Our verdict

For years, the Pegasus has been pretty much synonymous with the term ‘daily trainer’. It’s a Nike icon that’s gotten countless runners—including us—through the highs and lows of their running journeys. In its 40th version, the shoe received an upper refresh—making it comfier and arguably giving it a better lockdown. Though its updates are somewhat anticlimactic for such a milestone edition, we believe that this Peg remains a trusty, reliable training partner for just about anyone.

Pros

  • Plush and comfortable upper
  • Breathable
  • Secure lockdown
  • Has enough toe-box space
  • Not overly soft or firm underfoot
  • Good energy return
  • Great grip on most surfaces
  • Incredible durability
  • Perfect for everyday miles and LSDs

Cons

  • A generally narrow fit
  • Heavier than the v39
  • Not a very memorable ride

Audience verdict

87
Great!
  • Top 1% most popular running shoes

Who should buy

This Nike staple is an ideal option for:

  • Pegasus fans who missed out on upgrading to the 39.
  • Beginners looking for their first road running shoe.
  • Runners who need a reliable workhorse in their rotation.

nike-pegasus-40-side.JPG

Who should NOT buy

Runners in need of a daily trainer that can get their hearts pumping with excitement should instead reach for something like the Hoka Clifton 9.

For those looking for a wider-fitting Nike runner, check out the Infinity Run 3.

nike-pegasus-40-hands.JPG

Breathability

The mesh upper in this new version looks slightly more porous than its predecessor’s. According to Nike, this is meant for better breathability.

Sorry, Nike, but this Pegasus is less breathable than its predecessor. Following our eye-popping breathability test, the v40 earned a just-average 3/5, while the Pegasus 39 secured a better-than-average 4/5 under the same conditions. Keep this in mind if you frequently run in warmer temperatures.

nike-pegasus-40-microscope.JPG

We love to validate our breathability test results with the microscope. As you can see, there is inadequate airflow resulting from a thick mesh layer lacking ventilation holes.

nike-pegasus-40-microscope2.JPG

The same applies when the upper encounters light in our lab.

There’s also more padding now, especially around the heel, giving the shoe a more snug and substantial fit and feel to it. But if you prefer a plush upper experience, you will be pleasantly surprised.

Upon closer examination, we found that this new dual-layered upper is extremely padded, providing tons of comfort to our feet.

Test results
Pegasus 40 3
Average 3.8
Compared to 234 running shoes
Number of shoes
1
Breathability
5

Durability

Toebox durability

One of the classic features that made the Pegasus a shoe worth of 40 editions is that it's built like a tank. So, how did it resist our Dremel test?

In this test, we apply the exact same force and RPMs to every shoe for 4 seconds. What we found is that the Pegasus 40 delivered an excellent result. As you can see in the video above and the photo below, the abrasion wasn't enough to completely break the upper, which is the most common result in every road running shoe.

nike-pegasus-40-renew-ride-3-dremel.jpg

Nike Pegasus 40 vs. Nike Renew Ride 3

The thick and dual-layered mesh led us to believe that it would be nearly impossible to break this upper. For those of you who tend to make holes in your shoes with your big toe or pinky toe, this is your daily trainer!

Test results
Pegasus 40 3
Average 2.4
Compared to 168 running shoes
Number of shoes
1
Toebox durability
5

Outsole hardness

The Pegasus series is famous for its exceptional durability, particularly in the outsole. And once again, Nike delivered. With the reading of 86.0 HC in our durometer test, this rubber is 7% harder than the outsoles of road shoes on average.

nike-pegasus-40-durometer-outsole.JPG

This gives the shoe incredible durability, as well as plenty of grip on both roads and maintained trails. You can expect to run at least 1000 kilometers on these on all surfaces.

Test results
Pegasus 40 86.0 HC
Average 80.5 HC
We use an average of four tests. The photo shows one of those tests.
Compared to 285 running shoes
Number of shoes
52.1 HC
Outsole hardness
93.0 HC

Outsole thickness

Not to mention a solid 3.4 mm layer of rubber protecting the bottom of this Nike running shoe. It has the same thickness as the average road shoe but it's the hardness that gives it that edge.

nike-pegasus-40-outsole-thickness.JPG

Test results
Pegasus 40 3.4 mm
Average 3.2 mm
Compared to 304 running shoes
Number of shoes
0.0 mm
Outsole thickness
6.6 mm

Weight

Tipping the scale at 9.7 oz (275g) in a men's US size 9, the Pegasus 40 is only a tiny bit heavier than road running shoes on average. Almost insignificantly so, judging by the daily trainer standards.

Test results
Pegasus 40 9.70 oz (275g)
Average 9.38 oz (266g)
Compared to 305 running shoes
Number of shoes
5.26 oz (149g)
Weight
12.56 oz (356g)

Cushioning

Heel stack

The Nike Pegasus 40 is not among the cushiest trainers these days, but it surely has enough protection for most distances up to half-marathon.

Using our caliper, we measured 30.2 mm of stack in the shoe's heel. This is about 3 mm lower than average.

nike-pegasus-40-rear-stack.JPG

Test results
Pegasus 40 30.2 mm
Average 33.7 mm
Compared to 304 running shoes
Number of shoes
7.6 mm
Heel stack
45.7 mm

Forefoot stack

In the forefoot, the shoe's platform gets even lower than average. Showing 20.5 mm on the caliper, it is 4 mm thinner than the average road shoe stack.

nike-pegasus-40-forefoot-stack.JPG

Test results
Pegasus 40 20.5 mm
Average 25.0 mm
Compared to 304 running shoes
Number of shoes
7.6 mm
Forefoot stack
36.9 mm

Drop

Pegasus fans love the 10-mm drop, as it's a relief for the Achilles tendon and works great for heel strikers, which account for most of the Pegasus sales.

Nike Pegasus 40 drop

Based on our own measurements of the shoe's stack height, we got a 9.7 mm drop in the Pegasus 40. Almost precisely as stated!

Test results
Pegasus 40 9.7 mm
Average 8.7 mm
Compared to 304 running shoes
Number of shoes
-0.8 mm
Drop
16.1 mm

Insole thickness

Regarding the insole, it's classic Pegasus-style—in other words, quite average. While the median thickness of 200+ insoles we've measured is 4.4 mm, the Pegasus 40 has a 4.3 mm insole. Just what you should expect from this shoe.

nike-pegasus-40-insole.JPG

Test results
Pegasus 40 4.3 mm
Average 4.5 mm
Compared to 300 running shoes
Number of shoes
1.5 mm
Insole thickness
7.3 mm

Midsole softness

Note: a low durometer measurement equals a soft material, whereas a high measurement means it's firm.

The Peg 40 retains the exact same midsole as the previous year’s model, with two Air Zoom units embedded within its React foam. This foam is based on TPE, a compound renowned for its durability. By the way, if you want to delve deeper into foams and midsoles, check our in-depth foams guide.

We have found that these two elements complement one another very well to provide a moderately cushioned experience, mild stability, adequate ground feel, and a good bit of energy return.

nike-pegasus-40-durometer-foam.JPG

Although React will never match the crazy bounciness of Pebax-based ZoomX, the v40 scored 17.6 HA in our durometer test, placing this shoe among the top 18% of softer shoes we've ever analyzed in our lab. So yes, it does offer a somewhat plush feel, although not as much as a Nike Invincible 3.

Test results
Pegasus 40 17.6 HA
Average 21.4 HA
We use an average of four tests. The photo shows one of those tests.
Compared to 232 running shoes
Number of shoes
8.5 HA
Midsole softness (soft to firm)
41.5 HA

Difference in midsole softness in cold

The midsole also suffers in winter, although it outperforms the average shoe. The TPE foam does a great job and gets 19.1% firmer, while the median of all lab-tested shoes is 26.7%. Not bad!

nike-pegasus-40-freezer.JPG

Test results
Pegasus 40 19.1%
Average 25.5%
Compared to 231 running shoes
Number of shoes
0%
Difference in midsole softness in cold
100%

Ride

Still the Toyota Camry of shoes.

Overall, we don't think that there’s anything truly wrong with the v40’s ride. It just wasn't that exciting or energetic.

nike-pegasus-40-back.JPG

Sure, the Air Zoom units can pack a punch when pushed and the shoe really feels stable, but they weren’t enough to compensate for the overall weight gain.

This makes for a shoe that’s comfortable enough for long distances and responsive enough for shorter speed bursts but is still best for clocking up the miles. In other words, it’s a pure daily workhorse, with a non-rockered ride just as you expect in a Pegasus.

Stability

Lateral stability test

Although the React foam helps with stability and it's not as soft as ZoomX, this is not a shoe for pronators.

If you struggle with pronation and are in search of a daily trainer, the Saucony Guide 16 is a much better option for you.

Torsional rigidity

As befits a neutral shoe, the Pegasus 40 is pretty flexible in its core.

Twisting the shoe in our hands, we rated its torsional stiffness at 2 out of 5 (where 5 is the stiffest).

Test results
Pegasus 40 2
Average 3.2
Compared to 283 running shoes
Number of shoes
1
Torsional rigidity
5

Heel counter stiffness

The same goes for the shoe's heel counter. It barely has any structure to it!

In a manual test, we also have it a 2 out of 5 for stiffness, making it softer and more flexible than average. This is not a shoe that gives a super sturdy heel clutch.

Test results
Pegasus 40 2
Average 2.8
Compared to 267 running shoes
Number of shoes
1
Heel counter stiffness
5

Midsole width in the forefoot

What's more, the latest version of the Pegasus features a relatively narrow platform.

nike-pegasus-40-front-caliper.JPG

In the widest part of the forefoot, the Pegasus 40 came in at 111.3 mm which is a couple of millimeters narrower than average.

Test results
Pegasus 40 111.3 mm
Average 113.7 mm
Compared to 305 running shoes
Number of shoes
100.5 mm
Midsole width in the forefoot
126.5 mm

Midsole width in the heel

In the heel, the Pegasus gets even more catastrophically narrow. In the widest part of its midsole in the help, we only measured 83.7 mm. That's over 6 mm narrower than average!

nike-pegasus-40-rear.JPG

Surprisingly, it's even way narrower than the racing-oriented Alphafly Next% 2, which boasts a 5% wider forefoot and a 14% wider heel. That's quite surprising!

Test results
Pegasus 40 83.7 mm
Average 90.5 mm
Compared to 305 running shoes
Number of shoes
74.9 mm
Midsole width in the heel
106.6 mm

Flexibility

Stiffness

Multiple grooves along its length allow the shoe to bend and move more freely and create a more snappy and responsive ride.

Back in the lab, we confirmed that the Peg 40 is really malleable in our signature 90º bend test. The shoe required as little as 16.0N to bend it!

Impressively, the 40th edition of the Pegasus ranks among the top 6% of most flexible shoes we've ever analyzed—and we've examined over 200 models!

Test results
Pegasus 40 16.0N
Average 29.2N
We use an average of four tests. The video shows one of those tests.
Compared to 287 running shoes
Number of shoes
2.2N
Stiffness
94.4N

Difference in stiffness in cold

The Pegasus 40 doesn't handle cold very well. When it comes to flexibility, it gets 83.0% stiffer after 20 minutes in our freezer, which is absolutely bonkers and almost double the average. For instance, a Nike ZoomX Invincible Run 2 only gets 27.2% stiffer, and the latest Nike Pegasus Turbo does it by 12.6%.

Test results
Pegasus 40 83%
Average 35.9%
Compared to 287 running shoes
Number of shoes
0%
Difference in stiffness in cold
148%

Size and fit

Toebox width at the widest part

Although the Pegasus 40 is a rather close-fitting shoe, we found that its forefoot wasn’t too cramped for a medium-sized foot.

nike-pegasus-40-toebox-dual.jpg

Our toebox measurements also confirm that this shoe is wider than its predecessor, providing ample room for a comfortable running experience.

With that said, the shape of the shoe is the usual in a Pegasus: medium-to-narrow midfoot, narrow heel. To add some context to this, we're going to compare this daily trainer with a speed training shoe from Nike:

Shoe Toe box - Max width (mm) Toe box - Big toe (mm) US size
Nike Pegasus 40 100.8 75.7 8.5
Nike ZoomX Streakfly 95.4 74.9 8.5

As you can see, the max-width of the Pegasus' toe box is wider than that of the Streakfly, while the space in the big toe area remains more or less the same.

However, when we shift our focus to the rear part of the shoe, we find that the Pegasus maintains its typical narrowness.

Keep in mind that if you have wider feet, there are extra-wide sizing options available—but please notice that the selection of colorways is limited.

Test results
Pegasus 40 100.8 mm
Average 98.4 mm
Compared to 305 running shoes
Number of shoes
89.5 mm
Toebox width at the widest part
109.1 mm

Tongue: gusset type

Add in the fully gusseted tongue to the shoe's close-fitting upper and the result is a really secure and consistent lockdown. 

nike-pegasus-40-gusset.JPG

Test results
Pegasus 40 Both sides (full)

Lacing

Another notable change in the Peg 40 is its lacing system. The shoe ditches the old Flywire cables in favor of a new midfoot band that folds across the upper into the strobel, also serving as eyestays in the process.

nike-pegasus-40-forefoot-lacing-system.JPG

Comfort

Tongue padding

Although the shoe's tongue remains quite comfortable and padded, our measurements actually reveal that it is 16% thinner than the one in the v39.

But worry not, at 8.6 mm, it is almost 3 mm thicker than average!

nike-pegasus-40-tongue.JPG

Test results
Pegasus 40 8.6 mm
Average 5.6 mm
Compared to 302 running shoes
Number of shoes
0.5 mm
Tongue padding
14.2 mm

Misc

Reflective elements

Yes, we have to acknowledge that the Pegasus 40 features reflective elements, but are they sufficient?

nike-pegasus-40-reflection.jpg

Well, it's evident that when compared to another reflective shoe, like the Puma in the comparison picture, Nike could have done a bit better.

Test results
Pegasus 40 Yes

Pegasus 40: reliable choice or falling behind?

The Nike Pegasus series has maintained its popularity and relevance over the years, becoming the best-selling model of all time. Achieving such extraordinary success requires a mix of customer satisfaction, strong brand reputation, fair pricing, and minimal drawbacks.

nike-pegasus-40-running.JPG

Consequently, the Pegasus 40 follows the same successful formula, with slight improvements but also lags a bit behind competitors like the ASICS Novablast 3.

Moreover, the difference between the Pegasus 40 and its predecessor isn't significant, so if you're all-in with Nike, on a budget, and don't mind wearing last year's model, the Pegasus 39 would be an interesting choice.

nike-pegasus-40-table.JPG