At $130, the Saucony Peregrine 12 is a fast and lightweight trail runner with excellent protection, traction, durability, and responsiveness for short to mid-distances.
The Peregrine 12 is comparable to the Brooks Catamount and the Hoka Zinals – other more minimalist, faster trail shoes for mid- to short distances on varied trail terrain.
The Peregrine is the trail version of Saucony’s popular road running Kinvara, which features the same 4mm drop.
By reducing the amount of padding in the upper, the Peregrine 12 drops over a full ounce of weight from its predecessor without sacrificing comfort or durability.
This version features an updated rock plate designed to be more flexible and sheds moisture more easily.
The insole of the Peregrine 12 is made with PWRRUN+ cushioning for increased comfort, and the midsole is made of the same PWRRUN material as its predecessor.
The outsole lug design has been slightly redesigned and features tacky, durable PWRTRAC rubber.
The Peregrine 12 offers little cushioning
Not particularly stable
The Peregrine 12 is a great-looking shoe. Pulling them out of the box, I was excited to show them off on my local trails at the earliest opportunity.
The Peregrine 12 comes in bright and beautiful colorways – I tested the Cool Mint/Acid – as well as Black/Charcoal. The design looks streamlined, aerodynamic, and made for speed.
My first few runs in these shoes were on snow and ice, and the Peregrine 12 felt noticeably lightweight, fast, and responsive with sufficient traction underfoot. On subsequent runs, the responsiveness and traction remained consistent over new types of terrain – from tarmac to grass to roots, mud, rock and more technical terrain.
The only situation when traction was questionable was on rock when the outsole was wet from stream crossings.
The Peregrine 12 stood out in the versatility offered by its protection. The flexible rock plate and toe bumper protected against rocks, roots, and other trail hazards. In slushy, wet weather and stream crossings, the shoe dried sufficiently quickly after being fully submerged in water.
This is a trail runner that is reliable in all trail running conditions. My only suggestion for more extreme winter weather (like deeper, wetter snow) would be to utilize its gaiter loops to add a gaiter.
The Peregrine 12 felt great during short to mid-distances, which I consider under 10 miles and under two hours. During longer efforts, my feet began to feel fatigued and uncomfortable.
These would be an ideal shoe for a shorter trail race, but more cushioning underfoot would be desirable for logging training miles or a longer trail race.
The Peregrine 12 stands out in its protection. I tested these in both late winter conditions and in warmer jungle-like terrain. The upper overlay provided sufficient warmth and protection from cold weather and was also breathable in hot and humid conditions.
The toe box is protected by a hard bumper offering forgiveness from ramming toes into rocks, roots, and hazards.
The flexible rock plate was impenetrable yet still allowed the shoe to drain and dry quickly after multiple stream crossings.
The Peregrine 12 is compatible with a gaiter, so I attached a Gore-Tex gaiter for winter conditions.
After over 100 miles running in these shoes, there is some wear and staining visible on the upper of the shoe. Wear is especially apparent near my big toe, which is a specific issue for me. However, the durability has been sufficient considering variable trail conditions, like mud and sand.
The outsole doesn’t show much visible wear even after being used on road and rock in addition to softer trails.
The Peregrine 12 is sufficiently durable for what it is best at – which are short to mid-distances.
As the Peregrine is a trail shoe based on a popular road running shoe, these shoes are built for speed. The 4mm drop is minimal, promoting a mid-foot strike. The overall lightness combined with springy energy return from the midsole allow maximum speeds to be reached.
PWRTRAC technology used on the outsole allows you to take off in all types of terrain – from dirt, sand, mud, and snow – with the exception of wet rock. This shoe is suitable for racing on most types of terrain and would excel on a fast trail course.
Saucony reduced the amount of padding in the upper to shed weight for this year’s Peregrine update, but it does not compromise comfort. The Peregrine 12 is comfortable for narrow or normal-width feet, but may constrict a wider foot. Additionally, the narrow toe box doesn’t accommodate significant swelling that often occurs on longer efforts.
The Peregrine 12 fits true to size and is easy to optimize. The upper and lace system sufficiently lock down the midfoot, and the heel cup hugs the back of the foot in place.
The sockliner has also been modified on the Peregrine 12. The EVA sockliner features PWRRUN+ cushioning for an added layer of protection from road impacts.
Underfoot cushioning provided by the PWRRUN midsole is responsive and comfortable for short to mid-distances. Going fast for shorter-distance is truly what this shoe is made for. After about 10 miles or 2 hours, my feet felt noticeably more fatigued than they would typically be in more cushioned trail shoes..
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The Saucony Peregrine 12 is a fast and lightweight trail running shoe that excels in variable terrain – both technical and non-technical – for short to mid-distances. They are durable and reliable in traction and protection in everything from tarmac to wintry conditions.
Despite stripped down cushioning on the upper, the Peregrine 12 is comfortable for a narrow to medium-width foot. I did not experience any hot spots.
The Peregrine 12 is not ideal for longer efforts. The narrow toe box would be constrictive and underfoot cushioning is insufficient for minimizing fatigue after many hours and miles.
The Peregrine 12 delivers on its goal of promoting speed and versatility “with no speed limits” on the trail. (They also look awesome.) While I wouldn’t recommend them for long distances, for all other distances and terrain types, they are definitely worth consideration.