Peregrines in the Presidio: A Swift Review
Written by Wesley Kao, Presidio Staffer
Saucony’s newest iteration of its popular trail shoe, the Peregrine 12, promises to have you flying down all sorts of rugged paths. The shoe’s design is simple and classy, to boot. I was lucky enough to take these kicks on a few test runs to get a feel for how they’d perform on trails in San Francisco.
I work at the Sports Basement in the Presidio. Once serving as the army commissary, this unique establishment now houses gobs of sporting merchandise under remnant grocery signage that conspicuously proclaims “PRODUCE” and “DELI.” Yes, we sell the Peregrine 12. No, we don’t sell other poultry.
Besides being home to the coolest Sports Basement store, the Presidio has numerous picturesque trails: I had to try the Peregrines out on a few of them. My first run was along the Golden Gate Promenade, just outside the store: I ran a short, mostly-flat loop around the perimeter of Crissy Field.
A second, more substantial run took me through Golden Gate Park and Lands End, not far from the Presidio. Here, I tested out the shoe’s capacity for handling more dynamic terrain and hills. Lands End is one of my favorite running locales as it affords stunning cliffside views from cypress-shaded trails. Bonus points for the parking lots on Point Lobos Ave and 34th Ave, which are free - just don’t leave any valuables in your car. The only potential downside of this run is the sizable wooden staircase in the middle of the Lands End Trail – not exactly my favorite part of the trail, but if you’re really into the booty gains, this might be for you.
My last test run was a trek that traversed from Golden Gate Park to deep within the Presidio. This run included parts of Lover’s Lane (Loner’s Lane if you’re like me), the Ecology and Bay Area Ridge trails, and the Batteries to Bluffs Trail - all awesomely scenic (and sometimes vertiginous) routes. Honestly, any course in the Presidio will provide views that inspire and amaze. Just pay attention to where you’re going, or you’ll find yourself stuck in a maze. You’re welcome.
After pounding through various trail surfaces and distances, I felt like I’d developed a pretty good idea of the Peregrine 12’s performance.
The Peregrine 12 fits pretty much true to size: my feet felt snugly accommodated, and I didn’t experience any uncomfortable friction or looseness throughout my runs. The shoe was a little tight in the midfoot, but not enough to be problematic for me. The toe box felt decently roomy - I could spread my toes a little without feeling cramped.
The Peregrines felt lightweight, agile, and responsive. With their streamlined design, the Peregrines were easy to run in and not at all clunky. The shoes held up well against varied terrain, passing smoothly from coarse sand to rough gravel. The extra-grippy, robust outsole offered excellent traction throughout all of my runs. The Peregrine’s lightweight mesh upper also provided fantastic breathability, and my feet never felt at risk of overheating. I had a blast running in these shoes: they were swift, unobtrusive, and adaptable to different trail types.
If you’re looking for footwear with lots of ankle stability and cushion, then the Peregrine 12 probably isn’t for you. The shoes seem to be designed for deft navigation of rugged turf, not so much for padding and support. They probably won’t do much to protect you against a twisted ankle from a misplaced step, though in any case, you’ll do better to rely on proprioception than on footwear. Personally, I wouldn’t recommend these shoes for anything significantly longer than a half-marathon: my last run neared two hours, and I was beginning to feel joint soreness. The lack of shock absorption was especially apparent on pavement and hard-packed trails.
Overall, Saucony’s Peregrine 12 is a shoe worth trying, especially for short to moderately-distanced trail runs. The shoe can take on all kinds of surfaces and keeps you tuned in to the feeling of the ground. In my opinion, this makes them perfect for running through trails in San Francisco.
ONE LAST PIECE OF ADVICE
If you ever do decide to run through the Presidio, (1) plan your route ahead of time, and (2) be sure to stop by the Sports Basement store. We might not sell produce, but we do produce happy customers!