Best used for moderate and longer trail runs on smooth to moderately technical terrain
- Solid, reliable trail shoe for a variety of trails
- Plenty of cushioning for long efforts
- Comfortable fit
- Bulkier and not as nimble as previous versions
- Gained over an ounce of weight from version 7
The widely loved Peregrine series, which continues to be one of our best selling trail models, saw its biggest overhaul yet in its eighth iteration this year. For the first time in the Peregrine’s history, designers pulled out the rock plate and substituted about 2.5 millimeters of additional cushioning. This change follows in the trend of softer, more cushioned shoes that provide a supremely comfortable experience for long days on the trails. Tweaks to the outsole and upper are intended to increase the overall performance of the shoe.
The Bottom Line
We have some longtime Peregrine lovers at Running Warehouse who have grown with the shoe since the very beginning. Peregrine loyalists were understandably skeptical about the removal of the rock plate. However, our playtesters all conceded that the added cushioning was a good substitute in protection, and no one had any problems with stone bruising. Overall, our testers found they could count on the Peregrine 8 day after day, mile after mile. Despite some significant changes, it’s still one of the most reliable trail running shoes on the market.
The Peregrine is a soft trail shoe that’s an excellent choice for long runs. It’s also a great option for beginners who want a comfortable, all-purpose trail shoe to help them find their footing on the dirt.
Juli: “The Peregrine is one of the softest non-maximal trail shoes out there, in my opinion. It feels very much like a cushioned road shoe, which makes it comfortable enough for a road-to-trail run, and a good choice for someone who is new to trails. However, the cushioning also makes it suitable for longer runs. I ran 25 miles in the shoe and felt ready to go another 25 or more.”
Erik: “The full-length Everun topsole provides an extra degree of cushion that makes this shoe soft enough for my longest trail runs.”
The Peregrine tested well on springiness. Despite being such a soft shoe, it had a solid ride that our testers didn’t find overly squishy or dead.
Juli: “Even though it’s quite soft, the Peregrine 8’s cushioning still offers substantial energy return. This balance keeps me covered in case I choose to pick up the pace a bit, or if I’m running on the road for a mile or two to get to the trail.”
Erik: “The Everun midsole provided the level of energy return I need in a trail shoe. It’s definitely on the plush side, but it never felt mushy.”
Everyone has something to say about the Peregrine 8’s big underfoot changes. Saucony’s designers removed the rock plate and substituted more cushioning, which left the overall feel relatively unchanged. Still, our most technical trail runners found themselves missing the super protective rock plate.
Juli: “In my opinion, the rock plate shouldn’t have been traded for the cushioning, however, because of the cushioning I didn’t notice the lack of protection except on more technical and rocky trails. It’s still substantial enough underfoot for most trails; I just wouldn’t choose this shoe for a very rocky one.”
Erik: “The removal of the rock plate does not significantly lessen the underfoot protection this shoe provides. The Everun topsole, combined with a couple millimeters of added material, provides a sufficient barrier for rocks.
Our testers felt like the Peregrine 8 moved over uneven terrain smoothly. The removal of the rock plate could have made this update more flexible, but the added cushioning brought a little stiffness back, which resulted in flexibility similar to previous versions.
Erik: “Even though the shoe got a little thicker (a couple more millimeters of stack height), the removal of the rock plate probably offset any potential stiffness increase.”
Tera: “The Peregrine 8 was flexible, but not over the top. I felt pretty stable for a neutral trail shoe. It was middle of the road — not too bendy, not too stiff.”
The Peregrine sports a no-fuss upper, with laces that effectively lock the foot in and a solid mesh that does a good job of keeping out dirt and debris. Some testers missed the stripped down upper of earlier Peregrine models, but they agreed that this new upper still gets the job done.
Tera: “My midfoot felt very secure once I worked out how much to tighten the laces to keep my heel in place.”
Juli: “My favorite version of the Peregrine was the 5 due to its lighter, leaner upper. The new Peregrine 8 stays true to the last two versions, but with a more breathable and comfortable mesh, making it a good choice for all-day runs and warmer weather.”