Nike Zegama Review: This Is Nike’s Answer To Technical Trails…

As long as they don't involve slick rocks. With a rugged outsole, plush cushioning, and breathable upper, the Nike Zegama excels on technical trails, making it a top pick for trail runners seeking both comfort and performance at a solid value.


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The Key Specifications

  • Price: $170 from
  • Sizing and fit: True to size with a medium width fit.
  • Weight: 10.1 oz (286g) for a size US(M)9 (my pair).
  • Drop: 4mm with a high stack height.
  • Toe box width: Medium.
  • Stability: Neutral, so there’s no additional stability or support added.
  • Cushioning: ZoomX midsole with high cushioning.
  • Best for: Technical terrain, and long trail runs.

NEW VERSION ALERT: The Nike Zegama 2 is now out – read all about it here, or watch my video review on YouTube. P.S. It’s vastly improved over the original version.

In this Nike Zegama review, I’m taking a close look at the Nike Zegama trail running shoes that are designed for anyone looking to conquer the more demanding trails or longer distances.

Beyond the easy, well-trodden paths lie technical terrains where these shoes truly shine in my opinion. The Zegama’s design speaks volumes about their purpose, with deep, claw-like lugs for superior grip, ample cushioning in the midsole for comfort over long distances, and a breathable upper that keeps your feet comfortable as you push the limits.

If tackling more challenging trails sounds like your kind of jam, then you’re going to want to hear more about what the Nike Zegama can offer you.

Nike Zegama review | By Alastair from Trail & Kale
Nike Zegama review | By Alastair from Trail & Kale

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Let’s dive deeper into the key specifications, what makes The Zegama a standout choice for trail runners, the features that I feel could be improved, and then I’ll finish off this review by sharing a final rating, and the Pros and Cons for you to mull over.

Nike Zegama VS Pegasus Trail 4

The Nike Pegasus Trail 4 is a versatile, door-to-trail shoe that performs well on roads and light trails, offering comfort and a smooth transition between different surfaces.

It’s suitable for runners who need a shoe that can handle both their road and non-technical trail needs. On the other hand, the Nike Zegama is specifically designed for the technical trail runner, providing superior grip, responsive cushioning, and durability for challenging terrain.

It’s the better choice for those who prioritize performance on rugged trails and need a shoe that can withstand the demands of technical trail running.

Nike Zegama Video Review

Nike Zegama video review

Tap the image above to watch my Nike Zegama video review, shot on our local trails, and don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube Channel for more shoe reviews just like this one!

The features of the Nike Zegama that I really like

Let’s dive into the standout features of these running shoes that I think works really well. Starting with the outsole, it’s really rugged, and has nice deep, claw-like lugs that provide great grip where it’s most needed.

While the midfoot area has fewer lugs, it’s cleverly designed that way, and honestly, it works out ok for the intended terrain.

I’m also a fan of the smaller lugs at the front, ideal for tackling steep trails; they really bite into the dirt effectively – see photos below.

However, the outsole rubber compound needs an update, and I believe the Nike Zegama 2 will be bringing Vibram MegaGrip to the table… here’s hoping anway! More on why it needs that update in just a moment…

So far, the durability of the outsole is holding up nicely; Nike has done a great job with this design.

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Moving on, the midsole, crafted from ZoomX foam, is another highlight – and it’s soooo much better than the React foam that you’ll find in the Pegasus Trail 4.

It’s plush and bouncy, offering a supremely comfortable ride whilst keeping it fun on the trails – React foam on the other hand just feels flat to me, with a lot less response, even if it does potentially last longer.

This brings me to the high stack height of the Zegama, elevating you off the ground and allowing for generous cushioning in the midsole, as you can see in the photo below.

The high stack height of the Zegama
The high stack height of the Zegama

This design not only provides a plush feel underfoot but also excellent protection against rough terrain.

While there are both pros and cons (the cons of which I’ll go into in just a moment) to this feature, the immediate benefit is undeniable: a bouncy, comfortable experience, especially appreciated over longer distances.

The upper deserves special mention too, It’s exceptionally breathable, to the point where you can see your socks through it, ensuring great airflow and keeping your feet cool.

The material around the edge is soft and flexible, acting like a built-in gaiter to prevent debris from entering the shoe, which is a thoughtful touch.

There’s also a handy finger pull at the back for easy on and off. And, staying true to Nike’s reputation, these shoes look fantastic. Nike has once again proven their ability to combine style with functionality.

➡ If you’re enjoying this review drop a comment down below, subscribe to our newsletter for more running shoe reviews just like this one, and if you’re familiar with the Zegama, let me know in the comments, I want to know what your thoughts are on them.

The lacing system is another feature worth mentioning; it tightens smoothly and effectively. I’ve also noticed that the laces stay securely tied, maintaining a snug fit throughout.

Features that I feel could be improved for the next release

There are a couple of areas where the Nike Zegama could see improvements in its next iteration.

First off, its high stack height, while beneficial for cushioning, does introduce a bit of instability, especially on hard, uneven surfaces where the shoes can feel a tad wobbly.

A bit more stability in the midsole would be welcome and I think the best way to do that would be to reduce the stack height a bit.

Then there’s that outsole rubber compound, which I mentioned earlier… It provides great traction in the muddy conditions, and on most terrains to be honest, but it falls short on slick rock surfaces. When you hit them, well just don’t hit them please as you’ll likely feel like you’re running on ice…

Another aspect that could use a tweak is the tongue.

It’s somewhat short, limiting how far you can pull it up, which is as much as it goes – I demonstrate this in my video review.

While it does have nice padding, the placement of this padding sometimes presses against the top of my foot in a way that’s noticeable rather than being seamlessly comfortable. It’s not that bad but worth a mention.

Reworking this area, perhaps with softer padding or a different design to enhance comfort on the top of the foot, would be a great improvement.

Nike Zegama review summary

Wrapping up this review of the Nike Zegama, the big question remains: is it worth the investment?

At $170 from, the price might seem a bit on the higher side, but in my opinion, you’re getting one of the finest trail running shoes Nike has to offer for that price.

For me, it’s a resounding yes — it’s definitely worth the $170. Among all the Nike trail running options available at the moment, this is my top pick.

Thanks so much for tuning into 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!


Nike Zegama image gallery

Thank you for reading this review, If you found it helpful, please share it with friends who might also enjoy it, and don’t forget to subscribe to Newsletter for more insightful running shoe reviews, running 101 advice, and full access to our training plans. Your support is greatly appreciated!

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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