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…
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
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.
Side Profiles – Click any thumbnail to compare.
Saucony 6 Rolling Review
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.
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.
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.