Saucony Peregrine 11 ST Review | High Grip Trail Running Shoes
Saucony makes their most popular trail shoe in three versions. The Peregrine 11 has an outsole designed to cover more hard packed terrain. There is a GTX version of the Peregrine 11 that has a Goretex lining and then the Peregrine 11 ST. The Peregrine 11 ST is the most aggressive member of the Peregrine family designed for softer and more broken ground.
The Saucony Peregrine 11 ST has 6.5mm deep lugs on the sole of the shoes. These are designed to bite into soft muddy ground to give good traction while ascending or descending. The lugs are spread out so that they shed the mud, so your shoes don’t become heavier the further you run or clog up and reduce grip. The midsole offers a good level of cushioning being 23mm thick in the forefoot. This together with a rock plate and the lugs gives a good level of forefoot protection from rocks and roots. The heel to forefoot drop is 4mm, which makes the shoe promote a more midfoot strike and adds stability on technical broken ground.
Often shoes that have a good amount of cushioning and a rock plate become noticeably stiff. This affects how well they bend to the trail when you are running up steep climbs or flex to the ground as you are descending. Although the Peregrine 11 ST feels stiffer in your hands, it feels flexible enough on your feet (which is more important!). This might be an illusion of the soft cushioning and the toe spring but it works because I didn’t notice any additional stiffness in the shoe compared with other shoes with a similar thickness of midsole without a rock plate.
The upper has been designed to protect the foot and is a tougher material than the non-ST version of the Peregrine 11. The bottom part of the laces is covered with a thin mesh and this together with the gusseted tongue reduces the chance of getting debris inside the shoes. The laces are a thin cord with a lace lock. The laces slide quite nicely through the lace loops so you tighten it with the lace lock and then push the lock and any excess lace under the lace cover. This stops the laces from getting untied by the undergrowth as you run and prevents them getting covered in mud too. The heel cup and tongue have a good level of padding but aren’t too excessive. The shoes don’t absorb excess water. There is an overlay that runs around the base of the shoe upper to reduce the chance of any tears or cuts caused by rocks or undergrowth.
The fit is in my opinion is slightly roomier in the toe box than the non-ST version of the Peregrine 11. I wouldn’t say it is too much broader, but my toes had bit more wiggle room. The overall fit is about average. By that I mean that I wouldn’t be describing these as ‘wide’ or ‘narrow’. The toe box is traditional in shape, compared with more rounded from upcoming brands like Altra. Having been used to more rounded toe box shoes, this shape of toe box normally feels a bit restrictive, but in this shoe I only really noticed it whilst descending. That was the only time I felt that my feet didn’t have quite have the room to spread out that they are used to.
The fit is a comfortable training shoe fit and was nice to wear for longer periods. On the right terrain I would have no problem wearing these shoes all day. This relaxed comfortable fit doesn’t quite have enough hold of the foot for the roughest, fastest running. I felt that my foot moved a bit inside the shoes when contouring or running across boulders or scree. It is always a compromise between a snug racing fit and a more relaxed comfortable fit and given the level of cushioning in the Saucony Peregrine 11 ST, the fit is the right one for the shoes. The fit will vary depending on the volume of your feet. If you have a high volume foot then you may find that the fit of the Saucony Peregrine 11 ST is ideal for more broken ground for you.
The grip was good, with the lugs biting nicely into muddy ground. The soft cushioning takes away some of the feel for the ground so as expected, I didn’t feel totally nimble in these shoes. The ride of the shoes very much suits the fit, in that they are designed as a training shoe or a long day out shoe. I found that the grip was trustworthy on wet surfaces. By that I mean that I had no problems and didn’t feel I was going to slip but it didn’t have the same sticky feel that you get from, say, the La Sportiva’s white cross outsoles like on the Mutant or the Bulth rubber used by VJ Sportiva or NVii. This probably doesn’t matter. The outsole gripped well and seems to be pretty durable too. So unless your regular run takes you over Striding Edge then the outsole of the Peregrine 11 ST should do the job!
There aren’t many shoes on the market that have grip and cushion. Long studs tend to slide on the harder surfaces in the wet, so a flatter stud is better and in the mud a more pointed stud bites into the mud and grips better. On my runs over the farmers’ fields and through the woods on roots and some rough broken trails the Peregrine 11 ST grips well and feels comfortable and flexible. On the harder packed trails it has the cushioning and underfoot protection. The ride on harder trails is quite soft as you not only get cushioning from the midsole but from the studs too. I have noticed no sliding on wet tarmac and the cushioning made the shoes feel nice and comfortable. There is no sign of excess wear on the studs either.
In summary the Saucony Peregrine 11 ST is a well cushioned, grippy trail shoe and I enjoyed my trips out on varied terrain!
Charlie @ Northern Runner Newcastle
As I mentioned in the article if you want grip to get you through the mud and some cushioning for the harder terrain then there isn’t a lot of choice. So, the main rival to the Saucony Peregrine 11 ST is the Scott Supertrac 2.0 (or Supertrac Ultra RC if you want a tougher upper). The grip level is similar but, the ride of the Scott Supertrac is different to the Peregrine 11 ST. Scott shoes use e-Ride which means that their shoes are curved to help increase cadence and promote a more up right posture. This gives them a much smoother ride on harder trails.
The down side of a stiffer shoe is that they are less adaptable to the terrain so on broken, rough ground they aren’t as easy to run in on this terrain as the Peregrine 11 ST. On less technical soft terrain the grip is similar. Step onto something firmer and too much the force to go forward get lost in the Peregrine 11 ST’s soft midsole whereas in the Supertrac 2.0 you seem to cruise a long easier. This might be just the feel of the shoes rather than how fast I am actually moving but, I would say if you like soft cushioned shoes try the Peregrine 11 ST if you prefer your shoes to be a bit more responsive then try the Supertrac 2.0.
Supertrac 2.0 review: