The Saucony Peregrine 11 is the latest in a long line of coveted shoes for many trail runners. The 11th edition of the Peregrine did not make many changes, which for most of its fans is a good thing.
A year ago, I reviewed the 10th version, which Saucony did make some enhancements to.
Among the changes for the 11th was an increase in weight (now 11.6 ounces for men’s size 10; 9.6 ounces for women).
The positive changes from the updates to the 10th were still in play. Among them: Saucony retooled the forefoot which improved the shoe’s grip and added a strong rock plate.
The Peregrines also benefitted from Saucony’s PWRRUN cushioning. While these shoes still lack the responsiveness of lighter, speedier trail shoes, this addition was welcome.
One welcome change for me would be to redesign the heel area. Saucony uses a FormFit upper to protect and secure the foot.
However, that creates a very tight heel fit, retriggering heel pain and soreness for me immediately during and throughout the testing period.
While your results may differ, if you have had heel or ankle issues in the past, I would not recommend the Peregrines.
I would also not recommend it for gnarly mountain runs. Like its predecessors, the Peregrine lacks sufficient protection for such adventures and is better suited for mild to moderate trails.
The biggest and most notable update is a new upper that appears to be more durable and protective than previous ones. The shoe does work well to protect the foot while out on the trails.
Banging into rocks, roots and other trail matter did not seem to phase the Peregrines.
Again, the heel is built to be tight and secure for protection. But it may be too much for some runners, depending on your feet, natural gait and other individual factors.
The Peregrine 11 did not show noticeable wear or tear after my 50 miles of test runs that were mostly on snowy, icy and muddy lightly technical trails and a high school cross-country course.
Saucony did tinker, adding a new durable ultralight exterior over air mesh to the upper. It is a barely noticeable change from previous models. To me, the change was not significant.
The 5mm lugs did struggle in the heavy snow and ice. I found myself slipping more so than unusual during these testing runs.
That said when there was just a light layer of snow on the trail, the Peregrines held their own.
The lugs should provide decent durability as long as the runner doesn’t take them into rocky areas or use them for roads-to-trails.
The Peregrines don’t come across as a bundle of energy. I would consider them very average in this category.
Since most of my testing of this model was on snowy, muddy and icy trails, I had few opportunities to test the actual speed.
But since the changes Saucony implemented for the 11s should not directly affect the shoe’s responsiveness, I’ll rely on my impressions from the 10s.
In my review of that model, I wrote, “The Peregrine 10 offer more responsiveness on trails as compared to previous models.
During speedwork such as strides, I was able to get good turnover and maneuver quickly down the trails.”
My experience tells me that there are limitations, however.
For races or training runs pushing past a half marathon or 20-miler, especially when the runner feels the need for speed, I would recommend other options that are better built for speed.
The Peregrine’s fit is very snug, so runners might want to consider sizing up. The narrow heel cup and overall protection make it a pretty tight shoe.
But if you are willing to sacrifice some comfort for added protection, you will have no issue with the Peregrines.
Saucony added a few changes here too. Among them: an added lace eyelet for better lacing with slightly better security and thicker padding in the tongue.
I believe these are the changes that accounted for the increase in weight penalty, which does not seem to be wise to me.
The toe box can be considered average, not too loose and not too tight. The moderate midsole cushioning is supported by a flexible rock plate, which debuted with the 10s.
To me it really comes down to one’s comfort level, literally, with the Saucony Peregrine. The 11th version has few updates to note.
The 10th iteration did bring notable improvements, and fans of the trail shoe would be just as happy with this latest edition.
For those who prefer other types of running shoes, there’s not enough changes here to change your mind.
And, as noted earlier, if you are susceptible to heel and ankle injuries, I would not recommend the Peregrines.
If you have not tried the Peregrines before, consider your intentions with the shoes.
If you are looking for an everyday trainer, it’s definitely a good option.
If you are looking to go fast in a trail race up to a marathon, a lighter shoe would be much better.
If you are looking to explore highly technical terrain or run in the mountains, a shoe with a better grip would be much more useful.
If you are looking for a roads-to-trails option, I’d be concerned about the tight heel and hitting the pavement too hard.
For me, better options come to mind for each of those scenarios. Among the options that are competitors with the Peregrine is the Hoka One One Torrent 2.
I have found the lighter Torrent has an advantage over the Peregrines in pretty much every single important aspect of trail running.
I realize that Hokas are not for everyone. So if you have found success with the Peregrines, you will undoubtedly like the 11th version.
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