REVIEW: Saucony Peregrine 12 ST
Written By: SportsShoes
Trail running just got exponentially more fun and it's all thanks to the lighter, faster, more protective Saucony Peregrine 12 ST. It's a full ounce lighter than its predecessor, it can handle the wettest and muddiest of terrain, and it's designed to shield you from everything you encounter. So you can head straight for the messiest conditions with confidence.
|Most suitable for:||Soft ground, muddy trail conditions|
|Drop:||4mm (more suitable for forefoot strikers)|
|Fit (length):||Fits large|
|Fit (width):||Standard - Wide|
|RATINGS:||(out of 5)|
|Cushioning:||3/5 (quite a firm ride)|
The Saucony Peregrine 12 ST in summary;
- An off-road workhorse
- Ideal for fell and muddy trails
- Comfortable, durable, protective and cushioned
- Perfectly suited to logging the miles in winter weather and extreme conditions
Straight out of the box they looked great. Loved the orange. Do feel a little ‘chunky’ in hand despite being quite lightweight for a trail shoe. Not had Saucony Peregrine’s before but the lugs on this ST version are much bigger than the standard version, the lug-pattern looks good for both grip and comfort. The other notable difference is the mesh ‘pocket’ overlying the laces and quick-lace-type system.
Starting with the top of the shoe, the mesh lace pocket does well at adding protection to the top of the foot. The toe-box is quite roomy but not excessively so. There is a good ‘bumper’ at the front with some laminated overlays which really help protect the toes. The volume at the front is about right for the overall size of the shoe. I’ll come to the lacing system shortly but the materials used mean that you can get a good lock-down and secure fit but there’s enough cushion and padding in the upper so the laces don't feel ‘tight’ on the feet. The materials aren’t super lightweight and overall I think Saucony have gone for protection and a secure fit over super lightweight and breathable. I’ve only used these shoes in winter so can’t really comment on their performance in hot weather but I suspect they may run a little warm with the added overlays and materials.
The upper contains some recycled materials and consists of a woven mesh with laminated overlays around the lateral and medial aspect and a good rubberised rand/ bumper at the toe as discussed. The ‘lace-pocket’ uses more stretchy mesh which makes popping the laces into it a lot easier.
The heel and heel-counter are excellent. The heel feels incredibly secure and well protected and there is virtually no lift at the back. The materials used around the heel collar are very comfortable even next to bare skin and I’ve had no rubbing or blisters whilst testing.
As mentioned, the other key difference with the Peregrine ST and the standard version is the mesh ‘pocket’ overlying the laces and quick-lace-type system. This is drawcord system similar to the Salomon Quicklace technology. Having used Salomon shoes a lot in the past I do quite like these types of lacing systems and find it is often a ‘fit and forget’ type system and that can negate any issues of laces coming undone. However - I did find a few issues with this lacing system on the Peregrine’s, especially when directly comparing to Salomon’s Quicklace system. Firstly, although the mesh pocket overlying the laces does prevent debris getting into the shoe and helps with overall protection, I believe it is also designed to allow the excess lace to tuck into. However, it is too loose to hold the laces in securely and I often noticed the excess lace cord would fall out and need tucking back in. Somewhat more annoyingly - it was then too tight to allow access the laces further down the shoe. This meant that when you pull the cord to tighten the laces, the laces would tend to pull tight at the top near the ankle but remain loose nearer the toes. It would then be a case of trying to reach under the mesh to pull the laces tight further down the shoe. The length of the laces are probably just on the upper end of the perfect length.
Once tweaked a little, the lacing system gives a good lockdown and provides a good secure fit in the shoes. The ankle and heel collar are well padded and provide a good level of comfort. I think the idea of the lacing system is good and for the most part it works. I think I would like to see a few of these issues worked out in future versions of the shoe.
The midsole uses PWRRUN (made from EVA) which I found to be well cushioned but does run slightly on the firmer side, although this works for well in an off-road shoe. The shoes do also come with an extra layer of PWRRUN+ (made from a beaded PU) cushioned sockliner (insole) but I run with orthotics so didn’t run with these in. I have used it in my cycling shoes however and can confirm it is very comfortable! There is also the addition of a rock plate which definitely gives a bit more flex for a smoother ride. The shoes have a 4mm heel-to-toe drop (26.5mm heel/ 22.5mm forefoot) which I think is pretty much perfect for an off-road/ fell shoe like this.
The outsole consists of Saucony’s PWRTrac rubber. The rubber is quite a hard rubber but very sticky on all but the slickest on rocks and I was really impressed with it on muddy grassy conditions. With 6.5mm lugs I would say it was perfect for a do-it-all shoe for autumn/winter/spring conditions in the UK. The lugs themselves are quite wide and have been updated from the previous version and I think Saucony have nailed it here. So far they have held up to wear and tear really well. I have used other shoes from other brands with much deeper but smaller diameter lugs that grip really well initially but then sheer off really quickly. After over 130 miles in the Peregrine’s there is only a small amount of wear on the lateral lugs and that is largely due to me using them as a road to trail shoe over winter. On that note, the shoes feel very comfortable on the road despite the deep lugs because they are quite wide, and with the aid of the rock plate you don’t get that sensation of running on studs that you do in other shoes such as inov-8 Mudclaw.
SIZING – FIT AND FEEL
Overall the shoe fits large. I am normally a size 10.5 UK and with these I would have sized down a half size at least. This is both with the length and volume in the forefoot. Width fit is true to size. I normally tend to prefer a narrower fitting shoe like Salomon’s but I once used to roomier fit the shoe was very comfortable. Despite having dropped about 25g from the previous version, the shoes are slightly on the heavier side at about 300g in my size (UK 10.5) and does feel a little bulky overall. As such I found it much more suitable for a training shoe rather than a race shoe (for me anyway).
Overall, I have thoroughly enjoyed using the shoes over the last few months. For me, I would describe them as a complete workhorse. They are perfect for racking up the off-road miles in autumn/winter/spring months. They had the combination of enough comfort for daily miles off-road but excelled on the wet, muddy moors. I think they would be suitable for anyone from beginners to elites. For the former I honestly think they could be a one-shoe-wonder - suitable for training and racing; for the elites I think they’re a great option for a workhorse for all off-road training miles, for comfort in months when good grip is essential. For me personally, they are just a bit too bulky and heavy for an out and out race shoe.
Ben Rothery is an elite fell and trail runner. You can follow all of his running adventures here