Best For: Runners needing substantial protection and support on technical trails, or anyone looking to power through a long run in wet, muddy conditions.
Security (of fit): Saucony is known for stability of fit, and the Peregrine 4 stays true to that model. If you’re already a Saucony fan, you’ll still love the Peregrine 4 … but if you’re used to a wide toe box, this shoe will definitely put the crunch on you. A traditional lace system provides great customization of tension in the midfoot, and the heel stays locked in place even on irregular or technical terrain.
Stability (on impact): Perhaps the most significant update on the Peregrine 4 is the aggressive outsole lugging, which provide outstanding traction on wet surfaces or steep descents. The XT-900 rubber compound is grippy and durable, and the midsole/upper interface holds steady on slanted trails – but if you’re used to riding lower to the ground, the 26mm heel height of the Peregrine may cause some ankle trouble on technical terrain.
Smoothness (flexibility): This year’s Peregrine features a nylon fiber rock plate, which is thinner and more flexible than the previous model; the new version allows modest flexibility in the forefoot, but is quite rigid in the heel. Impact from rocks is barely perceptible in the Peregrines thanks to the outsole and PowerGrid midsole, but ground feel is compromised with the relatively high stack height.
Comfort: Interior material construction is soft against the foot, and ventilation is very effective on the Peregrine 4. FlexFilm material helps the upper contour to the foot and maintain its shape without adding bulk. Padding under the tongue and around the ankle collar is built for the long haul, but the narrow toe box created some hot spots in our testing for runs of 3 hours or more.
Speed and agility: Saucony’s PowerGrid midsole material offers nice firmness and provides good energy return, but the weight and rigidity of the Peregrine 4 leave it somewhat lacking in the speed category.