Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 34 review
A shoe that has been known for its reliability, affordable price point, and bang for the buck. The Pegasus line has been around since 1983, and it has received numerous updates and overhauls till we arrived at the Pegasus 34.
How does this neutral runner fare against the competition? Is it any good? Let’s find out!
Upper of the Pegasus 34
The Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 34 uses a new FlyMesh upper which has improved ventilation.
Thanks to its design which features numerous holes in the upper, the new material provided extra comfort during a run on a hot and sunny day. You just feel the breeze in your feet, preventing heat build-up on longer runs.
It is not as breathable as Flyknit but for the price and practicality, FlyMesh does the job well enough. The tongue seems fairly secure when laced up and I did not have any issues with rubbing or sliding, unlike many shoes I’ve tried in the past.
Lacing System & Stability
Nike has opted for flat laces this year over the round ones used in the Pegasus 33, which lessens the likelihood of coming undone (presumably). It is coupled with the signature Flywire technology that tightens the whole midfoot when pulled, increasing its lockdown capabilities.
It runs down on both sides of the shoe and acts as a tie-down to the shoe. This is an edge that I feel many Nike shoes have over many competitors.
The heel cup has sort of a fused overlay that adds stability to the shoe, as it is stiff. I felt secure running in the shoes throughout its lifespan with no problems of heel slippage.
Midsole & Cushioning
Same as the Pegasus 33, it carries 2 Zoom Air units, one in the forefoot and one at the heel area to help give a springy responsive feel to the shoe when running. It is encased with Cushlon Foam, which is soft and provides good cushioning.
I like the fact that there is some room for the heel to splay towards the ground as you land, adding towards the cushioning comfort.
Oh, see the rocks and dirt in the picture? We’ll get to that later…
I also could tell that there was a difference in certain areas of the midsole, (i.e. the presence of the Air Zoom unit) but that really didn’t matter, I just thought that was interesting.
Outsole of the Nike Pegasus 34
Identical to the Pegasus 33, Nike continues with its raised hexagonal pattern on the rubber outsole that provides durability and traction, accompanied by a "rubber strip" on the lateral side to aid in the heel to toe transition. This provided me with a very smooth ride.
After clocking at least 150 miles in them, here are my final thoughts:
Initially, the shoe felt pretty tall, coupled with the 10mm heel to toe drop, it was a little uneasy as I felt too high off the ground. But as soon as I took my first 30 steps, I got comfortable pretty quickly as its cushiony and springy midsole felt simply amazing. I had no problems picking up the pace and soon it became my favorite daily running shoe.
The shoe also felt very snug in the forefoot/toebox at first, near the ball of the foot regardless of how I laced it. The forefoot is also not very flexible, perhaps due to the lacing system that has a similar reinforced, fused overlay that makes it stiff at the front. It felt annoying as my toes could not flex naturally.
However, as I wore it more often, I got used to it and felt that it was perhaps an intentional move to aid the performance aspect of the shoe, helping with toe-off as it does not bend easily. Either way, the snugness in the forefoot was no longer a hindrance.
The outsole is thick and gives the shoe some added longevity, but a personal pet peeve would be that the strips of rubber collected little rocks in-between them.
Unless you like collecting rocks from different running spots you’ve been to as if they were medals for your 34, you can either pick them out with a toothpick or leave them there as some do come off during runs on not so rocky routes, or flat out ignore it because it really does not affect your run unless it’s a really big rock that interferes.
Tip: see the best running shoes.