Summary

We spent 10.2 hours reading reviews from experts and users. In summary, this is what runners think:

6 reasons to buy

  • Some people claimed that the underfoot cushioning system was comfortable and responsive to movements.
  • The upper unit was praised for hugging the foot securely without limiting movement.
  • The fabrics of the façade were lauded for being smooth and free of irritants like unnecessary seams.
  • Several runners complimented the lightweight structure of the Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 36, stating that the whole product didn’t drag their feet down.
  • According to a tester, the lacing system and the heel collar were able to hold the foot in place and prevent in-shoe quivering.
  • The gripping ability of the outsole was praised by those who have worn this shoe.

1 reasons not to buy

  • A couple of purchasers claimed that the width profile of this shoe was narrower than their usual fare.

Bottom line

The Air Zoom Pegasus 36 was generally able to garner positive feedback from those who have tested it. This Nike running shoe was apparently comfortable and reactive to the natural motion of the foot. The fabrics that embody the façade are also considered to be elements that agree with the outline of the foot. On the other hand, there were a few reports of a too-tight interior chamber.

The 36th iteration of the Pegasus line is a neutral running shoe that’s made for the roads. Aside from normal pronation, the cushioning system can support the supinated structure of underpronators’ arches.

Facts

Rankings

A top rated Road running shoe
A top rated Nike running shoe
Top 1% most popular running shoes

Expert Reviews

88 / 100 based on 29 expert reviews

  • 75 / 100 |

    Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 36: Consistent or Boring?

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    From the vast, open plains of South Africa to the dense concrete jungles of Singapore, you can bet your bottom dollar that on any run, any time of day, you will pass at least a handful of people wearing the Nike Pegasus.

     

     

    The popularity of the Nike Pegasus stems from three main reasons:

    1. It is well-priced: at $120 the Pegasus is bang for the buck. You get a shoe that will last a long time and is well below the average price of modern running shoes.
    2. It is consistent: you always know what kind of ride you will get with the Pegasus. If you were to blindfold me and make me run in any version of the Pegasus, I could tell you that I'm running in the Pegasus—the ride is that distinct.
    3. It is widely available. Most large malls have a Nike store, and every Nike store carries the Pegasus. The Pegasus is also available through an array of third party resellers and online shops.

     

     

    Every second year is a big update where the midsole, outsole and upper all change. The Pegasus 36 is an in-between year where only the upper gets updated. Some might see this approach by Nike as an "if it isn't broken, don't fix it" strategy.

    But, I think Nike should take more risks and change the upper, midsole, and outsole every year: it keeps things fresh and innovative. It's also not like Nike can't afford to buy new molds and machinery every year to manufacture a brand new shoe.

    The highly anticipated Pegasus 37 is rumoured to have a React midsole instead of a Cushlon. This should make the shoe softer and lighter.

    I have run in every Pegasus since the Pegasus 30, and after every run in the Pegasus, no matter what version, I think to myself that this is the perfect goldilocks shoe.

    It's firm but not too firm, stable but not motion controlling, heavy but not too heavy. Even the price is not too cheap or not too expensive. Everything about the shoe is "just right." Now some might see you this as boring; others might see it as consistent.

     

    Specifications

    Surface type Road
    Weight 283g
    Drop 10mm
    Price $120
    Technology Zoom Air

     

    Upper and comfort

    The main difference between the Pegasus 35 and the 36 is the upper. The tongue loses its padding and becomes a race-type tongue. This change makes the Pegasus 36 slightly roomier than the Pegasus 35.

    I prefer the 35's upper purely from a comfort point of view. I have narrow feet, so I prefer to have a snug fit. The tongue of the 36 is also too short, so it slips downwards on runs.

    The Nike Vomero 14 had the same tongue as the Pegasus 36, but Nike brought out a second version of the Vomero 14 with a padded, longer tongue. This is proof that Nike realises that they made a mistake with the tongues of their latest shoes.

     

     

    The synthetic mesh has perforations to enhance breathability. There are Flywire cables on the midfoot to provide support and a molded heel counter that flares away from the foot at the top.

     

     

    I found my heel to slip slightly even when I tied the laces with a heel lock and very tightly. The heel slip wasn't as bad as the React Infinity Run Flyknit, but it was still present.

     

     

    The most exciting thing about the upper is the floral print inspired by Tokyo. It resembles the two different sides of Tokyo: the new and the old.

     

     

    Midsole and ride

    My favourite Pegasus was the 35 because it had a smoother ride than the previous versions due to the full-length Zoom Air pocket. Versions 33 and 34 had really lumpy forefoots where the forefoot Zoom Air bags were situated.

    The Pegasus 36 has the same midsole as the 35, and while you can't really feel the Zoom Air unit because it's so thin, it's comforting to know that it's there.

     

     

    The Pegasus 36 is one of the few Nike running shoes to still use their old Cushlon foam technology which feels a bit flat. It doesn't have the bounce or softness of their React and ZoomX foams. The Cushlon midsole makes the ride of the Pegasus 36 very 'old school.'

    I went for a variety of different runs in my Pegasus 36, including recovery, tempo, and long runs. The Pegasus 36 could handle all of them but felt the best on tempo runs shorter than 15km, under 6 minutes per kilometer.

    The longest run I took in the Pegasus 36 was a 25km easy run, and while my feet felt fine, my legs and whole body felt tired, and I couldn't wait to end my run.

     

     

    Transitions are very smooth due to the full-length Zoom Air unit, the one-piece midsole and the full contact outsole.

    Outsole

    My favourite part of the Pegasus 36 is hands down the outsole. It's made from a hard carbon rubber that can rival the most durable rubbers on the planet. It's the same outsole carried over from the Pegasus 35, so it still has a great grip on wet and dry surfaces.

     

     

    The outer heel area is segmented into rails which bare the brunt of the impact if you're a heel striker.

     

     

    It's a full-contact outsole, so I expect to get at least 1000km of running out of the Pegasus 36.

    On the Pegasus 35, at the point at the back, the midsole separated from the outsole rubber. So far, I haven't had that happen on the Pegasus 36 but be on the lookout for it.

     

    Flexibility

    The shoe flexes in the forefoot and very quickly snaps back into place. This makes the Pegasus very good at tempo runs. The Zoom Air unit is full length so to make the shoe flexible, Nike reduced the thickness of the Zoom Air unit.

     

    Stability

    The firm, low to the ground midsole ensures that the Pegasus is a very stable shoe. There is no lean bias, and there is some under arch support which is comforting for pronators. You can feel it while walking around, but you can't feel it when running.

     

    Comparisons

    Pegasus 36 vs Pegasus 35

    Both shoes have the exact same midsole and outsole, but the Pegasus 35 has the more comfortable upper due to the padded tongue. The Pegasus 35 is also much cheaper than the 36, so I choose the Pegasus 35.

    Pegasus 36 vs the Pegasus Turbo 2

    The Pegasus Turbo 2 has the dual foam ZoomX and React midsole which gives it a more sophisticated ride character. It's softer, more responsive and lighter than the Pegasus 36 but it does cost a lot more at $180. I still prefer the Pegasus Turbo 2.

    Pegasus 36 vs Vomero 14

    I didn't enjoy the Vomero 14 at all. The React foam in the midsole just feels lifeless and dull to me. There is also a lack of cushioning in the forefoot. The Vomero 14 is more expensive than the Pegasus 36. I prefer the Pegasus 36.

     

    The verdict

    In an ever-changing world, the Pegasus is the only constant. The Nike Pegasus 36 is a dependable, consistent trainer. It has similar ride characters from year to year, is good value for money and is good for most types of short runs.

    If you have the Pegasus 35, I wouldn't recommend getting the Pegasus 36. The Pegasus has a more comfortable, better upper but does weigh a bit more.

    If you like the old school combination of Zoom Air and Cushlon foam, technologies that Nike has been using for over a decade, the Pegasus 36 is the shoe for you. I find it boring and prefer the new softer, more dynamic super foam shoes of today.

    One thing the Pegasus 36 is not is fun. From the Asics GlideRide with its distinct rocker to the New Balance Propel with its cloud-like softness, to the Nike React Infinity Run with its thick spongy midsole, they are all fun rides.

    The Pegasus 36, in comparison, feels firm and flat. The Pegasus feels like it doesn't have any character. It doesn't inspire or motivate me to want to run more.

     

    Pros

    • Great value for money
    • Widely available in a plethora of colours
    • Very little differences in ride from year to year

    Cons

    • Upper is not as good as the now cheaper Pegasus 35
    • Midsole is energy-sapping and uninspiring
    • Not a fun ride
  • 96 / 100 |

    The Nike Pegasus 36, does the legacy still thrive?

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    The Nike Pegasus line has been a legacy in the running shoe market since 1983. It has provided runners with a new daily trainer every year. Those trainers have been pretty good too, being favorites of all kinds of runners from elite to casual runners.

     

     

    This running shoe is personally one of my favorites. And, if you liked last year's version, the Pegasus 35, then you'll most likely like this one as well.

    First impressions/looks

    I like the aesthetics of this shoe a lot. Right out of the box, the 'volt green' colorway caught my eye right away. The design of the shoe is very simple and sleek.

    Depending on which colorway you purchase, you can pop out with neon colors or lay low with darker colors. It looks nearly ídentical to last year's iteration, so if you like the look of that shoe, then you'll like this too.

    Upper

    The Pegasus 36 upper seems a lot more breathable and thinner than the 35, which I enjoy more. A more noticeable change is a thinner, shorter tongue, which I could care less for because I enjoyed the 35.

    I really enjoy the newer upper of this shoe. It reminds me of a combination of a flyknit and the Pegasus 35 mesh that was used last year.

     

     

    The upper of this shoe also has flywire, which is made to add a better lockdown to the shoe, which I think hugs the foot pretty well.

    Midsole

    The midsole of this shoe is the same as last year's Pegasus, which is good because most people liked the midsole a lot of the 35.

    The midsole is a Cushlon foam, with the inside having a full-length Zoom Air unit. That unit is meant to make the shoe more responsive and provide a bouncier ride.

     

    Outsole

    The outsole of this shoe is the same as last year as well. I like the outsole a lot, so I'm happy Nike did not change it at all.

     

     

    The outsole is excellent for roads and dirt trails, having a good amount of three different kinds of rubber in the outsole. The outsole also allows a lot of flexibility in the right places which I enjoy.

    Ride

    The ride of this shoe is very similar to the Pegasus 35 but has a little different feeling. I believe it is the upper, as I said before the 36 upper seems a lot more breathable and thinner than the 35, which I enjoy more.

    A bigger difference is a thinner, shorter tongue. The tongue is very similar to the Vomero 14's tongue, which caused irritation and was uncomfortable. However, it doesn't feel bad like the Vomero.

     

     

    That could be because the Pegasus 36 seems to have softer and stretchier laces than I believe the Pegasus 35 and Vomero 14 had. That being said, I didn't have any problem with the Pegasus 35 tongue and felt that it shouldn't have been changed.

    Overall, though the shoe is great for various kinds of runs, I use it on mainly maintenance/recovery days, and workout days.

    I did a long and a tempo day with them. While I have other shoes I mainly use for that (Zoom Fly Flyknit), they will do perfectly fine on those runs.

    One example of a workout I did was 11 x 320m, finishing with 8 x 200m (~5 min. pace). The shoe felt perfect with the right amount of cushioning and responsiveness.

    I also did 11 x 2 minutes hard pace workout (160 m track) and felt absolutely great, especially on the 2-mile warmup and cooldown. The cushioning definitely helped.

    On the recovery days, these shoes feel great with the right amount of cushioning for various distances.

    Price

    The retail price of this shoe is $120, which I believe is the perfect price for this shoe. The shoe is high quality, and very versatile while being comfortable too. I think if you plan to use this for everyday training, then $120 is worth it.

     

    Conclusion

    In my opinion, these shoes are perfect for what a daily trainer should be. They have the right amount of cushioning for intervals on the track to long runs.

    They are breathable, and they have enough outsole depth for trails that also work on roads. They are the perfect weight for a workhorse shoe.

    The Pegasus 36 is a daily trainer for any kind of run. Whether you're a world-class runner or a local, casual runner, these shoes will get the job done no matter what distance or how fast you are; they will not disappoint.

  • 90 / 100 | kofuzi | | Level 2 expert

    Overall, just really enjoying my time with the Pegasus 36.

  • 80 / 100 | Pursuing 26.2 | | Level 1 expert

    Personally, I like this shoe a little bit less than the 35.

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Author
Jens Jakob Andersen
Jens Jakob Andersen

Jens Jakob is a fan of short distances with a 5K PR at 15:58 minutes. Based on 35 million race results, he's among the fastest 0.2% runners. Jens Jakob previously owned a running store, when he was also a competitive runner. His work is regularly featured in The New York Times, Washington Post, BBC and the likes as well as peer-reviewed journals. Finally, he has been a guest on +30 podcasts on running.

jens@runrepeat.com