Saucony has launched its first new trail running shoe of 2022: the Peregrine 12, which is super lightweight and available in variants for both hard, rocky surfaces and slick, muddy tracks. The Peregrine 12 is 30g lighter than its predecessor, weighing 275g for the men's model and 235g for the women's, and its sockliner contains the same PWRRUN cushioning the Endorphin and Ride road shoes.
The Peregrine's upper has received a redesign for 2022, and is now more streamlined and breathable. Pliable overlays protect from rocks, roots and debris. It also has an updated PWRTRAC outsole for extra traction, making it easier to push off with each step.
The shoe is also equipped with a D-ring so you can attach gaiters for running on loose soil, sand, or even snow.
Get a grip
For wet and slippery conditions, the Peregrine 12 ST has longer multi-directional lugs for extra grip, with extra spacing in between so muck slides out between each step rather than clogging the sole. The upper is reinforced with 3D-printed overlays, plus a mesh shield over the tongue to prevent grit and stones working their way inside.
The shoe will be available from Saucony's online store (opens in new tab) and third-party retailers from February 1.
Opinion: mud, mud, glorious mud
Sales of treadmills and exercise bikes might have boomed as gyms shut their doors during the pandemic, but many people chose to stray into the great outdoors for their regular workouts. In its latest fitness report, Garmin reported a huge increase in the number of trail cycling workouts logged using its app, and a survey by the American Trail Running Association (opens in new tab) found that most off-road runners had spent the same amount of time or more on the trails in 2020 than 2019.
It's easy to see why: trail and fell running are great fun, and allow you to explore beautiful locations well away from traffic and noise. They also present a very different challenge to road running. You're using more muscles, balance is important, and you need to be more aware of where you're putting each foot.
However, you do need to prepare, and that means getting the right footwear; as many a runner has discovered when embarking on their first off-road 10k, a pair of specialized shoes are essential. Your trusty road shoes will offer no purchase at all on slimy tracks, and before you know it, you'll be sliding down a bank into a ditch.
For tackling technical courses with plenty of rocks and tree roots, it's also a good idea to get some training on technique. Downhills in particular are much more fun when you're able to build up some speed rather than nervously picking your way between obstacles.
If you're curious, look for a qualified coach near you who can take you through the basics, or help build your skills if you've already had your first taste of mud (metaphorically or literally). If you're not sure where to begin, your nearest trail running club should be able to offer some recommendations.