While I do run the occasional trail, I'm really not a trail person. My running is mostly rooted firmly to the roads but there are rare occasions, and I mean VERY rare, that I do hit the trails or even race in one. Which is why it's been kinda difficult for me to write a review on the Saucony Peregrine 7. I haven't really put much miles in them to write a decent review and after the PSP King of Forest trail two weeks back, I don't think I'll be putting much more miles in them anytime soon.
But I do have some personal views on Peregrine 7 (P7) based on the very few times I've used them and thought I might as well get the review out. My experience with the Peregrine series started with the Peregrine 6 (P6). Even then, the mileage I put on that pair is pretty embarrassing. Worse yet, I carelessly left that pair in Seoul during the Seoul International Marathon back in March.
With the wife wanting to run some trails and with me signed up for the recently concluded trail race, I requested a pair from Saucony Malaysia and put it to the test and I must say I came away impressed and might even make me take the Peregrine 7 out for more trail excursions!
The Peregrine 7 is the shoes seventh iteration and weighs in at 9.4 oz for the men's size 9, which is the size I use. The past few models didn't really stray much in terms of design from one another but Saucony have refined the past two models with a lot more updated material. The Peregrine 7 could be considered a completely different model if not for the same 4mm drop (21.5mm heel/17.5mm forefoot) and identical outsole of the Peregrine 6.
The most discerning and noticeable change to the Peregrine 7 is in the upper of the shoe. The upper of the P6 had FlexFilm overlays somewhat similar to its road cousins but the P7 now sports a TPU Exo-Skeleton that frames the foot even more for optimal support and enhanced protection. I found the fit of the P7 to be a lot more roomier and less stiffer than the P6 which I didn't really like all that much. The toe bumper which now wraps around the entire forefoot offers some toe stubbing protection and is flexible and light.
The other not so noticeable update is found in the midsole of the shoe. While the EVA midsole is essentially the same, the P7 now comes with a full length Everun topsole unlike the Everun heel insert of the previous version. Saucony refers to Everun as continuous cushioning and claims that this provides an 83% return of energy which is all just facts to me cos I really can't tell if it does with the measly mileage I put in trail running. Though the P7 is firm there is still some ground feel but you have just enough cushioning underneath that it doesn't feel jarring.
The outsole remains the same with the same PWRTRAC outsole material coupled with the EBO rockplate to protect the foot from rocks, stones and other debris, that actually worked really well. The directional lugs are aggressive and able to handle just about anything the terrain throws at you. I had first hand experience of how phenomenal the grip was in the recent trail race I took part in. The trail was wet, muddy and terribly slippery from the rains the night before but the P7 kept its grip so well that I had so much confidence running down those slippery trail with reckless abandon and not once did I lose my footing! I can't attest to the durability of the outsole since I don't have the miles in them to compare but from what I've read from shoe reviewers like Sam Winebaum, durability is excellent!
The rear of the shoe features a sturdier heel counter that has some good support. The height of the heel cup seems to have been lowered somewhat with additional padding giving it a little more flexibility than the previous version. The padded gusseted tongue was pretty comfortable and Saucony has removed the metal gaiter ring from this iteration of the shoe which doesn't really make any difference to me.
Is the Saucony Peregrine 7 as good as it's made out to be? Well, for a trail noob like me, I'd say it definitely is! The P7 is a fast, light and extremely nimble trail shoe that can take on a variety of terrains. The grip quality of the P7's aggressive outsole is superb and really shines in the trails as I found out during my race two weeks ago. The response is excellent and you'll be filled with confidence as you zoom down those slippery and muddy trails. Whether you're planning for a speedy trail session or just a simple hike up the mountains, the Saucony Peregrine 7 will satisfy a wide variety of runners.
Overall, I feel the P7 is a great upgrade to the P6 which I found to be a little stiff on the upper. The Peregrine 7's new exo-skeleton is a much more secure fit and feels a lot more breathable too with a lot more room in the toebox. The Saucony Peregrine 7 is available in stores nationwide and is retailing for RM429.00 for both the men's and women's models.
Disclaimer - The Saucony Peregrine 7 review above is from my own personal experience and time spent running in them. This review is in no way whatsoever influenced by Saucony Malaysia.