Friday, February 10, 2023

Saucony Peregrine 13 ST Multi Tester Review: for much more than just Soft Trail! 7 Comparisons

Article by Renee Krusemark, Mike Postaski, and Jeff Vaillere

Saucony Peregrine 13 ST ($150)


Mike P: The ST (Soft Trail) version is a new addition to the Peregrine lineup. Jeff Valliere mentioned in our Regular/GTX Peregrine 13 reviews that the ST version seems like it should have a different name - and I tend to agree with that. 

In comparison to the Regular/GTX versions, the ST shares the same midsole as well as foot shape. But it rides on much higher lugs and the upper has quite a few differences. Let’s dig in and see what’s different.


Bomber outsole + woven rock plate = great protection in technical terrain Mike P /Jeff V

Big lugs bite in soft terrain and shed mud well Mike P/Renee/Jeff V

1.5mm added stack plus 6.5mm lugs = borderline max cushion territory Mike P

Very light weight given the full rubber outsole + big lugs Mike P/Renee//Jeff V

Surprisingly flexible and agile for level of underfoot protection Mike P/Renee /Jeff V


Upper runs warm Mike P

Slightly less secure in the heel than regular/GTX versions Mike P/Renee/Jeff V

Can feel a bit firm underfoot on rocky terrain (yes, I know, it is designed for soft terrain): Jeff V


Sample Weights: men’s 9.96 oz  / 282 g US9, 10.0 oz, 284g US 9.5 

                              women’s 8.73 oz / 247g (US8)

Stack Height: men’s 30mm heel / 26mm forefoot, 4mm drop

$150 available now at SAUCONY HERE

First Impressions, Fit and Upper

Mike P: The first impression that strikes you when pulling the ST’s out of the box are - wow, those lugs! 6.5mm burly and thick chevron-shaped lugs sitting on top of what looks like a pretty thick slab of solid rubber. 

I typically don’t run in such lugged-out trail shoes, but I have noted in the past that trail shoes with higher lugs definitely offer additional protection and tend to smooth out the ride in technical terrain what I  find to be  the best usage for those types of outsoles, in addition of course to the targeted “soft” trails usage.

Also noticeable is Saucony’s usage of a quicklace system in the ST version. 

In conjunction with the bootie-style of the upper and the high gaiter-type collar - it looks like the intention is to limit dirt and mud and other debris from getting into the shoe. Note - the lace garage at the top of the tongue is easy to use and works well. 

To that end, the upper features a neoprene type material on the interior, welded to a more rigid outer mesh. I noticed a bit of weather “resistance” to the upper, but not quite at Gore-Tex level. It does a good job of limiting debris from working their way in, the stuff which would likely work its way in through the Regular version’s mesh.

Fit is true to size, same as the other Peregrine versions, but the upper material is a bit thinner, and I feel a touch of extra volume inside the shoe, which is good. No issue with security though - as the quicklace works well to snug everything up. 

In the heel area I also notice a touch more space, and less of a bolster wrapping over and around the heel. I haven’t had any issues, but it’s slightly less locked in than the heel on the Regular/GTX versions.

The upper also seems to run a bit warm. Between the neoprene-type interior and the denser outer mesh, breathability is somewhat of an issue. On a few runs in the 40s and 50s (F), I felt and noticed my feet sweating through the upper material. This is a plus in cold weather, but could be a negative factor in the approaching warmer months.

Renee: Saucony has made  great improvements with the Peregrines during the last two years, with the regular and GTX versions shedding weight while maintaining a great ride. The Peregrine ST follows that trend. As Mike P. wrote, it’s hard not to notice the 6.5mm lugs right out of the box. Luckily, comparatively speaking, the Peregrine 13ST is fairly lightweight. Also, it looks good with mud!

I agree with everything Mike P. wrote about the upper and fit. The speed laces work great, and unlike some speed lacing, I was able to tighten each individual lace without it loosening. 

The upper has more volume than the regular or GTX Peregrine 13. The security is still good, but the heel hold is a tad too voluminous for me. I don’t think the hold will be an issue for most runners aside from those with low volume or petite volume ankles. 

Jeff V:  Out of the box, the ST looks remarkably like a Salomon Speedcross, with the speedlace system, very similar looking deep lugs, yet without the blocky heel.  As I have said before, I think Saucony should come up with an entirely different name for this shoe, as it is different enough from the normal Peregrine to warrant a name change given the entirely different upper, outsole and overall size and vibe of the shoe.

Mike nails every point here for the upper and I agree entirely.  Fit for me is true to size with a nice little bit of extra room in the toe box without really compromising security.  The quick lace system is easy to use, secure and easy to stow in the lace garage.  I find security to be excellent even when running fast in technical terrain, steep off trail, sidehilling, etc…

I have not found the upper to be overly warm, but have not had any temperatures warmer than 60 degrees to test in.  In colder temps (20’s), my feet have been comfortable.

While not really a “gaiter” per se, the snug booty style collar really helps to keep out snow and trail debris.  A water resistant upper would be a logical option here, as the soft terrain where these shoes shine is often wet.


Mike P: The midsole is the same lighter PWWRUN version as the other Peregrines, with all three versions getting a 1.5mm stack of foam increase. I assume the same woven rock plate is also used - but as I mentioned in the other review, Saucony’s plate is so well done that you hardly notice it. With the ST version, that’s even more the case as you also have a full non-segmented and big lugged slab of outsole rubber underneath.

[Same midsole all Peregrine 13:, ST middle “jacked up” on higher lugs]

As with the other Regular/GTX versions, the updated V13 midsole feels noticeably softer and more substantial underfoot. The added lugs of the ST bring the total spec stack to 30/26mm, which is borderline high stack. I’d say it feels like a high stack midsole with the lugs bringing you those extra mm’s further off the ground. I really like the overall feel of the midsole - it feels cushy and protective with the outsole adding a bit of stability. The biggest surprise for me was that the outsole does not make the shoe feel stiff - read on in the Ride section below.

Renee: Mike P. covers the details. Many of us at RTR have all three Peregrines, and I’ll agree that the midsole is cushioned and protective. Given the outsole and lug depth, the shoe looks like it might be rigid, but that’s not the case. The shoe offers plenty of midsole for long runs or all-day efforts through ungroomed or muddy terrain. 

Jeff V:  The midsole for me has proven to be well cushioned, while maintaining enough firmness to be predictable, supportive and stable in technical terrain, reasonably responsive and provides great protection underfoot.


Mike P: The ST’s lugs stand at 6.5mm in comparison to the 5mm lugs of the Standard/GTX versions. 

But aside from the height, they’re also thicker and more substantial. Being bulkier overall, they’re more spaced out and there’s flat rubber sections between the lugs which help shed mud much better than the other versions. The other versions have a denser array of lugs, as well as some lightning-shaped cutouts to (to display the rock plate and for flexiblity). As advertised, the ST outsole performs much better in mud, muck, wet sand, snow, and soft trail conditions. 

The ST outsole also features the new extended swallowtail design in the rear of the shoe as in the other Peregrine 13. I love this design - it really smooths out hard heel landings on descents, and also reduces stiffness in the rear of the shoe on flat ground. It’s probably even more essential in the ST version with the thicker and inherently stiffer outsole rubber.

Renee: If you hate the feeling of mud caking to an outsole and dragging you down, then you won’t be disappointed here. Between the lug depth, spacing of the lugs, and outsole material, nothing cakes or sticks to the outsole. I ran on muddy woodland (not groomed trails), fields, dirt, and gravel. The traction is excellent without causing an uncomfortable ride. 

Jeff V:  Mike again gives an excellent description of the outsole.  I find the deep, aggressive, well spaced lugs to provide amazing traction on soft terrain, be it mud, snow, slush, steep loose off trail, dirt, pine needles, etc…  This is what the shoe is made for and it does it well.  While I find that ice and wet traction has improved over the previous version, this is not the best outsole for hard surfaces (as one would expect from a soft terrain shoe) such as rock, slabs and struggles a bit when wet, as the rubber compound leans towards the hard side.  Durability so far has proven to be above average.Jeff V:  Mike again gives an excellent description of the outsole.  I find the deep, aggressive, well spaced lugs to provide amazing traction on soft terrain, be it mud, snow, slush, steep loose off trail, dirt, pine needles, etc…  This is what the shoe is made for and it does it well.  While I find that ice and wet traction has improved over the previous version, this is not the best outsole for hard surfaces (as one would expect from a soft terrain shoe) such as rock, slabs and struggles a bit when wet, as the rubber compound leans towards the hard side.  Durability so far has proven to be above average.


Mike P: The ride was what really wowed me about the ST. Just looking at the outsole, I was expecting a stiff and rigid ride, and probably some discomfort in the Achilles due to that. But no - the ST maintains a fantastic, flexible, and surprisingly agile ride in most terrain aside from very hard surfaces. 

I’d even venture to say that I prefer the ride of the ST over the regular Peregrine. The outsole just gives that extra bit of stability, which for me works well with the softer PWWRUN foam of the new version. The weight also has to be noted here - my US 9.5 comes in at 10.0 oz (284g) - which is only 0.4 oz heavier than the regular version. That’s really an impressively light weight - taking that level of outsole into consideration.

We had a bit of a thaw period during my test period, so I was able to (responsibly) test them out in a few soft sections. Traction was excellent and confidence-inspiring, especially in sections of steeper soft/loose terrain. As mentioned above, they’re also a great rocky and technical trail shoe . The protection and stability from the outsole and the smoothness of the ride really makes them work well in technical terrain. I’d say that the ride feels like a beefed up version of V12 in technical terrain - with the added cushion to take them longer distances.

Renee: Again, I agree with Mike P. I wasn’t running rocky, technical terrain and found the ride smooth on muddy, ungroomed terrain. Even without thick mud, the outsole and ride work well together on debris-covered terrain through woodland areas and fields that offer zero firmness or treaded paths. 

Many aggressive outsoles lead to a rigid and uncomfortable ride, but that’s not the case for the Peregrine 13 ST. My only negative about the ride comes from the heel security. As a person with a low volume foot and heel, the security was compromised. Aside from mud, the shoe works well through snow too, as long as ice isn’t underneath. 

Jeff V:  Agreed with Mike and Renee, as the Peregrine 13 ST offers a smooth and versatile ride over a wide range of terrain.  I found the outsole to be a bit hard for extended running on rocky surfaces, but this was primarily on long descents that are mostly rock, in cold temps during my first run.  I found them to be more forgiving when the temps warmed some and the shoes broke in.  I still maintain that they perform better on softer surfaces as intended, but as I run in them more, I have become more pleased with their all around trail performance (the more difficult the better).

Conclusions and Recommendations

Mike P: If you’re looking for a “soft trail” shoe, or something with big lugs and big rubber underfoot - the ST  is one of the best options out there. The outsole is remarkably flexible leading to an all-terrain ride that notably also  handles rocky and technical terrain very well. 

The Peregrine ST is my favorite of the new V13 models. If you’re heading out and unsure of what type of terrain you’ll encounter on a new trail, the ST would be a handy shoe to bring along. A few tweaks in the future would really make this a 10/10 shoe, namely - upper breathability and a bit more security in the heel. 

Mike P’s Score:  9.60 / 10

Ride: 10 - Surprisingly smooth and flexible

Fit: 9 - Overall nice and secure, the heel could be tightened up a bit

Value: 9 - Not a do-it-all shoe, but highly versatile and durable in mixed and rocky terrain

Style: 10 - Don’t usually love brown, but nice color accents make it work

Traction: 10 - Great!

Rock Protection: 10 - Great!

Smiles 😊😊😊😊😊

Renee: The Peregrine 13ST is one of the best options for a shoe that offers comfort with such aggressive lugs. 

Comparatively, it’s a lightweight option for that outsole and midsole stack. Like Mike P., I think it’s probably the best option for runners who frequent seriously muddy, soft, or ungroomed terrain. I wish the heel security was a bit tighter, but that won’t be an issue for runners aside from those with low volume heel openings. 

As a soft-terrain specific shoe, it’s a winner. The ST won’t be the most versatile of shoes, but it will be worth the cost for runners who need a terrain-specific outsole. 

Renee’s Score: 9.3/10 (-.30 versatility, -.40 upper/heel security)


Jeff V:  I have really come to enjoy the Peregrine 13 ST and reach for it when I know I will need that extra bite in loose terrain.  I appreciate the fit, comfort cushioning and soft ground traction.  If I were to make any suggestions for improvement would be to use a more sticky rubber for wet conditions, as well as a water resistant upper.

Jeff V’s Score:  9.1 / 10

Ride: 9 - Smooth, well cushioned and flexible

Fit: 9 - Roomy, yet secure overall with excellent quick fit lace.

Value: 9 - High quality, durable and able to tackle a wide variety of terrain.

Style: 9 - A stylish aggressive looking shoe.

Traction: 9.5 - Very good for intended soft terrain

Rock Protection: 9.5 - Great protection underfoot.

Smiles 😊😊😊😊

7 Comparisons

Index to all RTR reviews: HERE

Saucony Peregrine 13 (RTR Review)

Renee: The ST Peregrine is much different from the regular version. The upper has some weather resistance and uses the speed lacing as compared to the traditional lacing system of the regular Peregrine 13. The security of the Peregrine 13 is better. The 6.5mm lugs of the ST are far more aggressive for soft terrain. For a mixed terrain, the Peregrine 13 is a great buy in a light weight. Unless you need a soft terrain specific shoe, the Peregrine 13 is a better choice. Sizing is similar.

Mike P (9.5): Comp discussed throughout the article above. The Regular version is more of a versatile everyday trail shoe , while also being highly capable in technical terrain. It rides smoother in firm terrain, but is a touch less stable than the ST in technical stuff. Heel hold is better in the Regular version, and there’s a touch less volume all around. Length-wise they are the same.

Jeff V: I will add that the regular version has better wet traction than the ST and I like that a GTX version is offered.

Saucony Peregrine 11 ST 

Renee: I did not run in the Peregrine 12 ST version. The v11 of the ST was heavy (much like the v11 of the regular Peregrine). The lighter weight of the ST v13 makes a huge difference for me in terms of the comfort and agility of the ride. The current ST v13 is a far better buy. Sizing is similar.

Jeff V:  I also ran in the 11 ST and not the 12 ST, but the 11 ST felt stiff and clunky to me, overly firm underfoot, with much of that to do with the hard (and harder than the 13's) outsole.  That hard outsole also meant for abysmal traction on wet or on ice.  Of course any rubber outsole will slip on ice, but the 11 ST was downright frightening, more so than any other shoe.

Saucony Endorphin Trail (RTR Review)

Renee: To be clear, the Endorphin Trail is most definitely NOT the Endorphin Edge (RTR Review) a carbon plated trail racing shoe. The “Endorphin” name in the Trail shoe is somewhat misleading. The Endorphin Trail was more a hiking shoe, with an upper that wasn’t very secure and a very heavy weight and ride. The outsole shed mud great though. The Peregrine 13ST is the better shoe, hands down. 

Jeff V: I don’t have anything to add here. The Endo Trail is a big lunky trail hiker.

Saucony Xodus Ultra 1 (RTR Review)

Mike P (9.5): Xodus Ultra (1) has a bit more stack underfoot, and definitely feels softer. It’s also very flexible for a max cushion trail shoe and has a similar “4WD” type ride as the ST. Traction is more similar to the regular Peregrine 13’s  though - the ST obviously outdoes both of them in that department. Stay tuned for our review of XU V2 - it’s a bit different than V1. 

Hoka Mafate Speed 4 (RTR Review)

Mike P (9.5): This is a shoe built for similar terrain, but leans more into the cushioning side of the equation. Even with the bigger, softer stack, the MS4 is even more flexible than the ST - it’s a great long ultra distance shoe. The ST has a bit firmer ride and is more confidence inspiring in technical terrain at speed - as the MS4 can feel soft/unstable if you’re going fast. MS4 has a great upper, better heel hold, and normal breathability. Sizing is similar with the MS4 having very slightly less volume all around.

Mizuno Wave Mujin 9 (RTR Review)

Renee: The Mujin 9 has a great outsole for a mix of harsh conditions, including mud, snow, and some ice. For mud/soft terrain specific running, the Peregrine 13ST sheds mud quicker and offers better traction. The Mujin 9 is a heavy shoe with an upper and midsole that weren’t comfortable for me. I’d choose the Peregrine 13 ST for that reason. Sizing is similar. 

Mike P (9.5): The Mujin 9 is not working as a running shoe for me, aside from very slow speeds. Heavy, and extremely stiff, its standout feature is the Michelin rubber outsole. While great, it’s not a “soft trail” specific outsole, so it will not shed as well as the ST. Not much to compare here - go with the ST all day.

Nike Pegasus Trail 4 GTX (RTR Review)

Mike P (9.5): Just throwing this one in there as it has Nike’s best outsole to date in a trail shoe. But its lugs are shallower, so it’s not really in the same terrain class as the ST. I like the Nike in smoother to moderate terrain, and the GTX is good in mucky conditions. But the 9mm drop makes it feel unbalanced for me - I prefer the balanced ride and feel of the ST even in moderate terrain.

Scott Supertrac Ultra RC (RTR Review)

Mike P (10.0): This is one of my big-lugged options - the Ultra RC has 7mm, tall and thin lugs. They’re more designed for loose, mountain terrain and not mud. The Scott has a firmer ride, but a higher stack, so it’s able to handle longer distances. The Scott is quite a bit heavier though, so for shorter stuff, the ST feels quicker, more agile, and more fun in fact. The Scott runs a bit smaller though, so comparatively I’d go ½ size bigger.

VJ Ultra 2 (RTR Review)

Mike P (10.5): The Ultra 2’s new rock plate is more noticeable than the ST’s. At least under the forefoot area, the ST feels more flexible and smoother, but the Ultra 2 will handle the worst sharp rock impacts a little bit better. The Ultra 2 has shallower lugs, but they are stickier, tops in class grip, especially on  wet. I’m a big fan of the Ultra 2, but now with the ST in the mix, I’m not sure which shoe I would favor for mountain runs. I’ll have to see how much the ST’s breathability holds it back in the warmer months ahead.

VJ XTRM 2 (RTR Review)

Mike P (10.5):  Note the sizing difference with both VJ shoes compared to Saucony. They run smaller. The XTRM 2 is still my top choice for truly off-trail (XTRM) conditions. Fully protective underfoot, with a firm and stable ride, narrow and secure fit - they’re so agile in technical terrain. 

With the VJ’s grip in the mix - you feel like you can throw your feet anywhere without hesitation. The XTRM 2 has a similar high lug, full rubber outsole, but with smaller lugs. I’d say the XTRM 2 is a slightly more agile, speed oriented version of the ST. But in less extreme conditions, the ST’s comfort would likely do well enough.

The Peregrine 13 ST is available now


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.

Mike Postaski currently focuses on long mountainous ultras - anywhere from 50K up to his favorite - 100M. 5'10", 138 lbs, midfoot/forefoot striker - he typically averages 70 mpw (mostly on trails), ramping up to nearly 100 mpw during race buildups. A recent 2:39 road marathoner, his easy running pace ranges from 7:30 - 9:00/mi. In 2022 Mike won both the Standhope 100M and IMTUF 100M trail ultras within a 7 week period - both extremely rugged Idaho mountain races. Mike's shoe preferences lean towards firmer, dense cushioning, and shoes with narrower profiles. He prefers extra forefoot space, especially for long ultras, and he strongly dislikes pointy toe boxes.

Samples were provided at no charge for review purposes. RoadTrail Run has affiliate partnerships and may earn commission on products purchased via shopping links in this article. These partnerships do not influence our editorial content. The opinions herein are entirely the authors'.

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MarkP said...

It would be good to see a comparison with one or two of the Inov8 range (X Talon or Mudclaw) as they are probably the benchmark when it comes to running on muddy / soft terrain. Not sure how big the market is outside the UK but they’re probably on the feet of 90% of runners in UK fell races.

Mike P said...

Unfortunately I've never run in either of those. To your point - being located in the Western US, I don't really have much use case for them. But something I pointed out is that I found the ST very good in dry/loose technical terrain. That's due to the fact that they have a decent amount of cushioning, yet still remain flexible. From what I gather, those Inov-8 shoes would likely feel a bit firm in those conditions.

Sorry, not exactly the soft terrain comp you were looking for, just some thoughts.

Anonymous said...

I know it feels good on soft ground. But what about asphalt or gravel roads? Do your feet hurt from slipping or impact? I would also like to know the difference in running comfort compared to the Salomon Speed ​​Cross 6, which has a similar outsole.

Anonymous said...

I know it feels good on soft ground. But what about asphalt or gravel roads? Do your feet hurt from slipping or impact? I would also like to know the difference in running comfort compared to the Salomon Speed ​​Cross 6, which has a similar outsole.