Kit Review: Saucony Peregrine
The Peregrine from Saucony is a real 'Sheep in Wolf's clothing'. Constructed using the same foot-fit as the Kinvara(a lightweight Natural Road Running Shoe), with the same 4mm drop from heel to toe, but with XT-900 multi directional sticky rubber lugs, and EBO rock protector providing incredible shock absorption as well as grip on the outsole. It looks like a road shoe that's been customised with a more agressive outsole, but there's more to it than that. The Midsole features ProGrid LITE, and there are touches like Memory Foam ankle grips for a snug fit, as well as Hydrator Lining to wick moisture away from your feet.
Putting them on for the first time, I expected them to be rigid, with a hard, unforgiving quality - much the same as a traditional Fell shoe. What surprised me was how easy it is to run on road in them. They feel like one of our leading Road Running Shoes, but with all the attack of a Fell Shoe. The comfort and fit from the upper, along with the 258g weight makes it feel as if there's nothing to hold you back, while the response you get is impressive thanks to the cushioning through the heel. In fact, despite not having spent any real time at all on a 4mm drop, the first time I ran in Peregrines was almost entirely road based, during February's Breakfast Run at the store, attended by Saucony themselves.
You can move in them, I mean really shift. There's far more leverage than in my more flexible trail shoes, sparing you the demands of stabilising every step of the way. Despite the shoe's resistance to lateral movement, it offers enormous shock absorption when heel striking, or when landing mid-foot, and transition from heel to toe is smooth, allowing for a comfy ride whether Fell Running, pounding the Trails, or Road Running.
I wouldn't recommend it as a high mileage shoe, but it can cope short term on everything I've tried. Steep descents are sure-footed and they don't collect mud under foot. The sticky rubber outsole grips perfectly on wet and dry rock, allowing for fast scrambles across boulders. The fit of the shoes means they support your feet, and don't try to come off when submerged in thick bog. There really isn't much to complain about. There was a spell as my brain began to accept the tortional strength currently missing from my other shoes, creating the sensation that there was a kind of 'phantom' lump in the arch of my foot, which was actually the feeling you get when a mobile foot rolls over and is met with structure for a change, but that passed, and the strength that lends my feet allows me to push off strongly, rather than 'sink' into the shoe whilst it collapses under me. This comes into its own when landing a toe on a tree root, or the edge of a rock, as I can lever across such obstacles instead of folding and taking a bad step.
In fact, the only thing I've found a problem with is that the laces are a little short for double tying, and have come undone once or twice while on the move. Truth be told however, I've never run in shoes where that didn't happen.
Wednesday 30th of May 2012