For years, the Pegasus has been pretty much synonymous with the term ‘daily trainer’. It’s a Nike icon that’s gotten countless runners 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, this Peg remains a trusty, reliable training partner for just about anyone.
- Plush and comfortable upper
- 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
- A generally narrow fit
- Heavier than the v39
- Not a very memorable ride
Who should buy the Pegasus 40
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.
Who should not buy it
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 or the Skechers GORUN Ride 10. For those looking for a wider-fitting Nike runner, check out the Infinity Run 3.
v40 vs. v39: Still pretty much the same horse
It’s a shame that the Pegasus 40 fell at an in-between-overhauls period. While the Pegasus 39 got a major update, the supposedly eventful 40th-anniversary edition only got a better upper and a reconfigured lacing system.
While these changes led to a more comfortable and secure shoe, they also added a little bit of weight—making the v40 10g heavier than the 39.
A less-breathable but more premium feeling upper
The mesh upper in this new version looks slightly more porous than its predecessor’s. According to Nike, this is meant for better breathability. While some reviewers agreed, most felt that the difference was marginal at best—with others even contending that the v39 is still the airier of the two.
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.
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. Moreover, those who prefer a plush upper experience will be glad to know that “the Pegasus delivers on that front” as well, said one expert.
Finally, a tester report that there is a "gently padded collar and heel counter". Another one said "The heel is slightly snug with a highly padded heel collar and a moderately stiff heel counter."
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 resisted 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.
For instance, check this comparison with the upper of a Nike Renew Ride 3.
The thick and dual-layered mesh led us to believe that it will 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!
Room to wiggle: Toe box is wider than before!
Though reviewers reported that the Pegasus 40 had a rather narrow fit throughout, they found that its forefoot wasn’t too cramped:
- “Just the right amount of room in the toe box”
- “Some wiggle room for your toes.”
Our toe box measurements confirm that this shoe is wider than its predecessor, providing ample room for a comfortable running experience for most runners. We wouldn't describe this shoe as "wide" nor would we classify it as "narrow."
With that said, the shape of the shoe is the usual in a Pegasus: medium-to-narrow midfoot, narrow heel. To add some context on 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. In fact, other Nike shoes we measured in US size 8 are significantly wider in that area compared to the 40th Pegasus:
|Shoe||Midsole width - Forefoot (mm)||Midsole width - Heel (mm)||US size|
|Nike Pegasus 40||111.3||83.7||8.5|
|Nike Invincible 3||116.9||98.1||8|
|Nike Renew Ride 3||105.5||90.2||8|
|Nike Flex Experience Run 11||106.5||86.1||8|
|Nike Air Winflo 9||111.0||90.1||8|
|Nike Pegasus Turbo||111.0||84.1||8|
|Nike Zoom Fly 5||111.5||86.4||8|
In summary: the toe box offers ample space, with more room than last year's model. On the other hand, anticipate the characteristic Pegasus narrowness in the midfoot and rear portion of the shoe.
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.
The Pegasus 40 sports the same engine under the hood
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.
According to one runner, these two elements “do a good job of working together” to provide a moderately cushioned feeling underfoot, some stability, adequate road feel, and—despite being “not soft and bouncy as something like the ZoomX”—a good bit of energy return.
Disclaimer: We calculate an average of 4 measurements and disregard any outliers. This image portrays just one of those.
Still very flexible
Multiple grooves along its length allow the shoe to move more freely and “add flex so you get a more snappy and responsive ride,” shared one runner.
Disclaimer: We take an average of 4 measurements and disregard any outliers. This video represents only one of our measurements.
Once again, this was confirmed in our signature 90º bend test. 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!
Awful in cold temperatures
Though reviews about the midsole have been generally positive, there were a few who thought that the forefoot cushioning felt thin and a bit too firm. “I didn’t notice the Air Zoom unit up there at all,” one user shared. Probably, this tester tested the shoe in a cold environment.
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!
Still the Toyota Camry of shoes
The growing consensus among shoe experts is that there’s truly nothing wrong with the v40’s ride, it “just wasn’t super exciting” and “doesn’t look fresh or feel energetic through your stride.”
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—leading one runner to say: “I didn’t feel I could pick it up in the same way as the 39.”
This makes for a shoe that’s comfortable enough for long distances and responsive enough for shorter speed bursts, but is still best “for building your base, just getting the miles in.” In other words, it’s a pure daily workhorse, with a non-rockered ride just as you expect in a Pegasus.
Same classic 10-mm heel to toe 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.
Disclaimer: We always measure stack with the insole included.
Disclaimer: We always measure stack with the insole included.
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.
Stability issues? Look elsewhere
Although the React foam helps with stability and it's not as soft as ZoomX, this is not a shoe for pronators. A running expert noted that: "Overall the Pegasus  is not a stable shoe." And it's just like that.
If you struggle with pronation and are in search of a daily trainer, the Saucony Guide 16 is a much better option for you.
Will get you through thick and thin
As with the midsole, Nike also didn’t change anything underneath the Pegasus 40. It still has a good amount of rubber coverage with a quite aggressive waffle-type pattern. This gives the shoe incredible durability, as well as plenty of grip in both roads and trails. You can expect to run at least 1000 kilometers on these on all surfaces.
Some testers shared thoughts on this:
- "The outsole is still the Pegasus’s main strength."
- "Still some of the best outsole traction you can find on a trainer."
- "A durable and well-lugged outsole sits on the bottom, allowing the shoe to handle a variety of terrain."
Disclaimer: We take an average of 4 measurements and exclude any outliers. This image shows just one of our measurements.
Took different routes but still got similar results
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.
However, not everyone was impressed with the shift away from Flywire, with a few runners saying that the old system “looks better and performs better than the new midfoot strap lacing,” and that the update is “a step backward instead of an improvement.”
Add to this a thicker and fully-gusseted tongue, and the result is a lockdown that some testers described as “slightly more snug” and “a bit more consistent.”
Yes, we have to acknowledge that the Pegasus 40 features reflective elements, but are they sufficient?
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.
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.
Consequently, the Pegasus 40 follows the same successful formula, with slight improvements but also lagging 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.
Complete lab-specs overview
|Nike Pegasus 40||Average|
|Overall Internal Length (mm)||267.1 (mens US 8.5)||-|
|Flexibility of the shoe (N)||17.6||33.2|
|Flexibility of the shoe (Freezer 20 min) (N)||21.0||45.9|
|Flexibility of the shoe (% of change)||19.1%||44.8%|
|Longitudinal flexibility (1-5 scale, 5 being the stiffest)||1||2.9|
|Torsional flexibility (1-5 scale, 5 being the stiffest)||2||3.1|
|Thickness - Tongue (mm)||8.6||5.8|
|Width Upper - Forefoot: Max width (mm)||100.8||97.6|
|Width Upper - Forefoot: Big toe (mm)||75.7||73.1|
|Flexibility of the heel counter (1-5 scale, 5 being the stiffest)||2||2.5|
|Breathability - Smoke test (5 being the most breathable)||3||3.8|
|Tongue: gusset type||both sides (full)||-|
|Heel: pull tab||-||-|
|Width Midsole - Forefoot (mm)||111.3||112.5|
|Width Midsole - Heel (mm)||83.7||89.7|
|Stack - Forefoot with insole (mm)||20.5||24.6|
|Stack - Heel with insole (mm)||30.2||33.2|
|Durometer Midsole Heel (Room temperature) (HA)||17.6||25.0|
|Durometer Midsole - Heel (Freezer 20 minutes)||21.0||31.5|
|Durometer Midsole - Heel (% of change) (TEST)||19.1%||26.7%|
|Outsole thickness (Heel) (mm)||3.4||3.4|
|Durometer Outsole Heel (Room temperature) (HC)||86.0||79.8|
|Insole Heel Thickness (mm)||4.3||4.4|
*Disclaimer: The weight of the Nike Pegasus 40 was measured in a men’s US 8.5. In a US size 9, this corresponds to 275g per shoe, based on the weight measurements of over 40 shoe sizes.