Nike Pegasus 40 Review

40 Years of Pegasus

If you were born in the 80s, you may remember the very first Nike Pegasus, launched back in 1983. It was a grey running shoe, with the staple Nike swoosh on the side, in that typical American-high-school-track style. Over the years, as technology and science has advanced, Nike has tweaked and adapted the design of the Pegasus, and its popularity has only grown with it - in fact, it’s arguably one of the best value Nike shoes you can get at £118.50, and remains Nike’s best selling running shoe.

Since day one, the Pegasus has been the shoe for everyone, offering runners of all kinds a snug fit and a versatile, springy ride. And now, in 2023, we’re on Nike’s 40th edition. But just how different is the Pegasus 40 from the Pegasus 39?

Nike Pegasus 40 Running Shoes

What is the Pegasus good for?

The Nike Pegasus 40 is a great all-rounder trainer, which can be used for everything from Park Run to speed sessions to marathons. It’s a neutral shoe; firm yet responsive, with soft cushioning and breathable mesh. It isn’t an incredibly cushioned shoe - when we compare it to something like a Hoka or On Monster - so it would suit a runner who prefers a firmer ride. However, the two Zoom Air units (one in the forefoot and one in the heel), do help to create a springy sensation, and after a few runs, the sole does soften up a bit. It’s a good looking shoe too, and doesn’t have a huge rocker, which makes it great for those looking for a cross-training shoe to use in the gym as well… or as a lifestyle shoe.

"The Pegasus is just such a versatile shoe"

Athing Mu, 800m World Champion, Olympic Gold Medalist

Nike Pegasus 40 Running Shoes

What’s changed in the Pegasus 40?

The main difference in the Pegasus 40 compared to the 39, is in the way it supports your foot, with improved features in the sensitive areas - like your toes and arch - with a re-designed mid-foot band; you can definitely feel the slight raise in the sole, which hugs your arch, offering more support. In addition to this, Nike has also redesigned the upper with a single-layer of mesh, to improve breathability and airflow. According to Nike, the shoe still offers neutral support and is just as responsive, with the same air units, but it’s all around a more comfortable, improved shoe.

Key Pegasus 40 Updates

  • Increased foam around the collar for a better fit and comfortable ride
  • Re-designed mid-foot band for better arch support
  • A new, single-layer mesh to increase breathability and air flow in hot conditions
  • There’s a small, thin reflective stripe on the back of the heel

Nike Pegasus 40 Running Shoes

Shop the Pegasus 40

Is it better than the previous version?

With every Pegasus shoe Nike has produced, there’s no doubt the shoe has got better. In this case, it’s more supportive and breathable, which when it comes to a running shoe, are pretty important factors. If you’re someone who struggles with a collapsing arch or plantar fasciitis, the addition of the new mid-foot band may provide a more comfortable ride for you.

Overall, there isn't an awful lot that is new in the Pegasus 40 vs. Pegasus 39, but after 40 years of gradual improvements, that isn't a bad thing. The tweaked fit makes it my favourite version of the Pegasus yet, and it remains an extremely versatile, comfortable, everyday running shoe.

Nike Pegasus 40 Running Shoes

Does the Pegasus 40 need a ZoomX Foam upgrade?

ZoomX foam is what Nike uses in its performance race shoes, such as the Nike Zoom Vaporfly Elite, Nike Zoom Fly 5 and Nike Zoom Vaporfly 4% shoes. It’s super lightweight, softer, bouncier and more responsive than any other foam used in Nike shoes.

While the Pegasus 40 has soft cushioning and Zoom Air pockets, it isn’t a maximalist cushioned shoe nor is it as light as say a shoe with ZoomX.

While ZoomX would make this shoe lighter and spongier, it could change the whole reason people love the Pegasus 40 so much, taking it from an everyday, all-rounder shoe to a more premium race shoe - not to mention it will cost a lot more. The closest option on the market with the best of both worlds is the Pegasus Turbo Next Nature, featuring ZoomX foam cushioning, a Flyknit lightweight upper and composed of at least 50% recycled content.

How does the Pegasus fit?

The Pegasus feels like it’s hugging your foot - in a good way. It’s soft and seems to mold to the shape of your foot, which is one of the reasons it feels so supportive. The shoe fits true to size - so no need to size up or down.

What is the Trail version of the Pegasus?

The Nike Pegasus Trail shoe is everything you know and love in a Pegasus but with a more aggressive sole and slightly more durable upper. The new Nike Pegasus Trail 4 holds a similar look to the road version of the shoe, but the main difference is in the underfoot traction, which offers stability and comfort on rocky terrain - perfect for compact, rocky trails but less effective on muddy ones. There’s also an extra skin overlay across the toes, for durability and protection.

The Trail version also has Nike’s React technology, a lightweight durable foam, which makes for a more comfortable and responsive ride when you’re pounding the trails. Since its release, we've also had a GORE-TEX update to get you through unforeseen weather conditions on the trails.

If you’re someone who has to run on a fair bit of road to get to your trails, this is the ideal shoe for you.

Nike Pegasus 40 Trail Running Shoes

Introducing the Nike Pegasus Premium

Nike has announced a new addition to the range, with the Pegasus Premium launching in Spring 2025. I was fortunate enough to try a pair out, and this new addition to the Nike lineup promises to deliver a unique blend of style, comfort, innovation, and performance. Stay tuned for its launch on The Sports Edit in Spring 2025.

What Makes the Nike Pegasus Premium Stand Out?

The Pegasus Premium isn’t just another iteration of the beloved Pegasus line; it’s a significant change. Here’s a breakdown of the key features that set it apart:

  • Top Layer of ZoomX: The Pegasus Premium features a top layer of genuine ZoomX foam that extends from heel to toe, providing a lovely responsive and cushioned experience.
  • Full-Length Air Zoom Unit: This is the star of the show. The midsole boasts Nike’s first sculpted, visible Air Zoom unit that stretches from the heel to the toe, similar to the pods found in the Alphafly 3. These units consist of tensile strands that bend and release upon impact, offering a unique bounce and propulsion with every step.
  • ReactX Foam Heel Section: The bottom layer comprises ReactX foam from the heel to the midfoot, which debuted in the Nike InfinityRN 4. This foam is slightly heavier but provides excellent shock absorption and comfort for heel strikers, transitioning seamlessly to the more energetic forefoot section.
  • Performance Upper: The upper is crafted with a circular knit and features a midfoot fit system that offers additional support in the lateral and medial forefoot areas. This design ensures a snug, supportive fit without compromising on flexibility.

Nike Pegasus 40 Premium

Why the Sculpted Air Zoom Unit is a Game Changer

Nike has taken a bold step with the Pegasus Premium by incorporating their first-ever sculpted, visible Air Zoom unit. Here are three reasons why this innovation is a big deal:

  • More Power, Less Fatigue: The sculpted Air Zoom unit follows the natural contours of the foot, enhancing the transition from heel to toe. This reduces leg and ankle fatigue by protecting the locomotor system against impact loading during prolonged exercise. The Pegasus Premium returns more energy to the runner than any other model in the Pegasus line, making it a boon for endurance.
  • Springy Feel, Comfortable Fit: The combination of ZoomX foam on the midsole and ReactX foam on the heel provides exceptional support and cushioning. This results in a springy, smooth sensation that enhances the overall running experience. The circular knit upper, reinforced in specific areas, ensures a secure fit and added support for the entire foot.
  • Geared Towards Everyone: The Pegasus Premium is designed to accommodate various gait patterns and stride lengths, thanks to its innovative features. The sculpted Air Zoom unit, midfoot plates, and proprietary foams work together to provide a spring-like mechanism that engages the entirety of the foot, making it suitable for all runners.

Our Take on the Pegasus Premium

From the moment you slip on the Pegasus Premium, the difference is palpable. The combination of ZoomX and the full-length Air Zoom unit creates a springy, almost wobbly feel that adds a sense of fun to your run. While it might not have the snappiness of a carbon fiber-plated shoe, it offers a balanced blend of performance and comfort.

The shoe’s design also ensures that it can handle various running conditions and styles, making it versatile enough for different types of runners. The ReactX foam in the heel provides ample cushioning for heel strikers, while the ZoomX and Air Zoom unit cater to those looking for a more energetic push-off.

Nike Pegasus 40 Premium

Final Thoughts

The Pegasus Premium has the potential to become a firm favorite among runners looking for a blend of comfort, performance, and style.

Stay tuned for its launch on The Sports Edit in Spring 2025. Whether you’re a seasoned runner or just starting, this shoe promises to deliver an exciting and rewarding running experience. Thunderbolts not included.