After a little over five years and six variations Saucony have released the Peregrine 6, could it be the best one yet? By Rae Trew-Browne.
In 2011 after the minimalist running boom Saucony brought out a trail running shoe called the Saucony Peregrine. Before the release, they had just seen huge success in the, now legendary, Kinvara road running shoe and the market was crying for a trail running version. Like the Kinvara, the Peregrine was designed to have a minimalist feel, while still giving the runner ample cushioning for the long haul.
The first question I asked myself when I saw an image of the Peregrine 6 before its launch was if they moved away from the minimal feel of the shoe. Once I got a pair, I was happy to see that Saucony stuck with the 4mm heel-to-toe drop. The stack height, though, increased slightly from the previous Peregrine versions. This, unfortunately, makes the Peregrine 6 lose that minimal feel that made the shoe so popular, as the shoe rides a bit higher off the ground. The upside, though, is the increased comfortability which now puts the shoe well into ultra running territory.
As you would expect from a Saucony Peregrine model, the shoe has plenty of grip, it does miss that rock solid feel of the Peregrine 5 in the wet stuff, but the tougher compound on the outsole gives the shoe far more durability than previous models. Most runners won’t mind sacrificing a little bit of grip for a few extra hundred kilometres in the shoe. On loose rocky sections, however, the shoe comes alive. The lugs are spaced well which gives you maximum ground contact when you need it most.
Probably the biggest update on the Peregrine 6 is the inclusion of Saucony’s brand new everun technology, Saucony’s version of the energy-returning foam technology that is becoming increasingly popular amongst shoe manufacturers. According to Saucony everun is basically, “continous cushioning, never failing, and always returning to its original shape”. Since the Peregrine only features the everun technology in the heel it won’t do too much by way of energy return, but in terms of absorbing shock on longer trail runs it adds to the comfortability of the shoe.
I found the Peregrine 5 to have a distance ceiling of about 32kms, the Peregrine 6, though, feels like it could handle anything from 20 to 160kms (and probably beyond). The sole under the front of the foot feels incredibly stable with no ‘hot-spots’, even after six hours of running over the highest point in the Indian Ocean. While testing the Peregrine 6 we were in Reunion, the inbuilt rock plate, and midsole protected my feet well from the sharp, jagged rocks that the island is famous for.
The upper of the shoe features Saucony’s tried and tested Flexfilm technology which is basically a cage of film placed in strategic positions in the upper. The film holds your foot securely inside the shoe with almost no ‘slippage’. There is nothing worse, in trail running, than a shoe that doesn’t hug your foot securely. The Peregrine 6 makes sure that when the shoe is stable, your foot is stable inside the shoe.
I can’t say that the Peregrine 6 is the best Peregrine ever, as I feel the shoe has lost some of the attributes that pure Peregrine fans have come to love in previous models, but I will say that it is the most comfortable and technically advanced Peregrine that Saucony has released. If you are looking for a shoe that does everything well, including being suitable for ultra running distances, then this is a solid option. The added comfort in the midsole may put the shoe out of ‘minimalist’ territory but the shoe is adapting with the times and there is little that we can fault in the Peregrine 6.