Last year (2015) I (Brandon) reviewed the Saucony Peregrine 5 [LINK], a shoe which I hadn’t used before but had certainly heard much about. In earlier versions (i.e. Peregrine 4) some people had commented on the shoe’s stiffness and some other detractions but in the 5 I found a fast, relatively light and certainly flexible shoe. So upon getting my hands on the Peregrine 6 I was eager to see if Saucony could improve upon what was one of my favorite trail shoes of last year. So today I’m going to dive into the Saucony Peregrine 6 with a more recent addition to the Gearist crew, Lori as we give you, dear reader, our take on the next iteration of this shoe.
As we begin with the outsole of the Saucony Peregrine 6 we encounter a full-contact design that keeps the foot in contact with the ground from the front of the shoe to the back without big interruptions. The material which makes up the coverage is Saucony’s PWRTRAC, a tacky rubber compound that is new to this shoe and is meant to provide traction in diverse (see, wet and ugly) conditions from a material aspect. All of this is arranged in a series of eighty-six (we counted) 5mm deep lugs that are seemingly individually articulated.
First let’s comment on the grip of the Peregrine 6; this shoe stuck to everything we could throw at it. Lori commented that even on snowy and icy, junk surfaces she felt secure and never hit the deck. We’ll talk about this more in other section of this review but for now I should mention that the articulation of the individual lugs plays very well into the overall traction profile and lets this sole of this shoe adapt to a very wide variety of terrain, even looser stuff. On thing we should point out – and we’re not calling this a bad thing at all since it certainly enhances the availability of traction on off-camber terrain – is that Lori found that in the few times her trailing foot would brush her ankle, the lugs which extend a wee bit past the perimeter of the shoe are rather sharp. This is actually a really god thing BUT if you’re someone who nicks their ankles a lot it’s worth noting.
As for durability, while we often see some stickier rubbers wearing down a bit more quickly, neither Lori or I noticed this at all in our shoes, each with roughly 40 miles on them. While I really enjoyed the grip of the Peregrine 5 I do think that there is an improvement in this shoe. It’s possible that it’s the PWRTRAC but it feels like it’s more likely to be the new lug setup.
In my review of the Peregrine 5 I compared it here and there to the Saucony Kinvara (5, at the time) and with the Peregrine 6 both Lori and I feel like the comparisons continue and the midsole is one definite place we see this. First, if you read our review of the Saucony Kinvara 7 [LINK] you know that in that shoe, Saucony’s new TPU foam EVERUN material appears as an insert embedded in the heel of the shoe and it’s the same design with the Peregrine 6. The remainder of the midsole foam is made from SSL EVA (Saucony SuperLite) which provides a very solid and lively response.
Embedded in both the forefoot and rearfoot is Saucony’s EBO rock plate which both Lori and I noticed gave good protection while at the same time giving pretty remarkable ground feel. This is seemingly in spite of the fact that the Peregrine 6 has about 4mm more stack than the Peregrine 5 with 25mm in the heel and 21 in the forefoot (the Peregrine 5 had 21.5 in the heel and 17.5 in the forefoot) for a net drop of 4mm. Also, since the flexibility of the Peregrine 5 was so impressive, it’s worth mentioning that it is identical in this shoe which again, allows the shoe and the foot to adapt to varied terrain very well which enhances the traction and overall performance.
Before I get into reviewing the upper I wanted to point out something that was a bit surprising to me. Since the Peregrine 5, Saucony has been utilizing some different fit/upper systems in many of their shoes, most notably the PRO-LOCK and ISOfit systems. Both of these would seemingly be good additions to a trail shoe and so it’s curious as to why they’re not used here. On the other hand, we didn’t really find anything wrong with the upper in this shoe so it’s probably a wash.
The body of the upper of the Saucony Peregrine is made from a single-layer mesh which is simultaneously breathable while keeping finer debris out of the shoe with its fine backing. The support structure of the shoe is made using Saucony’s FlexFilm overlays which act as a welded exoskeleton without adding much additional weight to the shoe and keeping an almost seamless internal feel. The tongue is gusseted within ~1.5 inches of the collar and, interestingly, has no lace guides which does result in a small amount of lateral tongue slide (though the gussets take care of that for the most part). The heel counter is very riding, especially as you get closer to the midsole which definitely enhances a very secure feel internally. The collar, particularly at the back, had Lori and I on slightly different sides of the fence. For me there was a bit much in the way of foam in that area though it was certainly comfortable. As for Lori, while she agreed with the comfortable aspect she brought up the interesting point that the foam around the collar created a barrier of sorts for debris that might try to sneak over the top of the shoe. This is something I hadn’t thought about and must say that since the foam doesn’t really get in the way of the foot (it just adds a couple of grams) it’s a feature I can live with.
The final thing I want to point out about the upper of the Saucony Peregrine 6 is a bit of an Easter egg. At the very back of the shoe, above the word “PEREGRINE” you can see a set of coordinates reading 40° 31′ 11″ N 75° 46′ 31″ W (you can see it in the image of the heel below). These coordinates are for Kutztown, Pennsylvania where Saucony’s first factory was located in 1898 along the banks of the Saucony Creek. We love things like this so well done, Saucony!
First, the sizing of the Saucony Peregrine 6 was spot on for both Lori and I and we found that if you’re normally a size XX in other Sauconys (or pretty much any other shoe) then you should be the same in this shoe.
Beginning at the rear of the shoe I found that the fit was excellent. The heel felt very secure and even on off-camber and more technical terrain there was no sliding around. Moving into the midfoot this was also the case and I’m actually reminded of the way that Topo Athletic shoes fit with a close to the foot rear and midfoot but then an open toe box which is where we move next. The toe box of the Peregrine 6 again reminded both Lori and me of the Kinvara with plenty of room across the metatarsal heads and room for wiggle and splay without being swimmy in the toe box. Overall, we found the fit of this shoe really fantastic.
The ride of the last version of this shoe was certainly a highlight for me and the Peregrine 6 has gone another step forward. First, the ride is responsive and lively. On everything we’ve thrown at it this shoe has given us good response and when the miles get long and the legs get gassed, the shoe still feels peppy. Particularly on descents I felt the agility and handling of the shoe come in to play and as I’ve mentioned several times above, the traction of the shoe was uncompromising.
It is a wee bit heavier than it’s predecessor at 10.7 ounces in my size 11’s (the Peregrine 5 was 10.5 ounces) which is likely chalked up to the additional stack height in this shoe.
I said at the outset of this review that it would be interesting to see how Saucony could make the Peregrine 6 a better shoe than its predecessor and while just how much it may have improved may be a bit modest, it’s absolutely a better shoe for me. As far as Lori’s concerned, she’s said on multiple occasions that she’ll probably actually buy another pair of the Peregrine 6’s because she likes them so much.
Coming in at $120 the Peregrine is about $10 more than it’s predecessor’s original price but is still what we’d consider to be a good price for what you’re getting. This is a fast and lively trail runner that provides a lot of great feedback while still protecting the foot. The fit and durability were very much and icing on the cake for us and while it’s still early in the year, we can see this shoe being one of our faves.