Nike Pegasus Trail 5 Review: The Peg Is Back!

Alastair shares how the Nike Pegasus Trail 5 performs on varied terrain, with significant improvements that may make them your new fav trail shoes.

-

All opinions are our own and never influenced by brands. If you buy through links, we may earn a commission.

In this Nike Pegasus Trail 5 review, I’m going to start by turning my focus to the key specifications worth knowing about (there are quite a few updates to this version), then I’ll quickly share who they’re targeted at and the types of terrain they are good for – after that I’ll share my in-depth performance review, and lastly, I’ll let you know if I think these all terrain trail running shoes are worth buying.

I have been running in the Peg Trail 5 on my favorite mountain trails here in Northern California, where the trails offer everything from steep climbs, gnarly descents, fast flat sections, rocky paths, and some mud from recent rains – all of which you can also see in my video review here.

Nike Pegasus Trail 5 Review | Trail & Kale Running Co.
Nike Pegasus Trail 5 Review | Trail & Kale Running Co.

The Key Specifications

  • Price: $150 at nike.com | £129.99 at sportsshoes.com (UK)
  • Sizing and fit: True to size in length with a medium width but snug in the toe box
  • Weight: 10.2oz (289g) for size US Men’s 9 (my pair) – this is the same weight as the Peg Trail 4
  • Drop: 9.5mm – thats 0.5mm higher than the Peg Trail 4
  • Stability: Neutral, so there’s no additional stability or support.
  • Upper: Mesh upper with tighter weave, zoned breathability, and FLYWIRE eyelets. There’s a vertical finger loop at the rear that actually works and a pretty good toe bumper at the front of the shoe.
  • Midsole: Medium cushioned Nike ReactX foam which has 13% more energy return over previous foam used which was React foam.
  • Outsole: New high abrasion Nike Trail All Terrain Compound (ATC)
  • Best for: all terrain road to trail transition running. Good on light to moderate trails over any distance.

🙏🏼 Please consider supporting Trail & Kale Running Co by purchasing through our links. We may earn a small commission if you do so, but it won’t cost you anything, and you’ll be helping to support our small business so we can continue providing content like this review – we appreciate you, and your support.


To quickly set the scene, and to share a little about me as a runner and reviewer; I’m just a regular guy (not an elite athlete) who absolutely loves running and reviewing the latest running shoes and gear. My 5K PR is 19 minutes 50 seconds, which I’m always trying a beat. I’ve run countless ultramarathons around the world and my favorite distance is the cheeky half marathon – road or trail, I love running on them both.

I’m not afraid to let you know when a running shoe is rubbish but also you’re definitely going to know when one blows me away. Either way, our independent running shoe reviews at Trail & Kale Running Co. are always 100% honest, reliable and hopefully you’ll come away from our video reviews or blog reviews having learned something new.

Who are they best for?

The Nike Pegasus Trail 5 are designed for runners who often transition between different running surfaces like road and trails whether you want one pair of affordable, versatile running shoes for different trail runs and road runs, or you have to run on the roads to get to your local trailhead.

Essentially, these shoes are crafted as all-terrain, daily crossover trainers so they’re as efficient on trails as they are on roads. If your running route includes jogging to the trailhead, or if you’re seeking a versatile shoe that can comfortably handle both light to moderate trails and pavement, the Nike Pegasus Trail 5 might just be the ideal fit for you.

👋🏼 If this is your first time on Trail & Kale, welcome! This site (and our YouTube channel) are designed to help you run your best, through our training plans, 101 run tips, and insightful, honest running shoe reviews, just like this one. Subscribe to our Newsletter to get full access to our Training Plans, and to stay up to date with all the latest running gear reviews.

Nike Pegasus Trail 5 performance review

The Nike Pegasus Trail 5 performs very well on various terrains; I’m going to firstly focus this performance review on its climbing capabilities and flat surface performance. They have been excelling in ascending with outsole traction that is comparable even to Vibram’s Megagrip technology.

Nike Trail All Terrain Compound (ATC) rubber outsole
Nike Trail All Terrain Compound (ATC) rubber outsole

It’s interesting to see Nike experimenting with their own Nike Trail All Terrain Compound (ATC) rubber outsole, as they are also incorporating Vibram Megagrip in other models like the Ultrafly trail racing shoe and the upcoming Zegama 2, an update that is very welcome. This might suggest that Nike is testing both their proprietary ATC rubber compound and Vibram Megagrip side by side, possibly to gauge public and reviewer feedback before deciding on the best outsole compound for future models.

On the climbs, the ATC all-terrain compound on the outsole performed exceptionally well, which was a pleasant surprise given some past issues with Nike Trail outsoles. Although the traction was very good on the uphills, the lugs, about 4mm deep, could potentially be deeper for better grip on steeper climbs.

Nike Trail All Terrain Compound (ATC) rubber outsole performs very well

However, as these shoes are designed to be versatile across both road and trail, deeper lugs might compromise their road performance and durability on harder surfaces so I can’t mark them down for their lug depth.

On flat sections, I noticed that the forefoot area felt a bit less responsive than the mid and heel regions of the midsole, lacking some spring and energy return. Nike could enhance performance here by tweaking the foam distribution, perhaps by adding a bit more under the forefoot or reducing some at the heel to lower the drop, enhancing the forefoot feel without forcing it too much during runs.

Nike FlyWire eyelets create a nice fit with stretch as you feet expand and move during a run
Nike FlyWire eyelets create a nice fit with stretch as you feet expand and move during a run.

Another really well designed feature for uphill running or hiking is the heel lock. The Pegasus Trail 5 excels in securing the foot, ensuring no heel slippage, a notable improvement over even Nike’s high-performance Ultrafly, a carbon fiber race day trail shoe coming in at $260.

Despite the Ultrafly’s steep price and targeted high performance, it falls short in heel lock, whereas the Pegasus Trail 5 manages to nail this at a considerably lower price point. For those interested, here’s my imn-depth Ultrafly review.

It has been really heating up here in California so I have been able to properly test the breathability of the Pegasus Trail 5’s mesh upper with zoned breathability too.

Pegasus Trail 5’s mesh upper with zoned breathability
Pegasus Trail 5’s mesh upper with zoned breathability

Despite the upper’s thick and soft padding, my feet remain relatively cool and at no point do I feel like they are overheating in this hot climate.

It has been incredibly hot during my testing period for the Nike Pegasus Trail 5, completing climbs of about 300 meters during my runs. The shoes held up very well overall, but I noticed a few things on flats with high-frequency rocks and technical terrain. The shoe tends to be less stable due to its flexible midsole, which lacks a rock plate or speed plate to keep it level.

A good look at that beautiful new ReactX midsole foam
A good look at that beautiful new ReactX midsole foam

This slight rocking on technical terrain was a reminder that while these are primarily designed for light trails, they might not be the best choice for more challenging technical trails; that said they’re good on moderate trails too. They are however, a lot more stable than the Peg Trail 4 that came before these.

Despite this, at Trail and Kale Running Co., I aim to push gear to its limits because I know some of you run both technical trails and roads and are looking for a shoe that can handle both. I believe it’s important to see how versatile these shoes can be.

The outsole traction is outstanding, on downhills too, Nike’s new ATC rubber compound is a marked improvement over what they were using on the previous version. The shoe’s higher drop and the concentration of midsole stack height at the heel, however, might not be ideal for those looking to use these shoes for technical mountain races or very rugged trails, again, they’re not designed for this.

During descents, the shoes are a lot of fun; they’re bouncy and felt quite responsive, and the traction was exceptional thanks to that ATC outsole – my big smile as I run downhill in my video review demonstrates this nicely haha. The only drawback was, again, the stability of the midsole on steep, technical descents, however, this is in no way a deal-breaker, as the shoes aren’t specifically designed for such conditions and it’s really not all that bad.

 the Nike Pegasus Trail 5 excels as an all-terrain road/trail transition shoe suitable for most runners in most circumstances.
the Nike Pegasus Trail 5 excels as an all-terrain road/trail transition shoe suitable for most runners in most circumstances

Overall, the Nike Pegasus Trail 5 excels as an all-terrain road/trail transition shoe suitable for most runners in most circumstances, and over most distances. They are particularly well-suited for activities like park runs, lakeside jogs, or mild trails where you don’t encounter severe technical challenges.

If your trail running involves less intimidating terrain, these shoes proved to be a superb option. They allow you to effortlessly switch between roads and light trails in total comfort, making them a solid choice for a broad range of running scenarios – and overall they’re a big hit for me.

Looking ahead, all I can hope for in the next version is a slight reduction in the drop and perhaps a bit more responsiveness and cushioning under the forefoot. This adjustment could make them feel more responsive and bouncy, not only on climbs but on flats as well, potentially making them a faster shoe overall.

➡ 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.

Is the Pegasus Trail 5 worth buying?

So, are the Nike Pegasus Trail 5 worth the $150 price tag? I have to say yes, and I’m quite surprised by my own verdict. In previous versions of the Nike Pegasus Trail, I’ve been hesitant to recommend them due to somewhat of an underwhelming performance, but the Peg Trail 5 show significant improvements.

Nike has made several updates that I’ve been hoping for since the last version and I’m genuinely pleased with these changes.

🙏🏼 Please consider supporting Trail & Kale Running Co by purchasing through our links. We may earn a small commission if you do so, but it won’t cost you anything, and you’ll be helping to support our small business so we can continue providing content like this review – we appreciate you, and your support.

I find very little to criticize about these shoes; my feedback is overwhelmingly positive. I’m likely going to keep these for many more trail runs because I like them that much.

For those of you on the hunt for the ideal trail running shoes tailored to your needs, I recommend heading over to my comprehensive roundup of the best trail running shoes, which is a buyer’s guide that will help you find the best trail running shoes for you.

I really hope you found this review informative and enjoyable – If you did, subscribe to our Newsletter, so you don’t miss our other in-depth running shoe reviews as they drop.

Nike Pegasus Trail 5 Review [YouTube Video]

Did you know we also create video reviews on our YouTube Channel? Click the image below to watch our Nike Pegasus Trail 5 video review on YouTube next.

Nike Pegasus Trail 5 video review

More photos of the Pegasus Trail 5

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.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

The Latest

Master Running Cadence To Run Faster...

Trail & Kale's ultimate guide to improving your running cadence for a faster, safer, and more efficient running technique.

Father’s Day Gifts For Dads That...

The most thoughtful gift ideas for dads who run, whether it's his birthday, Father's Day or another special occasion, there's a cool gift for your run-loving dad on this list.

LEKI Ultratrail FX.One Trail Running Poles...

Having tested them thoroughly in the mountains of Northern California, Alastair shares how these premium running poles improve trail performance

New Shoe Reviews
Fresh drops from our reviewers

Nike Pegasus 41 Review: The Flying Horse...

Is the Nike Pegasus 41 still the go-to daily trainer for runners seeking a dreamy balance of cushioning, responsiveness, and durability? Well, yes... yes it is. I'm not one to keep secrets from you ;)

La Sportiva Levante Review: Toe Bumper &...

This women's-specific trail running shoe is designed for all-mountain performance and technical, rocky, terrain.

Brooks Ghost 16 Review: Updates Further Enhance...

With an improved fit, lighter design, and continued reliability, Brooks has just reaffirmed why the Ghost line is their most popular daily trainer.
Trail & Kale Running Co logo Email Newsletter

Don't Drop Behind
Subscribe to stay up to date!

'Best Of' Guides
Top performing gear

The Best Running Shoes [2024]

The best running shoes rated and shortlisted, and advice to ensure you buy the most comfortable, high-performing shoes that work for YOU.

The Best Trail Running Shoes [2024]

The best trail running shoes this year ranked & reviewed + top advice so you buy the most comfortable, high-performing shoes for you

Best On Running Shoes of 2024...

Welcome to the ULTIMATE On Running shoes buyer's guide, complete with reviews + rankings of the best On running shoes available | YES, I've reviewed them all!

Best HOKA Running Shoes of 2024...

ULTIMATE HOKA Running shoes buyer's guide, complete with reviews + rankings of the best HOKA running shoes. YES, I've reviewed them all!

Best Brooks Running Shoes of 2024...

Welcome to the ULTIMATE Brooks Running shoes buyer's guide, complete with reviews + rankings of the best Brooks shoes | YES, I've reviewed them all!

Training Plans
5K, 10K, Half Marathon, Marathon, Ultramarathons