Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 38: Shoe of the Week
The new Nike Pegasus 38 lives up to the shoe’s legacy as a comfortable daily trainer for any pace, with a new fit like a well-used baseball mitt.
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Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 38 Review
Weight: M9.2oz, W8.9oz
Stack Heights: 27.5 heel /17.5mm forefoot
Offset: 10mm heel-toe drop
Out-of-the box familiarity, softness and flexibility that normally requires a long wear-in period, and a ride that smooths the miles for most any runner.
Nike knocks it out of the park with what feels like a personalized fitting upper that uses sandwich mesh material in the upper and a wider toe box akin to that of pre Peg-36 models. The tongue is now a padded, separate piece, there’s a new webbing system that connects the laces to a “fit band” for a customized feel, plus there’s additional React foam for a more responsive ride.
This Is the Shoe for You If …
You are looking for an extremely comfortable, familiar-feeling and dependable trainer that has been fine tuned for an exceptionally fluid ride. For those who don’t want or need a lot underfoot, these workhorses offer reliable consistency and comfort.
We’ve run in Pegasi since school days, always appreciating this model that continues to get updated with new materials and tech while retaining its character as an approachable, comfortable ride that coddles beginner’s first miles and marathoner’s long runs, but can crank out a set of “quarters” on the track without breaking a sweat. It’s the type of shoe you want in your bag if you’re going on a long trip and have room for only one shoe.
After several runs in the Nike Pegasus 38, one tester said he felt “coddled and unconstrained in the shoe, but not particularly fast or stable,” and attributed that to the softness of the full-length React foam which provides a responsive, cushioned ride and smooth transitions. He summed up, “Reflecting the changing times, what used to be a ‘fast day’ shoe is now a great daily trainer.”
Another test team member said that she “loved how bouncy, light, and simple these were. I truly felt fast and smooth running in these and believe they single handedly made my mileage go up this past week.” As a bonus, she added, “The design is really cool too, a little bit of a futuristic retro thing going on.”
A third tester was “really impressed with the midsole/outsole combination — with the flexibility and traction almost performing like a light trail shoe. The outsole construction is rugged with a good amount of technical composition.”
Whereas many brands emphasize rearfoot cushioning, Nike put 10mm of forefoot Zoom Airbag to reward mid and forefoot strikers with soft, supple, energy-returning comfort — the ride is a carryover from the Pegasus 37, complete with gender-specific tuning of the underfoot pressure. The improved midfoot system features more React foam than the 37, soft enough that it wraps around your foot, and displaces and bends easily, while not bottoming out before rebounding.
Some testers were less pleased with the rearfoot, which felt overly soft and high under the heel, producing some squishiness and instability for those who land toward the aft of the foot. One tester felt some Achilles flare-up and another had troubles with the heel cup support. But, in general, the trainer received warm acceptance for its overall performance and comfort of the upper, described by one as, “airy, mesh slippers swaddling my feet.”
It is no wonder the Zoom Pegasus is Nike’s most trusted running shoe, one the brand puts so much thought and care into improving. Nike knows better than to mess with a good thing and the slight tweaks made to the 37 reflect that care and respect we now see in the 38.
Altra Rivera, Asics Nimbus Lite 2, Brooks Hyperion Tempo, Saucony Endorphin Speed, Skechers GOrun Razor + Hyper, Topo Cyclone