Saucony Peregrine 3 Overview
The Peregrine 3 is the latest iteration of Saucony’s lightweight trail shoe, pairing lightweight design with serious durability over technical trails.
With design features reminiscent of Saucony’s minimalist offerings (namely the Kinvara and Mirage), the Peregrine 3 features plenty of support and traction where it’s needed, and lightweight material where it isn’t.
Saucony Peregrine 3 First Impressions
The Peregrine 3 reminded me immediately of the Kinvara—albeit a very up-armored version complete with a sturdy heel cup, heavier midsole cushioning, and a thickly-treaded outsole. From afar, the shoes look quite similar. This changes, however, from the first lace-up: the Peregrine 3 is a serious shoe made for some difficult terrain.
Having run on somewhat technical trails (and plenty of hilly bridle paths) often in the Kinvara, I was interested in seeing how a more rugged cousin would hold up—I have abused countless pairs of Kinvaras in the back-hills of my nearby park, so I was eager to see how a better-prepared shoe would handle the terrain.
All told, the Peregrine 3 held up quite well—offering much more traction and support than the Kinvara on difficult trails. The Peregrine 3 was heavier than expected, though this seems like a normal trade-off between a lightweight trainer and a dedicated trail shoe. This was my only real complaint within my first impressions, and one that I was expecting from the get go.
Saucony Peregrine 3 Sole Unit
The sole unit of the Peregrine 3 is what makes the shoe truly stand apart from the Kinvara and Mirage—a thoroughly treaded, thick outsole provides excellent grip on dirt, rock, and gravel trails. The shoes also performed excellently in early-Spring snow, never losing traction without getting clogged between its treads.
All told, this is where the shoe shines—its support over rugged terrain is world-class and by far one of the more sturdy designs I’ve come across. That said, the shoe is more cushioned than I expected, even for a trail model. For a model that looks and feel so similar to familiar standbys in the Saucony lineup, I was surprised at how much “bounce” the Peregrine 3 provided. I noticed my knees felt a bit stiff after the first few runs, which is a tell-tale sign of shoes which are a bit more cushioned than I’m used to.
I surmise that this cushioning is there to protect against hard impact on trails, so I won’t begrudge the Peregrine 3 for its inclusion. I will say that I’m looking forward to the Kinvara TR2 since I didn’t respond well to the additional cushioning and spring in the Peregrine 3.
Saucony Peregrine 3 Upper Unit
The Peregrine 3’s upper is the biggest redesign element in the shoe’s latest version, featuring a flexfilm layer fused to a lightweight mesh fabric. This is a new feature for the shoe, reducing weight while still providing a secure fit.
The entirety of the upper provides a bit of a narrow fit—a must for trail running, and a savvy design feature in this instance. The toe box is a bit narrow, as one might expect, and is in keeping with a general snugness I’ve encountered throughout most of Saucony’s models. With narrow feet, this doesn’t bother me much, but is worth mentioning for those with wider feet or simply prefer roomier toe boxes.
A thicker iteration of the Kinvara’s upper, the Peregrine 3 provides comfort, durability, and lightweight construction throughout its flexible yet supportive upper.
Saucony Peregrine 3 Opinion
The Peregrine 3 provides a rugged trail shoe with as many minimalist features as possible without reducing stability or support. In a market saturated by bulky and clumsy shoes that are more hiking boot than running shoe, the Peregrine 3 offers a measured balance of support and function.
While still a bit more cushioned than I anticipated, I loved what the Peregrine had to offer. With a lighter-weight Kinvara trail model on the way, Saucony has two strong trail shoes to cater to runners of all terrains.
We thank the nice people at Saucony for sending us a pair of Peregrine 3 to test. This did not influence the outcome of the review, written after running more than 50 miles in them.