We tested out Nike's new-and-improved Pegasus 35 running shoe, one of the brand's staple sneakers and all-time best-sellers.
Last week, Nike announced the newest version of a running shoe that has been on the market for 35 years: the Air Zoom Pegasus. While the overall look of the shoe remained mostly the same, Nike introduced some key updates to the sneaker. These changes made me a happy runner. I tried out previous versions of the Pegasus—truthfully, who hasn’t? It’s one of Nike’s most popular running shoes—but the sneaker never fit my foot quite right, leaving me with blisters and sore feet after logging some miles in them.
But the new Nike Pegasus 35 ($120 for men and women, available at nike.com) is definitely an upgrade. I’m a big fan of the new tongue and partial bootie design, and there’s a special “collar” that turns away from the Achilles, which seemed to eliminate that back-of-the-heel discomfort I used to experience with previous iterations. While taking the shoes for a test run on the streets of New York City, the cushioning underfoot felt bouncy, comfortable and supportive. This is likely because the Nike Zoom Vaporfly 4%—the shoe used in the Breaking2 attempt—inspired the shape and features in the Pegasus 35, and feedback from athletes such as Mo Farah also helped inform some of the design changes.
It’s also important to note that there is a slight different between the men’s and women’s versions of the shoe. The women’s version features a slightly softer foam cushioning that is specially created for the female foot. The distinction means that the men’s shoe weighs a bit lighter than the women's. Nike says it made the change after receiving positive feedback from female runners on shoes with more cushioning.
While pounding the pavement on a rainy day, I appreciated the extra support I felt on my heels and underfoot. But I also found myself thinking of the Nike Epic React Flyknit, a more lightweight, springy shoe released earlier this year that has become my go-to running sneaker. At the end of the day, it's all about your personal preference.
Overall, I’d recommended this revamped Air Zoom Pegasus for elite and everyday runners alike looking for a classic Nike sneaker that offers a bouncy but still supportive feel.