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Saucony Peregrine 14 Review: A Different Bird
By Andrea Myers and Matthew Klein

The Saucony Peregrine series has long been a staple trail shoe. Released at a similar time to the Kinvara and Kinvara Trail, the Peregrine has maintained a good combination of having a lower drop, being a bit lighter but still being durable enough for a variety of trails. The Saucony Peregrine 13 was a favorite and was one of the times the series felt like a trail racing shoe. A slightly snug, nimble ride felt great for a variety of trail runs and even when picking up the pace. Despite having similar designs and materials to version 13, version 14 is different. A slightly wider fit, slightly softer ride, a higher stack height and a little more weight make version 14 a more relaxed, easier and longer-effort trail shoe compared to prior versions. 



Saucony Peregrine 14 (Specs from Running Warehouse)
Price: $139.95 at Running Warehouse
Weight: 9.4oz, 267g (men's size 9), 8.3oz, 235g  (women's size 8)
Stack Height: 31mm heel/27mm forefoot        
Drop: 4 mm
Shoe Purpose: Trail 


Pros: Wider toe box provides more accommodating fit as compared to prior versions
Cons: Heel counter sits low on heel, less ground feel than previous versions


RUNNING SHOE SUMMARY


The Saucony Peregrine 14 is a moderate-to-higher stack height trail shoe for daily training or longer racing on softer surfaces. A taller and slightly softer midsole makes for a more relaxed but less nimble ride than prior versions. A new upper adds additional width, especially at the forefoot but adds a tough toe guard that tapers the toe box. A different riding, more cushioned and less nimble shoe than in the past, the Peregrine 14 works best for easy and training miles while those wanting a moderately cushioned ride for longer races may have another option on the market. 

SIMILAR SHOES
: Nike Terra Kiger 9
PAST MODEL: Saucony Peregrine 13



FIT
(To learn how a shoe should fit, check out our full podcast on fit by Matt Klein.)

Matt: The Saucony Peregrine 14 fits me true to size in my normal men's US size 10. The fit initially felt a tiny bit short due to the tapered toe box but overall the fit is slightly wider than previous Peregrines I have tried. The fit is normal throughout except for the tapered toe box. The taper occurs due to the toe guard and took several miles for me to get used to. The forefoot is normal in width. The midfoot is also normal in width with a well-gusseted moderately thick tongue. The laces were easy to lock down. However, I still had some mild heel slippage due to the slightly lower heel cup. The heel width is normal with light heel collar padding. The heel cup (back part) felt like it fit low and caused me to have some mild heel slippage. Lace-locking the shoe fixed this immediately.

There is a stiff heel counter in the rearfoot that was immediately apparent to me due to the only mild padding. Those with heel sensitivities will not do well with this shoe as it did bug me. However, those wanting a stiff counter will do well. The inner liner is a bit scratching and the aggressive toe guard can cause rubbing, so socks are an absolute necessity with this upper. 

Typical Size: Men's US Size 10
Shoes that have fit Matt well: Saucony Guide 17, ASICS Kayano 30, Hoka Gaviota 5, Saucony Endorphin Elite, Nike Ultrafly
Shoes that have fit snug: Hoka Arahi 7, Saucony Kinvara 14
Shoes that have fit large: Salomon S/Lab Phantasm 2, Altra Timp 5


Andrea: The Saucony Peregrine 14 fits true to size in my usual women's 9.5, with a full thumb's width from the end of my big toe to the front of the shoe. The toe box of the 14 is the widest of any Peregrine I have run in, and I started with version 6. I would not call it an anatomical toe box, but it is wider at the MTPs and tapers less at the toes as compared to previous versions. The midfoot and rearfoot are normal width, but I did find the height of the heel cup to be lower than I would prefer. I mainly noticed it on steeper hills, where it felt like my heel might come out of the heel cup, but thankfully it did not. The gusseted tongue is moderately padded and stays securely in place. The flat laces are easy to lock down and I did not have any discomfort on the dorsum of my foot from the laces. The heel counter has a rigid inferior half and semi rigid superior half, with ample padding internally. Besides the feeling that the heel cup sat too low on my heel, I found the rearfoot and overall fit quite comfortable. 

Andrea's Typical Size: Women's US Size 9.5
Shoes that have fit Andrea well: New Balance Beacon v3, Brooks Hyperion Max, Topo Cyclone 2, Nike Vaporfly 3, Altra Via Olympus 2
Shoes that have fit snug: Saucony Kinvara 14 (length and toe box width), Altra FWD Experience (length and width), Hoka Cielo Road (toe box width), Saucony Endorphin Speed and Pro 1-3 (length)
Shoes that have fit large: Adidas Boston 12 (length), Adidas Adios 8 (length)


Doctors of Running Checklist

Is This a Good Shoe for Walking: Yes
Is This a Good Shoe for Standing: Yes
Is the Forefoot Flexible: Somewhat
How Flexible is the Shoe: Mild, More on the Stiffer Side
Is This a Good Heel Bevel: Mildly for a Trail Shoe
Recommended for Haglunds: No
Recommended for Sockless: No
Durability Expectation: Above Average




PERFORMANCE

Matt: The Saucony Peregrine 14 is a moderate-to-higher stack height, lighter trail shoe that works on a variety of terrain. I tested the Peregrine 14 on single track, technical single track, gravel, wide dirt roads and pavement. The Peregrine series has always run lighter and nimble, but version 14 felt like a combination of a Peregrine with more traditional trail shoes. The thicker midsole is noticeable but does not feel maximal. There is plenty of cushioning underfoot, making this version more comfortable for longer efforts for me than prior versions. The underfoot cushioning is mildly soft to mildly firm, sitting in the middle perception-wise for me. The rock plate plate adds plenty of protection and some stiffness throughout the length of the shoe. There is still a mild amount of flexibility in the forefoot, so those wanting a stiff rockered forefoot will not find that. There is a small heel bevel with a rounded heel that makes for fairly normal heel transitions. This progresses into a moderately stiff midfoot and a mild-to-moderately stiff forefoot. There is a forefoot rocker in the front of the shoe, making for fairly smooth transitions. As the forefoot breaks in it is on the stiffer side but has loosened up a little after 20 miles. 

Pace-wise the Saucony Peregrine 14 works best for normal daily miles and long runs. It is definitely lighter for a trail shoe but I did not find that it picked up the pace well past uptempo efforts. It felt much better doing consistent efforts, making me suspect this will be a great training option or longer racing option. The durability of the lugs has been quite good despite the amount of pavement I run to get to the trail. The additional midsole stack takes the edge off the road and the lugs dig in fairly well to moderately aggressive trails. They are not aggressive enough for highly technical terrain but did decently even when I pushed them there. Overall, "moderate" is the word with the Peregrine 14 in terms of cushioning, trail aggressiveness and stiffness.


Andrea: I tested the Saucony Peregrine 14 on my usual mix of technical singletrack, rocky doubletrack, grass fields, and dirt roads. The Peregrine has been my go-to trail shoe since I got back into running nearly 10 years ago, and I've enjoyed testing the new versions of the Peregrine for DOR over the past few years. While the fit of the toe box is a welcome upgrade over all previous versions, the fit of the heel and the reduced ground feel of v14 was a bit of a disappointment. Even though my heel never actually slipped out of the shoe while running steep climbs, the feeling of insecurity reduced my enjoyment of the shoe because I felt like I was on high alert for this to happen. The other thing that I did not like about v14 is that the thicker midsole reduced my proprioception/ground feel in the shoe. What I liked about previous versions of the Peregrine was that it was like a trail Kinvara - enough cushioning to protect your foot from the ground, but still providing plenty of ground feel. The trails that I run on are full of rocks and roots, and there is very little even ground. It is important to be able to feel the unevenness of the terrain because it helps the lower limb, particularly the foot and ankle, rapidly adapt to the varied surface. I felt like the midsole of the 14 kept me from feeling these trail variations as I would like to. The thicker midsole and reduced ground feel felt more appropriate on dirt roads, where I didn't need to be as in tune with changes in the road surface. I think the Peregrine 14 may be a better choice for less technical, non-paved terrain, but many runners (including myself) would choose a road shoe for such conditions.

While I did not like the insecure feeling heel or the added stack height, the shoe does provide excellent grip in almost any trail condition, including mud, wet rock and roots, and sand. My first run in the shoe was on some very muddy trails after a big storm, and the 5mm multi-directional lugs gripped very well, even in extended mud sections. This shoe is not advertised as waterproof and it is definitely not - my socks were soaked and very stained with mud after this first run. While the upper is on the thicker side, it has a lot of tiny perforations, which seemed to help it drain well as I ran through many mud puddles. The shoe feels like its stated 4mm drop and felt well suited to midfoot landings. At 8.3oz for a women's size 8, this is a decently light trail shoe that could definitely be both a trainer and racer for many, with a couple caveats for the heel fit and lower forefoot flexibility. I think the lack of forefoot flexibility actually made the shallow heel feel worse, because I could definitely feel that I wanted the forefoot to bend more as I was running uphill. If the forefoot doesn't bend enough, the ankle will need to plantarflex more to achieve push off, and that also contributed to the feeling that my heel would come out of the shoe. 

I have 25 miles on the shoe, with almost all of them on trail. The lugs show almost no wear and based on previous versions of the Peregrine, should have decent durability as long as you stick to the trails. The few road miles I did in the shoe were comfortable and I did not get the irritation at my 5th MTP like I have on pavement in previous versions of the Peregrine, which I attribute to the wider toe box.


STABILITY
(Learn more about stability in our full guide)

Matt: The Saucony Peregrine 14 is a neutral trail shoe with a few guidance elements. There are mild sidewalls in the midfoot on both the medial and lateral sides. The sole, particularly the midfoot, is stiffer, which adds inherent rigidity. In typical Saucony fashion, the forefoot features a decent amount of sole flare that makes for a centered ride up front. The midfoot tapers a little compared to the rest of the sole, which has a fairly average width. While there are some mild guidance elements, this is primarily a neutral shoe that will work for those with neutral mechanics on trail. 

Andrea:
The Saucony Peregrine 14 is a neutral trail shoe with a few mild guidance features. The central guidance line and small heel bevel may help center the transition from initial contact to mid stance for heel strikers. The early forefoot rocker helps guide into push-off without feeling overly aggressive and the overall stiff platform encourages forward motion. There is a small amount of sole flare that runs the length of the shoe and is balanced medially and laterally. The wider forefoot platform also contributes to a more stable transition. The lower fitting heel may contribute to a feeling of insecurity for some runners, as it did for me. The thicker midsole and reduced ground feel may also make the shoe feel less stable than previous versions.


Thoughts as a DPT: Why Does Proprioception Matter in Trail Shoes
By Matthew Klein

We frequently talk about proprioception on DOR, which is defined as your body's ability to perceive or be aware the position of different parts (kinesthesia is awareness of movement). Proprioceptive sensory nerves pick up where joints and muscles are. An abnormal response, like to the body being in an awkward position, can trigger reflexes to try to the body out of a precarious position. A common trail example is being in an almost ankle rolled position (Ankle inversion), then having your muscles kick on to pull you out of that. On flat stable ground this is a little easier, but on uneven, soft terrain this becomes more difficult. It requires better reactive balance and skill to make sure you step in the right place and adjust accordingly. 

Ankle stability and control are especially important for trail runners due to the participants running on unstable terrain and the foot being the most commonly injured spot among trial runners (Viljoen et al., 2021). A nimble shoe with good ground feel is more likely to provide enough information to proprioceptive input to help you determine where your ankle is. Super high-stack shoes, while comfortable and protective, may experience a delay in information due to the extra cushioning. The less forces that make it through the shoe, the less the foot/ankle has to work with information-wise. This is not always a bad thing as many trail runners are using maximal trail shoes and running longer than ever before. These tools are great for longer effort comfort, which explains why they are so popular. However, in situations that require quick and reactive footwork, they may not be as effective compared to lighter, more nimble, lower stack shoes. Regardless, having a variety of shoes is key to experiencing different amounts of proprioceptive input and may also reduce your injury risk (Malisoux et al., 2015).

The Peregrine 14 is a blend of higher stack ideals and lower stack ideas, but as with most shoes today leans maximal. The maximal shoes have the benefit of not having to worry as much about what is under their foot as the shoe is so large it will trample everything in its path. These tend to have higher comfort, but any true tipping of the shoe results almost always with a sprained ankle. When moving quickly across technical terrain, a large heavy shoe may slow you down. The reason for this is not just weight, but the delay in information processing. The longer it takes for you to get information on where your ankle/foot is, the longer it will take for you to respond. Having a light shoe that allows some forces to travel through so you can react and move quickly due to the ability to pick things up faster and move faster. This is not a fix for everyone, but those who feel everything too much and get overstimulated, a high stack shoe may a consideration for you. An individual who struggles with balance and proprioception would benefit from a lower shoe a few days a week to work on this. Everyone often needs something different, so identifying where you are on this spectrum can help you figure out where to start.  

References:

Malisoux, L., Ramesh, J., Mann, R., Seil, R., Urhausen, A., & Theisen, D. (2015). Can parallel use of different running shoes decrease running‐related injury risk?. Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports25(1), 110-115.

Viljoen, C. T., Janse van Rensburg, D. C., Verhagen, E., Van Mechelen, W., Tom├ís, R., Schoeman, M., ... & Korkie, E. (2021). Epidemiology of injury and illness among trail runners: A systematic review. 
Sports Medicine51, 917-943.




RECOMMENDATIONS

Matt: At this point, Saucony has enough moderate-to-higher stack trail shoes. The Endorphin Edge, Xodux Ultra 2 and Endorphin Edge are all relatively higher-stack trail shoes. That leaves a gap for a lower stack height trail shoe that was previously filed nicely by the Peregrine 13. My suggestion to Saucony is to continue with refining the shoe but keep it where it was stack height-wise. The increase makes the shoe feel less nimble and fast, which was unique to version 13. Additionally, while the relatively wider upper was nice, the tapered toe box got to me. I would suggest trying to round the front a little bit more for appropriate anatomical design and again going to the unique niche the Peregrine series should have as a the rare lower to moderate stack height training shoe. 

Andrea: As a longtime Peregrine fan, I would like Saucony to apply the wider toe box of the Peregrine 14 to version 13. I think that was the sweet spot for the shoe in terms of midsole thickness and weight, and I think v14 has gone a little too far in the cushioning direction. I'm looking forward to what Saucony has in store for version 15.

WHO IS THIS SHOE FOR?

Matt: The Saucony Peregrine 14 is a neutral trail shoe that works well on a variety of moderate terrain for those who want a lighter daily mileage shoe or potentially a longer race shoe. The upper will work best for those with moderate-width feet who are okay with a tapered toe box, stiff counter and low-heel cup. The cushioning is moderate and best for those who want a lighter shoe but still want plenty of midsole underfoot. This shoe is a shift from the relatively lower stack height, faster and more nimble rides of previous Peregrines. This makes it better for more moderate terrain and is a good daily trail trainer to introduce many people to softer surfaces. 

Andrea: The Saucony Peregrine 14 is a neutral trail shoe that, like many current trail and road shoes, has gained midsole thickness and lost ground feel, resulting in a different ride. For those for whom the Peregrine has been too low stack for comfort, this may be an exciting update, as you will find a shoe that thoroughly protects your feet from the harshness of the trail. For those, like me, who have loved the Peregrine for its lower stack and heightened ground feel, this shoe is a bit of a step backwards, especially for running on very technical terrain. I think the Peregrine 14 will be a shoe that is best for less technical terrain, like dirt roads and grass trails.


GRADES

Matt
Fit: B+ (Normal width fit except for toe guard that causes toe box taper)
Performance: 
B (Moderate to higher midsole that feels best at moderate and longer efforts on varied terrain
Stability: B [Neutral] (Mild sidewalls in midfoot but mostly neutral ride
Value: B+ (Solid value for someone looking for a dependable trail training shoe)
Personal: B/B- (Tapered toe box and difficulty differentiating stack height from others kinda ruins this shoe for me. )
Overall Design: B

Andrea
Fit: B+ (I really like the wider toe box, but the lower heel cup made the shoe feel insecure, particularly on steep uphills)
Performance: B 
(Thicker midsole and insecure heel resulted in a lower quality ride for me than previous versions. 5mm lugs continue to provide exceptional traction on almost any trail feature.)
Stability: [neutral] B (Overall a neutral shoe with some well done centering elements)
Value: A- (Price, versatility, and expected durability make this a good value if you like the fit and ride.)
Personal: B-/B (Wider toe box is a big plus, but overall this version is a step backwards for me due to reduced ground feel and insecure feeling heel)
Overall Design: B


SHOP | SUPPORT DOR

Saucony Peregrine 14
Price: $139.95 at Running Warehouse

Shop Men | Shop Women


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FURTHER READING

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Brooks upgrades the foam on this mileage cruiser for the trails.













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A soft trainer for offroading.













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Editor's Note: As always, the views presented on this website belong to myself or the selected few who contribute to these posts. This website should not and does not serve as a replacement for seeking medical care. If you are currently injured or concerned about an injury, please see your local running physical therapist. If you are in the Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, Danbury and Stevens Point areas, we am currently taking clients for running evaluations.

***Disclaimer: These shoes were provided free of charge in exchange for a review.  We thank the people at Saucony for sending us pairs.  This in no way affected the honesty of this review. We systematically put each type of shoe through certain runs prior to review. For trainers and performance trainers, we take them on daily runs, workouts, recovery runs and a long run prior to review (often accumulating anywhere from 20-50 miles in the process). For racing flats we ensure that we have completed intervals, a tempo or steady state run as well as a warm-up and cool down in each pair prior to review. This systematic process is to ensure that we have experience with each shoe in a large variety of conditions to provide expansive and thorough reviews for the public and for companies. Our views are based on our extensive history in the footwear industry and years testing and developing footwear. If you are a footwear rep looking for footwear reviews or consultations on development, we are currently looking to partner with companies to assist, discuss and promote footwear models. Partnership will not affect the honesty of our reviews.

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On Cloudsurfer Trail

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