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!
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.
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.
Here is a quick break down of the Nike Zoom Pegasus 36 Trail specifications:
|Shoe Type||Trail Running|
|Weight||233g (women's), 293g (men's)|
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:
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!
- 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
- 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
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!
The Nike brand has long been an American household name. As a short, basketball-skill-deficient 6th grader I remember pining after a shiny pair of Air Jordans that my family was too poor to buy.
From its humble beginnings on an Oregon track to its global presence these days Nike has always been one of those companies associated with a variety of sports and has been at the forefront of shoe design and innovation.
Whether it's through Jordan, Prefontaine, Kipchoge, or one of the numerous other athletic icons that the Nike brand supports, we all know the product name.
More recently, Nike has made a bigger push to move into the ever-expanding trail running scene. Nike sponsored athletes like Zach Miller, Sally McRay and Dave Laney all have been putting up impressive times at big races like UTMB and Western States.
Being primarily a trail runner, I was excited to give the Air Zoom Pegasus 36 Trail a go and see what they have to offer.
Having run in Nike road shoes before I was a touch concerned going in because I've always experienced the toe box as being a little too snug for my liking.
However, the Air Zoom Pegasus 36 Trail shoe is designed with the needs of the trail runner in mind and has a well-designed toe box with just enough room for the toes to spread out.
This toe splay is enough to help with forefoot stability and enhances that responsive feel on the trail that we all want, but not so liberal that the shoe feels sloppy or loose. With that said, the toe box is roomy for a Nike but still on the snug side compared to brands like Altra or Hoka.
The Pegasus 36 Trail has a super light feel when you slip it on. The airy mesh of the upper cocoons your foot nicely and its supple fabric makes for a comfortable fit.
The shoe has a nice arch support, and the insert is very easy on the foot.
The heel cup has a very solid fit. I didn't experience any slippage, even when climbing.
The outer portion of the heel has a funky design with almost a ¨dorsal ridge¨ on it. The reflective patch is a nice safety touch (but this colorway sort of glows in the dark anyhow).
The Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 36 Trail impressed me straight out of the box. It’s lightweight, stylish, bright and fits with comfort that ́s expected of a much more seasoned and broken-in shoe.
My first run was a solid 8 miles of single-track rolling dirt trails, and the Pegasus 36 Trail did not disappoint. The upper mesh is extremely breathable and keeps your foot very aerated.
It also shed water with ease and doesn't have a bunch of unnecessary foam that might sop up water and weigh you down.
The tread pattern on these shoes is just right. Truth be told, I would regard this shoe as an All-Terrain shoe.
The 3mm lugs handled the dedicated trail nicely, and the transition miles on the pavement on the way to the trailhead were spot on. Never did I have a moment where I felt like I was running pavement in a trail shoe.
I give this shoe high praise for finding its home in both worlds. It’s light and responsive like a road shoe, yet gritty enough to handle a hardcore trail.
One innovative feature on this shoe is the lacing system. The string loops that augment the rugged eyelets are more than just extra pieces of nylon cord.
They extend all the way back down both sides of the shoe and anchor themselves on the foot-bed. This combined with the gusseted tongue that ties into the upper and forms a one piece, cohesive sock-like liner for the foot.
These features together help to eliminate the use of heavy, more rigid plastics that would detract from the comfort of the shoes and add weight.
The tongue is super thin. This worried me at first, but once the shoe was laced up tight, my fears were quickly relieved. In fact, the tongue design itself appears to be a small stroke of genius.
I suffer from tongue float. Almost every shoe I run in has this problem. After a few miles, the tongue floats to the outer edge of my foot.
The Pegasus 36 Trail has an asymmetrical tongue that extends high on the outer edge. My working assumption is that this extra fabric helps catch an edge and keeps the tongue from sliding down into the nether regions of the shoe.
The Zoom Air midsole offers an excellent level of cushion. I would call this shoe moderately cushioned. On the 43 miles I've run so far in these, I have experienced a high level of comfort.
There's enough cushion to save your sole from the unfortunate rock or root but not so much that you feel like you're running on pillows.
For trail running I find the 10mm drop to be just a little too much, however, when considering this shoe sizes up as an all-terrain shoe the 10mm drop is welcome when transitioning to road or fat pedestrian trails.
I've put these shoes through the ringer over their first 40+ miles on my feet, and I can say that they are no worse for the wear. The uppers, despite how light and supple the fabric is, are holding up very well.
One downside of the uppers is that they don't really offer a whole lot in the way of sidewall protection. With that in mind, this shoe is probably not the best choice for super rugged trail or alpine talus running.
The sole is in fantastic shape after some moderate use, and the Nike compound is holding up well. I expect that these shoes will easily surpass the 450-mile limit that I impose on most of my shoes.
It should be noted that the stylish day-glow colorway will not last long if you're really running trails!
- Unique lacing stability system
- Upper fabric offers little side protection
- 10mm drop
The Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 36 Trail is a solid shoe. With a sole that's built for the trail and an upper that rides like a lightweight road running shoe, the Pegasus 36 Trail achieves the best of both worlds.
Light and responsive on the trail the Pegasus 36 Trail handles a variety of terrain, drains water with ease and keeps your feet cool and dry. The cushioning is right where it should be for a trail shoe.
It is priced appropriately at $130.00. Overall, I really like this shoe and plan to use it on most of my mid-distance trail races this summer.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
Nike Pegasus 36 Trail Specs:
- Pronation: Neutral
- Terrain: Trail
- Offset: 10mm (28mm:18mm)
- Price: £115
The upper of the Nike Pegasus 36 Trail is made of a double layer mesh that allows the foot to breathe. This mesh looks quite thick but does a good job of allowing air to flow around your foot, especially on hot days.
I did find that wearing a thick sock wasn’t very comfortable on warm days so a compromise may be needed depending on whether you want a cushioning from socks or optimum breathability.
The tongue of the shoe is gusseted, meaning that the tongue extends to the midsole, preventing any slippage of the tongue and giving a stable feel around the foot.
The Flywire lacing system has been around in Nike footwear for a long time and it has multiple strands for each insertion point, which allows for a more precise fit.
The Flywire is also supported by traditional eyelets to increase durability and lockdown of the foot, welcomed when running down technical, rocky terrain.
The heel cup on the shoe is what you’d expect from an average Nike shoe, but doesn’t provide sufficient lockdown on technical uphill trails. I got this sensation early on in the run after running uphill, making me want to tighten the laces.
On a couple of occasions, due to the great ability to tighten the shoes, my foot would start to ache from the tightness of the laces, I have very narrow feet and usually have a hard time tightening shoes to my preference so the slight lack of stability from the heel cup is easily improved by tightening the laces.
The upper has a rubber treatment around the lower parts, as seen in numerous trail shoes to keep dirt and water out. The rubber on the Pegasus does a great job protecting the foot from conditions you’d expect from the trail.
Usually, I find this kind of upper isn’t great at shedding water on more unforgiving terrain such as bogs or streams but the rubber doesn’t cover the middle part of the shoe so water drains easily.
The heel cup is comfortable and the tab at the back is angled away from the foot to prevent any hotspots. The tab seems to come up quite high and I was worried there might be a friction problem but I haven’t had any problems thus far.
The royal blue laces have a small amount of giving and are nice and thin, preventing them from coming undone. The laces are a perfect length to use a double knot with no excess lace to get in the way.
The midsole of the shoe is full of Zoom air units that cushion the shoe in the same way that air in a tire absorbs impact. The Zoom units feel like they are only partially inflated as the ride is comfortably smooth and forgiving.
The Zoom units are complemented by Cushlon foam which gives the shoe unrivaled cushioning - the perfect combination of flexibility and cushioning needed for medium-length trail runs.
The ride throughout is extremely flexible and responsive, I would recommend it both for speed sessions and recovery runs.
This shoe does not claim to have any measures to help support the foot such as a medial post or any other reinforcements.
And even as someone who favors flexibility over support, after a 13-mile technical trail run, I did find my feet were pretty achy and my right old ankle injury pain in my arch returned.
If you are a runner with any need for support, this shoe may only be suitable for race day when the distance is short and the need for support is minimal.
The midsole doesn’t feature a rock plate to protect from any sharp and pointy’s during your run. I presume Nike chose to abstain in order to shave weight and tailor this shoe to a specific terrain and customer.
I find with the majority of trail shoes that they perform perfectly on hard-packed trails with minimal gravel and angle of descent and, as a fell runner, I find that they could always have more to offer in terms of protection and traction which brings us to the outsole.
The outsole has 1.5mm lugs with more aggressive tread along the entire lateral portion of the sole. I have seen this Crash Rail on Nike shoes before, it is there to enable runners to change direction without the risk of losing traction.
The shoes I bought have a bright orange/coral tread that gives the shoe a vibrant appearance, this is the same with more or less all color combinations I have seen on the web.
I have tried the shoe out on a variety of different surfaces and have found them to be very versatile, they perform perfectly on road, and I haven’t found the tread has worn down at all from the run to and from the trails.
This shoe is great on canal towpaths, with the cushioning and traction allowing for a very fast run. Running on dry trails and moderately rocky paths, the Nike Pegasus 36 Trail breeze through, maintaining traction well on descents.
Once the rain pours, these shoes struggle to maintain traction even on the less muddy trails. This shoe seems to be designed for hotter climates and therefore shouldn’t be expected to perform well.
Ultimately, they do what it says on the box, giving confidence in terms of traction on a pretty wide variety of trails.
That being said, this shoe would not be up to the wet winters of the UK with these Nikes struggling when presented with more than about a millimeter of mud.
Nike has taken a bold leap in terms of design recently and it has paid off. The contrasting colors are very bold and fun, with an inconspicuous black option also available.
The increased number of Flywires give the shoe an extra pop of color and increase fit and durability.
The trail line also has some fancy writing printed on the shoe - on the inside of the midsole and on the tongue. This gives the shoe a more rugged, somewhat military feel compared with the polished look of the Nike road shoe range.
The bonded rubber around the low part of the upper gives protection and has shown no signs of wear after 100 miles of testing. The back of the midsole and outsole at the heel has a slightly pointed rear, this seems to be for aerodynamics and aesthetics.
Overall I really like the look of this shoe, the contrasting colors give it a very up-to-date look.
Performance & durability
In terms of performance, this shoe is perfect for agility. The flexibility of the midsole and outsole give the shoe a very responsive feel.
It has adequate cushioning for overall protection but enough feel of the ground to maintain proprioception when on technical, tricky terrain.
This shoe is nearly the jack of all trades in terms of terrain but the small lugs that enable running on the road are a compromise on the grip in more challenging environments.
The upper has no signs of wear and looks to be very durable. There is a crease on the rubber at the front when walking or running but this doesn’t look like it will cause any rips in the future.
The cushioning on the midsole showed creases from very early on in testing, I presume this is because of the very soft cushioning. These creases have not had any effect on the cushioning in general and the midsole hasn’t been compromised at all after 100+ miles of testing.
The outsole lugs haven’t worn down at all from testing on most hard surfaces, including some road on the way to the trails. And I’m sure these shoe traction will be suitable for trail for the lifetime of the shoe.
In conclusion, I would recommend this shoe to anyone looking for a durable, comfortable, stylish shoe to use for all summer runs. This shoe was built to enable people to enjoy running on a vast variety of trails and they definitely seem to belong on accessible but mountainous trails.
I would use this shoe to race trail but look forward to trying the Nike Terra Kiger 6 and Wildhorse 6 in the future as I feel they may be more suitable for racing. The Nike Pegasus 36 Trail seems to be made for enjoyment rather than aggression with the plush cushioning and 10 mm drop.
In terms of daily use, I would have this shoe in my rotation for the majority of my runs but would need to supplement them with a more supportive shoe for long and recovery runs.
There are a couple of colour options available, a few subtle ones, and also the trendy white with bright colours.
I have the white one, which is not very practical, but, at the same time, the shoe got a nice patina already on the first run.
On a quick look the Pegasus 36 Trail looks just like any running shoe. This is because the toe protection and outer sole profile are not that very distinct.
Nike's typical "back tail" is new on trails. I think they look cool.
The upper is made of some kind of double-layered mesh. It breathes well.
There is not too much room for toes, height-wise. So, even when the shoe seems to be true to size, if your toes point up I'd recommend going half a size up.
On the edges around the toe box, there is a strong but flexible layer protecting toes from tree roots, branches, rocks, and whatnots.
Lastly, Nike talks a lot about the lacing system. However, I don't feel anything particularly good or bad about it.
This is a neutral shoe, so there’s no particular arch support. Just like with the non-trail "normal" Pegasus, the sole and the entire shoe feels fitted.
Through the inner sole under my forefoot, I can feel some of the sole structure. It doesn't matter much, but you may know the feeling.
This is a very cushioned trail shoe, and the under forefoot cushioning feels very similar to the one on Brooks Cascadia or Asics FujiTrabuco. Not only that, it also a flexible shoe.
It feels wonderfully soft, but I think the bottom sole should be slightly harder. Alternatively, there should be a rock guard to protect more.
As the entire sole is so soft you can feel an occasional bigger sharp rock just a bit too much.
The drop of this shoe for both men and women is 10mm, which means your heel is 10mm higher than your toes. It is quite a big drop, but it is just the way I like it.
The weight of the women’s shoe is 233g, which is probably an average for a trail or any running shoe.
The entire shoe fits like a glove. The width is nearly perfect for me, definitely narrower than Nike Wildhorse.
There is a heel cup that is flexible and well-cushioned. The back of the heel comes high up, but it curves out perfectly so you won't get any chafing. Also, the collar is cut very low on the side.
As mentioned, I'd recommend going half a size up because of the rather shallow toe box.
Also, when running downhill, as you often do on trails, your foot moves forward and your toes might hit the front of the shoe. Going half a size up might be a good idea in any case.
I wonder why the top of the tongue was left so plain and hard when the rest of the tongue is cushioned and soft. I feel the top edge rubbing against my ankle every now and then.
I tend to wear higher socks when wearing these shoes to avoid chafing. The top edge of the tongue is cut asymmetrically, the outer side being longer/higher. To be honest, I am not quite sure why.
Normally, the tongue moves slightly outwards when running. So, maybe this is to avoid that from happening or maybe it gives your feet better protection.
It hasn't rained in a couple of months here in California, so I haven't tried them on wet surfaces. I have run on tarmac, sand, grass, gravel, rocks. and bark mulch, and have not had any problems.
The bottom nodules are cut flat, which makes running on road much more pleasant than on many other trail shoes.
As the bottom sole profile is not very deep/high, I doubt this is good on soft wet surfaces. But, then again, most generic trail shoes aren't.
All in all, 70 miles in, I can highly recommend these Nike's when combining dry trails with some parts on road, given that you like cushioned and high drop shoes.
- Very comfortable fitted form
- Works well on road too (but naturally wears out the sole faster)
- Upper edge of the tongue is a bit hard
- No rock plate
- Toe box is a bit shallow
Pink is a daring color for a manufacturer to choose for men’s running shoes. It was the vibrancy and uniqueness of the color scheme that initially caught my eye.
I have been a fan of Pegasus road shoes for several years, but Nike was never really an obvious trail shoe choice for me. In fact, this was my first Nike trail shoe, and I have been pleasantly surprised by the offering.
The bold color scheme sure drew a lot of attention wherever I went. For those out there who aren’t that fond of garish colours, there are also several other options available.
From the moment I set off on my first run, I was impressed by how light and nimble the Pegasus Trail felt. I was instantly comfortable.
This is unusual for me, as it normally takes me a decent period to become acquainted with a new pair of shoes.
Sometimes, I never get truly comfortable with a pair of shoes and just learn to tolerate their shortcomings until I replace them. This is not the case with the Pegasus Trail, and they quickly became a firm favorite of mine.
My Pegasus Trails were called upon to perform in a diverse mix of conditions. To be honest, I pushed them way beyond their intended purpose, and they performed admirably.
These shoes weren’t designed for some of the technical terrains I subjected them to, as they lack a rock plate and toe protection, but they did an acceptable job in this terrain.
The Pegasus Trail excels, in its intended role, as a light trail shoe and is quite at home running on the road.
If you are transitioning from road running and intend to run less technical trails, this is an excellent option, especially if you already run in Pegasus road shoes.
Grip, support & protection
Grip in dryer conditions was excellent, and I had no complaints.
Wet conditions are the Pegasus Trail’s weakness. The uppers are very breathable, but this does mean there is virtually no protection from water. Simply running through ankle length, wet grass resulted in soaked feet.
Nike does offer a Gore-Tex version that should be considered if you run in wet conditions. I have these particular shoes on my radar.
The Pegasus Trail put in a solid effort in mud, but when it got really thick and sticky, it did highlight the limitation of the low-profile lugs.
It is the compromise you need to decide on, based upon your type of terrain. If you run in swamp-like conditions or extremely rocky terrain, it is best to look elsewhere.
If you run on groomed trails in drier conditions you need to shortlist the Pegasus Trail. You won’t be disappointed.
The trade-off from the lightweight is that you lose some support and protection. As mentioned, there is no rock plate, and toe protection is minimal.
If you tend to roll your ankles quite easily, it may be better to consider a more supportive shoe. This shouldn’t be viewed as a criticism but rather as a reminder that the shoes are best used for their designed application. If you do, you will be a happy runner.
Cushioning & comfort
I love the Zoom cushioning as it provides excellent cushioning without sacrificing feel.
Some cushioning feels rather dead, but Zoom definitely doesn’t, offering a responsive yet well-damped ride. The longest run I did in them was 18 miles, and they performed beautifully. I didn’t suffer hot spots or blisters.
The lacing system is fantastic and held the shoe firmly onto my foot without causing any discomfort.
The uppers are very breathable but do let in quite a lot of debris.
Sizing was true to size. They are a touch narrow. However, I have wider than average feet, so normal width feet should be spot on. I found the toe box quite roomy. My heel was cradled comfortably and securely
- This is an area that I was most impressed by.
- Given the lightweight construction, I was expecting them to fall apart pretty quickly. On the contrary, they held up brilliantly.
- I tend to be quite hard-wearing on my shoes, so durability is often an area I have challenges with.
- After over 375miles (600km), they are still in good shape.
- The outsoles show little wear. The midsoles are starting to lose their cushioning now, which is to be expected, especially as I weigh close to 200 pounds.
- I found the shoes very easy to clean too.
- Light & nimble
- Wet weather protection
Nike is onto a winner here, and I think more people should be paying attention to their Trail offerings. We could see some more great products heading our way.
The Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 36 Trail would be an exceptional choice if you are looking for a light, responsive trail shoe that can cover long miles in comfort.
It is a polished all-rounder shoe that would suit a multitude of runners, so go on and give them a go. You don’t even need to buy the pink ones.
Good to know
- 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.
How Air Zoom Pegasus 36 Trail compares
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