Nike Pegasus Trail 4 GORE-TEX Review: Do-It-All Waterproof Running Shoes, Well Almost…

Plush cushioning, an ankle gaiter and good traction - this waterproof Nike trail running shoe delivers when you want to keep your feet warm and dry, but it's not for everyone.

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The Key Specifications

  • Price: $160 from nike.com
  • Sizing and fit: True to size with a medium width fit
  • Weight: 9.8 oz (278g) for a size US(M)9 (my pair)
  • Drop: 9.5mm
  • Toe box width: Medium
  • Stability: Neutral, so there’s no additional stability or support added
  • Cushioning: React midsole with plush cushioning
  • Best for: Wet and cold conditions for road-to-trail, mixed surfaces and non-technical trails

Welcome to my Nike Pegasus Trail 4 GORE-TEX review where I’m sharing my insights on what these waterproof trail running shoes are like to run in, including the pros, cons and what type of runner and running terrain they’re best suited to.

For those of you who might not be familiar, the Pegasus Trail series is designed as a versatile “door-to-trail” option. These shoes are perfect for runners looking to smoothly transition from road running to tackling light trails, rather than highly technical terrain.

So, if your runs include light trails, park runs, or hard-packed surfaces without too much in the way of sharp rocks or slippery roots, then these shoes could be a great match for you. Plus, their GORE-TEX construction means they offer reliable waterproof protection, which is a huge bonus if you want to run comfortably in cold and wet conditions.

Priced at $160, they offer good value, especially considering their versatility and the GORE-TEX feature. When it comes to sizing, they fit true to size, so stick with your usual shoe size for a comfortable fit.

They’re available in a medium width, which works well for those with slightly wider feet, although those with very wide feet might find them less suitable.

Lastly, the shoes have a 9.5 mm drop from heel to toe and weigh in at 9.8 oz, which is a pretty light weight for a waterproof trail running shoe like this.

The Nike Pegasus Trail 4 vs. the Trail 4 GORE-TEX version

Before we dive into the specific pros and cons of this GORE-TEX Nike trail shoe, let’s go over how it differs from the non-waterproof version of the Pegasus Trail 4.

If you’ve caught my previous review on the Nike Pegasus Trail 4, you’ll know I appreciated the shoe for its intended purpose. However, I found it lacking for the more technical trails I often tackle, and I’ve been a bit critical of the direction Nike has taken with the Pegasus trail series since the original Pegasus 36 Trail.

The newer iterations seem to have shifted focus towards those seeking a light trail runner for non-technical terrain, which is perfectly fine, if you don’t plan to run on the really gnarly stuff!

However, this latest version, the Pegasus Trail 4 GORE-TEX, introduces some updates worth mentioning. These contribute to it also looking and feeling very different to the Pegasus Trail 4, despite having similar names.

For starters, the shoe feels more stable and doesn’t exhibit the lateral roll instability when running on more challenging trails, an improvement I attribute to what seems like a lowered stack height in the React midsole.

Moreover, the shoe features a revamped upper with GORE-TEX material, enhancing its waterproof capabilities. While this does affect breathability to some extent, it’s a trade-off for keeping your feet dry.

Notably, there’s a cleverly integrated gaiter that prevents water splash and trail debris from entering the shoe, a thoughtful addition for trail runners who want to keep the muck out, especially in wet conditions.

These changes mark the main distinctions between this GORE-TEX version and the standard model, highlighting both aesthetic and functional upgrades.

The best features of the Nike Pegasus Trail 4 GORE-TEX

Now, let’s dive into the features of the Nike Pegasus Trail 4 GORE-TEX that stand out to me.

Starting with the overall feel, these shoes offer comfort right out of the box. The React midsole is plush and supportive, providing a cushioned ride that, while not overly responsive, delivers on comfort. This makes them ideal for both beginner and intermediate runners looking for a shoe that excels during easy trail runs or recovery days.

Whether you’re clocking miles for fun or bouncing back from a rigorous session earlier in the week, these shoes hit the mark for non-technical adventures.

The 9.5mm drop from heel to toe in the Pegasus Trail 4 GTX strikes a perfect balance, offering a stable and natural footfall without the excessive heel lift found in some non-GORE-TEX versions.

This stability is crucial for trail shoes, allowing for more control and a more natural stride on varied terrains, and was a surprise to me, given 9.5mm is a higher drop than I’d normally look for in a trail running shoe.

In case you were wondering, I typically prefer a drop in the region of 4-5mm, although it does depend on other elements of the shoe’s construction.

Moving on to the upper, its construction, while featuring GORE-TEX materials for waterproofing, does mean a trade-off in breathability. On cooler days, this isn’t an issue, but in the heat, be prepared for your feet to warm up. These are shoes for running in on wet, colder days, not the midsummer heat!

The comfort and fit of the upper, combined with an effective lacing system that ensures a snug fit, are significant pluses, as are the easy slip-on loops on the tongue and heel, making them easy to get on despite the soft gaiter material around the ankle area.

Lastly, the outsole deserves mention for its fairly aggressive tread pattern, providing solid grip on descents.

However, it’s worth noting that the rubber compound used by Nike Trail might not offer the best traction on wet, slick rocks, so if that’s common in your area, you might want to keep this in mind.

That said, on dry or dusty trails, they perform admirably.

➡ If you’re enjoying this review do me a favor, drop a comment down below, and don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter for more running shoe reviews just like this one. If you’re familiar with these running shoes, share your thoughts on them in the comments.

Features that I feel could be improved in the Pegasus Trail 5 GORE-TEX

This segues perfectly into the areas where I think there’s room for improvement. Kicking off with the outsole, the rubber compound definitely needs an upgrade. Its current performance on slick rock surfaces falls short, limiting the shoe’s versatility to about 80% of the trails I’d like to explore.

I’m hopeful that future iterations of Nike Trail shoes will feature an improved rubber compound for even better grip.

As I’ve mentioned, these shoes are crafted with light trails in mind, so many trail runners might not encounter this issue due to not venturing onto such challenging terrains.

Moving on to the upper, although I’m a fan of its design and comfort, its breathability is a bit lacking. In warmer climates, you might find your feet getting uncomfortably warm.

However, considering these shoes are engineered more for cold, wet conditions where keeping your feet warm and dry is the priority, this critique might seem a bit harsh. But, it’s something to bear in mind if you’re planning to make these your go-to trail shoes in all weather conditions.

Lastly, the midsole could use some tweaking. The React foam provides a nice soft and cushioned feel, which is great, but it lacks the responsiveness some runners, including myself, look for.

Incorporating some Zoom Air units or Zoom foam (another popular Nike midsole foam material) could be the solution, adding that extra bounce and making for a quicker, more energized run.

Nike Pegasus Trail 4 GORE-TEX review summary

Wrapping up this review of the Nike Pegasus Trail 4 GORE-TEX, is it worth the money?

It’s a solid yes from me if you are after a waterproof trail running shoe. Priced at $160, they’re good value for a GORE-TEX trail running shoe packed with so many enjoyable features.

While they may not be the ultimate running shoe for every situation, they’re an excellent choice for runners seeking a versatile pair that can handle both roads and trails in cold and wet weather conditions, or simply runners who tend to get cold feet.

Thanks so much for reading this review, If you found it helpful, please don’t forget to drop a comment, and I look forward to catching up with you in the next one!


[letsreview]


Nike Pegasus Trail 4 GORE-TEX – image gallery

Alastair
Alastairhttps://www.trailandkale.com
As the founder of Trail & Kale, and seasoned marathoner & ultrarunner, Alastair loves bringing our readers independent running shoe reviews and gear insights to help you run your best. Learn more about Trail & Kale here.

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