Saucony Peregrine 6

A Rolling Review


Saucony has introduced a few changes to the latest version of their light but tenacious trail runner, the Peregrine 6. When I first started running in the Peregrine 5 I had a few doubts about the shoe, but it turned out to be one of my favorites in terms of fit, traction, ground feel, and responsiveness. I would have liked to have gotten a little more life from the 5’s, but alas they gave up the ghost and it was time to replace them. The Peregrine 6 seemed like a logical place to start, so here we are. This will be another rolling shoe review with updates coming every 50-100 miles. Let’s hit the trails…

The Peregrine 6
The Peregrine 6

Peregrine 6 Specs at a Glance

  • Type: Trail
  • Stack: 25/21mm
  • Drop: 4mm
  • Weight: 340g (12.0 oz/each) Size 12 US
  • Appearance: Superhero blue and red, or olive green and orange
  • MSRP: $110

Design Evolution

Here are a few quick notes that may be of interest to anyone who has run in the earlier generations of the Peregrine…

  • Compared to the Peregrine 5: They’re marginally heavier, fit is very similar (including that stiff heel), the outer is more aggressive, and the upper has more reinforcement and a little less mesh. The material of the upper is also a different mesh, feels more durable. A major change is the increase of 4mm to the stack height (heel & toe). This accounts for the addition of TPU foam to the midsole for a more cushioned feel.
  • Compared to the Peregrine 4: They’re marginally heavier, slightly wider overall (including toe box), slightly deeper lugs, improved lacing design, improved mesh durability on the upper, rubber toe bumper instead of molded plastic. The rock plate, lug design (aside from depth), and material of the outer hae gone thru a couple generations of change and are all different (good or bad remain to be seen).

Here’s a photo comparison to backup some of the above observations…

Outsole Profiles – Click any thumbnail to compare.

Peregrine 6
Peregrine 6
Peregrine 5
Peregrine 5
Peregrine 4
Peregrine 4
Peregrine 6
Peregrine 6

Side Profiles – Click any thumbnail to compare.

Peregrine 6
Peregrine 6
Peregrine 5
Peregrine 5
Peregrine 4
Peregrine 4
Peregrine 6
Peregrine 6

Saucony 6 Rolling Review

Initial Purchase

I paid $110 for them locally, near the time of their introduction. They’re retailing in that range still as of this post.

Out of the Box

The outer is attention grabbing; it looks super gnarly, then I wonder if the opposing chevron lugs on the Peregrine 5 were maybe a better design. The new colors are… very “meh”. Opinions vary of course, but I like my running shoes a little more flashy looking, you know… just so I feel like I can run fast enough to time travel back to the 80’s. The fit is very similar feeling to the Peregrine 5, with the exception that they’re a noticeably higher ride. When putting the 5 on one foot and the 6 on the other, the difference feels huge. My worry at this point is that I’m giving up some ground feel in return for a more cushioned ride. I get the impression that this shoe has changed a bit from a light and rugged type into some other class of shoes that’s a middling of Brooks Cascadia and Altra Lone Peak features. I guess time will tell whether the Peregrine has gotten too far away from it’s roots for me to still be a fan.

First 50 Miles

My running volume is in the neighborhood of “barely there” right now, so I’m not hitting anything longer than about 8 miles in a single run. The shoes feel very much like the 5’s did when I first started wearing them – the good and the bad. I have the same irritation on the outsides of my heels and find myself putting a layer of K tape or two on those areas, which takes care of the problem. Eventually the 5’s broke in and this went away (and I loved them); here’s to hoping that’s gonna be the case with the Peregrine 6. Otherwise the fit is great; nice and snug through the midfoot with a wide (but not square-wide) toe box. The ground feel with the 6’s is definitely more damped out than the 5’s. I found the 5’s to have very good ground feel, with these it’s barely there, but they still offer more feedback than say something like the Altra or Hoka’s would. I don’t know if that little bit of cushion is worth giving up the better-than-decent ground feel of the 5’s, but I could be wrong. Call me happy at this point, it’s really too early to say anything definitive.

At 100 Miles

I’ve actually got over 150 miles on them now, but who’s counting. I just completed a ~95 mile backpacking trip with these shoes. We had a few days off trail which meant lots of walking, climbing, and hopping through talus and scree fields, even a little snow. The uppers took some hits. I think another day or two of that kind of use would have opened up some holes in them (a friend of mine recently did something similar and his uppers ended up with holes). The treads are tough on these shoes and hardly show any wear after all that time spent on the granite, but the tradeoff is, the rubber is just barely sticky enough to feel secure making moves up steep slabs, etc… I didn’t like them for the high angle snow, and transitioning from snow to rock, or on wet spots I really needed to be extra cautious. None of this is stuff a trail runner will ever need to worry about, but something to consider for taking them off trail on hiking trips or maybe doing some serious mountain running.

Talus Hopping
Talus hopping, and this particular stuff was the least of it.

At 200 Miles

The break in period is over now, but I wrecked these shoes pretty badly over the course of a couple of backpacking trips that involved a lot of off-trail travel. The uppers could not stand up to the demands of being scraped and squeezed through all the big chunks of granite or doing the downhill meatgrinder through shards of broken rock and scree. I opened up several finger-sized holes in the toe area of each shoe. The outers are still in great shape, unfortunately I just won’t get much more use from them with Fall coming and the mud that it brings.

Scrambling Loose Scree and Talus
Scrambling Loose Scree and Talus

At 300 Miles

This pair never made it that far. I was too hard on them and wrecked the outers. These are great all-around shoes, but the durability of the uppers is lacking. The Peregrine 7 will be out soon and Saucony says they’ll have more durable uppers… so you can count on an upcoming review. We’re gonna call it a wrap on the review of the Peregrine 6.

Verdict Thus Far

  • Comfort: Similar to Peregrine 5
  • Durability: The uppers aren’t durable enough for use off-trail or in very rocky, technical trail running/hiking.
  • Drain & Dry: They drain and dry quickly, similar to Peregrine 5.
  • Stability: Very good
  • Grip On Roads/Solid Rock: Very good
  • Grip On Loose Rock/Gravel: Very good
  • Grip On Wet Surfaces: Adequate
  • Grip In Mud: No experience yet
  • For training use? They’re highly cushioned and could turn out to be an excellent training shoe.
  • For use as hikers? The added cushion of this model makes them great for long days on the trail. They also handled pretty well off trail, but the upper will be the weak link.

About the Author’s Running Style/Locale

I’m typically a front of the mid-pack runner. I run fire roads and single track in the Marin County area, including Mt. Tam, the Marin Headlands, and all the under-respected hills north of there. Long runs on this hard-packed stuff can leave the feet fairly beat up. The surface consists of loose crushed rock, jagged bedrock, and hardpacked dirt. A typical run for me is 9-15 miles with anywhere from 1500-3000 ft of climbing. My “long” runs are in the 20-30 mile range, usually with 4000-7000 ft of climbing. I occasionally do trail runs/races in the 50 mile to 100k range. When I find a shoe I like, I tend to stick with it for as long as possible. I prefer shoes with 4-6mm of drop; I haven’t really adapted to zero-drop footwear. I also like a shoe right in the middle as far as cushion goes; I need to feel the trail under me. Essentially my shoe quest has been to find shoes that feel nimble and responsive, yet keep my feet from getting beat up by the rocks and distance. Hike It. Like It.

Jacob D Written by:

Jacob is the head honcho, wearer of many hats, and modern day berserker here at Hike It. Like It. When he's not out hiking or running the trails you'll find him operating in full capacity as a Super Dad and chipping away at a degree in Kinesiology. This guy likes to stay busy. (Strava Profile)

9 Comments

  1. Mike
    December 1, 2016
    Reply

    Jacob –
    I just discovered your website today. I really like the Design Evolution and your rolling review format! My current trail runnnig shoes are the Peregrine 4’s. They provide just the right cushion, grip and stability that I need. My local running stores (I’m in Indiana) don’t carry the Peregrine 6, so I can’t try them on. Do you wear the same size in the 6’s that you do in the 5’s? It seems like they have gotten wider through the last two evolutions so I’m curious about the fit. I wear an 11 in the 4’s, but I need a 11.5 in the new Kinvaras.

    Again, great website, keep up the good work!

    • December 1, 2016
      Reply

      Hi Mike. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. Hit us up on facebook to keep updated 🙂

      I think you’ll find the fit of the Peregrine 6 to be familiar, but at the same time a little different. I don’t think you’d have to go up a size… but everyone is different. If you have an REI nearby they seem to stock them. The toe box has gotten a little wider but I think that’s a good thing. The 5’s would be a closer match to the 4, the 6 is more cushioned. It’s a pretty sweet shoe if you’re running ultra’s, otherwise I think the cushion in the 4/5 is just right.

      • Mike
        December 1, 2016
        Reply

        Thanks for the quick response. I completely forgot about REI! I’ll go check them out. I’d run in my 4’s forever if I could, but the end is near. I should have purchased a couple extra pair!

  2. Dan Fuller
    September 11, 2016
    Reply

    Did the heel cup ever end up breaking in like you hoped?

    I bought a pair of these yesterday , and both of my heels were chewed up after about 4 miles of uphill.

    I really, really like the traction in these, so if the heel cup gives a little, I’d continue to put up with it until then.

    • September 11, 2016
      Reply

      Hi Dan. They do break in, but it takes a lot of miles. I’d say over 100 miles, maybe even 150 or more to get them feeling better. This is really too much in my opinion, but I am willing to live with it because the fit of the shoe and the rest of the design works well for me. I have to say though, the Peregrine’s are not the most durable shoes and won’t stand up to a lot of abuse off, or on the trails. The pair I’m on now has around 200 miles on them and the upper’s have multiple holes. Granted, I put them through the ringer, taking them through a bunch of talus and scree. None the less, they’re just starting to feel really good and now they’re thrashed!

      edited to mention: I use a couple small patches of Leukotape on each of my heels to prevent any blisters and that has mitigated issues during the long break in period. Your mileage may vary!

      • Dan Fuller
        September 11, 2016
        Reply

        Jacob — thanks a ton for your follow-up.

        The super-long break-in period would be problematic. I use trail running shoes for hiking, so trips of 7-12 miles once a week would take a while to get through the break-in period. The unfortunate part (well, aside from them chewing up my heels) is that the traction for hiking with these was awesome — loose dirt, loose rocks, wet rocks, wet dirt — were all great. I’ve been using a pair of Nike Zoom Wildhorse 3’s this year, and they’ve been great (fit, upper durability, mid-sole durability — and they look cool)… until the interior “soft” rubber lugs started to wear down to the degree that I was slipping on wet dirt and rock at the ~180 mile mark. I’m in the Seattle area, so that’s the Cascade Range where any hiking trails generally have a pattern of “forest and dirt for 2/3 of the way up, then rough granite, scree, and talus to get to the top,” so hearing that the Peregrine 6 isn’t particularly durable (especially given the break-in time) is unfortunate. I think I’ll go with the Pearl Izumi EM Trail N2 V3 (great naming!) based on other reviews online (mainly outdoorgearlab which mentioned the heel blister concern on the Peregrine 6 but kind of brushed it aside based on the other performance characteristics of the shoe). The Pearl Izumis look like they couldn’t possibly be as grippy as the Peregrine 6s, but I’m willing to try them out (they’re also currently $30 cheaper on Amazon…).

        Again, thanks a bunch for your reply. Hopefully the Peregrine 7 fixes the weird heel cup. The issues I had were directly in-line with everyone else who had an issue with the 6: those weird vertical bars left and right of center on the rigid heel cup.

        • September 11, 2016
          Reply

          No problems. I’m honestly not sure what the purpose of that heel cup design is, or how it made it past the testing phase at Saucony… there seem to be quite a few people who take issue with it. The Peregrine 5 has the same problem.

          You may want to look into an approach shoe such as the La Sportiva TX3. A friend of mine likes these a lot and I’m interested in them now. The uppers are really durable and will handle all that talus and scree easily. They also have sticky rubber, which you’ll appreciate on wet stuff. Where they won’t be as great is in the mud, or generally for running (which it sounds like you’re not doing anyway). The downside to the sticky rubber is less tread life, but I rarely wear down the outsole on my shoes before the upper goes, or before they lose their cushion.

          Food for thought…

  3. August 9, 2016
    Reply

    Excellent write up! I would be seriously considering these if I didn’t already have my mantras. In the trip report, it looked like art and Joe were wearing approach style shoes? Would you consider doing that next time or do runners still work better for you? The mantra has a good sticky rubber for this but I could see how an unexpected class 4 detour might make approach shoes more attractive.

    • August 9, 2016
      Reply

      Hey Adan. I used to wear the Sense Mantra, the third version of that shoe just doesn’t work for me. You’re correct that on the trip (linked above under the 100 Mile update) Art was wearing approach shoes; Joe was actually wearing a lightweight boot, which from what I gathered, he has worn on various climb approaches also. The shoes Art had were a La Sportiva, pretty sure the TX3. They have a durable rand all the way around plus sticky rubber.

      I am currently thinking about doing several smaller (“sections” I guess) of the SoSHR to get in all the off trail stuff that I was really looking forward to. For those shorter trips I will probably abuse my trail runners some more. If I was to take a stab at doing the whole thing, or any single trip of this length, I would def look into an approach shoe or at least some runners that have a more durable upper/rand. I wouldn’t mind giving up drainage for more durability and rock protection, not to mention extra grip. There were a few spots where we were transitioning between talus and snow and I had to be conscious to stomp all the snow out from the treads before walking off. Their grip on snow is also only marginal… kicking steps up a short but steep section was a little dicey…

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