Nike Zoom Pegasus Turbo – Does it really make you fly?

The Nike Zoom Pegasus Turbo is actually a combination of some of the previous Nike running shoe models. It has elements from the Pegasus 35, the React and from the Vaporfly 4%. There has been a lot of hype around this shoe, as is often the case with the running shoes Nike launches. I was just really curious to find out if it could live up to that hype or not. Nike promises an 85% energy return, their highest yet, and therefore making it a fast shoe. It’s also a very light shoe, it only weighs 238 grams. 

This shoe is basically a somewhat cheaper version of the Vaporfly 4%, but without the carbon fiber plate. The Vaporfly 4% claimed to make you run 4% faster (which could bring down your marathon time by minutes). The New York Times has proven that the Vaporfly actually does make you 4% faster and that it isn’t only an empty marketing promise. Although the Nike Zoom Pegasus Turbo doesn’t make any such promises, it does use the same kind of foam as the Vaporfly 4% and it does promise a high energy return.  

Upper

The upper is made out of Flymesh with Flywires on either side of your foot to give it a more secure fit. The upper is made out of two layers, the see-through mesh layer (which feels a bit like plastic) and an inner mesh layer underneath which looks more like Flyknit. Even though the mesh looks very breathable, the shoe was a little hot. Apparently, the two layers of mesh together made the shoe a little less breathable. 

The shoe has a tight heel counter that keeps your heel in place and the collar extends upward and outwards to guide your achilles. I have a bit of a wide forefoot and a small heel and this sometimes becomes a problem, but I had no issues with the heel of this shoe since I was securely locked in. 

Midsole

The Nike Zoom Pegasus Turbo has the same ZoomX foam which was used in the Vaporfly 4%. The initial feeling you get with the midsole is that it’s a very cushioned shoe. It’s a kind of marshmallowy feel where you sink into it a little bit. But while running in it you also have a surprising amount of ground feel. 

Outsole

The outsole is made of rubber and foam which small lugs to give you some traction. And although the Nike Zoom Pegasus Turbo is a road shoe, it does hold up reasonably well on easy trails. It is also quite durable, after more than 50 miles in the shoe the outsole hardly shows any signs of wear.

Performance

The shoes are very responsive and have a good energy return, it feels like someone is slightly pushing you forward the entire time you’re running. It does feel a little bit like you’re flying. It is therefore a good 5k or 10k running shoe (I actually ran my new 10k PB in them), but the amount of ground feel makes it a bit difficult to run longer distances in them. Especially when you’re a heel striker and not a super fast runner (this is probably less of an issue if you’re a 2-hour forefoot striking marathon runner). I found a 10 miler to still be reasonably comfortable in the shoe, but the ground feel did start to bother me towards the end of the run. Even though the midsole feels like a marshmallow, that marshmallow flattens quickly when you land on it, so you can still clearly feel the road beneath your feet. I also wonder how long the marshmallow feel will last in this shoe (although so far I haven’t had any issues yet). This combined with the lack of support on the inside of the shoe, makes that I would not use this shoe to run a marathon.  

Fit

The shoe has a wide enough toe box to give your toes enough room to splay. And the mesh fabric is flexible enough to give you enough room where you need it. The Nike Zoom Pegasus Turbo just isn’t very high in the front, which might be an issue for some. 

I had half a size bigger than my normal size and that gave me just about enough space in the front. Could have probably gone a full size up. 

Look

The Nike Zoom Pegasus Turbo comes in several color options: I had the clearly recognizable seafoam green/grey with hot pink ones, although to me it looked more like neon orange. Seafoam green with hot pink would not be the colours I would have personally picked when buying a running shoe, but it actually kind of works. The shoe also has a very recognizable stripe running from the tongue down the front of the shoe to the outsole. It makes the shoe look fast. 

Conclusion

The Nike Zoom Pegasus Turbo is a fast shoe and you do feel a bit like you’re flying down the road. It is a good 5 or 10 kilometer racing shoe and it is also still comfortable for slightly longer training runs. But the medial instability and the ground feel prohibit it from being a great marathon shoe. Yes, the Nike Zoom Pegasus Turbo is very comfortable and a good road shoe, but will not protect you enough during hours and hours of pounding on the roads. 

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