Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Nike Zoom Pegasus Turbo Initial Road Test Review: Light, Comfortable Trainer Built for the Road to Breaking 2... or Breaking 4!

Article by Sam Winebaum

Nike Zoom Pegasus Turbo ($180)
On July 11th Nike released the Zoom Pegasus Turbo, an approximately 8 oz (men's 9), 6.9 oz (women's 8) run trainer.   Nike's official weight at a size 10 men's is 8. 4 oz. The Turbo has a 10mm drop and is based on the popular Pegasus.

The Zoom Pegasus Turbo is the second shoe, after the magic Vapor Fly-the Breaking 2 shoe, (RTR review) with a Zoom X midsole. Zoom X is a PEBA based foam which is incredibly light and has superb energy "return" and cushioning characteristics. The Vapor Fly has flown elites and four hour marathoners to shockingly fast times while keeping the legs fresh through the race and after. I can attest to the friendliness and speed of this incredible shoe.  The Turbo geometry seeks to reproduce the familiar feel of the Pegasus, at race shoe weights, as well as the energetic softer ride of the Vapor Fly with a hint of its propulsive effect but with no carbon plate in the mix.

The Turbo was developed with feedback from Eliud Kipchoge who got oh so close to the magic two hour marathon barrier last year and who has been the world's most dominant marathoner. Eliud wanted a training shoe with the very light, lively, soft, and friendly feel of his record setting Vapor Fly to hammer out the hundreds of miles of training required. Quite frankly, Nike had few if any training shoes with such a ride feel and light weight in their current line up until the Turbo.

Nike was kind enough to send us a pair for testing. I have run 21 miles in them since receiving yesterday: a 5.5 mile moderate tempo run,  4.5 mile slow recovery pace run, a short pre race tune up with a faster mile and a 7.5 mile hilly daily  pace run. Read on, but Nike has a winner here. The Turbo is a training shoe that is a light, comfortable, softer and is smoother and at the same time is not quite as aggressively responsive and firm as the standard Pegasus. Recall Eliud wanted some comfort in his trainer and we should too!

My test sample is a women's size 10 which fit my 8.5 size perfectly with a touch more mid foot volume and comfort than the Pegasus 35.  It is certainly more comfortable for me than the Epic React's upper where I was almost pinched, down low at the arch. I once tested a Pegasus 33 in a women's 10 and this fit is clearly more voluminous at mid foot yet with plenty of length if a bit low over the toes due to the racing stripe when new. While I can't exactly judge, lower volume, narrower men's feet may need to size down in men's models, I likely would and am usually true to size in everything.

Guys with a narrower foot, and mine is narrow to medium, should definitely consider a women's model if supplies are short, and they will be!

The shoe tested weighs 7.6 oz/ 220 g which translates to approximatly 8 oz./227 g at a US size 9.  This is 1.4 oz/40 g less than the current standard Pegasus 35. The weight difference is instantly noticeable on the foot and on the run.

First Impressions and Fit
I really dig the day glow pink and light gray green here.  I have to assume the wide racing stripe down the toe is functional providing some structure. It is reproduced on the outsole as a full contact surface in the center, just where it should be.  The shoe disappears on the foot with no sense of the constraining fit of the Epic React or even of the new Pegasus 35 which fits me well if still somewhat snugly.  I did notice some pressure over my tricky big toe nails from the broad and flashy racing stripe but one run in thicker socks was what it took to pad the toe nail and pack down the sock-liner. and the fit was dialed and the pressure gone on for my next run in thin socks.
The achilles collar fit is similar to the Pegasus 35, swept back to relieve achilles pressure and a bit more "open" and loose feeling than normal towards the top but all in all as secure if relaxed rear of the shoe fit.

The upper is a very fine translucent mesh reminding me of a tiny holed fishing net. It has a full lining which is fairly thick and which attaches to the tongue to create a bootie. The FlyWire cords sit between the outer mesh and the inner bootie and I never noticed them when laced up as the lining pads the FlyWire cords very effectively.
The upper is very pliable and foot conforming with mid foot support provided by the bootie and the FlyWire cords, as well as a slight raising of the midsole side walls at mid foot above the foot bed on the medial side. The laces are pliable with some grip texture. Lace up was once and done.
The swept back achilles collar is a distinctive feature of the Peg Turbo and Pegasus 35. It does keep pressure off the achilles but feels a bit open at the top although overall rear hold is just fine.
There is plenty of toe box volume with the caveat that on first try on, before they molded to the foot the racing stripe was noticed with some pressure over my big toe nails. By the end of the first run this went away. The upper is  breathable and should drain very well.
The tongue is lightly padded with a smooth continuous covering.


The Zoom X midsole is the star feature.  Nike tells us the entire midsole is Zoom X which we understand is a PEBA based foam and not the usual EVA.

There is no full length carbon propulsive plate in the mix as the Vapor Fly has. This is a softer midsole for sure than the Pegasus with its Cushlon cradle of foam surrounding a full length Zoom Air unit. Even though the Pegasus 35 is much improved and lighter (although still a full ounce heavier than Turbo), it still has a somewhat lumpy, firm  and lifeless serious feel, and certainly so in comparison to its Turbo sibling. The Turbo feel is closer to Nike shoes such as the Lunar Tempo but with a silky softness with a more noticeable, well measured rebound and a distinct if more subtle than in Vapor Fly sense of energy return as downward forces are released I assume due to the lack of the propulsion plate of the Vapor Fly
Those familiar with Nike new Epic React will find the Turbo midsole somewhat softer and with much more life to it. I found the Epic React ride muted and quite dull despite the light weight of the shoe, a touch lighter at 7.8 oz than the Turbo.
At first I thought I felt two densities of foam, slightly firmer under foot then softer below at the heel but this feel may be caused by the flared geometry of the heel and midsole side walls. Even with the outwardly flared heel sides, as a heel striker, I wish for a touch more width at the rear. This said they are way more stable than the Vapor Fly.
The flex is long, breaking past the second lace loop from the front, basically just in front of the Swoosh. Forward of that, the shoe is quite stiff reminding of the Vapor Fly but of course as there is no carbon plate more flexible overall as the Vapor Fly is completely rigid.

As with the Vapor Fly, there is a delightfully soft feeling under the forefoot from the Zoom X but no sense of bottoming out. The Turbo transitions incredibly easily at all paces including very slow but given no plate and relatively thin rubber outsole it is not as responsive and snappy as the Pegasus 35. As with the Vapor Fly but distinctly more muted there is a groove with the body slightly angled forward where they run best. One feels a very smooth and easy flow through the gait to toe off.  Recall this is a training shoe for long miles at moderate paces, in great comfort, day in day out.  The Vapor Fly is the race and faster days shoe in this Nike rotation.

The outsole is durable rubber which feels to be slightly firmer at the heel than forefoot. There is a full band of rubber around the entire outsole edges which we assume helps stabilize the soft Zoom X and provide some wear resistance at the edges, and it does.  Leveraging the geometry of the midsole the flex point is at the narrowest on the ground area, so quite far back and at mid foot.

Nike's press release says there is some React "underfoot for durability and stability"
The white areas showing through the black midsole and at mid foot may be a thin layer of more abrasion resistant and I would assume more stable React foam, as Zoom X itself is not abrasion resistant. Comparing what this layer feels like by pressing it to the Zoom X sidewalls and I note it is different but this could also be the outer skin of the sidewalls.   Unless embedded further this layer is no thicker than the outer black rubber ring. As the press release also says "underfoot" it could be an invisible layer embedded within the Zoom X just below the foot. The landing feel is a touch different than below on initial contact.

The contact black rubber is concentrated in two areas of pentagonal lugs at the front and rear in a general arrangement similar to the Epic React.
Unlike the Epic React, which I found difficult to toe off, I sensed due to its continuous patches of rubber here with openings through, and real rubber and not the translucent material in the Epic. that toe off is soft, easy and smooth, seamless, and unforced. I found I had to force the toe of the Epic React at slower paces, not here with the Turbo.
Pressing the heel area rubber,  particularly at the far pointy back, I find the whole system there a bit softer than I would like, My only ninor criticism of the Turbo so far is that the heel landing may be to pointy and.or the rubber not dense enough back there to create an ideally stable platform for us heel striking Breaking 4 types!

The ride is delightfully easy going and smooth. Soft but in no way mushy. the Turbo is very easy on the legs, as is the Vapor Fly. The long flex was particularly good on steep climbs. The pointy heel is not quite as stable as I would like on steep downhills. So far, I am finding the ride best at paces between mid tempo and easier going daily miles and even very slow miles are a delight. The most unique sensation here is the transition from a subtle "platform" like feel at mid foot to a very easy and comfortable toe off with lots of well modulated softness up front. It's not a snappy responsive toe of, just a sense as in the Vapor Fly, but less so, of falling forward slightly and easily and very smoothly toeing off without ever forcing the toe off as I felt I had to in the Epic React. I do wish for a touch more front snap as the pace picks up, but for the long daily miles training purpose the comfort and smoothness here is outstanding.
By focusing on the training needs of its elites and learning from the leg saving experiences of the Vapor Fly and its Zoom X midsole, Nike has delivered an outstanding new trainer with the Pegasus Turbo. Even in recent years, many Nike racers and trainers have definitely on the heavy, rough or firm side with shoes such as the Pegasus and Streak 6. Yet Nike did have a line of softer rides, the Lunar series. The Vapor Fly opened eyes and moved legs fast and relatively painlessly so why not train that way too!

This is one comfortable ride top to bottom: easy going, light, and energetic without any rough edges beyond a wish for a bit more heel firmness/stability and a touch more front response. It is not a highly snappy responsive trainer targeted at up tempo workouts ( use theVapor Fly for that) but a smooth, smooth operator for daily miles which can go fast or slow with equal ease and with less roughness and jarring than the fine standard Pegasus 35. Runners of all paces, except maybe extreme hard and heavier frame heel strikers will enjoy this shoe as a daily trainer. We will have an in depth multi tester review soon.
My neighbor's grandson approves!

Quick Comparisons (More to come in our full review)
Nike Zoom Pegasus 35 (RTR Review)
Turbo is lighter, smoother, and more easy going on the legs. It is not quite as stable or responsive. Use the Peg 35 for faster workouts, the Turbo for the bulk of your miles.
Nike Vapor Fly 4% (RTR Review)
Train most miles in the Turbo. Do harder faster workouts and races in the Vapor Fly. That's Eliud's combo.
Nike Epic React Flyknit (RTR Review)
Not a big smiles shoe for me. A constrained, snug upper and muted, stiff ride despite the light weight of the Epic. Zoom X is clearly a superior midsole foam a more energetic and lively while softer than the Epic React with smoother transitions and far superior and easier and more natural toe off while having a touch less response.
Nike Zoom Fly (RTR Review)
Firmer and very stiff with conventional foam the Zoom Fly seemed to operate for me in a narrow pace range around moderate tempo and was no fun faster or slower. Turbo will range better from faster tempo to slower paces and is easier on the legs.
New Balance Beacon (RTR Review)
Very similar light shoes. The Beacon is somewhat firmer and more responsive and is a better race and faster days option but won't cross over to most runners' daily training needs as well as the Peg Turbo.
Saucony Kinvara 9 (RTR Review)
The Kinvara is more stable overall and feels like a better up tempo option, barely. It won't handle the daily miles as well as Turbo
Reebok Floatride Run Fast (RTR Review)
Lighter than the Turbo by almost an ounce, the Fast also has PEBA based midsole, one that appears slightly firmer and more responsive. It definitely leans more towards race and fast workouts more than training as the Turbo does.

Official Nike Zoom Pegasus Turbo Press Release here
The Pegasus Turbo will be available August 2nd 2018!
Reviewer Bio
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. 
The product reviewed in this article were provided at no cost. The opinions herein are entirely the authors'.
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Anonymous said...

Looking forward to this to pair with my Vaporfly
What is the sizing like - I use a UK 13 in most shoes and Nike’s but I am able to use a UK 12 in the Vaporfly (its the largest size they make anyway so no choice) and note the review suggests they are a bit loose

sam winebaum said...

Hi Anonymous,
A bit hard to judge for me as they sent me a women's 10 which fit perfectly with both thin and thick socks. I was an 8.5 in the VaporFly 4 but have to wear thicker socks to dial in the fit. In a men's last my sense is they are roomy due to the unstructured upper and certainly compared to the Peg 35 especially at mid foot. I likely would size down a half in a men's.
Sam, Editor

Anonymous said...

Yeah , it looks like Nike is coming back around to softer now, but at double the price $$ of the old Lunar Tempo & Racer. Wish they would bring both back with the new foam, be in the 6 oz. range, and around $100.00 too. Until then, no new Nikes for me.

They left us runners that used and liked the Lunar Racer/Tempo, pretty well hung out to dry. And $180.00 is too steep for me and a lot of runners. Get you act together Nike! Most of us can't afford $200.00 shoes. :(

Michael said...

How do these compare to Hoka One One Machs?

sam winebaum said...

Compared to Mach Turbo is softer, more flexible feeling , not quite as stable especially at heel and far easier to toe off at all paces. Mach i would run Trails with and one of our testers ran a 100 miler in them ,Turbo not. Our Mach review 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!

matheus said...

Hi, congrats for the review!can you compare this with the Skechers go run ride 7? You all loved the ride 7 and it's a daily trainer, that's why I wanna know. I'm really interest in buying one of the when my zante v4 dies. I want a ff beacon too. I'm from brazil, vapor fly 4% cost here something like 300 dollars, so I can't afford. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Have been waiting for this review for a while! Love it & can't wait for further updates once you get more miles.

sam winebaum said...

Hi Matheus,
Yes we all liked the Ride 7 but I thought it was not as stable particularly at the forefoot as I would like in a daily trainer. The Peg Turbo is more stable and yet livelier and is considerably lighter and pricier. You can get two Ride 7 for the price of one Turbo more or less. All of this said and not considering price in a soft fast trainer I prefer the Turbo's ride and upper.
Sam, Editor

matheus said...

Thanks! Could the peg turbo be used in recovery too? Or there are better options?

sam winebaum said...

Yes for recovery! Excellent soft and easy to transition without being mushy. Ran a recovery run in them yesterday and superb. Sam, Editor

Anonymous said...

Agreed, the Lunaracer 3's (& by extension, the Tempo) were a slam dunk... Why can't they simply update those great formulas with the new foams (& call them 'ReactRacer/Tempo' or whatever) - simple, low'ish stacked soles with perfectly tailored uppers - it can't be that hard?!

Thomas Gamble said...

Very interesting... I have not been a fan of recent Pegasus models but this sounds more promising. How would you say these compare to an Adidas Boston 6 or 7?

sam winebaum said...

Hi Thomas,
Have not run the Boston 7 (review linked below) but did extensively the Boston 6. What immediately comes to mind is that the Turbo forefoot is far more cushioned, and maybe a touch less responsive in the traditional sense of a distinct pop off the road as the feel is softer with Turbo. The heel of the Boston while not the most stable due to Boost with no rear Torsion plastic is a touch more stable as it is broader. While there is nothing wrong with the Boston upper for me the Turbo's is clearly superior in its light secure hold while Boston is quite snug. Overall the Turbo has a wider range of uses leaning towards utility for every day miles over the Boston. While much heavier a closer comparison to Turbo in the adidas line might be the new Solar Boost.
Sam, Editor

Frederick said...

Can't wait to hear how the Pegasus Turbo compares to the Nike Zoom Elite 9. I've ran a couple of half marathons in the ZE9 and I simply love them. How would you compare the forefoot feel of the Turbo and sizing compared to ZE9?

sam winebaum said...

Hi Frederick,
Thanks for asking and reading!
So far Peg Turbo is very different than ZE 9 with the only thing I see in common is the relatively soft heel of the ZE9. The Turbo is considerably softer in the forefoot but not a mushy soft as the Zoom X gives it some pop but I would not call it as responsive as the ZE 9 upfront. I find it transitions better at all paces whereas at least for me the ZE 9 only worked at faster paces and then I found the disconnect between the soft heel and firmer responsive forefoot not to my liking. As for uppers the ZE fit and materials while decently generous leans towards performance while the Turbo while totally secure is more pliable and more comfort oriented.
We will more closely compare in our full review.
Sam, Editor

Florian said...

What I'm most curious about with this shoe is durability. Given that it's designed as a daily trainer for marathon running the ZoomX foam has to last. If the shoe is done after 300 mi then it is too expensive (for me) too justify.

sam winebaum said...

Hi Florian,
Thanks for writing. Your concern about durability of Zoom X is certainly valid. I have about 140 miles of racing on my Vapor Fly. Many report well over 300 miles on theirs. I see no real change beyond a touch firmer and no collapses given the geometry the Turbo does not have a carbon plate but is a more conventional midsole geometry. While with lighter weight foams and lighter weight shoes there can be trade offs in terms of durability I expect at least 300 if not more here. The weak point in the end may be the outsole which while durable rubber with no wear showing is not as thick as many "daily trainers" such as Peg 35 from what I can tell. ShoeGoo to the rescue!
Sam, Editor

tpd said...

Hi Sam! I love reading/following your reviews (and, Strava)! Anyway,I am very interested in these. I just retired a pair of ZE9, and I am currently rotating a pair of Epic Reacts. As you've stated, they are not all that "Epic"....the upper is too snug & now the sole seems to be "clicking". I can not figure that one out. I have and race longer stuff in the VF4%, and love them. But, as you've stated, they will not last if I train in them. I where a 9.5 in the ZE9 & the Epic's, what size should I get? If a Women's shoe is the only available option, what size is equal? Thanks, again! TPD

sam winebaum said...

Hi tpd,
Thanks for following RTR and my adventures over on Strava as well. Who are you on Strava?
I sized my usual 8.5 in Epic React and should have gone up a half. In VF I am 8.5 but wear thicker socks and fit then is perfect. Don't think I would size down in VF as I think length would become an issue. Can't recall my ZE sizing. A 9.5 Men's should correspond to 11 women's unless something funky happens to the lasts as they get bigger in women's. As I said in review I am perfect in W!0 only issue maybe a bit low over the toes at the Racing Stripe but they have stretched and now with thinner socks things are fine. Runner's World review for Peg Turbo said they all sized down a half size. I think if I got a men's version I would too which I haven't done in ages.
Sam, Editor

tpd said...

Thanks, Sam! So, I usually run true to size in most everything, so I should try to stick with 9.5M's, hugh...I will try the 11 in a Women's if needed. Tom Danielson is my name. I am Jo Rupp's husband...we met you and D at the MDI half in Oct., 2015!

sam winebaum said...

Hi Tom, of course! MDI was special! Sam