Saucony Peregrine 8

Price: $120

Specs: 4mm heel-toe offset; 25mm (heel), 21mm (forefoot)

Weight: 11.3 oz. (men’s size 9); 10.0 oz. (women’s size 7)

The Scoop: The Peregrine has evolved through the years and the eighth edition of this shoe is the most advanced and technical version yet. Key among the new features are a very aggressively lugged “PWRTRAC” outsole made from a new sticky rubber compound, a full-length layer of dynamic Everun foam under the footbed and a thick “PWRFOAM” midsole that soften impacts and adds to the energy return. Although the Peregrine no longer has a rock plate embedded in its midsole, the revised outsole/midsole unit provides a reliable amount of underfoot protection from sharp rocks and roots on the trail, while an updated toe bumper and reinforced sidewalls add to the protective nature of the shoe.

Who’s It Best For: With an amazing combination of protection, traction, cushioning and flexibility, this shoe holds its own on a variety of trail surfaces from smooth dirt to extremely rocky and rugged. Our wear-testers liked it most on more technical trails that featured unpredictable, off-camber terrain, mostly because it allowed the grippy outsole to be utilized to the fullest. (On hard-packed dirt trails, the outsole bordered on being overkill and made the ride feel a bit firmer that it normally would.)

Plus: The 6mm outsole lugs are set in an alternating directional pattern, with half being angled for traction when braking and the other half tilted for traction when moving forward. The key to the shoe’s performance is due to the vertical flex grooves under the forefoot that allow for natural movement as the foot connects with obstacles on the trail.

Minus: This is the heaviest pair of Peregrines yet, largely due to the new outsole rubber.