Facts

Base model: Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 36
Terrain: Trail
Arch support: Neutral
Use: All-day wear | Jogging
Weight: Men: 9.5oz | Women: 8.3oz
Heel to toe drop: Men: 10mm | Women: 10mm
Fit: Medium heel, Medium toe box, Medium forefoot
Pronation: Neutral Pronation
Arch type: High arch
Material: Mesh upper, Rubber sole
Features: Breathable
Strike Pattern: Heel strike
Distance: Daily running | Long distance | Marathon
Technology: Zoom Air, Flywire
Heel height: Men: 28mm | Women: 28mm
Forefoot height: Men: 18mm | Women: 18mm
Release date: Jun 2019
Brand: Nike
Width: Men: Normal | Women: Normal
Price: $130
Colorways: Green, Blue, Purple, Black, Grey, Brown, Red
Special editions: 3 special editions
Size
Small True to size Large
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Expert Reviews

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90 / 100 based on 12 expert reviews

  • 94 / 100 | Nikki Justice

    Trail hungry with Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 36 Trail

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    Nike’s mission is to bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world. Nike is a household brand name, and I was ecstatic to see their new trail running line because let’s be honest…road running shoes just don’t cut it on gnarly terrain.

    Cue the dramatic entrance - let’s all welcome the Nike Zoom Pegasus 36 Trail running shoe!

     

    Overview

    Back in my colligate track days, I used to train in the Nike Zoom Pegasus regularly. Thus, no stranger to the Nike Pegasus line, I was elated to see that Nike released a trail shoe that can suit my training needs.

    Make no mistake, the Nike Zoom Pegasus 36 Trail running shoe is very unique from the Zoom Pegasus road running line because the Zoom Pegasus 36 Trail is specific for trail running.

    The cushion and responsiveness from the Zoom Pegasus 36 Trail were definitely notable and made for a comfortable ride.

     

    First impressions

    Upon unboxing, I absolutely love the design of the Zoom Pegasus 36 Trail running shoe. The solid color scheme is perfect for my taste, and I’m thrilled that Nike decided to opt for a dark color outsole.

    If you’re a trail runner, you know you’re bound to run in some mud eventually. When possible, I prefer dark outsole because I know the shoes are bound to become dirty and I always try to keep my things looking nice.

    Therefore, I honestly couldn’t be happier with the overall look of the shoe.

     

     

    When I first put the Nike Zoom Pegasus 36 Trail shoe on, it doesn’t have the feel of a rigid trail shoe. In fact, it feels a lot like a road running shoe with ample cushion.

    Nike nailed it with the overall comfort of the Zoom Pegasus 36 Trail.

     

    Specifications

    Here is a quick break down of the Nike Zoom Pegasus 36 Trail specifications:

         Pronation Control      Neutral
         Stack Height      Medium
         Shoe Type      Trail Running
         Heel-to-toe Offset      10mm
         Weight      233g (women's), 293g (men's)

     

     

    Sizing

    I am no stranger to Nike, but I wasn’t familiar with their sizing for their new trail line. Despite typically wearing a size 9, I opted for a half-size increase because I sometimes wear thicker socks when I am trail running.

    The half-size increase perhaps might have been too much? I had a few issues with the heel of the shoes not locking down enough.

    This happened with both thick and thin socks alike. It is not noticeable when simply walking around in the shoes, but became obvious during my runs.

     

     

    I had ample space for steep trail descents as my toes typically have a propensity to hit the front of my shoes sometimes.

    I did not have any issues with this in the Zoom Pegasus 36 Trail for steep descents.

     

     

    Unfortunately, the only noticeable issue I had was with the heels as I mentioned. I attempted to synch the laces down in an effort to lock my heel down, but my heels continued to lack the locked down feel I desired.

    I doubt that the half size increase caused the inadequate heel lockdown because the heel issue wasn’t obvious until I was actively running.

     

     

    Otherwise, here are various shoe brands that I run in and my size chart to be used as a comparison in choosing the right size for yourself:

         New Balance      9
         Reebok      9
         Asics      9
         Brooks      9
         Altra      9
         Saucony      9.5
         Mizuno      9.5
         Inov-8      9.5
         Salomon      9.5
         On-Running      9.5
         Topo Athletic      9.5

     

     

    Upper/shoe shape

    I am totally a fan of the breathable mesh uppers of the Zoom Pegasus 36 Trail! I was very pleased with how breathable the shoes were in this hot late spring weather.

    The uppers have zero overlays, so I never had any issues with hotspots as they have a sock-like feel.

     

     

    In addition, I was impressed with the forefoot of the Zoom Pegasus 36 Trail as it is much roomier than I anticipated.

    Nike has a tendency to be a touch on the narrow side for some of their road running shoes and track spikes, but this certainly is not the case with the Zoom Pegasus 36 Trail.

     

     

    I think roomier toe boxes are all the rave right now. This trail shoe fits in perfectly, allowing for ample toe splay and propulsion off of your great toe.

    I am beyond impressed with the overall comfort of the upper and forefoot shape of these shoes.

     

     

    I am aware that the Pegasus line had some issues with the long tongue in the past, but the tongue on the Zoom Pegasus 36 Trail is very thin and light and I didn’t have any issues with it whatsoever.

    In fact, it was comfortable and never caused any irritation.

     

     

    Furthermore, I did appreciate the minimal overlays on the toe box to keep water out of the front of the shoe.

    It is important to be mindful that the shoe lacks a toe bumper, so there is limited protection for your toes. So, on that technical terrain, watch your step!

     

    Midsole & outsole

    The Zoom Pegasus 36 Trail has very resilient cushioning as it is constructed with a full-length midsole lightweight foam. In the heel and forefoot, there are Zoom Air units to help facilitate a smoother ride.

    The heel-to-toe offset sits at 10mm, which is a bit higher than my preferred offset. I understand that not all runners are seeking a zero-drop or minimal drop shoe, but I personally prefer an offset anywhere from 0-6mm.

     

     

    The Zoom Air units definitely make for a very comfortable ride on the trails in this shoe. There isn’t a stiff rock plate, so on extremely rocky/rooty terrain, you will not have much protection.

    Otherwise, on light gravel and on dirt roads, the shoes perform like a dream.

     

     

    The outsole is comprised of a few different types of rubber. In the forefoot, you’ll find a duralon blown rubber, as well as a carbon rubber to help with traction.

    The lateral aspects of the shoe have additional outsole cushioning as well to help with the overall comfortability of the shoe.

     

     

    The lugs on the outsole are not overly aggressive, measuring in at about 2mm. Thus, the lugs are about half the size of what I normally would prefer for a trail shoe.

    These lugs are small enough that they aren’t even noticeable when running on asphalt! One of the trail loops I frequently run has a quarter-mile stretch of asphalt road, and I didn’t notice the lugs beneath my feet each time I ran it.

     

     

    Moreover, I found them to be ample enough for your average trail, but not quite sticky enough for wet, slick, and rugged terrains.

    In my opinion, the Zoom Pegasus 36 Trail is best suited for less technical dirt trails, light gravel trails, and well-maintained trails.

     

     

    In addition, I tested the Zoom Pegasus 36 Trail shoes on highly technical terrain, and they performed decently.

    On slick rocks, I had some trouble with grip, so I desired for the lugs to be just a tad more aggressive for those gnarly trails. Otherwise, I loved them on well-groomed trails.

     

    Eyelets & shoelaces

    I’ve had some issues with shoelace lengths and eyelets on other models of shoes I’ve tested recently. No issues here. In fact, I love the bungee-cord style eyelets known as flywire cables on the Zoom Pegasus 36 Trail shoe.

     

     

    I think this helps to alleviate and evenly distribute some of the pressure off of your feet if you’re synching your shoes pretty tightly for your runs. The Zoom Pegasus 36 Trail encompasses a flat lace which also assists in evenly distributing pressure across the foot.

    I neither had any issues with shoelace length nor had any issues with untied shoes during my runs. In addition, the eyelets have an overlay to assist with locking down the shoe to the foot.

     

    Performance & comfort

    These kicks are certainly comfortable from the moment you put them on your feet. I’m a neutral runner, so I didn’t mind the fact that there wasn’t any added arch support.

    Most notably, I loved the cushioned feel of the Zoom Pegasus 36 trail shoes. As mentioned, I believe these shoes are best suited for light trails.

    The Zoom Pegasus 36 trail shoe would be a great addition for both experienced and new trail runners because of how comfortable and well-cushioned the ride is. I’ve become accustomed to firm trail running shoes, so it was nice to switch it up with a shoe that was less rigid for trail running.

     

     

    I wish there were more lockdown in the heels, but that is my only complaint. Notably, there was quite a bit of debris that would accumulate in my shoes in comparison to other trail shoes.

    It is possible that this is due to the loosely fitted heel cup which allowed debris to be kicked up into the shoes. Otherwise, I enjoyed the Zoom Pegasus 36 trail for my trail escapades!

    Pros

    • Zero break-in period required
    • Comfortable and feels a lot like a road running shoe
    • Breathable mesh upper
    • Wider forefoot for toe splay
    • Lightweight for a trail shoe   
    • Awesome cushioning
    • Great for both short and long distances

    Cons

    • Small, non-aggressive lugs
    • Not ideal for technical terrain
    • Heel lockdown issues
    • Lack of toe bumper
    • Higher offset than I prefer
    • Frequently accumulated debris inside the shoe

     

    Final thoughts

    The Zoom Pegasus 36 trail shoes are incredibly comfortable trail running shoes that feel a lot like road running shoes. I love that there was zero break-in period required for these trail shoes.

    Overall, Zoom Pegasus 36 trail shoes perform great on well-groomed trails. The only issue I had was with inadequate heel lockdown; otherwise, I didn’t experience any hotspots or blistering.

     

     

    I would accumulate debris in the shoes while running on gravel trails, which I believe is due to the loosely fitted heel. I loved the breathable mesh upper, which kept my feet cool on all of my trail escapades!

    I never felt weighed down during any of my runs because of how lightweight the Zoom Pegasus 36 trail shoes are. Even on my long distance runs of 10+ miles, the Zoom Pegasus 36 Trail remained comfortable.

    Definitely impressed! Bravo, Nike!

    This expert has been verified by RunRepeat. Reviews are neutral, unbiased and based on extensive testing.

  • 91 / 100 | Kris Ward

    Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 36 Trail – A jack of all trades and a master of shoes

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    Nike’s Pegasus is a long time tried and true road running shoe. The new Pegasus 36, however, is built for the trail.

    By adding in some slightly aggressive lugs, a tougher bottom, and some other innovative features, Nike has created a new type of trail running shoe: one that is not only great on the trail but also fun on the road and even supportive in the gym.

    The Pegasus 36 is a door to dirt shoe that is ready for just about anything. Keep reading and see why. Oh, and no, they do not glow in the dark (I tried… twice).

     

    The Nike Pegasus 36 Trail Shoe

    Tread

    Seeing aggressive lugs on a trail shoe is pretty standard. What Nike did is add a slope to the lugs, so they actually feel much smoother on landing and takeoff as compared to your more standard block style.

    While this does mean they are not going to be digging deep into mud as would something like the Salomon Speedcross 5, they still have plenty of grip for the average trail condition.

     

    You can see the different tread on the outer area as well as the angled lugs

     

    Notice the side of the shoe with the different styled pattern that is closer together and resembles more of a tire pattern. While I am not 100% sure the idea behind this, what it seems to do is to allow a very seamless transition when rolling the foot from heel (or mid) to toe.

    Typically, that is something you notice more in a good road shoe, but it is a welcome addition to the trail world. The back of the sole comes to a noticeable point, which also felt like it was adding to the smooth transition for each step.

    This also might have helped with some downhill running as it allowed the foot to find its grip much easier and move naturally.

     

     

    The sole itself is a tougher material which is desired with trail shoes to help prevent the foot from taking a beating due to rocks or roots. Where I mostly run in the Appalachian area, we have plenty of rocks to watch out for.

    While this tougher material did help, it was not so tough that my feet didn’t take a small bit of pounding. The kick-plate that comes up on the toe does its job well in helping to protect the toes in case you accidentally kick a root or one of the aforementioned rocks.

    Midsole

    The midsole has the Nike Zoom logo in it, which I instantly took to mean that I could expect some good feedback from these shoes. Again, I was not disappointed.

    I actually took these on a 5-mile road/gravel run first, and they provided as much if not more feedback than some of my regular road shoes. When I did take these to the trail, this translated to a slightly springier step which will help to prevent fatigue.

     

    They added a neat little statement to the midsole

     

    Now, you might think that by saying that the shoe will have a hard landing – not so much. It still absorbs each step in a cushioned way but not so much that I felt like I was sinking at all.

    Also, the soft inserts help with this, and the 10mm drop encourages more of a mid-foot landing which helps prevent landing on the heel and therefore might help protect the knees a bit more.

    Think of this design as a cross between a 0 drop shoe with little padding and higher heel shoe, which allows for heel striking without feeling the immediate pain. My personal opinion, this helps to create a more natural feel while running yet still provides some absorption power with a little assistance in the rebound department.

    Because of this, I also used these for some at home weight/HIIT workouts, and honestly, I really enjoyed them for this purpose. They were cushioned but not so much that it messed with my balance and provided a very solid and stable platform.

    Upper & toe box

    The upper - wow, that’s a bright color. Moving on.

     

    Plenty of holes for good breathability

     

    Nike’s design in the upper area of the shoe is a two-layered system. One of which is the outside material which breaths very well and the other is the inner layer, which is commonly referred to as the sock-liner.

    Though many brands incorporate some form of a sock-liner into the shoe, this one felt different, and I soon figured out why.

    No matter which of my sock I put on, be it a thicker cushioned sock or a much thinner sock, the shoe felt like a glove wrapping my foot just perfectly every time - thanks to the inner liner.

    The bright (so very bright) solid sections around the shoe, I believe are meant to help keep out water when splashing through smaller puddle areas, but I did not test this out directly.

    Since Nike made it, I’ll just assume it works!

     

    Hard to make out but this is a picture of the inner sock-liner with the regular outer layer in the background

     

    My only complaint with the upper area is that the snug glove like feeling also made the toe box feel a little restricted to me. This is all a matter of personal preference, but I prefer to feel that area be a little more open to allow the toes to spread wide in a natural way.

    To be fair, I did not have any direct issues on either trail or road when testing these shoes. The tongue in the upper area may be a thinner one, but it does not create friction or become a nuisance in any way.

    Just the opposite, in fact, it was nice not having one that was full of sweat when I finished my run!

     

    A good shot of the lace loops

     

    The lace design on the Pegasus 36 does deserve its own paragraph. This design has two little loops at each lace point, and while I questioned if this was for look or function, I quickly got my answer.

    These little loops stretch just enough so that when the foot lands, they give just a bit. This flexibility meant my feet never felt restricted, but also the shoe never felt loose.

    Heel

    The heel. That’s um… that’s a new one.

    I have never seen a heel that curved outwards. Also, it felt like the shoe was sitting lower on my heel than normal and that my feel was going to be slipping as a result.

     

    Focus on the curved heel back as opposed to the good looking leg! Also, you can see the pointy end of back tread.

     

    My other concern was with the curved outer area, dirt, pebbles, and maybe small twigs would quickly gather and get in my shoe. Fortunately, my fears were misplaced.

    As soon as I took off, my heel stayed comfortable and right in-place the entire time. Also, I never had any issue with debris getting in the shoes no matter where I ran.

    Overall

    What the Pegasus 36 turns out to be is much more than a shoe for just trail runners. This is the shoe that will happily take you from your front door, down the road, to the trail, and back home.

    It is responsive enough for the road but provides enough grip for the average trail. I even went as far as to use these when lifting because the tough support from the trail design meant I wasn’t uneven or sinking while holding weights but the cushion was just right to allow HIIT movements while still having good stability.

    All-in-all, this is the most does-anything/goes-anywhere shoe I have tested, and I think it will be a welcome addition to most anyone’s selection. Maybe in a different color though.

    This expert has been verified by RunRepeat. Reviews are neutral, unbiased and based on extensive testing.

  • 90 / 100 | The Ginger Runner | | Level 5 expert

    This is the type of shoe that I love in summer months when you're balancing those road speed days and short trail days.

  • 95 / 100 | Sarah Simoni | | Level 1 expert

    I'm a big fan, so far. I think if you're transitioning from road running to trail running and you like the Nike Pegasus series, this is a really good shoe.

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  • The Nike Pegasus series brings back its trail running model after almost two decades. This time around, the Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 36 Trail boasts of a fresh new look and updated features, while still retaining the signature fit and structure of the Pegasus road running shoe.
  • A perforated mesh forms the upper of this shoe, which differs significantly from the road shoe version of the Pegasus 36. Because it is a trail shoe, it includes additional details that serve as protection from outdoor elements that could potentially cause injuries.
  • Meanwhile, the sole unit presents a similar build of Cushlon foam and Zoom Air pods in the midsole and classic blown rubber on the outsole. Lastly, the Duralon outsole’s functionality is augmented with the addition of multidirectional lugs that aid in traction on rugged terrain.

The Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 36 Trail follows the construction of the other releases of the Pegasus shoe series, which means it follows the standard running shoe length. Runners should expect a fit that is true-to-size. The shoe also possesses an anatomical shape that goes along the natural curvature of the foot, especially for wearers with a moderate foot volume.

The outsole of the Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 36 Trail uses two kinds of compounds. In the forefoot is the Duralon blown rubber, which is a lightweight material that provides multi-surface traction for a smooth ride. Because of its lightness, the Duralon blown rubber gives a soft sensation during toe-off.

On the other hand, the rest of the outsole is made with Nike’s own carbon rubber compound, called the BRS 1000. Compared to Duralon, the BRS 1000 is designed to be more robust and longer-lasting, thus effectively shielding the rest of the sole unit from wear and tear.

A set of multidirectional lugs on the Air Zoom Pegasus 36 Trail supplies the shoe with the necessary traction from running on rugged terrain. It also lends a little cushioning.

A rubber crash rail on the outsole’s lateral side acts as a supple platform that aids in flexible and smooth transitions.

The Zoom Air technology is the main feature of the Air Zoom Pegasus 36 Trail. It is found in the heel and forefoot areas of the midsole. These air-filled elements deliver a close-to-ground feel that allows for better mobility and maneuverability. The uniqueness of the Zoom Air is the impact cushioning it provides in spite of its thin and lightweight characteristics. The Nike Air Zoom Vomero 14 is a road-running shoe that also features the Air Zoom technology.

A full-length Cushlon foam makes up the rest of the midsole. It has resilient and bouncy qualities that enable a responsive ride.

A unit of perforated mesh is the most significant component of the Air Zoom Pegasus 36 Trail’s upper. The material is built to protect the foot from rocks and other debris the runner might encounter on the trail. It is also designed to provide ventilation to keep the foot dry from sweat or moisture that enters the shoe.

Synthetic overlays are also present in the upper to give midfoot support and structural integrity. It doubles as the integrated eyelets for the lacing system.

The lacing system is traditional lace-up closure that is aided by Flywire cables, a common feature of many Nike running shoes. These Flywire cables add to the supportive quality, as well as improve the overall fit of the shoe.

Comparison