This review is in partnership with Running Warehouse, which provided products for testing. Salty Running receives a commission on sales made via our Running Warehouse affiliate link, used throughout this post.
When we were asked to try out some new spring shoes from Running Warehouse, I enthusiastically leaped at the chance to test the newest of the Saucony Peregrine line. Though I’ve been on a hiatus from trails and ultras to work on my MBA, I’ve still been hitting the trails every now and then for a race or an easy run and I want to get my butt back out on the trails more often this year. What better motivation is there than this wonderful spring weather and some new trail shoes? I was excited to run in the Saucony Peregrine 8, an update to Saucony’s best trail shoe that I’ve been running in for a long time. My previous ones (the 6s) had gotten old and tired and it was time for an update, but I was hoping that not much had changed! So, after a few muddy and icy long runs in them, did they hold up to my standards and perform better than previous iterations?
I’ve been running in the Saucony Peregrine since the 3s and have run trail races from half marathons to 100 milers all over Ohio, Pennsylvania, Indiana and even California in some version of the shoe. I started running in the Peregrine because they had a similar fit and feel to the Saucony Kinvara (my long-time everyday road shoe until I hated every update after the 5s and finally switched to the Brooks Ghost last summer). The Peregrine hadn’t changed much from year-to-year until the 6s and have always been a long-lasting, smooth ride on varied trails. Of all of the trail shoes I’ve tried over the years, the Peregrine is my go-to. I’ve always been able to keep them more than 350 miles as long as the upper hasn’t ripped apart beforehand. The soles always last a long time and stay comfortable for the duration.
Related: Coriander tests the Brooks Ghost
I did my first unboxing video ever with these shoes in my Instagram stories and then forgot to save it (ugh!). I was a bit nervous opening the box because I wasn’t sure whether the 8s would look drastically different from the previous models. Despite my trepidation, I was pretty happy with the new look and the black/mint/berry color combo, even though I knew the shoes would be covered in mud a few days later.
The mesh upper is more minimal and less decorative than previous models and the logo is now in the forefoot, like other recent Saucony shoes. There’s a lot less to the overlays on the upper, thankfully. The outsole design is also noticeably different from previous models. The lugs are still built for varied trails, but from the side, the shoe looks markedly different and more minimal than before. When trying on the shoes in my living room and taking photos, I noticed one more big difference: there was no rock plate. I wasn’t sure if this was something I would miss or not, but was surprised at the flexibility of the shoe from the first time I tried them on.
My first run in the Peregrine 8’s was a 13-mile long run in one of our local Cleveland Metroparks. It had warmed up earlier that week, enough for much of the snow and ice to melt, but had gotten below freezing again overnight. Physically, I wasn’t feeling the best after a night of not really sleeping, but was excited to try out my new shoes on relatively easy trails. The trails were pretty soft for the most part, but we did hit a few stretches of either deep mud or solid ice. The Peregrine wasn’t great on the ice at all (I wasn’t expecting it to be) and I skated across those spots, but they felt responsive on the soft trail and allowed me to feel the ground better than the previous versions. Though we weren’t running rocky trails, I did notice the absence of the rock plate, but not in a bad way. In the muddy spots, they drained really quickly and I never felt them budge in the heel at all when I probably should’ve lost my shoes. On a particularly rainy run, they also drained fast and didn’t feel heavy despite the pouring rain.
I haven’t raced in the Peregrine 8s yet or run anything over 13 miles, but I trust that they can last for an entire hundo without having to change shoes (as I have in the past). Though the Peregrine 8 is a big overhaul from previous models, it still has a 4mm heel-toe offset and the weight has been maintained (the size 8 is 10 oz.). I’m glad that Saucony kept those features and didn’t stray from a really solid neutral trail shoe with the Peregrine.
After a few more runs in them, I really love this update! They feel great on any type of trail (though I haven’t run on any really rocky trails recently) and didn’t hit hard on stretches of road. I don’t have a reason to doubt this, but I hope that they last over time and I don’t need to retire them early because of rips in the upper, which has happened with my older pairs.
I haven’t encountered any issues with them so far. My only complaint is that I don’t like the laces. After running the last two miles of a 50K in the snow with an untied right shoe, I’ve always used Lock Laces in my trail shoes. It makes them really easy to slip on and off, especially for a mid-race sock change. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the foresight to order a new set before running in these shoes a few times. The laces the shoes come with are a cute color, but have little give or stretch, which can be a problem when your shoes are caked in mud and all you want to do is take them off before driving home.
Overall, I’m happy and excited about this big update to an already great shoe. My first race of the year is coming up this Saturday (a trail half at my favorite park, Mohican State Park), and I’m excited to race in the Peregrine 8s. They’re comfortable and cushioned and I’m pleased with the responsiveness and fit. If you’re looking for a comfy shoe that can last for any type of run on varied trails, I definitely recommend giving this one a try.
I give the Saucony Peregrine 8 5 out of 5 snails!