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Nike Pegasus 36 Trail Review 2019 – Did Nike Just Crush Its Competition?

When Nike asked me to review the Nike Pegasus 36 Trail (the newest addition to their trail running shoes lineup), I jumped at the opportunity. Not only was I curious to see how Nike trail running shoes performed, but many of our readers and Instagram followers have also been asking for my opinions on Nike Trail running products. With that said, thank you to Nike for sponsoring this in-depth review of the Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 36 Trail. All opinions in this review are my own.

If you’re just looking for my summary and rating CLICK HERE.

Nike Pegasus 36 Trail Review Trail Kale web 48

RELATED READING:


Pegasus 36 Trail Fit & Design

Nike Pegasus 36 Trail Review product shots Trail Kale wm 9

The Nike Pegasus 36 Trail shoes fit true to size, relative to other popular running brands. Drop a comment down below with the brand you normally run in and I’ll let you know how they fit relative to them.

Comfort while wearing the Pegasus 36 Trail is nothing short of dreamy. If you’ve run in Nike Pegasus road shoes before then you will already be familiar with this feeling, and although many trail running shoes are very comfortable nowadays, I believe these are the most comfortable I have worn to date. They are very much neutral running shoes which means you won’t get any added arch support inside the shoe, which for me is a very good thing!

Nike Pegasus 36 Trail Review Trail Kale web 13The Pegasus 36 Trail is effectively an all-round road/trail hybrid running shoe that performs very well on road and trail, so you can imagine how well it performs on buffed hard ground.

Pegasus 36 Trail Upper Construction

Nike Pegasus 36 Trail Review product shots Trail Kale wm 10

The breathable, perforated mesh upper is very breathable allowing air and water to flow through the shoe as conditions change. You can see how breathable it is by looking at the material above the toebox area. The Pegasus 36 Trail upper has two layers, with the interior layer being more cushioned/padded, giving the sensation that your feet are being hugged and locked in place as you run over technical trails.

There’s also an inner sock that attaches the padded tongue to the forefoot area adding to that slipper-like fit. This design keeps the tongue in place, stops chafe and prevents debris from coming between your foot and the shoe walls.

Nike Pegasus 36 Trail Review product shots Trail Kale wm 2

There’s no finger loop on the rear of these shoes but you can easily grab onto the curved heel-support to slip them on.

Nike Pegasus 36 Trail Review product shots Trail Kale wm 13The interesting curved achilles heel support, similar to that of the Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 36, works very well for me as it allows for a little bit of over-striding when running fast downhill, without agitating my achilles. In fact, this design feature works so well, that I was able to run a 1 mile PB (5min 37seconds) using these shoes, in complete comfort.

Interestingly, the heel walls, in general, feel lower than many other trail shoes, allowing your feet to maneuver and adapt to the trail beneath it. At first, I thought this design may not provide a secure fit for my feet, but after I threaded the laces up to the top holes (as seen in pictures), I ended up with a very secure fit.

Nike Pegasus 36 Trail Review product shots Trail Kale wm 3

The toe cap is not reinforced and exists more to protect the durability of the shoes, rather than your toes, so take care towards the end of a long run if you’re getting tired and risk kicking a rock by accident, it happens! However, the plastic coated toe cap will stop water from shallow puddles entering the shoes, and the dark rubber frontage (seen in the picture above) will protect your toes somewhat. A more minimal toe cap design like this reduces overall weight in a shoe, which is obviously a good thing!

Pegasus 36 Trail Tongue & Laces

Nike Pegasus 36 Trail Review Trail Kale web 18

Briefly mentioned earlier, the tongue is well padded yet lightweight and slim. The lacing system is excellent, and it’s a design I’m seeing more and more on trail running shoes. Nike calls it their Flywire cables system, and if you look in some of my photos you can see these elasticated loops that connect the laces to the upper. Having this extra layer of ‘stretch’ means that your feet will stay comfortable when they expand or contract due to body/environmental temperature fluctuations.

Pegasus 36 Trail Midsole

Nike Pegasus 36 Trail Review product shots Trail Kale wm

Zoom Air units and midsole cushioning in the Pegasus 36 Trail offer responsive comfort that’s pretty unique to the Nike brand. It’s so nice to feel this on the trails (not just the roads). The midsole is also very flexible toward the forefoot, which is essential for a trail shoe that needs to conform to the ground beneath it. A shoe that can flex also means your feet and use their joints and muscles in a more natural manner. The Zoom Air midsole cushioning, along with good breathability and lightweight construction makes this shoe a great choice for ultrarunning too.

Pegasus 36 Trail Outsole

Nike Pegasus 36 Trail Review product shots Trail Kale wm 7

The outsole stretches wide in the forefoot giving you more surface area to spread your weight across. This makes running further or faster, feel more comfortable and effortless.

Nike Pegasus 36 Trail Review product shots Trail Kale wm 8

The outsole also features a flex groove down the center that gives a smooth and stable ride, while letting your feet roll and flex on uneven surfaces, which is what our feet were designed to do. I found the grip to be very good on buffed, rocky and dirt trails.

RELATED POST:  Seadon Tee Review 2019: The Earth-Friendly Technical Running Tee

Drop & Weight

Nike Pegasus 36 Trail Review product shots Trail Kale wm 4The drop from heel to toe is 10mm. A lower drop could potentially give this shoe an even better feel for the trails when the terrain gets extra technical.

Weighing in at 9.17oz (260g) for a size US (M) 9 the Nike Pegasus 36 Trail is a very lightweight trail shoe, especially considering all the cushioning in the midsole. More size/weight specs:

  • US (M) 10: 292.8g, 10.3oz
  • US (W) 8: 233.3g, 8.2oz

Toe Box

Nike Pegasus 36 Trail Review product shots Trail Kale wm 6

The toe box is roomy enough to allow your toes to splay out for a more natural stride and greater control on the trails. The width of the shoe, in general, is medium and will fit slightly wider than average feet nicely too. It is not a narrow shoe like La Sportiva and Salomon.


In Summary

Nike Pegasus 36 Trail best trail running shoes trail and kale productImage
Nike Pegasus 36 Trail
Comfort9.5
Design & Function9.2
Durability9
Flexibility9.5
Performance9.5
Value For Money9.5
PROS
Very comfortable, feels and runs like a road shoe on hard surfaces
Great cushioning in the midsole (Air Zoom)
Really like the curve achilles support toward the rear
Lightweight
nice wide toebox
Breathable
CONS
toe cap not solid reinforced
9.4
Overall Score

My current favorite all-round trail shoe, the Nike Pegasus 36 Trail is a high-performance trail running shoe that’s so comfortable it feels like a road running shoe. The Pegasus 36 Trail could actually be labeled as a road/trail hybrid, or a door-to-trail running shoe because quite honestly it performs very well on both surfaces. Contributing to the comfort is the Nike Air Zoom midsole that provides plenty of protection from sharp rocks. The Pegasus 36 Trail is also very lightweight at 9.17oz (260g), breathable, responsive, and very grippy.

Nike Pegasus 36 Trail Review Trail Kale web 4I love the curved achilles heel support, it works very well for me as it allows for a little bit of over-striding when running fast downhills, without agitating my achilles. In fact, it works so well, that my second run in the Nike Pegasus 36 Trail resulted in me earning a 1 mile PB, albeit on a fire road with a downhill gradient. 😃

In my opinion, at $130 the Nike Pegasus 36 Trail is very reasonably priced too. Shop Nike.com for Nike Trail products

If you were to ask me which all-round trail running shoes I would recommend, my current answer is these. As such, I have awarded the Nike Pegasus 36 Trail shoes an Editor’s Choice Award, and they currently sit in FIRST PLACE on my list of the Best Trail Shoes in 2019.

Nike Pegasus 36 Trail Review Trail Kale web 52

51 COMMENTS

  1. I run in the Mizuno Wave Rider GTX, mainly because it is wider in the toe box, compared to Hoka Speed Goat 2s. I have tried the road version of the Pegasus 36 and they are too narrow for me. How does the trail version compare on this front?

    • Hi Patrick,
      I haven’t run in the Pegasus 35 but I read that the forefoot in the Pegasus 36 Trail has been widened for a roomier fit and to allow your toes to splay more for trail running.
      Alastair

  2. I run in the Mizuno Wave Rider GTX, mainly because it is wider in the toe box, compared to Hoka Speed Goat 2s. I have tried the road version of the Pegasus 36 and they are too narrow for me. How does the trail version compare on this front?

  3. Hi, how would they fit compared to Adidas Ultraboost. I wear UK 9.5 but know adidas tend to be smaller versions of a size.

    Thank you,

    Tam

    • I saw the guy up top already mentioned it but being as the toe box is wider I thought I’d ask. I run in Speed Goat 3s and the Ultra Boost prior to the 2019s in both shoes I wear a 14. Would it be safe to assume 14s in these? I don’t want them too crazy big given the short upper wall. Thoughts?

        • Cool thanks. The ultra boost have that nice soft heel center cut out which has really made my haglunds pretty happy. The speed goats are fairly padded in that area so it doesn’t irritate too much. Is that area fairy soft in this shoe?

  4. Too high a drop. I’ve been running in the Nike React flyknit recently and it’s the same drop. Having ran in 3 or 4mm drop shoes for years, the 10mm is just way too much. Would be interested to have a side by side with the terra tiger 5. Also, how do they perform in wet sloppy mud like we get a lot of in Scotland. Good fell shoes, or just good trail shoes?

    • Hey Peter!
      Agreed, I’d like to see a lower drop on the Pegasus Trail too. Nike probably wanted to keep the same feel as the Pegasus road edition for their first Pegasus Trail release, maybe the next edition will get a drop reduction.

      If I can get hold of the Terra Kiger 5 and Wildhorse 5 I’ll compare them all.

      With regards to sloppy mud, I don’t think these would be the best choice as the lugs aren’t the deepest. The Pegasus 36 Trail is certainly good for rocky, packed, buffed trails though!

      Alastair

    • Peter, you might be surprised by the Pegasus 36 Trail. The sole is divided into two units where the forefoot and midfoot meet, and it’s a pretty significant difference. I personally can’t even feel any drop in the Peg trail.
      I also run in the Kiger, and I personally love it. It’s comfortable and super springy. I haven’t tested it in mud but I imagine it would fare better than most other shoes.

  5. Hello, I run in the Brooks PureGrit 6 and was wondering how the Pegasus 36 sizing compares. thank you for the review!

    • Hi Richard,

      When I tried the Brooks PureGrit they came up on the small side for me, which is odd as the Brooks Cascadia fit me fine. So with that said, I’d maybe go half size down from your usual Brooks sizing if you’re going to buy the Pegasus 36 Trail…

      Alastair

  6. Hello Alastair,
    Great review, thanks for that.

    For some time I own the Pegasus Zoom 34 in size 10 or 44.
    The label in the tongue saus 28 cm.
    Does the same size apply to this model? Does it say how many cm in length it has?
    Thanks in advance
    Regards, Jeroen from Holland

    • Hey Jeroen!

      Thanks for reading. I just checked my Pegasus 36 Trail and yes it does have a cm length! How funny, I hadn’t noticed this before…

      I wear a US (M) 9 and it says 27cm for my shoe… Hope this helps?

      Best,
      Alastair

  7. Hi Alastair,
    Thanks for checking and letting me know. Over the last years I went more and more into 10.5 with Nike’s rather than the usual 10 size. Especially with Flyknits and Free’s. But the Pegasus are not that narrow I guess. That is the disadvantage with online shopping.. or buy borg sizes and return one or hope you are lucky 🙂 thanks
    Jeroen

  8. I am mostly running a mix of gravel, street and in the forest, no real trail at the Moment.
    Would you recommend the Pegasus 36 Trail or should i stick with the regular Peg 36?

  9. I run in Pegasus anyway but two weeks ago I ran a 65km off-road ultra and wore the Pegasus 36 Trail straight out of the box. Loved them!

  10. I normally wear (for road running) Brooks glycerine 17 women’s size 9.5 (9 fits but not enough room in toe box for running) & Nike zoom fly’s size 9.5 although 9 fits but is slightly tighter in tie box than I’d like for runs. What size of these would you recommend? I’m going to be using them for obstacle course racing & trails. Thanks!

    • Hey Jennifer,

      Firstly, good luck in your upcoming obstacle course race! There is a pretty good amount of room in the toe box for these shoes, and the flywire cable system that attaches the laces to the shoes gives an extra layer of stretch so I would maybe go for the size 9 in the Pegasus 36 Trail… You could always order both, and return the ones that don’t fit as well. Hope this helps.

      Alastair

  11. I liked your review. I almost got excited because Nike shoes fit me to a tee. I saw your point about Nike wanting to keep the same feel as the Pegasus, but a 10mm drop is just too much for me. I wear Altra Superiors, with a zero drop. Zero drop is my preference. I can’t wrap my head around why shoemakers try to reinvent the landing of the foot by adding a heel to toe drop value. Why add additional stress to the way your foot was designed? I will continue to watch. When Nike puts out a zero drop shoe, I will likely give them a try. I’m excited that they are, at least, making strides at developing a great trail runner.

    • Hey David!

      Agreed, I’d like to see a lower drop on the Pegasus Trail as well. Nike probably wanted to keep the same feel as the Pegasus road edition for their first Pegasus Trail release, maybe the next edition will get a drop reduction. Fingers crossed for a zero drop nike trail shoe!

      Alastair

  12. How does the peg 36 trail compare to Hoka one one torrent trail shoe? As in stack height’s ,upper comfort / breathing, and fit. The Hoka is about 10$ cheaper and seems like more shoe.

    • The torrent is narrower in the forefoot and a slimmer shoe overall. There’s not much going on underneath the mesh upper, unlike the 36 trail with the sock liner David mentions. In terms of traction, the torrent has lugs that are more pronounced and aggressive, less suitable for on road use and the midsole is noticeably firmer but still responsive. That said, I found it to be a lightweight, fast shoe. Between the two i’d opt for the peg for the majority of runs, mainly because I like that extra bit of comfort and need the width at the ball of the foot. The torrent feels like more of a ‘connected’ shoe though, and feels less noticeable on feet. Both are great, in my experience.

  13. Hi, i mainly run pavement and am considering these as they look like a more comfortable version of the peg 36. do you think they will still do the job for me?
    thanks

    • Hi Wayne,
      Where is the Skyrun 65k? Sounds like a beast of a race for a newbie! 😉 Post a link to the race site and I’ll let you know if I think these will be a good choice for it. But generally speaking they are a great trail shoe for most terrains. They climb well too!
      Alastair

  14. Hi Alastair,

    Thank you for your response, I went with these and feel like buying a second pair I am enjoying them that much. Training hard an looking forward to showtime :). Nice Instagram page too, keep up the good work!

    http://www.skyrun.co.za

    All the best buddy.

  15. Hi!
    I’ve been running in the Hoka Challenger ATR 4, but now I’m looking for a new shoe. Will the 36 Trail be a good substitute? And if so, how does the 36 Trails fit compared to the ATR 4s?
    Great review btw!
    Tomas

  16. Hey Tomas! Thanks for reading! So I don’t have any experience with the ATR 4 but Morgan had this to say (in the comments above) about the Hoka One One Torrent, hopefully there will be some parallels that may help you:

    “The torrent is narrower in the forefoot and a slimmer shoe overall. There’s not much going on underneath the mesh upper, unlike the 36 trail with the sock liner David mentions. In terms of traction, the torrent has lugs that are more pronounced and aggressive, less suitable for on road use and the midsole is noticeably firmer but still responsive. That said, I found it to be a lightweight, fast shoe. Between the two i’d opt for the Peg for the majority of runs, mainly because I like that extra bit of comfort and need the width at the ball of the foot. The torrent feels like more of a ‘connected’ shoe though, and feels less noticeable on feet. Both are great, in my experience.”

    Either way i personally don’t think you can go wrong if you get the Pegasus 36 Trail.

    -Alastair

  17. Hi Alastair

    How is the cushioning compared to the Peg Turbo? I did a 100km in the Wildhorse 5 at the weekend and I was longing for more cushioning towards the end.

    Kind regards
    Steven

    Great review
    Steven

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Alastair Dixon
Alastair Dixonhttps://www.trailandkale.com
Hey, I'm Alastair. 5 years ago I started Trail & Kale as a way to share the mental & physical benefits that trail running and nature had given me. Since then Trail & Kale has grown to become a thriving blog and community that inspires people to trail run, hike, adventure more, and live a healthy plant-based lifestyle.

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