Saucony Peregrine 12 Review Analysis (2024)
Published on: 02/10/2022
The Saucony Peregrine 12 is a lightweight, responsive trail running shoe to run fast on the trails.
Discover the latest version: Saucony Peregrine 13!
The Saucony Peregrine has a new look. Literally: the sole is the same, but the upper is radically different. Thus, this Peregrine 12 shows a nice new more streamlined upper and is much lighter (9.6 oz/272 g, an ounce lighter!).
The foot lockdown is still precise and well fitted. However, the rigid heel counter is no longer very padded, which may bother some runners. Also, the fit is a bit narrow in the midfoot area. The protection remains excellent even on difficult surfaces.
The cushioning is still comfortable, although firm underfoot. At the same time, this differentiates the Peregrine from the competition. You either like it, or you don’t. Another highlight of the shoe is its bounce: its new lightness offers a responsive ride to go very fast.
Even very slippery terrain is no match for its aggressive 5 mm lugs. Trail runners who regularly tackle more technical terrain (including snow) will be thrilled to have this on their feet.
In summary, the Saucony Peregrine 12 is a very good evolution in the series. Even if the comfort suffers a little from its more stripped design, the same impressive performance remains.
Please read our full review of the Saucony Peregrine 12 for more information.
- Lighter weight
- Even more responsive run
- Good shock absorption
- Effective foot protection
- Flawless grip
- The middle of the shoe is a bit narrow for wide feet
- Stiff heel collar can be a hindrance
- Firm cushioning may not be suitable for everyone for long distances
Saucony Peregrine 12 Complete Review Analysis
The Saucony Peregrine is a trail running classic. It’s one of the most enduring shoes on the market and continues to be a star shoe for trail runners of all levels.
The planets have aligned in 2022, and Saucony seems to have finally released a Peregrine that is much lighter without compromising its performance or comfort.
Is this the best Peregrine yet? That’s what we’ll find out in our analysis.
This is where the Saucony Peregrine stands out from other flagship models like the Hoka Speedgoat: its basic (not to say bare) cushioning. At 27 mm heel height (23 mm under the toes) (like the P11), the Peregrine 22 is not a minimalist shoe, but the cushioning remains moderate.
PWRRUN midsole foam combined with a PWRRUN+ insole provides comfortable but somewhat firm cushioning.
The shoe has just the right amount of cushion to absorb shocks for comfort and underfoot protection, especially with its rock plate, but there’s a noticeable ground feel. According to testers, this configuration provides much more responsiveness than before. This compensates for the low heel-to-toe drop of 4 mm, which can seem a bit “flat” if you are not used to it.
The Saucony Peregrine 22 offers the perfect balance between comfort, rock protection, and responsiveness for some runners. For others, the cushioning is a bit too limited for their liking, especially for longer distances (some trail runners recommend sticking to 2 hour runs maximum).
What does this mean in practice on the trail? We’ll tell you all about it in the section on the ride!
Foot lockdown (upper)
The upper of the Saucony Peregrine 12 has become noticeably lighter when compared to the P11. The heel is much less padded, and the overlays are less visible. Thus stripped down, these trail shoes are almost reminiscent of racers. And that’s not entirely wrong!
Let’s start with what’s right: the lockdown is optimal and wraps around the foot perfectly for precise and safe movement on tricky terrain, especially on fast descents.
According to the testers, you’d think that such a reduction in the upper would impact the level of protection offered by the shoe, but that’s not the case. The foot remains well protected from trail debris on uneven surfaces. There’s still a (more flexible) rock plate and well-positioned minimal overlays. In short, Saucony does as much (or more) with less.
Furthermore, the engineered mesh uses almost only recycled materials. Saucony is making some efforts to reduce the carbon footprint of its shoes and that’s a good thing, though it’s not yet carbon-neutral as Asics with its Brooks Ghost 14.
All these changes result in a much lighter shoe. We see a significant weight reduction with 9.6 oz/272 g for the men’s version and 8.4 oz/237 g for the women’s model. 1.4 oz/40 g less, not bad!
However, testers note a few weaknesses despite these improvements.
For starters, the shoe is relatively narrow for runners with wider feet. The roomy toe box offers decent volume, but the shoe is a little tight in the midfoot area.
Finally, the rigid heel counter may bother people with sensitive Achilles.
As you can see, the upper of this Saucony Peregrine 22 received mixed reviews even if the overall transformation is positive.
Grip and durability
The Saucony Peregrine has always had an excellent reputation for providing impressive grip, and this twelfth version doesn’t disappoint either.
The PWRTRAC outsole is pretty much the same as the previous model: a sticky rubber compound combined with aggressive, 5 mm lugs with an arrow-shaped lug pattern. They grip into soft ground and hard-packed dirt without any problem and their design quickly evacuates mud as it comes in.
The grip is very effective for going fast safely on the most technical trails. Also, while some previous versions tended to be stiff, the Saucony Peregrine 12 offers good flexibility for more agility when conditions demand it. The medium stack also helps by offering good proprioception, as we will see in the next part.
No surprise, then: it’s a faultless performance in terms of traction. Be careful, though: such deep lugs do not make the run very pleasant on the road. It is not a disadvantage, but it is worth mentioning if you are looking for more hybrid trail running shoes.
The Saucony Peregrine has always impressed with its energy return to go full speed on the trails, but the P2 takes it to a new level here!
With its lightweight design and increased flexibility, the Saucony Peregrine 12 delivers a lively and fast overall ride on all types of trails. According to testers, the close-to-the-ground, protective and grip-friendly design allows you to go all out on any trail.
Runners claim this is the most responsive Peregrine to date. As mentioned before, the only potential downside is relatively firm cushioning but that’s a matter of personal preference.
Saucony makes a big splash in 2022 with a new, much lighter Peregrine that’s stripped down to the basics without losing the qualities that have made it one of the trail running shoes in years: top-notch grip, secure lockdown, and foot protection.
Just be careful if you have wide feet, or your Achilles needs extra love.
|272 g/9.6 oz
|237 g/8.4 oz
Comparisons – Saucony Peregrine 12 vs.:
Saucony Peregrine 11
The SP12 marks a positive and significant update in the Peregrine series. This version 12 is lighter and responsive without losing its great traction, protection, or foot lockdown. The only false note is the comfort of the new upper, which decreases a little bit due to the less padded collar and a narrower fit.
Brooks Cascadia 16
The Cascadia is heavier but offers more comfort underfoot with higher and softer cushioning. See the side-by-side comparison.
Saucony Xodus 11
The Xodus is a cruiser made for long-distance. So the comfort is more significant but not the performance! See the complete comparison.
Hoka Speedgoat 4
The Speedgoat is a shoe with a much more pronounced cushioning and an equivalent level of protection and grip. See which one is the best for you.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
The Peregrine 12 runs true to size, no surprise there. However, testers note that the midfoot is tight, so be careful if you have wide feet.
It depends primarily on your preference and experience. If you don’t mind firm cushioning for long miles, there should be no problem (especially since the grip and protection are excellent). If you need a higher, softer cushioning, a different model might be better suited.