Monday, May 21, 2018

Nike Zoom Pegasus 35 Review: Smoother Operator!

Article by Peter Stuart with Sam Winebaum

Nike Zoom Pegasus 35
Peter: The Nike Zoom Pegasus 35 gets a little lower to the ground and loses weight, about 0.6 oz! It’s a 9.4 ounce (men’s size 9) daily trainer with stack height of 28mm in the heel and 18mm in the forefoot. The Zoom Pegasus 35 sees some great changes in the upper, some changes on the outsole and gets a full length air unit. I loved the Pegasus 33 and really liked the 34, but they started to feel a little stiff and blocky for me compared to some of the other great shoes that have come along in the past year or two. There are lots of little changes here that make for a significantly different Pegasus. Different good or different bad?
Sam: Neither the Pegasus 33 or 34 inspired me. I admired their long lasting rubber outsoles and great style but the rides were lumpy, quite firm, uninspiring and quite ponderous compared to many other shoes in its class. I was most interested to run the Peg 35's new full length Zoom Air unit with its placement similar to the Vapor Fly 4%'s carbon plate. Would the lighter weight, Zoom Air unit, and new outsole change the picture for me? Read on to find out.

Weight: 9.4 oz/260 g US M9; 7.9 oz/224 g US W8
Stack Height: 28 mm heel / 18 mm forefoot, 10mm drop
$120. Available now.

Upper and Fit: 
Peter: The Zoom Pegasus 35 runs true to size. There are some great tweaks to the upper that make it feel like a new shoe.
Most noticeable is probably the long high tongue and the pointy rear of the shoe. I’ve heard some grousing about the tongue, but I like it. It stays in place, doesn’t seem to interfere with anything and allows for a quick on and off. The rear of the shoe flares to a bit of a point, and this is most obvious on the heel collar. I’ve found that the hold on the foot isn’t adversely affected at all and, in fact, the point helps to keep the rear of the ankle collar away from the achilles.
The upper is made of engineered mesh and is a “partial bootie” design. It’s a nicely fitting, soft and comfortable upper. Plenty of breathability.
Finishing off the upper is a nicely honed Flywire lacing system. The laces loop through the Flywire and allow for a reasonably customizable fit.
My only issue with the upper has been a little bit of pressure on the lateral side of my foot. It’s hard to say whether this is entirely due to the shoe as I’ve been recovering from a foot injury during the testing of the Peg 35. I think the shoe may be just a tiny bit narrow in the mid-foot.
The Pegasus 35 fit me true to size with a snug and comfortable fit.  I sized the same as the Peg 34. The engineered upper is much more foot conforming than the Peg 34's with its stiffer thicker mesh. The toe box is a bit low with some big toe pressure when new but as the sock liner packed and the mesh stretched a bit the fit there improved as is often the case with engineered mesh upper with some stretch. In sharp contrast to the Epic React, it was a comfortable fit with no mid foot arch pressure and snugness which made the React painful to run for me. In comparison to the Peg 34 as the knit is more pliable, the mid foot fit is both more secure and more comfortable.
The most significant and positive improvements to fit and comfort is at the last lace, the Peg 35 eliminates the last lace eyelet and Flywire cords, going from six to five, eliminating what was a pressure area from the lace, the last fairly thick eyelet support and the Flywire associated with it. There is noticeably less pressure now in that area yet a secure fit.
There are clear upper differences at the rear of the shoe. The ankle collar and achilles collar are significantly narrowed but this is partly due to the fact the padding in that area is thicker and extends further down the sides. 
The rear hold is impeccable and more secure than in the Peg 34 but those with finicky lower achilles and heels should make sure they try them on as there is a bit more side and rear pressures there for me but not an issue. 
There has been quite a bit of discussion of the very long tongue. Feels fine to me and seems more a visual design feature, and a cool one than anything else, but I do find it handy to pull the tongue up as without doing so the tongue tends to fold down lower.

Midsole and Outsole: 

Peter: The Pegasus 35 retains the full-length Cushlon midsole foam of the previous versions. Cushlon has a really nice balance of cushioned and responsive for me. It’s firm enough to give some push back but is in no way harsh. The big difference in the midsole of the Peg 35 is the full-lengthy Zoom Air system whereas the Peg 34 had front and back units.
I haven’t seen it cut-open yet, so I don’t know what it looks like on the inside, but Nike says: "The full-length articulated Nike Zoom airbag was inspired by the Nike Zoom Vaporfly 4%. Designers combined the two airbags used in the previous Pegasus into one that mimics the shape of the 4%’s curved carbon-fiber plate. The new shape offers responsive cushioning that improves transition and flexibility." It works!
The result of the new full-length Zoom Air is a significantly smoother transition from rear to front. It’s a great tweak and really affects the way the Peg 35 rolls.
LEFT: Pegasus 34                             RIGHT: Pegasus 35
Sam: I agree with Peter's assessment of the midsole improvements. This is one lively, fast midsole package with none of the lumpiness of the Peg 34.  I have read that as pressure is applied on heel landing air moves forward. I can feel this as a fuller ground contact and great cushion at the ball of the foot. The change in flex pattern from a long fairly stiff flex to a shorter somewhat easier front flex reminded me of many adidas adizero shoes. Somehow Nike got flex into a Zoom Air unit that tracks with a dynamic toe off. Hoorah! I have found most Zoom Air  shoes while having good pop upfront to be stiff. 
LEFT: Pegasus 34                             RIGHT: Pegasus 35
The midsole platform extends slightly further back and it more pointed than the Peg 34 reminding of the design style of the Vapor and Zoom Fly and has a more pronounced longer bevel than Peg 34. 
It is mostly an optical illusion as far as actual rubber ground contact as when loaded  the ground contact width and area is the about the same. Style gimmick or functional? I think it is functional. I notice on landing Peg 34 on one foot, Peg 35 on the other that the heel in the Peg 34 seemed "in the way" and wide. I moved off the heel faster in the Peg 35 although I found the heel somewhat firmer maybe due to the lower profile Zoom Air unit in the mix. The heel is plenty stable and now more dynamic and fluid in getting forward on landing.

There are changes to the outsole as well.
LEFT: Pegasus 35                            RIGHT: Pegasus 34
Peter: While the Peg 34 outsole (right) has a slew of very slightly different sized pentagonal “waffle” pieces, the Peg 35 (left has a far greater variation of sizes and shapes—going from larger and elongated near the midfoot to smaller near the toe. 
There is also more space between them which probably accounts for some of the weight loss along with the pointier heel. If you also look closely at the lateral crash rails, the pattern goes from a mix of horizontal and vertical lines on the 34 to only horizontal on the 35.

The big cross ball of the foot flex groove found on previous models of the Peg also disappears and now the deeper flex groove on the ball of the foot only crosses the lateral crash rail and doesn’t extend all the way across the ball of the foot. The flex grooves down the crash rail all seem to be just a little bit deeper. The end result here is a shoe that has a little less rubber and flows a little more smoothly through my stride.

Sam: Outsoles play a huge role in feel and transitions and here the new outsole for sure is a factor in the improved ride. Nothing much to add to Peter's assessment beyond that I notice a fuller ground contact at mid foot and a smoother transition to toe off than Peg 34.

Peter: As with other versions of the Pegasus, the Peg 35 took a few miles to break in. Once I got through about 6 miles the subtle tweaks started to reveal themselves. The word that comes to mind most when I’m thinking about the Peg 35 is “smooth”. The Peg 35 just rolls down the road. Transition from rear or midfoot through toe-off is silky smooth. The cushioning is in a really nice middle ground between ‘firm’ and ‘cushioned’. I’ve put about 40 miles on them so far and they’ve all been really enjoyable. I wouldn’t say they’re a fast shoe, but they feel okay at a decent tempo. The Pegasus 35 is a great choice for going long or getting in your daily miles without getting beat up.

Sam: Compared to the Peg 34 we have a different ride here. Not radically different as it is still a firmer stable cushioned ride but is a ride that is a bit firmer than Peg 34 overall except at the ball of the foot. The difference is that the ride is far more fluid with none of the awkward lumpiness and even ponderous feel of the Peg 34.

The Pegasus 35 has rekindled my love for the Pegasus line. They are a silky smooth and very comfortable daily trainer. I had started to feel that the older Pegs (33 and 34) were a bit too confining in the upper and to clumsy feeling in terms of ride. The Peg 35 has a more fluid ride with a more comfortable upper.
Peter's Score
9.0/10—a little pressure on the lateral mid-foot for me. Also could feel a little faster…

Peter titled the review perfectly: "Smooth Operator." Peg 35 is a Pegasus which means an upper which leans towards a snugger performance fit, lots of rubber, and Zoom Air but a Peg which is now 0.6 oz lighter and beautifully tuned top to bottom. The upper, largely due to the elimination of the front lace hole and its plastic eyelet support, is snug and secure yet very comfortable. The full length Zoom Air unit feels of a piece with the shoe and the movement of air towards the mid foot improves ground contact and cushion.  The new flex point allows dynamic toe offs which were mostly missing from the Peg 34. The ride is smooth, fast, and fluid with no awkwardness at any pace.

Slightly firmer than Peg 34 but very well cushioned, and as we said lighter at 9.3 oz, the Peg 35 now leans slightly more towards performance trainer than daily trainer and that is fine by me. It is a performance trainer that does not skimp on cushion and outsole durability.  Nothing in decades compares to the VaporFly 4% but otherwise this is the most impressive Nike trainer for me in many years, at least since the Lunar Tempo which was great but a bit soft.
Sam's Score:
9.75/10- the heel landing could be touch softer and bouncier.


Nike Zoom Pegasus 35 vs. Nike Zoom Pegasus 34 (and 33) (RTR review)
Peter: I put these on and ran side by side. Wow. The 35 felt smooth and cushioned and the 33 and 34 seemed to slap the pavement and have a much less efficient transition through my stride.
Sam: Agree with Peter 100%

Nike Zoom Pegasus 35 vs. Skechers GoRun Ride 7 (RTR review)
Peter: The Peg 35 gets somewhere in the neighborhood of the Ride 7, but doesn’t quite make it there. Aesthetically it’s a prettier shoe, but the Peg 35 it’s just not quite as fun for me to run. That said, the Peg 35 is a little bit firmer than the Ride 7, so if the Ride 7 feels too mushy for you—go Peg 35.
Sam: While the Ride 7 may be a bit more fun and its upper more comfortable it is not as stable, dynamic, or for me as versatile.

Nike Zoom Pegasus 35 vs. Nike Epic React (RTR review)
Peter: I definitely prefer the Pegasus 35 to the React. I know some people love the React, but it just doesn’t do it for me. I feel like the React stalls a little bit on the forefoot. The Pegasus rolls right off the forefoot and keeps me moving.
Sam: Hands down the Peg 35 and not the overhyped React. The combination of Zoom Air and Cushlon with plenty of firmer rubber is performance in a trainer. The React foam does provide more cushion but in combination with awkwardly placed "symmetrical" outsole rubber has a quite lifeless and dull ride. The React upper is almost painfully snug at mid foot and literally gets in the way of my transitions whereas the Peg 35's fits like a glove and works with my foot instead of against it.

Reviewer Bio
Peter Stuart is a late 40's avid LA based runner with recent sub 3 hour marathons and sub 1:25 halves.
Sam Winebaum is the Editor and Founder of RoadTrailRun. He has been running trails and roads and run shoe and tech geeking for 45 years. As he turned 60 in 2017 he was thrilled to clock a 1:35.24 half as well as 2 days after his 61st birthday a 3:40 marathon.  He also runs trails in rocky rooty New Hampshire and smooth Park City, UT. 
One pair of Pegasus 35 was provided at no cost, one pair was a personal purchase. The opinions herein are entirely the author's.
Comments Questions Welcome Below!
Visit our 2018 Previews Page here for 2018 run shoe, apparel, and gear previews. 
Watch our YouTube Channel  here for 2018 Run Shoe Previews and Wearable Tech Reviews 
Visit our Index Page here for over 80 in depth 2017 & 2018 shoe and gear reviews
Like & Follow Road Trail Run  Twitter: @roadtrailrun 
Instagram:roadtrailrun   RTR YouTube: RoadTrailRun

RoadTrailRun receives a commission for purchases through the stores below. 
Your purchases help support RoadTrailRun's work. Thanks!

Men's HERE Women's HERE
FREE 2 Day Shipping EASY No Sweat Returns
Men's HERE Women's HERE


julius hernandez said...

What do you think Under Armour hovr sonic or Pegasus 35?

Anonymous said...

Which is harsher on legs -nike 35(cushlon + zoom) vs Boston 6(boost) vs salomon sonic ra/pro (vibe)?

Peter Stuart said...

Julius, Hard to say, I'll have to put them side by side. Good question. I'll get back to you.

Anonymous...I haven't run in the Boston (but I'm not a huge fan of boost). I think the Peg is pretty easy on the legs overall.

Daniel Culbertson said...

The tongue and heel cup ‘flair’ remind me a lot of Adidas’s Alpha Bounce Line that has similar upper features. I chalk that up to the Alpha’s more cross-training oriented use as it seems to provide a slight bit of support / lock-in almost like a mid-rise shoes. Interesting that Nike has borrowed that for the workhorse running shoe - though there is plenty of history there from the classic cross-trainers from the late 80s early 90s.

This is the first version of the Pegasus rust I’ve been interested in as prior versions have never fit me well.

Chad said...

How does the Pegasus 35 compare against the Mizuno Wave Rider 21?

Anonymous said...

is it good to run at 4 min/km - 4'15'' min/km?
I'm 178 cm x 65 kg

sam winebaum said...

HI Anonymous,
Peg 35 should be fine for those paces. If racing maybe a bit to much shoe though.
Sam, Editor

Anonymous said...

Awesome review!
How do you think the pegasus 35 comapres to the kinvara 9 in terms of ride?
If you had to choose one which would it be?

matheus said...

Hi, excellent review. How does the pegasus 35 compared to the Saucony ride 10? They have similar weights. Congrats from Brazil

Fran├žois said...


Thanks for the review. I'm hesitating between those and the Saucony ride ISO, which one would you recommend?

I currently run with the Triumph ISO 3, but looking for something slightly lighter... do you think the change from 8mm to 10 mm drop could be a problem?

Thanks in advance !

sam winebaum said...

Hi Francois,
I have now run in the Peg 35. You will find it somewhat firmer and much livelier and more fluid than the Triumph ISO 3. The difference in drop should not be a big issue. The Ride ISO has a.. similar ride to the Peg 35 with a touch more cushion overall, especially at the heel. For some including me the upper hold of the Ride ISO was not the best while the Peg 35 is impeccable and very comfortable if more on the "performance" snug side than Ride ISO. Reviews of Ride ISO and many others at the link below.
Sam, Editor
Thanks for reading Road Trail Run! See our page with links to all shoe and gear reviews HERE. You can also follow RoadTrailRun on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram where we publish interesting run related content more frequently as well as links to our latest reviews. Shopping through links on articles help support RoadTrail Run and is much appreciated

sam winebaum said...

Hi Matheus,
Thanks for kind words! Ride 10 is a good comparison. I would say the Ride 10 is slightly more cushioned in the heel and very slightly softer overall. The Peg leans a touch more towards "performance" and the Ride to "daily training" done lively. The Peg 35 upper while snug and almost a performance fit has an edge in comfort at the last lace hole near the forefoot over the Ride 10. Can't go wrong with either shoe really.
Sam, Editor
Thanks for reading Road Trail Run! See our page with links to all shoe and gear reviews HERE. You can also follow RoadTrailRun on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram where we publish interesting run related content more frequently as well as links to our latest reviews. Shopping through links on articles help support RoadTrail Run and is much appreciated

sam winebaum said...

HI Chad,
Thanks for asking. My last Wave Rider was 19. I found them very heel high and stiff at the rear due to the Wave plate. If I can recall overall the cushion is about the same maybe a touch more at the heel despite the firmness from the plate in the Wave Rider. The Peg 35 just feels much more of a piece and less forced than the Wave Rider.

Dennis Chui said...
This comment has been removed by the author.