Our verdict

Nike has completely revamped the Pegasus Trail 5. We discovered that it now features a superior ReactX midsole, a roomier upper, and higher-quality materials—all for the same price. Durability is also impressive for being a road-to-trail shoe. However, we believe the grip is still lacking, and there's a slight weight increase that could have been avoided.

Pros

  • Fully gusseted tongue
  • Reflective elements
  • Durable upper construction
  • New rockered sole
  • Incredibly roomy toebox
  • Great for heel strikers
  • Reasonably priced
  • All-around comfort

Cons

  • Weight increase
  • Possibly too plush for trails
  • Still lacks traction

Audience verdict

92
Superb!

Who should buy

We think the Nike Pegasus Trail 5 is a fantastic update for:

  • Beginners to trail running seeking a versatile, well-cushioned, and value-packed shoe that can handle various terrains with ease.
  • Heel strikers who found previous Pegasus Trails flat—the new rocker design and enhanced cushioning favor their footstrike, providing a smoother ride.
  • Adventurers with wide feet in need of a reliable, comfortable travel companion that excels in both trail and casual walks.

Nike Pegasus Trail 5

Who should NOT buy

We believe that the Nike Pegasus Trail 5 offers a notable update with its ReactX midsole, providing improved cushioning, but it still falls short of Nike’s premium ZoomX foam and lacks a world-class outsole. For those seeking top-tier cushioning coupled with Vibram rubber, we recommend upgrading to the Nike Zegama 2, which also offers superior breathability.

While we also found the Pegasus Trail 5 accommodating for wide feet, its broad toebox might be less appealing to those with narrower or average-width feet. Instead of sizing down, we suggest the Merrell Nova 3, which provides a snug fit while maintaining versatile road-to-trail functionality.

Nike Pegasus Trail 5 parts

Breathability

Trail shoes are often sturdier and less breathable than their road counterparts, which is generally a positive for us, as durability is crucial on trails. However, we found the Pegasus Trail 5 to be less breathable than expected, scoring just 2/5. For comparison, the Pegasus 41, its road sibling, scored 4/5.

However, this isn't a major concern unless you're planning to use them in extremely hot weather, which is rare in mountainous areas. In such cases, we recommend at least pairing the shoes with thin, moisture-wicking socks to compensate for the reduced airflow.

Despite having ventilation holes in the toebox with a cool asymmetric design to protect the inner side, we found they weren't very effective. Our microscope revealed why.

Nike Pegasus Trail 5 microscope

As shown in the microscopic image, Nike has added a protective layer beneath the upper for improved durability, which we'll discuss later.

Nike Pegasus Trail 5 microscope

We also examined the upper by hand and liked every detail of this update. To be honest, for $150, few shoes offer better materials.

Test results
Pegasus Trail 5 2
Average 3.3
Compared to 83 trail running shoes
Number of shoes
1
Breathability
5

Durability

Toebox durability

We hinted at the impressive durability of this upper in our previous test, and based on our experience with hundreds of running shoes in the lab, we were confident that the Peg Trail 5 would excel in our first Dremel test.

And indeed, that's exactly what we found. An outstanding 5/5 rating ensures that the upper won't face any durability issues, even in the long run.

Nike Pegasus Trail 5 Toebox durability
Test results
Pegasus Trail 5 5
Average 3.1
Compared to 63 trail running shoes
Number of shoes
1
Toebox durability
5

Heel padding durability

We've already established that the toebox is a marvel in durability, but what about the heel collar?

We were thrilled to discover another strong performance here with a 4/5 rating, surpassing our expectations. Now, we're eager to see if the outsole continues this streak of good news!

Nike Pegasus Trail 5 Heel padding durability
Test results
Pegasus Trail 5 4
Average 2.9
Compared to 61 trail running shoes
Number of shoes
1
Heel padding durability
5

Outsole hardness

Nike finally partnered with Vibram in 2023 to incorporate their outsoles, starting with the Ultrafly. Yet, the Pegasus Trail series has not adopted this upgrade, which is not ideal given that the outsole has consistently been a weak point in this model.

Nonetheless, there's a positive shift. While not Vibram, Nike's new 87.9-HC "All Terrain Compound" marks a significant improvement over previous versions.

Nike Pegasus Trail 5 ATC

However, remember that this outsole focuses more on durability, ideal for handling both asphalt and concrete as a door-to-trail shoe. So it's a step forward, though expectations for traction should remain moderate.

Nike Pegasus Trail 5 Outsole hardness
Test results
Pegasus Trail 5 87.9 HC
Average 85.4 HC
We use an average of four tests. The photo shows one of those tests.
Compared to 106 trail running shoes
Number of shoes
72.5 HC
Outsole hardness
95.0 HC

Outsole durability

For us, it's crucial that a versatile shoe performs well in such tests, especially since the lugged design means there is less surface area making contact with the ground compared to a typical road outsole, potentially reducing its grip and durability.

Hence, in order to assess the durability of the Pegasus Trail 5, we conducted our final Dremel test of the day in the lab. 

We discovered a mere 0.8-mm dent in the rubber—a promising result that confirms the shoe's good resistance to wear and tear. 

Nike Pegasus Trail 5 Outsole durability
Test results
Pegasus Trail 5 0.8 mm
Average 0.9 mm
Compared to 56 trail running shoes
Number of shoes
0.0 mm
Outsole wear
2.0 mm

Outsole thickness

Fortunately, our earlier tests yielded positive results, so the 2.2-mm outsole that we measured is more than capable of withstanding the typical wear and tear for this shoe.

Nike Pegasus Trail 5 Outsole thickness
Test results
Pegasus Trail 5 2.2 mm
Average 2.4 mm
Compared to 106 trail running shoes
Number of shoes
0.9 mm
Outsole thickness
6.5 mm

Weight

The Pegasus Trail 5 tips the scales just over the sub-10-oz mark at 10.1 oz or 286g, a detail we find a bit disappointing. While it offers improved cushioning and a more comfortable upper, we firmly believe that a door-to-trail shoe like this should ideally weigh less than 10 ounces.

Is this a major concern for us? Nope. However, it would be great if Nike could reduce the weight in the next iteration of this model.

Nike Pegasus Trail 5 Weight
Test results
Pegasus Trail 5 10.09 oz (286g)
Average 10.30 oz (292g)
Compared to 106 trail running shoes
Number of shoes
7.51 oz (213g)
Weight
13.37 oz (379g)

Cushioning

Heel stack

Nike is embracing the maximalist design with the Pegasus Trail series, which has significantly evolved from its early versions by adding substantial cushioning. We measured version 5 with a heel stack height of 34.6 mm, approaching the 40-mm mark.

The midsole features a clever design that enhances compression.

Moreover, the PT5's cushioning increases towards the midfoot, providing a super-stacked and exceptionally well-cushioned feel, making it a prime choice for the most extreme heel strikers.

Nike Pegasus Trail 5 Heel stack
Test results
Pegasus Trail 5 34.6 mm
Average 32.2 mm
Compared to 106 trail running shoes
Number of shoes
16.1 mm
Heel stack
42.4 mm

Forefoot stack

During our fast-paced runs, when landing on the forefoot, we noticed less cushioning, which can be attributed to the shoe's high drop. We measured this area at just 25.0 mm, which is more standard compared to the nearly maximalist heel cushioning.

Nike Pegasus Trail 5 Forefoot stack
Test results
Pegasus Trail 5 25.0 mm
Average 24.5 mm
Compared to 106 trail running shoes
Number of shoes
15.2 mm
Forefoot stack
33.9 mm

Drop

We previously hinted at the high drop, and indeed, Nike claims it's 9.5 mm—our measurements show 9.6 mm. This slight discrepancy is negligible and underscores our impression that this shoe is exceptionally well-constructed, with fewer manufacturing inconsistencies than we've seen in some other Nikes.

This drop is typical for the Pegasus series. This design effectively accommodates all types of footstrikes and is particularly effective for beginners.

Nike Pegasus Trail 5 Drop
Test results
Pegasus Trail 5 9.6 mm
Average 7.8 mm
Compared to 105 trail running shoes
Number of shoes
-0.1 mm
Drop
17.3 mm

Insole thickness

We found that the insole boasts a thickness of 4.9 mm, enhancing the overall plushness of the shoe.

Nike Pegasus Trail 5 Insole thickness
Test results
Pegasus Trail 5 4.9 mm
Average 4.7 mm
Compared to 106 trail running shoes
Number of shoes
2.7 mm
Insole thickness
9.8 mm

Midsole softness

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

The Pegasus Trail 5 introduces ReactX, a new foam that Nike debuted with the InfinityRN 4, but is new to their trail lineup.

This foam is significantly softer (11.1 HA) than the previous React, providing an incredibly plush feel underfoot. While this high level of cushioning might not suit everyone on the trails—where a firmer ride can be preferable—it offers exceptional protection on easier trails and road sections.

Nike Pegasus Trail 5 ReactX

Moreover, the bounce we felt from ReactX is notably superior compared to the original React, a difference that's especially apparent given the previous version, the Pegasus Trail 4, often felt somewhat dull and flat. However, this plush midsole may not appeal to all trail runners...

Nike Pegasus Trail 5 Midsole softness
Test results
Pegasus Trail 5 11.1 HA
Average 22.7 HA
We use an average of four tests. The photo shows one of those tests.
Compared to 82 trail running shoes
Number of shoes
9.1 HA
Midsole softness (soft to firm)
39.0 HA

Difference in midsole softness in cold

After subjecting the shoe to freezing conditions, we observed a 31.4% change in softness—a decent result. This indicates that the PT5 will keep a consistent feel across various temperatures, though the alteration is discernible underfoot.

Interested in how temperature impacts foam materials? We can help you out with this guide.

Nike Pegasus Trail 5 Difference in midsole softness in cold
Test results
Pegasus Trail 5 31.4%
Average 26.4%
Compared to 82 trail running shoes
Number of shoes
0%
Difference in midsole softness in cold
100%

Rocker

Previously, Nike Pegasus Trail shoes had not featured a rockered sole, but this has now changed. Like the increased midsole softness, not everyone welcomes this new design.

Those accustomed to rockered soles will likely embrace this update. Rearfoot strikers, in particular, will benefit from the newly designed heel bevel, which significantly smooths heel-to-toe transitions. However, runners who prioritize stability and a more classic feel might prefer the flatter Pegasus Trail 4 design.

Stability

Lateral stability test

We've observed that stability has slightly declined with the introduction of the new rocker and plush midsole in the Pegasus Trail 5, demonstrating that trade-offs are inevitable—there are no miracles in life, but especially in running shoes.

Nonetheless, while it's not a wobbly shoe, it certainly lacks the stability that characterized the previous four editions, making it a less supportive choice for those who relied on that aspect.

Torsional rigidity

To address the downgrade in stability, Nike changed the torsional rigidity slightly, bringing it to a 3-out-of-5 on our scale. Despite this, the shoe remains flexible, which we appreciate in an all-around shoe.

Test results
Pegasus Trail 5 3
Average 3.5
Compared to 100 trail running shoes
Number of shoes
1
Torsional rigidity
5

Heel counter stiffness

Nike adopted a similar approach with the heel counter in this version, enhancing its stiffness from a 3/5 to a 4/5 on our scale. This minor adjustment, though possibly unnoticed by every runner, was crucial to balance the softness of the new midsole.

Test results
Pegasus Trail 5 4
Average 3.2
Compared to 98 trail running shoes
Number of shoes
1
Heel counter stiffness
5

Midsole width in the forefoot

We then turned our attention to the midsole. Nike has traditionally designed the Pegasus Trail with a relatively narrow platform. 

In the 5th version, they've introduced a slight increase in width to 113.4 mm, which (again) subtly enhances stability, making the shoe more appealing while maintaining an average width.

Nike Pegasus Trail 5 Midsole width in the forefoot
Test results
Pegasus Trail 5 113.4 mm
Average 112.1 mm
Compared to 106 trail running shoes
Number of shoes
102.1 mm
Midsole width in the forefoot
126.0 mm

Midsole width in the heel

The same concept applies to the heel area, though it's slightly narrower than typical in comparable trail shoes. We measured it at 87.7 mm, which shows a modest increase over its predecessor.

Nike Pegasus Trail 5 Midsole width in the heel
Test results
Pegasus Trail 5 87.7 mm
Average 89.7 mm
Compared to 106 trail running shoes
Number of shoes
77.2 mm
Midsole width in the heel
109.3 mm

Flexibility

Stiffness

One concern we had was the potential stiffness of the Pegasus Trail 5, given market trends toward stiffer models.

Fortunately, we found in our 90-degree bend test (19.3N) that Nike maintained remarkable flexibility in the PT5, making it an excellent choice not only for running but also for walking, hiking, or navigating airports.

Test results
Pegasus Trail 5 19.3N
Average 28.1N
We use an average of four tests. The video shows one of those tests.
Compared to 106 trail running shoes
Number of shoes
10.5N
Stiffness
54.5N

Difference in stiffness in cold

After subjecting the shoe to another 20-minute freeze test, we observed a 30.1% change in stiffness—yielding another standard performance.

Test results
Pegasus Trail 5 30.1%
Average 35.1%
Compared to 103 trail running shoes
Number of shoes
0%
Difference in stiffness in cold
102%

Grip / Traction

Lug depth

Returning to the All Terrain Compound outsole, it was time to measure the lugs. Initially appearing shallow, our suspicion was confirmed with a precise 3.2-mm measurement using our vernier calipers.

Nike Pegasus Trail 5 lugs

The shoe features a large exposed midsole area in the center, enhanced by 22 cutouts in the forefoot. This design not only reduces the shoe's weight but also significantly boosts its flexibility.

We believe this depth is just ideal for a door-to-trail shoe—perfectly suited for handling easy or moderate terrains like gravel or dirt roads. And while they're not designed for highly technical terrain or muddy conditions, these lugs excel on dirt roads or coastal paths, making them highly versatile for the intended use of the Pegasus Trail.

Nike Pegasus Trail 5 Lug depth
Test results
Pegasus Trail 5 3.2 mm
Average 3.6 mm
Compared to 106 trail running shoes
Number of shoes
1.7 mm
Lug depth
5.8 mm

Size and fit

Toebox width at the widest part

This discovery was truly impressive. Our recent Nike reviews have consistently highlighted the expanding toebox designs from them, yet this latest iteration has surpassed all expectations.

Nike Pegasus Trail 5 toebox

We are wondering that maybe Nike recently recruited a designer from Altra...

Measuring a spacious 103.4 mm at its widest, this toebox is exceptionally accommodating for those with wider feet, providing ample room and comfort!

Nike Pegasus Trail 5 Toebox width at the widest part
Test results
Pegasus Trail 5 103.4 mm
Average 98.8 mm
Compared to 106 trail running shoes
Number of shoes
92.0 mm
Toebox width at the widest part
104.9 mm

Toebox width at the big toe

We were astonished by our previous measurement, but the real truth of the toebox is always revealed by our second reading in the big toe area—how's the taper.

Well, good news for those with wide feet. We were again surprised by the amount of room for the toes, and the 81.1-mm reading confirmed it. Absolutely mind-blowing for a Pegasus Trail. And the vertical space in the toebox feels right too!

Nike Pegasus Trail 5 Toebox width at the big toe
Test results
Pegasus Trail 5 81.1 mm
Average 79.0 mm
Compared to 68 trail running shoes
Number of shoes
70.5 mm
Toebox width at the big toe
92.1 mm

Tongue: gusset type

We believe that a gusseted tongue is essential for any trail shoe, and the Pegasus Trail 5, despite its reasonable $150 price point—well below the top-tier market—successfully incorporates this feature.

Nike Pegasus Trail 5 Tongue: gusset type
Test results
Pegasus Trail 5 Both sides (full)

Comfort

Tongue padding

We found the tongue exceptionally comfortable, featuring 7.2 mm of padding from a single slab of foam—more than sufficient for all-day wear without being overly heavy or cumbersome.

Nike Pegasus Trail 5 lacing

Additionally, we were pleased to see Nike keeping the Flywire lacing system from the Pegasus Trail 4, which has garnered widespread acclaim. In our experience, it's one of the few non-punched lacing systems that truly excels.

Nike Pegasus Trail 5 Tongue padding
Test results
Pegasus Trail 5 7.2 mm
Average 6.4 mm
Compared to 106 trail running shoes
Number of shoes
1.5 mm
Tongue padding
12.2 mm

Heel tab

The heel is equipped with a high-quality, vertical finger-loop heel tab—a feature we liked. It's a unique and convenient tab that sets it apart from previous Pegasus Trails.

Nike Pegasus Trail 5 Heel tab
Test results
Pegasus Trail 5 Finger loop

Removable insole

The insole of the shoe is not glued or fixed, so is designed to be easily removable, which allows for easy substitution with custom footbeds.

Nike Pegasus Trail 5 Removable insole
Test results
Pegasus Trail 5 Yes

Misc

Reflective elements

Nike has enhanced the Pegasus Trail 5 with the addition of circular reflective elements on the upper. Although basic, these reflectors mark a significant improvement over its predecessor, the v4, which lacked them.

Test results
Pegasus Trail 5 Yes