When it comes to running shoes, I am VERY brand loyal. I’m Old Shep but with fewer legs, less fur and I never saved Elvis from drowning (though I obviously would have given it a good go had the situation arisen). For many years now I have worn Saucony for road running and inov-8 for trail and, whenever I have strayed from that formula, I’ve paid the price. So, it was with some trepidation that I volunteered to try the Saucony Peregrine 6 trail shoe. Yes, it’s a Saucony but it’s not for road and, well, as far as my feet are concerned, that’s just plain wrong.
Opening the box was quite the moment. The word that sprang to mind on first sight was “wow”.
These shoes are bright, bold and beautiful. They scream look at me. The men’s version comes in 2 colour ways which, whilst less pink, are no less lovely to look at.
Having been given a through testing on the Autumn and Winter trails of the North Downs Way (plus a memorable outing on a wet and windswept South West Coastal Path), they are a little less box bright but still make me feel good when I put them on.
But it’s not all about the bling, now, is it?
The blurb tells you that “Your foot is cushioned by the EVERUN™ shock-absorption system” and this is a genuinely comfortable shoe. It can be tricky to pull off that fine balance between cushioning and support and some trail shoes can feel quite “hard” but I ran 20 hilly miles in them straight out of the box with no problems at all.
So, you have cushioning and support but what about those rocky trails and harsh underfoot conditions? Well there’s plenty of protection there, too. I’d have liked a little more protection around the toe box but the rock plate and outsole give plenty of defence against loose rocks and the like.
For me, though, it was all about the grip. I think it’s fair to describe the Peregrine 6 as having an aggressive grip and they’re easily comparable with my favourite X-Claws when it comes to staying upright in pretty extreme muddy conditions. My one gripe is that, on occasion, mud can really stick between the lugs (which are quite close together) but it’s a small point and really only an issue with that especially claggy mud that turns your shoes into Frankenstein boots in the blink of an eye.
Trail shoes with a decent grip are often uncomfortable when out of their natural environment but the Peregrines aren’t too bad on road. A little slippery on tarmac when box fresh but absolutely fine thereafter. I wouldn’t want to run too far in them on a hard surface but then that’s not what they’re designed for and they are perfectly comfortable for a few miles if, like me, you don’t live on nature’s doorstep or if your run takes in a few country lanes.
Wanting to really put them to the test I actively sought out puddles to run through (well, that and the fact that I love puddles) and am especially impressed by how quickly the uppers dry out both on the run and after you’ve washed them. I don’t recall ever having a shoe dry out so quickly and this is an absolute boon on long, wet runs. Pair them with a decent pair of socks and you won’t have any issues at all.
I liked this shoe much more than I was expecting to. If it were a beauty contest they win hands down over any other pair of shoe I own but, more than that, they are comfortable, relatively light at 8.5 oz, and do what they are supposed to. I did feel that the sizing came up small so, when I buy my next pair, I will go for a 6 rather than my usual 5.5.
Yes, I did say I would buy them again. And, yes, it does feel wrong to say it…a bit like I’m having an affair, but I won’t tell my inov-8s if you don’t.
The Peregrine 7 is now out and a review is coming soon.
Find the Peregrine 6 and 7 here: www.saucony.com