At 30, the Pegasus is surprisingly nimble.
RUNNING SHOE: Nike Air Pegasus+ 30
Best for: Training, Racing, Roads
Weight: 10.8 oz. (men’s size 10)
Heel-to-toe drop: 12 mm
What does the 30 stand for? 30 years. That’s how long Nike has been making the tried-and-true Pegasus running shoe. This year’s iteration is sturdier, yet lighter, thanks to a new mesh upper and Nike’s new no-seam overlays. The latter feature helps in the looks department, too.
A Cushlon EVA foam midsole provides ample support without stealing all your momentum. The foot is bolstered by stiff sidewalls, which are 2.5 inches apart (on men’s size 11) to give the heel and ankle plenty of room to feel road contact — wiggle room, but not wobble room.
Underfoot, you can feel the separation in the heel and forefoot as the sole flexes and then snaps back into its flat form. While the shoe cradles your heel, the midsole cushioning and sectional tread underfoot are flexible enough to let your foot feel the road. This side-to-side flexibility is especially noticeable off-road. Other shoes are stiffer and create a “Splat!” sound when my toes land, but the Pegasus let me flex my toes — even my pinky toes — for a more graceful foot strike and toe-off.
My feet have high arches, a wider toe box, and I’m prone to plantar fasciitis. Nike shoes tend to fit me well, but I’ve been training in Asics. After test runs in the Pegasus, jogs in my Asics Gel-Nimbus 14s felt a bit cramped and clunky, with my heel moving around and loose in the shoe.
The Pegasus+ 30 has all-around appeal: Experienced runners looking for a second shoe to incorporate into their running shoe rotation will like this as an affordable lightweight trainer that can absorb plenty of base miles. Off-road runners will feel capable of navigating roots and rocks (with the exception of technical trails or sloppy conditions), though may want less heel cushion for more nimble descents. Off-the-couchers will get enough support without feeling like this shoe dictates their foot strike, and, at a reasonable $100, have one less excuse for not running.