsole allows you to confidently navigate a variety of terrain, even some ice. 


Jacob: The Peregrine 12 outsole is awesome. It is all I could ask for in a shoe for all types of runs on technical terrain. Like other shoes I have tested with Saucony’s PWRTRC outsole, the rubber material grips very well in all situations. 

The tried and true directional chevron lugs work on all surfaces and feel fine on smooth terrain. The decoupling in the heel and cutouts in the forefoot contributes to more natural flexibility. Like Jeff and John, I was impressed by the traction on ice.


Mike P: Jeff V sums it up best. The lugs maintain the same shape, but have been spaced out a bit. They absolutely shed mud better. I tested them on wet and soggy dirt roads, and didn’t have any issues with mud caking to the outsoles. This was an issue with previous versions, including my V 10’s. I also feel the outsole performs just as well as previous versions, perhaps even better. The improved flexibility of the shoe does help the lugs “bite” a bit more - as Jeff mentions. 


I had good test conditions with mixed dirt, mud, slush, snow, and solid ice. Traction was excellent on everything aside from solid, polished ice. Side note - raised ice screw anchor spots have been removed, likely to save a bit of weight. I’m sure you could add ice screws directly into the outsole between the lugs, but they would sit a bit lower, so they wouldn’t be as effective as previous versions.  



Ride

Renee: Between the secure upper and light weight, the ride is now faster and more nimble as compared to the previous version. For me, the new Peregrine rides quick for fast runs and comfortable enough for longer distance runs. As with any rock-plated shoe with 5mm lugs, I would avoid hard or buffed out trails (ie. terrain you can run with road shoes); otherwise, the Peregrine 12 is versatile. The Peregrine’s ride favors more technical terrain.

Jeff V:  Renee sums up the ride well, but I will add that even though the ride is on the firm side and would not be my first pick for longer distances on smoother trails, I think the Peregrine 12 performs reasonably well off the mountain and has enough cushioning to not have one feel beat up after several hours of faster paced running.  As Renee mentions, the Peregrine is best suited to rugged mountain terrain and for this usage, the ride is among the best out there.


John: When I first tested the Peregrine 10s and then the 11s, I found myself feeling flat-footed when running at faster paces. With the 12s, the shoe feels smoother and more responsive, but doesn’t sacrifice the feeling of protection that the previous models boast. As was pointed out before, there is some firmness to the ride making it less enjoyable for longer distances on smooth terrain, but that added structure/support from the platform is nice security when going over anything that would make you wobbly. To that end, I also found it to feel quite nimble on technical terrain, especially when you account for the efficient and secure fit of the upper and perfect amount of midsole cushion that allows for some ground-feel.


Jacob: I agree with Renee, Jeff, and John regarding the ride. It is on the firm side but has adequate cushioning and protection for long distances and feels quick. It is stable and protected while still having decent flexibility and ground feel. There is not much bounce, just a bit of an energetic feel on toe off from the PWRRUN+ sockliner. I would not choose it for longer runs on smooth or hard terrain as I felt the ride on frozen packed dirt and pavement was a bit flat and bordering on harsh. I would however race it for sub-ultra distances on technical terrain and am looking forward to using it this race season. Especially for shorter (<15 miles) races on technical terrain, it is one of the most performant shoes I’ve ever tested. I think the shoe will get out of the way with it’s combination of light bounce, stability, and excellent fit and comfort and let me enjoy the run, regardless of what terrain I’m running over.


Mike P: I ran 50+ miles in these the first week I had them. The longest run was 3 hours, 18 miles, with 3,600 ft of gain over mixed dirt, snow, and ice. I found them well suited up to and probably slightly beyond that range. Beyond 3-4 hours, I’d probably look to something with a bit more cushion - hello Xodus 12?


The ride can feel a bit flat over moderate terrain, but that’s to be expected at a 4mm drop with not much rocker involved. The shoe is tuned more towards security and varied technical running versus smooth straight-line speed. The terrain conditions over my long run were perfect for the Peregrine 12, as I had to navigate constant uneven packed snow and frozen ice. I felt very stable, and protection was adequate for that range, even with the ground being very harsh underfoot.



Conclusions and Recommendations

Renee: A runner could save money and buy the Peregrine 11 at a discount, but I wouldn’t. The version 12 is a magical revision that maintains all the awesomeness of the Peregrine without all the weight. I get enough comfort from the midsole for long distance runs (I ran an 18-miler and would not hesitate to take them past 26.2, perhaps even an ultra depending on the terrain). The shoes are nimble and light enough for short quick technical runs too. At their cost, the Peregrine 12 is a great buy, particularly because it can be used as a trainer or racer. 

Renee’s Score: 9.3/10 (-.35 upper durability as a trainer, -.35 high heel collar)


Jeff V:  Renee beat me to the punch, as I was going to say the exact same thing about whether or not to buy the older version at a discount.  I may have encouraged buying the older version at a discount over the last few versions, but the 12 is enough of an overhaul and a major improvement, that I would highly encourage moving on to the 12 (although if you are not pushing the pace, racing, striving for PR’s, then the previous version is still an excellent daily trainer for those who want security, protection, durability and traction). 


I am overall wildly impressed with the changes Saucony has made to the Peregrine 12 and I am happy that they have brought down the weight, created a more flexible, yet still well held upper, improved traction and upped the performance level.  I would recommend the Peregrine 12 for just about any trail running, just about any distance (not an ultra shoe, but would have no qualms about a full day of running/hiking/mountaineering in them. I find the Peregrine 12 to be most ideal for pushing the limits on technical trails, steep off trail, shorter to mid distance races where traction and security are paramount.  Racing or training, the Peregrine 12 is one of my all time favorites.

Jeff V’s Score:  9.6/10

Ride: 9.5 Fit: 9.5 Value: 9.5 Style: 9.5 Traction: 10 Rock Protection: 9.75


John: The Saucony Peregrine 12 is a lightweight versatile trail shoe with a very comfortable upper that provides a roomy yet secure fit. It is energetic, smooth, has a consistent ride, and yet provides best in class protection. This shoe performs well on a variety of surfaces, but due to the slight stiffness (while improved) it struggles on longer runs on smooth, road-like, terrain. Still, if you are someone who enjoys a light and responsive trail shoe who is looking for a do-everything-on-the-mountain shoe to take on recovery runs or PR attempts, the Peregrine 12 is an ideal go-to option. 

John’s Score:  9.6/10


Ride: 9.5 (energetic and protective)

Fit: 9.5
Value: 9.5 (the 12 is a do everything mountain shoe)

Style:  9.5 (Bright and fun!) 

Traction:  10 (solid shoe for basically anything you put in its way)

Rock Protection: 9.5 (best in class)


Jacob: The Peregrine 12 is an excellent update and a performant, race-ready, technical trail shoe. It is suitable for a variety of paces from jogging to racing on moderate to very technical terrain. It has a locked in but still comfortable fit, stable and quick ride, and 10/10 traction. It uses recycled materials in the upper and has a sleek style that is bright and energetic but not too flashy. I think it would work for most runners as a do-it-all trail shoe. The biggest negative for me is the performance on smooth, hard pack and pavement where it feels a bit flat and hard. For its intended terrain of technical singletrack, you can’t go wrong.

Jacob’s Score:  9.3/10

Ride: 8.5 (30%), Fit: 9.5 (30%), Value: 9.5 (10%), Style: 9.5 (5%), Traction: 10 (15%), Rock Protection: 9.5  (10%)


Mike P: The Peregrine 12 is a great improvement and it feels like this will be a big winner for Saucony. The weight loss as well as streamlined look and feel opens it up to a wide audience.  If you are sticking mainly to trails, and less concerned about road versatility, this is an extremely capable trail/mountain shoe.  If you’re heading out to a new trail, and you’re not sure about the terrain, the Peregrine 12 would be an excellent and versatile choice to bring along.  Value-wise, at $130 you can’t go wrong. This shoe will definitely be a staple in my all around trail running quiver.


Mike P’s Score: 9.30/10

Ride: 9 - Great for varied, technically-oriented terrain

Fit: 9.5 - Slight extra volume in the heel, but otherwise perfect

Value: 9 - Do-it-all trail/mountain shoe for a great price. Will streamlined upper be as durable?

Style: 9.5 - Streamlined look as well as feel

Traction: 9.5 - Classic traction gets even better with improved mud shedding

Rock Protection: 9.5 - Protection while maintaining flexibility over all but the roughest terrain



RoadTrailRun Editor Sam's Video Review from the Snow Trails in Park City, Utah


12 Comparisons

Index to all RTR reviews: HERE


Peregrine 11 (RTR Review)

Renee: Same great taste, less filling. Seriously, the 12 is the same shoe at a significantly lighter weight. Version 11 has more padding in the tongue and heel collar, but I did not notice a comfort difference. 


Jeff V:  The 12 is not only remarkably lighter, but the fit is more spacious and less confining feeling, while offering comparable foothold, with a more flexible/comfortable upper, which is in and of itself is a remarkable feat.  On top of that, add in the improved flexibility and ground feel, while retaining underfoot protection, a retooled geometry, more responsive and agile feel, with improved and dare I say about the best traction out there (durable too), the 12 is an absolute hit!


John: What else is there to add? The 12 is the plain and simple better choice because it offers the same quality protection and traction, while improving the runnability and shaving ounces from the 11. 


Mike P (US 9.5 - V10): Same points as everyone else. Just want to point out that V12 seems to have a touch more volume all around than my V10, especially in the forefoot. It’s easier to get a snug fit without having to cinch the laces super tight. Also, V12 sheds mud much better.


Inov-8 Terraultra G 270 (RTR Review)

Renee: The TU G 270 is overall my favorite trail shoe, and is slightly (but noticeably) lighter in weight. While both shoes are nimble, the TU G 270 has a quicker, more nimble ride for me. For protection underfoot and soft terrain/technical trails, the Peregrine might have an advantage. The Peregrine costs less and might work better for runners who do not like zero drops. I wore a women’s size 8 in both, with slightly more room in the toe box in the TU G 270.


Jeff V:  I am the black sheep of the RTR crew, in that I was not crazy about the TU G 270.  At least for my running style and preference for steep mountain terrain, I found the 270 to not have a well enough held upper, nor enough protection underfoot.  It is quick and light, with good traction, but the zero drop is also a bit of a drawback for me.  The Peregrine 12 for my use, exceeds the TU G 270 in every way.


Jacob: I love the G 270 and out of the box was excited that the Peregrine 12 would match or exceed it as it is similar in weight, ground feel, and stack height. Both share a firmer midsole with a softer TPU bead sockliner and excellent secure fit. After testing, the G 270 remains my clear preference as it is more comfortable for me with a wider toebox, softer and more flexible underfoot feel, and better smooth terrain performance. However the traction of the Peregrine 12 is a notch above the already good G 270 and it is more protected which is appreciated on sharp rocks and similarly harsh terrain. I would race the Peregrine 12 on rugged singletrack but tend to not use the G 270 unless terrain is more moderate or I’m going slower. Both are great shoes, my foot shape and ride preferences just lead my to the G 270 for general use. 


Salomon Sense Pro 4 (RTR Review)

Jeff V:  The Sense Pro 4 is lighter, quicker and more agile, but the Peregrine 12 has better traction and protection, so is more suited to runs exceeding 2 hours and on even more technical terrain.

John: The Sense Pro 4 is one of my favorites. The Salomons are more sock-like and form fitting in the upper, while the Sauconys provide more play and more midsole cushion. If I am going fast and short in more technical terrain, I’ll go with the Sense Pro 4s, but I will put the Peregrines on for anything else.

John: The Sense Pro 4 is one of my favorites. The Salomons are more sock-like and form fitting in the upper, while the Sauconys provide more play and more midsole cushion. If I am going fast and short in more technical terrain, I’ll go with the Sense Pro 4s, but I will put the Peregrines on for anything else. 

Mike P (US 9.5): I find the SP4 much narrower. I mentioned in previous comps that I couldn’t seem to get a good fit with them that didn’t squeeze my forefoot too much. The Peregrine 12 should be much more accommodating to more foot shapes. I also find Saucony’s rock plate is more substantial than Salomon’s Pro Film.  The Peregrine has a wider base than the SP4, which is a bit more agile due to being narrower. In summary, with V12’s weight loss, I find these shoes now very similar - differences being wider fit/platform, and better protection for the Peregrine 12.


Hoka Torrent 2 (RTR Review)

Jeff: Torrent 2 is 0.3 oz lighter and maybe quicker on moderate trails, but the Peregrine 12 is much more competent on technical trails with better protection and traction.


Topo MTN Racer 2 (RTR Review)

Renee: Both shoes have secure uppers. The MTN Racer 2 does not have a rock plate and is slightly heavier. As for sizing, I wore a women’s 7.5 in the MTN Racer 2 and a women’s size 8 in the Peregrine. Even at a half size smaller, I have more room in the toebox of the Topo. The MTN Racer 2 has better ground feel and a lower sitting heel collar. For long distances needing protection underfoot, I’d choose the Peregrine. For shorter efforts and a roomy toe box, I’d choose the MTN Racer 2. 


Jeff V:  I find the Peregrine 12 to be much more quick and performance oriented, with slightly better foothold.  The MTN Racer 2 however for me is more suited to longer distances, slower paces and less technical terrain, but only just slightly as the MTN Racer 2 is one of my top performers for 2021.  Peregrine 12 for racing or all out efforts, MTN Racer 2 for less intense daily training.


Mike P (US 9.5): These feel like very different shoes to me. The MTN Racer 2 is more of a cruiser/long distance shoe. I enjoy it as a trainer, as I don’t find the forefoot protection to be enough for very long ultras. The Peregrine 12 is more protective, but less cushioned, so it feels more at home during more technical, but shorter runs. The Peregrine fit is great, and more secure than the Topo, but again the Topo is oriented towards much greater distance/duration.


Topo Ultraventure Pro (RTR Review)

Renee: Both shoes have a rock plate, an outsole for soft conditions, and secure uppers. The Ultraventure Pro had a harsh ride for me and I had forefoot pain after running it. The Pro might have better ground feel, but the Peregrine 12 is a far better shoe for me. For sizing, the Peregrine 12 runs a half size longer. 


Jeff V:  Agreed with Renee.  As much as I loved the MTN Racer 2, the UV Pro fell flat in my opinion and I also found it to be particularly unstable.


VJ Ultra (RTR Review)

Jeff V:  The VJ Ultra is a faster, lighter and more responsive shoe, but underfoot protection is not as good as the Peregrine 12’s, which can make a big difference on longer runs that consist of rocky technical terrain.  The VJ Ultra also has a more race like fit with less wiggle room, which some may find constricting in comparison to the Peregrine 12 depending on foot shape/size and preference.  Traction is comparable, but given the outsole durability concerns with the VJ Ultra, I would favor the Peregrine 12 for the durability and longevity.


Jacob: I am surprised to see the Peregrine as Jeff’s pick as I knew he was a big fan of the VJ Ultra. Well, I am also a huge fan of the VJ Ultra and it was my pick for racing shoe and technical trail shoe of the year for 2021. I raced it several times from 6 miles to 32 miles on a variety of terrain and couldn’t imagine a more performant shoe. However, immediately after weighing and trying on the Peregrine 12 I thought it could contend with the VJ Ultra as my pick for technical trail racing this upcoming season. 


There are pros and cons to both for me. The biggest con of the VJ Ultra is, as Jeff noted, the tighter fit. It gave me blisters on my toes on numerous occasions. The Peregrine is nearly as locked in but more comfortable and notably softer around the foot. 


As for ride, the Ultra is softer and foamier feeling. It is also more laterally flexible which can be problematic on uneven terrain. I like the softer underfoot feel for cruising descents and wish the Peregrine were a bit softer, but the additional protection of the Peregrine helps on some terrain. For general training, the Peregrine is more versatile. Overall, both are great shoes for moving fast in technical terrain and which you should choose depends on your foot shape, ride preferences, and intended usage. 


Mike P: These shoes seem like they should occupy different spaces, but due to some limitations with the VJ Ultra, they do end up overlapping quite a bit. The VJ Ultra has much softer cushioning, and is much more flexible. The uppers to me are equally secure, but the VJ toebox definitely tapers sharply leading to a bit of a squeeze up front unless you have narrow feet. The VJ also has a stiffer and taller ankle collar. That being said, I did feel comfortable racing the VJ’s up to the 7-8 hour mark before those issues started to become a problem.  I wouldn’t take the Peregrine’s that far mostly due to the lesser amount of cushion. But like Jeff mentions - the Peregrines are far more protective over more technical terrain. Choosing between the two would likely come down to preference, target terrain, as well as fit/foot shape.



VJ Spark (RTR Review)

Renee: The VJ Spark is a fun shoe for quick paces, and especially on inclines/declines. The Peregrine 12 offers more protection underfoot because of its rock plate. I would choose the VJ Spark for distances less than 13.1 and the Peregrine 12 for longer distances. I wore a women’s size 8 in both. 


Jeff V:  Agreed with Renee.  The Spark is lighter and better suited for shorter distances due to a thinner midsole and lack of rock plate and also its more secure, race fitting upper and its even superior tread to the Peregrine 12.  That said, the Spark is not nearly as versatile, whereas the Peregrine 12 can cover all of the bases just as well, but also provide so much more protection, versatility and comfort for longer distances and training/racing crossover.


Jacob: I agree with Renee and Jeff. The Spark is my pick for racing short distances for sure as it is lighter and has a glove-like fit and excellent traction that makes it possible to run fast over any terrain. However, I would hesitate to race the Spark anything longer than 10 miles especially if there are long descents, as it is not a very protective shoe. I also see minimal use for the Spark as a trainer except for Strava segment efforts. The Peregrine is much more versatile and works for everything the Spark does (just a bit heavier and less locked-in for shorter races).


Mike P: Agree with everyone - Peregrine wins by far on versatility, especially in the protection department.  The Spark is a blast to run in though, and feels great dancing around. For me the VJ Spark has the best fit of any shoe I have right now.  The Peregrine is good, but not quite the custom-feeling fit of the Spark. I’d take the Peregrine for all-around training, and the Spark for all-out blasts and short racing (I ran a mountainous trail marathon in VJ Sparks).


Scott Supertrac RC 2 (RTR Review)

Jeff V:  Both shoes are very comparable in use and great for moving fast on technical mountain terrain.  The Peregrine 12 is more durable with a longer lasting outsole and has a more relaxed fit, whereas the RC 2 suffers a bit from outsole wear due to the softer rubber compound.  RC 2 has a more race like fit and less protection underfoot without a rock plate, but the midsole has a softer, more cushioned feel.


Speedland SL:PDX (RTR Review)

Jeff V:  The Peregrine 12 is lighter, more responsive, has better traction/outsole durability and comparable underfoot protection.  That said, I appreciate the versatility of the Speedland and the soft underfoot cushioned feel that the Pebax midsole insert provides, as well as the versatility to remove/add the carbon plate at will and quickly.  Not many shoes, if any, can come close to the cutting edge Dyneema fiber upper with dual two way BOA dials that provide the absolute best combination of comfort, security, protection and ease of use.  While the two shoes overlap in many ways in regard to usage, I would say the Speedland would be superior for longer distances, where the Peregrine 12 is better for shorter, faster runs.  Of course there is also the few hundred dollar price difference which is a significant factor.


ASICS Fuji Lite 2 (RTR Review)

John: The Saucony Peregrine 12 is the same weight as the Fuji Lite, but the shoes diverge from there. The Peregrine 12 is more stable, firmer and the upper has a better and lower profile upper that has great foothold and security.  The Peregrine’s traction profile is more aggressive while the Fuji Lite performs really well on crossover terrain such as road and groomed paths. Peregrine 12 is a stiffer shoe with a bit more rock protection and is somewhat runnable on the roads, but not as enjoyable as the Fuji Lite 2.


Mike P (US 10.0): Shoes for different terrains. For the FL2 - the much softer cushion in conjunction with the non-secure upper severely limits it to flat/moderate terrain. Anything with twists or turns will not feel secure. It is very fun to run in its element though. The Peregrine is just the opposite - they’ll feel a bit stiffer on flat/moderate terrain, but super stable and secure when the terrain gets more technical and/or rocky. The Peregrine is much more protective, but I wouldn’t be taking the FL2 in any rocky terrain anyway. The Peregrine is way more versatile overall. 


Hoka Torrent 2 (RTR Review)

Mike P (US 9.5): The Torrents are a bit lighter, and for me more suited to the moderate range of the trail spectrum. They have a similar wide-ish platform as the Peregrine, but they are less protective, especially at the forefoot. Torrents do have a bit more cush in the heel for long descents though. If the terrain is really rocky, the Peregrines would be a better pick in general. Anything leaning shorter, faster, and moderate - the Torrents would work better. For me the Peregrines also have a much better and secure fit. The Torrent upper feels boxy to me, and difficult to lock the foot in. But those fit distinctions may be subjective.



Tester Profiles

Renee is a former U. S. Marine journalist, which is when her enjoyment of running and writing started. She isn’t that awesome of a runner, but she tries really hard. Most of her weekly 50-60 miles take place on rural country roads in Nebraska, meaning mud, gravel, dirt, hills, and the occasional field. She has PR’s of 1:30:59 for the half marathon and 3:26:45 for the marathon.


Jeff Valliere runs mostly on very steep technical terrain above Boulder often challenging well known local FKT's. 


John Tribbia (5' 6", 130lbs) is a former sponsored mountain/trail runner who has run with La Sportiva, Brooks/Fleet Feet, Pearl Izumi, and Salomon. Even though he competes less frequently these days, you can still find John enjoying the daily grind of running on any surface, though his favorite terrain is 30-40% grade climbs. He has won races such as America's Uphill, Imogene Pass Run, and the US Skyrunner Vertical Kilometer Series; and he's held several FKTs on several iconic mountains in Boulder, Colorado and Salt Lake City, Utah. If you follow him on Strava, you'll notice he runs at varying paces between 5 minutes/mile to 12 minutes/mile before the break of dawn almost every day.


Jacob is a runner and general endurance sports enthusiast. He runs a mix of roads and trails in the Portland, Maine area. He has been running every day for over 3.5 years and averages around 50 miles per week. Jacob races on road and trail at a variety of distances from 5k to 50k. He has a recent PR of 2:49 in the marathon. In addition to running, he does hiking, biking (mountain/gravel/road), and nordic skiing. He is 26 years old, 6 ft / 182 cm tall and 155 lbs / 70 kg. You can check out Jacob’s recent activities on Strava.


Mike Postaski Born and raised in New Jersey, recently moved to Boise, ID in 2019, mainly to have better and easier access to outdoor adventure.  I have no formal running training, have never run on a team at any level, and can count the times I've run on a track on one hand.  I actually grew up inline speed skating - both indoor short track as well as roads.  Picking up running in my early 30s, starting on roads, progressing to marathons (PR 2:40, Boise 2019), eventually I discovered trails. I love going fast and running all distances, but I especially love long mountain ultras.  My three 100 milers so far have all been in the 25k vert range. I also enjoy the challenge of looped/timed trail races, and even the backyard ultra format. I am definitely a gear junkie - I have gone through more running vests than I can remember, and my trail running shoe collection currently sits at 38 pairs (all tracked via spreadsheet)!  My wife does not appreciate this


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17 comments:

Anonymous said...

As always, thanks to all for the thorough review! I haven't ran in a Peregrine since the 4/5's (some of my all time favorites), owing to the fact that they changed the shoe too much in later iterations (6-9 should never have happened). The 10/11 seemed like a return to the roots of the shoe, but that weight was the deciding factor against (considering competition). You sold me on the 12, which will be my next purchase for sure!

Jeff Valliere said...

Anon, you will NOT be disappointed!

Anonymous said...

Is outsole as bad wet rock as Cascadia? From https://www.believeintherun.com/brooks-cascadia-15-performance-review/ "had some slippage on wet river rock."

Unknown said...

How does this compare to the HOKA Torrent 2 ? Thanks.

Jeff Valliere said...

Anon, just about any shoe is going to slip on most wet river rock (I think BITR is in Baltimore, so rocks there more slimy than most). I have had no issues with wet traction with the Peregrine 12 or the Cascadias of late (14, 15 or 16).

Unknown, Torrent 2 is lighter and maybe quicker on moderate trails, but the Peregrine 12 is much more competent on technical trails with better protection and traction.

Antoine said...

Thank you for the great review.
I would be much interested in a comparison with Scarpa Spin 2.0
On the paper, they look like for similar purpose.
Cheers. Antoine.

Jeff Valliere said...

I'll defer to John and Renee on this one, as I unfortunately missed out on the Spin 2.0.

Anonymous said...

Only option to buy is to order online. Need some sizing help! For reference, I wear a 10.5 in Asics Fuji Lite 2, Brooks Catamount. 11 in Adidas Terrex Speed Ultra. Since this will be a technical and shorter distance shoe (sub 20mi) I like to keep it with just enough space for the toes, but not too much to where I'm swimming in them. Thoughts? Much appreciated.

Jeff Valliere said...

Hard to predict, but can maintain that they run true to size. What ever size you most often get, then go with that size.

Mike P said...

Unknown- My thoughts will be added to the review shortly, but this is my comp to the Torrent 2-

The Torrents are a bit lighter, and for me more suited to the moderate range of the trail spectrum. They have a similar wide-ish platform as the Peregrine, but they are less protective, especially at the forefoot. Torrents do have a bit more cush in the heel for long descents though. If the terrain is really rocky, the Peregrines would be a better pick in general. Anything leaning shorter, faster, and moderate - the Torrents would work better. For me the Peregrines also have a much better and secure fit. The Torrent upper feels boxy to me, and difficult to lock the foot in. But those fit distinctions may be subjective.

Mike P said...

Anonymous - These are my sizes (all in US) in the shoes you mentioned - Fuji Lite 2 (10.0), Brooks Catamount (9.5), Terrex Speed Ultra (9.5), Peregrine 12 (9.5)

TT said...

Does anyone know if a gore-tex version will be coming?

Jeff Valliere said...

TT, that is a great question! I was actually wondering the same, as I would be very keen to review if so. I reviewed last year's Gore Peregrine 11 and still use it often, but incorporating all the updates of the Peregrine 12 with a Gore wrap would be a dream. I'll keep you posted.

Unknown said...

Bonjour
J'ai eu la 10 et la 11. J ai le pied très fin et j avais noté que la 11 était plus large que la 10 et me convenait moins. J aurais du prendre 1/2 pointure de moins. Quand est il de la 12 par rapport ?
Il y a t il toujours cette double semelle qui part lorsque les pieds sont mouillés. Merci

Anonymous said...

Would you recommend the Peregrine 11s with the gore tex or the 12s without. Only problem I have is the 11s colorways are gross and the new 12s are clean.

Mike P said...

Anonymous-

I'm not a big fan of gore tex shoes myself. I'd always pick the much lighter standard version. In these case V12 also dropped a lot of weight from V11 on top of the GTX weight savings. I'd definitely go with the V12. It's really a lot of shoe and very versatile at the price point.

Jeff Valliere said...

The 12 is a MUCH better shoe, but if I were running in really wet conditions, consistent deep snow, slush, slop, or if was just really cold, I would consider the 11 GTX to be a better pick for that day. I have not yet tested or seen a 12 GTX, but if so, that would be a clear favorite.