Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 38 Review: A New Take on a Classic Running Shoe

Nike Air Zoom Pegasus


The Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 38 is known for being a well-rounded daily running shoe that maintains the comfort and durability that we've come to expect from the Pegasus series. With minor tweaks in the right places and some throwback features, the Pegasus 38 should satisfy the casual and devoted runner alike. Here, the ACTIVE Reviews Team breaks down what's new, how well it runs, and why it could be just what you're looking for in your trainers.

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A Quick Look at the Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 38

Nike launched the Pegasus sneaker in 1983 and hasn't looked back for 38 years. That's a pretty long run for an industry known for gimmicks and novelty.

These kicks are the go-to trainers for the casual runner who runs to the gym, does a morning session, and jogs to brunch in style, with or without a shower. But the Pegasus won't disappoint running hounds looking for an everyday shoe to stack up the miles.

The line is known for its comfort and longevity, so you can rely on them for a smooth ride without worrying they'll fray before you wear out that special spot on the sole. The Pegasus 38, with its pressure-relieving upper and wider toe box, makes minor improvements that will satisfy the majority.

Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 38

Nike Air Zoom Pegasus

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SPECS

  • Terrain: Road
  • Weight: 10.0 oz. (M), 8.2 oz. (W)
  • Drop: 10mm

Midsole

Let's start where it matters most, with midsole comfort and feel. The Pegasus 38 still features Nike's proprietary React foam throughout the length of the foot, coupled with the signature Air Zoom unit under the forefoot for snappy toe-offs. The cushion (or stack height) under the heel remains 28mm, like its predecessor, and 18mm under the forefoot, giving a drop height of 10mm.

When it comes to feel, these shoes provide a smooth ride with decent pop. It's neither as maximal as the Vomero, nor as springy as the Zoom X. However, we'd predict that these kicks won't bottom out over time like their minimalist cousins, giving them more longevity and great value for the price.

Outsole

The Pegasus 38 rubber outsole hasn't changed from the 37. It's grippy enough to handle slick pavement or a wooded side trail. I happen to enjoy its more pointy forefoot and heel, giving a more aggressive rock.

Upper

The "sandwich" mesh, a throwback to the 36, feels soft and premium. And unless you're taking this on a lot of trails, it's quite durable. The tradeoff is that it may make for hot feet on long summer runs, so road hounds may opt for a lighter, more breathable shoe in their arsenal.

One notable change with the 38 is the throwback to an old-school plush tongue. It's a nod to comfort as it does a great job at minimizing lace pressure. It's also attached to an inner sleeve, so the tongue doesn't slide. While some may pine for the sleek tongue of the 37, I think most runners will welcome this change.

Fit

The vast majority of reviewers find that the Pegasus 38 fits true to size. Nike has widened the toe box, which comes as a relief to those who felt cramped in the 37, and reacting to complaints of heel slippage, they created a more snug compartment thanks to a higher rise. The nylon lace loops attach to the soft midfoot webbing ensuring a snug fit reminiscent of Nike's flywire system. All this, combined with the plusher tongue, should make for a shoe that really hugs your foot through the stride.

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What We Like

  • Moderate plushness and cushion
  • Versatile everyday trainer
  • Will last 400-500 miles and can take a bit of dirt
  • Wider toe box suits most feet
  • Snug heel and great lockdown

What We Don't Like

  • The mesh and cushioned tongue can make for hot feet
  • Not the lightest shoe, even in its class

BUY: Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 38 (Men), Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 39 (Women)

FAQs About the Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 38


Is the Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 38 good for the gym?

Yes, this is where the Pegasus 38 excels, as it's a well-rounded workhorse. However, if you need less cushion and want something lighter and more breathable, go with a dedicated gym shoe.

Are the Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 38 shoes good for long distances?

The Pegasus 38 will provide a comfortable ride throughout a long run, but they're not the most breathable on hot days.

Is the Nike Pegasus 38 comfortable?

The Pegasus 38 is comfortable for the vast majority of reviewers thanks to its improved toe box, snugger heel, and its balance of cushion and toe pop. It's certainly not a minimalist shoe and it's neither the most cushioned nor the most springy on the market.

Is the Nike Pegasus 38 good for walking?

Yes, the Pegasus 38's plush upper and cushioned sole makes it great for a full day on your feet.

Is the Pegasus 38 good for marathons?

Yes, many people have finished their first marathon in this exact model! However, if you're getting more serious you may consider a lighter and more breathable dedicated racing shoe.

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