These are the new trail running shoes from Saucony, as you can probably guess from the name they are an update on the Peregrine 6. They are designed to be a comfortable and cushioned shoe for use on muddy trails. Like all shoes of this type there is, therefore, a compromise between comfort and the security and grip. They cost £105 and they are available in men’s and women’s versions. The shoes weigh 266g and that light weight is immediately noticeable when you first pick them up. This makes them slightly lighter than other similar shoes such as the Inov-8 Trail Talon 275 (275g) or the Salomon Speedcross 4 (310g).
This review will not attempt to define whether or not this is a ‘good’ shoe or not as ultimately that just comes down to personal preference. What I will try to do is give you some information on the shoe and tell you what I think it is suited for. In my opinion the two most important factors when choosing trail shoes are the fit and the grip.
I have slightly wider feet and this felt a bit tight to me around the forefoot so if you have an average or narrower width foot this should fit well but if you have wider feet you may need to look elsewhere. For most people their feet will swell slightly on longer runs so this is a good reason to have a good test run in any shoe before buying it. Most shops will allow you to do this on a treadmill but really give it enough time to make sure they’re comfortable.
The Peregrine 7s have a good level of cushioning around the heel which feels very comfortable for the longer runs and once I adjusted the laces a bit I was able to get a good secure fit with minimal heel movement.
These shoes are a 4mm drop (drop is the difference in height between the heel and toe of the shoe). This is a relatively low drop which is becoming more common on trail shoes and is designed to give a more natural and responsive feel. If you aren’t a shoe geek and you aren’t aware what the drop is of your current pair of shoes, then it is worth checking as lower drop shoes take some getting used to.
The Peregrine 7s have a fairly aggressive grip which copes well on most muddy and grassy surfaces. When the ground gets steep and very muddy they do start to struggle for grip, compared to shoes with a deeper tread. However, this compromise does have the benefit of meaning that these shoes are fairly comfortable on the road which shoes with a deeper grip certainly wouldn’t be. Although they are designed as trail shoes most people do end up having to run on at least some tarmac and although I wouldn’t choose these for a purely road run, they are perfectly comfortable for a few miles to or from the trails.
Testing the Peregrine 7s on some slippery local trails/Mud not clearing from the tread
One issue that I did have with the grip on the muddier trails was that I found that it tended to get a bit clogged up with mud which then didn’t clear easily as I ran along. This had the effect of reducing the effective depth of the tread which made the shoes feel less secure on muddy ground. It may be that we have particularly sticky mud around my local trails but I certainly felt this to be a bit of an issue for me.
There were a couple of other relatively minor features of the shoe which wouldn’t be critical in choosing to buy them but I thought were worth mentioning. They have good reflective detailing, I particularly liked the large reflective panel on the heel which catches the light well and is a bonus if you are having to do some road running. Also, this may sound like a really minor point but I really like the laces on these shoes. They are well shaped to allow you to adjust the tightness and stay done up, unlike some of the shinier slippery laces that other manufacturers are using. (I do realise that enthusing about laces does make me sound like a real running shoe geek!)
If you are looking for a lightweight, cushioned shoe that will cope on muddy trails and with a bit of road running then these are definitely worth a look. In wet and muddy conditions I did feel that the grip of the shoe was compromised by getting clogged up with mud but this may not be the case in less sticky conditions. In terms of the fit then these should suit people with average or narrower forefoot and make sure you are comfortable running in shoes with a relatively low 4mm drop.
Terms of review
I have been given these Peregrine 7s by Saucony on the condition of writing a review. So far, I have run approximately 60 miles in them on my local trails in the south of England, the longest run being 18 miles.
Find out more about the Saucony Peregrine 7 here