Sunday, April 21, 2024

Nike ReactX Pegasus Trail 5 Multi Tester Review: 7 Comparisons

Article by Ben David and Renee Krusemark

Nike Pegasus Trail 5 


Renee: The Pegasus Trail 4 was a surprise, offering a light, nimble ride on trails while being a favorite road shoe for many runners. Does the Pegasus Trail 5 live up to the previous version? Is the outsole safe for wet rock? While on paper, the changes seem minor, I found the Pegasus Trail 5 to be a different shoe for different purposes as compared to v4. Updates include a new ReactX foam stated to have a 43% less carbon footprint with a 13% increase in energy return. The outsole marks the debut of Nike’s ATC (All Terrain Compound), a high abrasion rubber for increased traction. 


Generous fit, breathable, price Ben

Comfortable upper and underfoot feel: Renee

Pretty: Renee

Versatile for mellow terrains: Renee


Feels flat at times: Ben/Renee

Not ready for challenging terrain Ben

Upper lockdown for trails: Renee

Heavier than needed: Renee

Most comparable shoes

Atreyu Base Trail

New Balance Hierro V7 

Pegasus Trail v4

On Cloudsurfer Trail 

Hoka Challenger 7

Saucony Ride TR


Spec Weight: men's oz  10.58 oz / 300 g (US10)  /  women's 8.57 oz / 243g (US8)

  Samples: men’s  oz / g US ,  oz / g US

Women’s 8.76 oz / 248g (US8) 

Stack Height: men’s 37 mm heel / 27.5 mm forefoot ( 9.5mm drop spec) 

                      women’s  37 mm heel / 27.5 mm forefoot

Platform Width: 88 mm heel /  73 mm midfoot / 114 mm forefoot 9 ( men’s US 9)

                          83 mm /  67mm / 107 mm (women’s US8) 

V4 Platform Width: 82 mm / 64 mm / 103 mm (women’s 7.5)

$140 Available May 2024

First Impressions, Fit and Upper

The Pegasus Trail 5 is a comfortable, accommodating trail shoe for those looking to run casual door-to-trail miles. As far as Nike shoes go, the fit is quite generous with an ample toe box. It has a breathable, well-ventilated upper and ample protection at the heel. The tongue is almost too bulky (much bulkier than in the Trail 4) and threatens to hinder lockdown (though it didn’t for me). 

While likely not a top choice for longer efforts or more gnarly terrain, the Pegasus Trail 5 is a democratic, welcoming option at a reasonable price point. It’s a comfortable shoe and is likely to be well received. I found it to feel rather safe (as in not overly exciting, but certainly efficient), with decent traction and is relatively capable on wet and rocky trails. Even if not lively or overly dramatic, The Pegasus Trai 5 seems dependable and adequately protective. (Ben)

Renee: Let’s all go into this review remembering that the Pegasus Trail is a road-to-trail hybrid shoe, not a technical trail shoe. The PegTrail v4 was surprisingly nimble and controllable on single track, so I had some expectations that v5 would be that same shoe with a better outsole for wet surfaces. The Peg Trail v5 is an enjoyable shoe, and the updates make the shoe better for some types of running and not as great for others. I’ve reviewed each version of the shoe starting at v2, and I still have all of them. 

Renee: The upper does not look much different from v4, but it fits differently for me. The upper is a new engineered mesh. Nike states there are “reinforcements through tighter-knit construction in high-wear zones (big toe, midfoot).” 

The upper fits looser than the previous version. The upper of v4 was somewhat low volume, which worked well for my low volume feet and added to the security on single trail. The upper on v5 feels more plush and soft, but with a compromise in security. That’s fine for mellow or road surfaces, just not as great for uneven trails unless you need the volume.  Ben’s photo makes the tongue look massive, but I used the extra eyelet to lace, so it looks more reasonable in my photos. The heel collars sit lower than v4, which is great for ankle movement. The heel counter sits higher, which isn’t my preference for trail. Overall, the upper is plush and secure enough for mellow terrain. I suggest true-to-size. I’m between half sizes, especially in Nike. If you’re the same, either half size will work. I wore a women’s size 8, and I have the v4 in both a 7.5 and 8. Sizing is comparable. 

Midsole & Platform

Ben: Nike says that the Trail 5 has 13% more energy return from its new ReactX midsole foam with a manufacturing process that reduces its carbon footprint 43%. In addition there’s a new outsole rubber (All Terrain Compound) and increased stack height (5mm). While it’s heavier than the 4 by 11 grams, I wasn’t bothered by the slight weight gain. I found the increased energy return to be noticeable but certainly not dramatic. I actually loved the ride of the Pegasus 2 and found the last few iterations to be a bit flat feeling on the run. The Trail 5, while not offering a super exciting or lively ride, re-captures some of what the earliest versions offered. I found that the more I picked up the pace the more the beefed-up midsole came to life. (Ben)

Renee: The new ReactX feels softer underfoot as compared to the React in the previous version. With more stack height, the shoe feels plush underfoot. The bounce is felt while walking, but it firms some while running. My first run in the shoes was 20 miles. For me, there’s plenty of stack for longer runs and possibly a shorter ultra depending on the runner. 

For trail running, the softer midsole affects the ride. At times, there’s a “bottoming out” feel because there’s little structure underfoot. The 9.5mm drop feels less, which is positive for me on trail. 

The road Pegasus can feel stiff underfoot and clunky in the heel, but that’s not an issue here. My natural foot flex works well with the midsole. That said, I wish it had more rebound to avoid a sinking feeling on trail. I did not run on paved roads, but the shoes worked well on dirt and gravel roads. The weight and soft midsole aren’t my preference for speed work, but for moderate or easy paces, it feels fine. 


Ben: The outsole offers good protection and rather good traction. I never slipped or felt off balance, even when navigating over tree roots, rocks and the like. The lugs are there but not an impediment to running faster I’d say. While this isn’t as drastic as an Altra outsole, it will likely work well for a majority of more casual trail runners. (Ben)

Renee: As a reminder, this is a road-to-trail shoe. We all want a perfect Nike outsole, and I suggest reading  Mike Postaski’s Zegama 2 review as that shoe gets Vibram MegaGrip.

The PegTrail 5 has a new ATC (All Terrain Compound). The rubber is supposed to have high abrasion resistance. The outsole rubber is notably “tackier” to touch as compared to the outsole of the v4, both the regular and GTX versions and the GTX had noticeably better traction than the regular. 

While difficult to see in photos, the rubber has texture to it. The previous version’s rubber (black outsole in the above photo) was smooth to the touch, making it stick on wet or slimy surfaces.The tread pattern itself seeks a balance between road and trail running. For trail running, having wider/thick “v-shaped” lugs can help with traction in mud or loose terrain. I purposely and somewhat unnecessarily ran over muddy rock and slimy/mossy surfaces. The outsole has stickiness to it. 

I was able to run fast from the forefoot on wet/muddy rock without any issue. That said, because of the upper fit and soft midsole, I wouldn’t choose the shoes for a course that was primarily rock. The midsole stack offers some protection, but there’s no firmness to the underfoot feel as you would get with a rock-plated shoe. 

I had mud wedged into the small gaps between the 3.5mm lugs, which over time made running over rock slippery. That said, once I hit mellow terrain, the mud fell out quickly on its own. 

Ride, Conclusions and Recommendations

As noted above, the ride of this shoe can best be described as ‘safe.’ It works well on mild and perhaps more moderate terrain. The increased energy return brings it a touch closer to some of the names that have dominated the trail space such as  Hoka, Altra or The North Face. The Pegasus Trail 5 likely will suit best  the runner who wants to run some door-to-trail casual miles, occasionally take on more moderate terrain and be out there for the sake of it (as in, not in super aggressive or competitive environments). This is certainly how I would use it, in an effort to take a break from the roads and enjoy some lowkey trail miles. It’s a good, reliable shoe that runs true-to-size. (Ben)

Ben’s Score: 8.5/10 

Deductions for lacking significant energy return even with the new foam, an overly stuffed tongue while at the same time still being relatively enjoyable and certainly dependable. (Ben)



Renee: The Pegasus Trail v5 is a pretty shoe. Like the previous version, it’s a great casual shoe and it runs well on road and mellow trails. The shoe is heavier than the previous version and it loses the nimbleness v4 had on single track. 

The ReactX foam is soft and comfortable, which feels good on mellow surfaces. On trail, that softness has a bottoming-out feel, which almost negates the additional stack height. 

The upper is comfortable with good volume and width in the toebox. As compared to v4, that roominess makes the shoe less secure for me on trails or uneven surfaces. As a trail-specific shoe, the PegTrail 5 leaves something to be desired, only because the PegTrail 4 somehow managed to work well on trail. 

As a do-it-all shoe, the PegTrail 5 is a good buy, especially at $130: it’s pretty for casual wear, comfortable for walking, and useful for running on a variety of mellow surfaces. For trail running, I might hold out to see if a GTX version is released with a more secure upper fit. 

Renee’s Score: 9.1/10 (-.50 weight, -.20 bottoming out midsole, -.20 loses some security/agility on trail as compared to previous version). 


7 Comparisons

Index to all RTR reviews: HERE 

Pegasus Trail v4 (RTR Review)

Renee: v4 has a lower volume upper fit and is more secure for running single track. The midsole is closer to the ground and a bit firmer. While the drop for the women’s version is higher, v4 is still the better shoe for trail for the above mentioned reasons. Version 5 is more plush. The upper has more volume and the midsole is softer. For road or comfort running, the v5 has the edge but it is a heavier, slower ride. The outsole on v5 has more tackiness, but with the bigger, softer midsole and more voluminous upper, it’s not a huge help for feeling stable on rocky/wet surfaces or uneven landings. Sizing is similar. Both are pretty and great for casual wear too. 

Atreyu Base Trail (RTR Review)

Ben: Both shoes are fairly simple and straightforward. Both have ample toe boxes, fit true to size in my men’s size 9. Both shoes also come in at a reasonable price point. I think the Pegasus has more of a fun factor to it, but not by a lot. I had no trouble running in both on roads and moderate trails. The Pegasus Trail 5 can likely handle slightly rougher terrain so it wins out by a hair.

New Balance Hierro V7 (RTR Review)

Ben: Another close call as both shoes work well for the hobby trail runner looking to dabble on the trails in a shoe that’s not going to hold them back, be overly aggressive or proscriptive. Both offer quality traction, with the NB offering a Vibram outsole that holds up well in mud and water. Both fit true-to-size. I think the Pegasus Trail 5 is very slightly more nimble and ready for both road and trail, even as the shoes weigh nearly the same. This one’s going to just come down to preference.

Nike Terra Kiger 8 (RTR Review)

Renee: The TK8 is a bit heavier (not much). I wore a men’s 6.5 in the TK as compared to the women’s 8 in the PegTrail 5. The overall comfort is better in the PegTrail5 and for a variety of running surfaces, I’d choose it. The TK8 has better ground feel, but at its weight, it’s not a nimble trail shoe. The midsole is more responsive, although I could feel the plate and lugs under my forefoot and did not use the shoes for long runs for that reason. I’m hoping the upcoming TK9 is lighter in weight to address Nike’s lack of nimble/light trail shoes. 

On Cloudsurfer Trail (RTR Review)

Renee: A good comparison in my opinion because both shoes will likely be worn casually more than they will on trails. Neither shoe has an upper for technical trail running, although a slight edge to the Peg Trail 5. Both shoes have a forgiving midsole. The outsole of the Peg Trail 5 allows for more stability on uneven or wet surfaces, but not by much. For casual easy runs on mellow or road surfaces, the On may have the edge because it is a slightly lighterweight shoe with a quicker forefoot take off. Generally for a varied amount of trail running, I’d prefer the Peg Trail 5. Both are pretty shoes and comfortable. Sizing is comparable. 

Hoka Challenger 7 (RTR Review)

Renee: The Peg Trail 5 is more comfortable in terms of upper material and midsole, at least on mellow surfaces. While not dynamic, the Challenger 7 is useful. The upper has better security, and the firmer midsole allows for control and more protection on technical or rocky terrain. The outsole does not have much grip (not really lugs just patches of firmer material). On a daily basis, I’d choose the Peg Trail 5. For technical running, between the two, the Challenger might work better for those with low volume feet. Sizing is comparable, although as someone between half sizes I prefer my Hokas in the half size down. The Challenger is much lighter in weight. 

Saucony Ride TR (RTR Review)

Renee: The Ride TR has a more secure upper and the outsole tread is more useful for trail running even if the rubber compound itself  does not feel as tacky as the new Peg Trail 5 outsole. Neither are fast shoes. Sizing is comparable with the Ride TR being a slightly lighter weight shoe. For single track trail, I’d prefer the Ride TR because of the upper fit. For anything else, the Peg Trail v5. 

The Pegasus Trail 5 will be available May 2024

Tester Profiles

Ben is the Senior Rabbi of Reform Congregation Keneseth Israel of Elkins Park, PA. A cancer survivor, he has run 21 marathons. He holds PRs of 3:15 for the marathon and 1:30 for the half. At 46, he still enjoys pushing himself and combining his running with supporting a variety of causes. Follow him on Instagram: @RabbiBPD or Twitter: @BDinPA 

Renee is a former U.S. Marine journalist, which is when her enjoyment of running and writing started. She isn’t that awesome of a runner, but she tries really hard. Most of her weekly 50-60 miles take place on rural country roads in Nebraska, meaning mud, gravel, dirt, hills, and the occasional field. She has PR’s of 1:30:59 for the half marathon and 3:26:45 for the marathon.

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'.

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

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Bobcat said...

Upcoming TK9?
That shoe has been out for a year!

Anonymous said...

You’re right. Meant the v10. Never ran with the TK9.

Ante said...

Must say Pegasus trail is the most great looking road to trail hybrid. I have v3 in goretex and use for casual wear during winter, great shoe! I se a lot of Pegasus trail in the city, very stylish!
Wish they went with a lower drop on Peg trail.