I haven’t really tested that much trail running shoes before. Mostly because I prefer to run on roads, but also because the trails around here are not that technical (I live in a flat country after all), so I didn’t really see the need of having a pair of trail running shoes while some road running shoes can do the job too. But with the pandemic I started to run less on the roads since it was too busy and tried to find the quieter trails near me. I decided to start looking for a new pair of trail running shoes and my eye landed on the Nike Pegasus Trail 2.
Now, the naming is a bit confusing, since the previous version was the Nike Pegasus 36 trail, since this trail series derives from the popular Pegasus line. I have tried the Pegasus 36 and liked it and when I found out the Pegasus Trail 2 had a full react midsole, I definitely wanted to try it since I really like their react midsole material.
But let’s start at the beginning. The Nike Pegasus Trail 2 is a neutral trail running shoe which weighs 270 gram in the women’s model and which has a 10 mm drop with a 21 mm forefoot stack and a 31 mm heel stack.
The outsole of the Trail 2 is made of a durable rubber, which has a multi directional tread pattern which was inspired by bike tires to create more grip. The lugs are also a bit more aggressive to help with the grip.
Not only did the name change, the midsole has also changed. It now has the full react foam midsole, rather than the Zoom midsole that was in the previous model. Nike now also uses the React foam in the regular Pegasus 37, but unlike the Pegasus 37 the Trail 2 has no Zoom Air bags.
The upper is very breathable with a lot of perforations in it. There is also a Gore-Tex version of this shoe available.
The tongue is thin and very stretchy, which means you have to position it once you’ve gotten your foot into the shoe. It also has slits along the length of it which you could use to adjust the laces, but also works for breathability. I did have to tie the laces pretty tight because the tongue is so stretchy, but the very tight laces together with the thin material would then sometimes cause hotspots.
It does have a pull tab, but since the heel collar is so flexible, that pull tab doesn’t really do anything. The flexible heel collar also makes it a bit difficult to get into the shoe, since it tends to fold inwards when you try to get into the shoe and you have to pry it back into position once you’ve managed to get your foot inside the shoe. However, the lack of seams around the heel collar also means there is less chance of friction and thus less chance of blisters. I think they went with the flexible heel collar as a sort of gaiter to keep dirt out, but it also means there is less support in this area.
The toe box is quite wide, which is good for trail running, but it’s a bit surprising in a Nike shoe, since Nike is known for its narrow toe boxes. And there is a rubber toe cap, which you do need on the trails, especially since the upper material is quite thin.
It’s a good road-to-trail shoe, since the react foam is also good on roads, but the outsole lugs are a bit more aggressive than in the previous version and it is also a good easy to moderate trail shoe. The wide platform helps with running on trails, but the upper is quite flexible and stretchy and doesn’t provide enough support for the more technical trials.
I really enjoy running in this shoe. It’s a great road to trail shoe with a wide platform and enough grip for moderate trails. The midsole is plush but still quite responsive. Although I would prefer a bit more stable upper. A bit more padding in the tongue and heel collar would probably help with that and it would prevent hotspots from the laces. Some more padding in general in the upper might be a good idea. It is a very breathable shoe, but the very thin upper doesn’t really protect your feet from the twigs and stones you encounter on the trails.