Friday, April 21, 2023

Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 40 Multi Tester Review: True to its Ride Tradition, Modern in Looks and Fit

Article by Michael Ellenberger, Steve Gedwill, Zack Dunn and Beto Hughes

Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 40 ($130)


Michael: You know it by now - the Nike Pegasus is a classic running shoe that's been around for ages (well, 40 iterations, at least). It's known for being durable, comfy, and versatile, making it a favorite among runners of all levels, from pros to amateurs. As we’ve covered here on RTR, the Pegasus has gone through a bunch of updates over the years, with each new version (mostly) improving on the last. 

The 40 brings a sleek new look, but maintains the dual Zoom Air units (one in the forefoot and one in the heel) for cushioning - most of the improvements are to the upper, which is snug and comfortable and undoubtedly more race- or workout-ready than we’ve seen before. But we’ll cover all of that in this review, so please read on!


Michael/Zack/Beto: Best Pegasus upper ever.

Michael/Zack/Steve/Beto: Still some of the best outsole traction you can find on a trainer.

Michael/Zack/Steve/Beto: Same firm ride as always! 

Michael/Zack: Best looking Pegasus ever, to boot,

Beto: Midfoot band works so much better than flywire on this Pegasus and feels more comfortable and secure.


Michael/Zack/Steve/Beto: Same firm ride as always…

Michael: Heel collar was a bit stiff, and gave my Achilles trouble.

Michael: ZoomX foam instead of React would transform this shoe.


Weight: 9.4 oz / 266g (US9)

Sample: 9.2 oz / 261 g (US8.5)

Stack Height: men’s 33 mm heel / 23 mm forefoot, 10mm drop

$130. Available now in many colors including at our partner Running Warehouse HERE

First Impressions, Fit and Upper

Michael: The upper of the Nike Pegasus 40 is made of a lightweight and breathable mesh material, redesigned here with a “single-layer mesh upper.” We’re in lovely Midwest spring, so I’ve run this on hot and cold days (yes, including in the snow), and found the mesh to be great for keeping your feet cool and dry, but also adequate in sub-freezing temps. 

The tongue and collar are lightly padded, adding to the overall comfort of the shoe. And, as always, the Pegasus 40 comes in a standard width (which I wore), but you can also get it in a wider width if you need more room.

The upper is the biggest change (at least, that I noticed), so I’ll give it a little more here - the lacing is wide, and at first I wasn’t sure there’d be adequate lockdown (it’s structure more like bar-lacing, with parallel horizontal laces, than a traditional X-pattern), but that concern was quickly alleviated. 

The upper here is snug, and while I wouldn’t size up from my usual 8.5, it’s certainly a close fit that works with you when running on tight terrain, etc. The heel counter was a bit stiff for my fragile Achilles (see my Strava log for more constant complaining), but not worse than any other shoe of its ilk.

Zack: I personally like the upper alot, and can say that this might be possibly my favorite Pegasus upper. It blends a lot of different aspects of what I loved in the past few iterations of the Pegasus, and puts it into one upper. I loved the soft material feel of the 36, but also loved the midfoot lockdown configuration of the 37 & 38  and how perfectly it locked down the foot. As well as that, I really loved the more cushioned tongue of the 39 So overall, I really do love the upper and I had no gripes or flaws ! could really find.

Steve: The Pegasus 40 has the same midsole/outsole as the Pegasus 39, with updates to the upper. I love the classic vibe of the color I received, which is the White/Obsidian-LT Orewood brown. The little touches of Crimson really make the shoe ‘pop’ and feels like a borderline Nike Prototype color scheme. 

At step-in the shoe is quite comfortable, the upper is soft and the tongue is well padded. The horizontal lacing works well, as lockdown was not an issue. The heel collar has enough cushioning and provides good structure. The dual Zoom Air Units are noticeable and add a nice touch of softness underfoot. Like Micheal, I am also dealing with typical Midwest spring weather and have run in temps as low as the 20’s to high 60’s. The Pegasus upper felt great in the cooler temps, but I expected it to be a bit more breathable in the warmer temps. The Pegasus 40 feels more fitted and comfortable over the previous version. 

Beto: The Pegasus 40 comes with upper updates which are worth it if you are a Pegasus fan. One of my favorite Pegasus was the Pegasus 35’s  but this new upper in the Peg 40 is very comfortable, with better and more secure lockdown and has a bit more volume in the forefoot. 

I run in hot and humid area in the north of Mexico,  so normally running in the mid 90’s with 95% humidity so the upper felt a bit warm in these temperatures and soaks a bit of moisture after a solid workout but didn’t get heavy or warmer. The upper feels a bit more breathable at the front than at the midfoot.


Michael: The midsole of the Nike Pegasus 40 touts two Zoom Air units (front and rear), that gives you a bouncy and cushioned ride. As they have for ages, the Zoom Air units compress when your foot hits the ground, then bounces back to its original shape, which functions to reduce the impact on your feet and legs, and just generally provide some bounce underfoot. The midsole also has Nike’s React foam material, which adds a little more cushioning and support, as well as firms up the shoe a bit. 

My impressions? This midsole feels like every Pegasus midsole since 37 (the first model to tote React foam). It’s firm, maybe a little too firm at first, but it does loosen up with subsequent runs. I was flashed back to those earlier Pegasus models on my first run in these as I felt forefoot hotspots coming on… only for that to alleviate itself a few miles later. There’s a certain comfort to the firmness here, too - just don’t expect Nike Invincible-esque cushioning. The Pegasus is a harsher, more direct ride.

Zack: I definitely agree with Michael, in that this midsole feels like all Pegasus 37 to current, as that was when they switched from Cushlon to React foam, and from a full-length Air Zoom Unit to separate Air Zoom Units (the 39 added a additional one in the heel, but personally I do not notice that one while running). The best way I can describe this shoe is firm and responsive, which actually makes it somewhat versatile in terms of being able to run it  for a long run, if needed, or a tempo run. 

Steve: It is definitely a React foam feeling midsole, meaning it’s firm and not super bouncy. Don’t get me wrong, it’s cushioned enough to put some quality miles in, it’s just not my personal preference. The Zoom Air units are pretty noticeable while walking around, adding a nice touch of softness, but on the run I don’t notice them at all. The Air units could be reducing impact and may be beneficial, but from a ride standpoint it doesn’t add much. But If you like a slightly firmer trainer, then the Pegasus is a great choice. 

Beto: The React foam has a firm and bit dense ride with enough cushion for any workout, if you enjoy the Pegasus 39 you will enjoy the Pegasus 40 ride. The shoe feels firm when running but when walking the React foam and Zoom Air pockets feel softer which makes them comfortable as a gym to run shoe. This shoe is for those runners who are loyal to the Pegasus line and those who enjoy a firm but still cushioned ride.


Michael: The outsole of the Nike Pegasus 40 is made of a tough rubber material (“Duralon blown rubber”) that gives you great traction on a bunch of different surfaces. The outsole also has a waffle pattern (not to be mistaken with MY Waffles) that helps spread your weight evenly across your foot, giving you a smoother ride. The outsole has small flex grooves, too, which make the shoe more flexible and let your foot move more naturally. Overall, this is pretty standard Pegasus fair, which is to say - really good! Fit for all sorts of runs. It’s terrific - I’m just not that excited by it.

Zack: I have always loved the outsole of the Pegasus, as I found it great for multi-terrain running. I am a cross country runner, so I run on roads, track, grass, dirt, gravel, etc., so I really appreciate an outsole that can grip to a multitude of surfaces. 

As Micheal said it is not fully covered in rubber, as there are exposed “flex grooves”, which does make the toe off more natural which I enjoy for daily training shoes as there’s no reason for a daily trainer to be extremely stiff. 

Steve: The outsole of the Pegasus has always been top notch. It’s a workhorse for sure (horse pun intended) and will go the distance. As  Mike and Zach said, it will cover a lot of different terrains and perform quite well 0n them. It’s the outsole we expect from the Pegasus line, and one you can count on.

Beto: Like every Pegasus,  the outsole is a heavy duty outsole that can go anywhere from road to light trails and the traction is good during light rains and wet roads. Durability is outstanding and the outsole will last a lot of miles and with the React midsole the combo will last a long time. .


Michael: Ah, the ride - rubber meeting road, and all of that - the Nike Pegasus 40 is firm and responsive, and … probably exactly what you expect by now (in, I think, a good way). The combination of the Zoom Air units and React foam give you a bouncy, but not necessarily squishy feel, and the upper does a more than adequate job keeping your feet secure and comfortable (minus the occasional hotspot), even at faster paces. That the outsole provides good grip and traction means that the Pegasus can be a solid up-tempo shoe and light trails shoe in nearly all conditions (when you might think twice about bringing out a Vaporfly, for example), though super shoe it is not. I touched as fast as 10k pace, and as slow as marathon-plus-three on some much-needed recovery, and had no real issues at either end (though, of course, a plated shoe will make that fast running a little easier!). 

When I worked in a run specialty store in law school, I used to recommend the Pegasus all the time (fellow reviewer Jamie Hershfang knows this well!), and found a lot of runners were turned off by the firm and “not that fun” feel you get. Undoubtedly, there are more lively shoes, more squishy shoes, heck, even firmer shoes all though fewer and fewer these days.  But,  if you’re willing to get cushion out of the Zoom Air units, for all that’s worth, I think the Peg 40 is a really enjoyable daily trainer.

Zack: In terms of ride, there is very little difference in comparison to the last few years of Pegasus, and especially last year's iteration. However, I will say this shoe does have a better midfoot lockdown, which makes tempos or slightly faster paced stuff easier. 

In terms of underfoot feel, just as stated previously, it is quite firm yet responsive, which is the only thing that allows me to run long distances in this shoe. It is not extremely firm like some other shoes, but it’s definitely not the plushest of shoes, so expect a fine medium. I will say that the shoe is pretty versatilefor me, as it works well at a multitude of paces. I will say that I would not use it for racing, or runs where a lot of cushion is desired underfoot. Overall, and maybe it’s just me being a longtime Pegasus lover and user, but I do genuinely enjoy the ride of the shoe and think there is a reason why it is loved and used by so many. 

Steve: I knew going into this review, the ride was going to feel quite similar to the last few iterations of the Nike Pegasus. It’s firm, not super bouncy, but a pleasant ride nonetheless. It’s quite comfortable underfoot, but a touch more softness would really elevate this shoe. My first run I did a few miles on the track with a mix of easy and tempo miles. It performed well at both, but I don’t think pushing the pace makes the shoe feel any more lively. After a few runs the React foam does seem to break in and the ride becomes more enjoyable.  It’s not going to be the most exciting shoe you’ll run in, but it’s a reliable trainer that you can expect to get a ton of quality miles out of.

Beto: The shoe can handle a variety of paces and different types of training. It performs excellently as a daily trainer for those easy runs with strides and for  some speed workouts too such as Tempos and Fartleks and there to it did not disappoint. Not the fastest but it is very versatile.

The shoe lacks a bit of bounce as the React foam and Zoom Air pockets work together to give a responsive ride but it does need a bit more bounce.  Other than that the shoe works fantastically well.

Conclusions and Recommendations

Michael: Functionally, the Pegasus 40 is a great all-arounder shoe that can be pulled out for training runs, speedwork, and even racing, if you so choose. Across 50 miles, I mostly loaded mine with regular, easy miles, but I did run one fartlek of 12 miles in them, and they were fine (if a little tough) to take at marathon pace. For pure recovery (the day after a 20 mile hard session), I would have preferred the uber-soft Invincible, but the Pegs were still plenty cushioned. 

There’s a lot of variety here, and while the Peg 40 isn’t anything really new, that’s not to say it’s bad. At 40 iterations, Nike has made enough tweaks that I can genuinely say they’re “perfecting” this type of trainer, and while I don’t think it’s the best trainer in Nike’s lineup anymore, I do think this is the best version of the Pegasus ever.

Michael’s Score: 9.0/10


Steve: If you’re looking for a daily trainer that can handle the workload, works well in a variety of conditions/terrains and is at a great price point, then the Nike Pegasus is a solid choice. 

I always stress to people looking for a new running shoe that comfort is king. If it feels natural and comfortable on foot, that's a shoe you can put a ton of miles in. It may not have the latest foam or have a nylon/carbon plate, but it’s stable, well cushioned and very durable. There is a reason this shoe continues to be one of Nike’s top sellers, with adjustments and little changes to improve the Pegasus each year. Every Pegasus I’ve ever owned, once retired from running, always moves to my casual wear, as the comfort is unmatched.

Steve’s Score 8.0/10 Comfort 9, Style 9, Ride 7


Zack: Whether you’re an elite runner or a casual jogger, the Nike Pegasus will do you good. It can handle a variety of paces and distances. I have used it for long runs, tempo runs, easy runs, and fartleks, and I can say that it performed fine for all of those. 

It is not very different at all in comparison to prior versions, but to me that’s just fine, as I love the previous versions a lot. There is not much to complain about, as the shoe has so many good things about it, but also no aspects to go entirely crazy about. In a way though, that is what makes the shoe so great for me. It is simple, very well made and at $130 for such a reliable trainer is not bad at all. 

Zack’s Score: 9.5 / 10


Beto: If you are a casual runner or a serious runner the Pegasus is a workhorse shoe that can handle any training and a variety of paces. It is versatile and durable so it is a good investment if you want a shoe that will last a lot of miles. If you seek durability, good traction, comfortable and secure lockdown this Pegasus 40 is a good choice.

Beto’s Score 8.0/10 Comfort 9, Style 9, Ride 8



Index to all RTR reviews: HERE

Nike Pegasus 39 (RTR Review)

Michael: I’ll give the caveat that my Pegasus 39 pair is a size 9 (up a half from my usual) and thus not an ideal fit, but I think the 40 represents a moderate improvement across the board - predictably, in the upper. I also preferred the lacing scheme on the 40. Those benefits sound minor? They are - and a 39 on sale is a great bet. But, at the end of the day, the 40 is better!

Steve: I do believe the changes to the upper have elevated the Pegasus 40. It feels a bit more fitted/secure and the lacing provides a nice lockdown. I think between the two models you can’t really go wrong, if budget is a concern grab a 39. If you want a better upper, go with the Peg 40.

Zack: The only main difference between the 39 and the 40 is the upper, which is good for people who enjoyed the midsole and outsole configuration of prior Peg which I did. In terms of which shoe has the better upper, I would say the 40, but by the slightest margin, and if I am being completely honest, the difference is so minor that in any chance that the 39 is on sale (which it currently is), then I would simply choose that shoe. 

ON Cloudsurfer 2023 (RTR Review)

Zack: Though both are shoes  that I would put in the daily trainer category, they are very different in terms of overall ride and feel. The Pegasus for me was a firm, responsive, versatile, workhorse everyday training shoe, one that can last a while.

The Cloudsurfer was somewhat the opposite, as it is lighter and has a softer underfoot feel than the Pegasus. On the other hand, it lacks the forefoot pop and responsiveness that the Pegasus has. And I am not very sure how long the Cloudsurfer will last in terms of durability. Personally, I would go for the Pegasus, as I feel that it is more versatile and I enjoy the firmer feeling that the shoe provides. If a softer, lighter underfoot feel is desired, then the Cloudsurfer is the way to go.

Saucony Kinvara 14  (RTR Review)

Michael: The Kinvara is a lightweight daily trainer from Saucony - the Saucony Ride is a more close comparator, but I haven’t tested it in a few years. Still, I think there’s merit to the comparison here - the Kinvara is lighter and more streamlined, with a much more stripped down upper. Neither shoe is particularly soft or squishy, but the midsole on the K14 is a little more lively, in my opinion. But - the outsole on the Saucony is seriously lacking in comparison to the Nike. I’d probably take the Pegasus, if it was my singular shoe to own, but do think the Kinvara is a little more fun and better equipped for fast running.

Atreyu Daily Trainer  (RTR Review)

Michael: Atreyu’s “Daily Trainer” is the newest entry to its small lineup, and represents a more traditional platform than its Base Model. It’s a good comparator to the Pegasus, actually - the upper on the Pegasus is more snug and secure (with that internal band, and overall more close-fit architecture), but the modern supercritical foam midsole of the Atreyu is noticeably more fun and bouncy. Outsoles are close (and both well above-average for trainers), but I like the Pegasus’s slightly better. Ultimately, I had more fun in the Atreyu Daily Trainer, but longtime Pegasus fans shouldn’t feel too much FOMO. These are both very solid options, and largely come down to a preference for a softer (Atreyu) versus firmer (Pegasus) road feel. 

Tester Profile

Michael is a patent attorney and graduate of Northwestern University Law School. Prior to law school, he competed collegiately at Washington University in St. Louis (10,000m PR of 30:21). Michael’s PRs include a 67:43 half-marathon (Chicago Half-Marathon) and 2:22:18 marathon from the 2022 Chicago Marathon. Michael continues to race on the roads, and is chasing a sub-2:20 marathon and potential OTQ in the future.

Steve: A former high school track runner, turned physique competitor who then jumped back into the running scene. I’m 37 years old, 6’0 tall, 175 lbs and currently running 30-40 miles per week. My most recent Half Marathon time is 1:45:59 and I am starting my build for the Chicago Marathon this Fall. I am from Tampa, Florida originally, but have called Chicago, IL home for the last 5 years. I’m a huge running shoe geek and work in the craft beer industry!

Zack Dunn: is a college freshman runner at Lewis University. I’ve been running for 8 years, and focused solely on running after giving up on years of baseball and wrestling. I race distances between 800 meters and 10K  whether it be on the track, the roads, or on cross country courses. I do most of my training on the roads, some training on the track, and occasionally run trails logging anywhere from 65-80 miles a week. My typical training consists of easy days, long days, workouts (fartleks, tempos, interval training, etc.). My typical training paces range from 7’30 a mile on easy days to sub-5 minutes a mile on fast interval days, and with many paces in between. My personal bests are 4:20 for 1600m, 8:42 for 3000m, 14:51 for 5K, and 25:24 for 8k. 

Beto Hughes:

Matamoros, Tamaulipas, Mexico. 33 yrs old, Height: 5’10, Weight: 210lbs. I started Running in 2016 and started training to lose weight. I used to weigh 295 lbs and Between Running and Crossfit began my love for the fitness life and for Running. And now aiming to be a BQ. Weekly mileage: 60 - 75 miles on Road Favorite distance: Marathon and Half Marathon also Ultra Marathon . Marathon PB 3:22, Half PB 1:31, 10k PB 41:52, 5k PB 20:05. You can follow me on Instagram @betohughes 

 Available now and in many colors at our partners 

Running Warehouse US HERE

Fleet Feet HERE

Top 4 Running Europe HERE
Use RTR code RTRTOP4 for 5% off all products, even sale products

Running Warehouse Europe HERE
Europe only: use RTR code RTR5ALL for 5% off all products, even sale products 

RoadTrailRun may receive a commission on purchases at the stores linked in this article. 
Your purchases help support RoadTrailRun and are much appreciated. Thanks!

Samples were provided at no charge for review purposes. RoadTrail Run has affiliate partnerships and may earn commission on products purchased via shopping links in this article. These partnerships do not influence our editorial content. The opinions herein are entirely the authors'.

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

Comments and Questions Welcome Below!
Please let us know mileage, paces, race distances, and current preferred shoes

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

EUROPE Men's & Women's SHOP HERE

Europe only: use RTR code RTR5ALL for 5% off all products, even sale products 


Men's and Women's SHOP HERE
  • 10% Savings Every Day*  5% Back in Rewards Cash
  • Test Run Shoes 90 Days Worry Free
  • Crazy Fast, FREE Shipping

Men's & Women's SHOP HERE

Men's & Women's  SHOP HERE

Men's & Women's  SHOP HERE

Men's & Women's SHOP HERE
Use RTR code RTRTOP4 for 5% off all products, even sale products

Men's & Women's  SHOP HERE

Men's & Women's SHOP HERE
FREE Shipping on most orders over $40

Men's & Women's SHOP HERE

Men's & Women's SHOP HERE

Men's and Women's SHOP HERE


Find all RoadTrailRun reviews at our index page HERE 
Google "roadtrailrun Shoe Name" and you can be quite sure to find just about any run shoe over the last 10 years

Enjoyed this post? Never miss out on future posts by Following RoadTrailRun News Feed

Please Like and Follow RoadTrailRun
Facebook:  Instagram: @roadtrailrun
Twitter: @RoadTrailRun You Tube: @RoadTrailRun

No comments: