Nike’s franchise neutral trainer, the Pegasus, is back for its 29th version. I have done a lot of training in the Pegasus 28th, and I found it to be a reliable everyday shoe, able to deliver comfort and protection over any distance. But I also found it flexible and light enough to use on tempo and race days. All at an affordable price, no less! That does not mean I didn’t feel it was perfect. As great as the 28 was underfoot, I thought the upper could be improved. Let’s see if these improvements were made in the 29!
Nike Air Pegasus+ 29 First Impressions
My immediate impression is the Pegasus 29 looks like a sleeker version of the 28. Much of the shoe looks familiar, like the Flywire lacing system and the upper patterns. But the midsole looks sleeker, giving the 29 a more streamlined, even futuristic look. A great-looking shoe!
One of my favorite features of the 28 was its flexibility, and the 29 is no different. The forefoot flexes very easily. The plastic shank piece the 28 had behind the forefoot is gone, but, as far as I can see, it does not affect the 29 in any way, except maybe some weight savings.
Side-to-side, the 29 also twists very easily. Because of this torsional flexibility, I expect the Pegasus 29 to provide very little pronation control, which makes the shoe ideal for the neutral runner. The heel counter is firm, which should lock down the heel nicely on the run.
Nike Air Pegasus+ 29 Sole Unit
As in past versions, the Pegasus 29’s midsole is completely made of Cushlon EVA. Unlike the Vomero 7, which I felt became firmer, the Cushlon in the Pegasus 29 feels identical to the 28. That means you can expect a lot of plush cushion with every footstrike. The Pegasus 29 also has great responsiveness, which means your foot will not sink to the bottom of the midsole and stay there but will bounce back. Flexible and responsive, this highly cushioned has a fast, easy transition.
The Pegasus 29 also features a Zoom Air unit in the heel. Heelstrikers especially will appreciate the bouncy cushion of the Zoom Air heel. But this does not mean forefoot and midfoot strikers are left out of the picture. With 20 mm of stacked cushion in the forefoot, the Pegasus 29 offers cushioned protection for any footstrike.
I expect the type of cushion the Pegasus offers in other makers’ plus cushion line. This usually means a $15-30 price increase. But not the Pegasus: it offers plus cushion protection in a regular cushion package.
Nike Air Pegasus+ 29 Upper
Like I said before, the upper of the previous version had room for improvement. Mainly, I felt the Pegasus could benefit from more breathability and better midfoot fit.
In the Pegasus 29, Nike moves to an Engineered Mesh, which is basically two types of mesh: one, a traditional mesh, and two, a higher density mesh that is used in place of overlays. By replacing the traditional overlay with mesh, Nike improves the breathability of the Pegasus. In the 28, you had to get the Breath version to get a breathable shoe. I’m not sure that is necessary anymore. With the Engineered Mesh, Nike also improves the comfort of the upper, making it feel almost sock-like.
Where I still feel the Pegasus 29 could improve is the midfoot fit. The 29, like the 28, uses Flywire to wrap the midfoot. While the Flywire adequately locks my foot down, it does not have the same snug and adaptable fit one gets with Nike’s Dynamic Fit system. After experiencing the Dynamic Fit system in the Vomero 7, there is no going back! I wish Nike would have brought Dynamic Fit to the Pegasus as well.
My biggest complaint with the previous model was the durability of the upper. It broke down fairly quickly, which gave me some serious lace bite across the top of my foot. The Engineered Mesh seems to improve the quality of the upper, but it is too early to tell if that will translate into more durability. Nike already has the technology to improve fit in Dynamic Fit, so I am not sure why it was not brought to the Pegasus.
Nike Air Pegasus+ 29 Opinion
Nike continues improving the Pegasus with the 29th edition. With the same plush yet responsive cushion as the 28, the Pegasus 29 is destined to provide serious impact protection for a wide variety of footstrikes over any distance.
The 28 already offered high-end impact protection in a relatively lightweight package, and the 29 gets a touch lighter (nearly 1 oz.). Also new to the 29 is a newly constructed upper that improves both comfort and breathability. But because of its great flexibility, this highly cushioned trainer also has a fast, easy transition.
Because of this combination of high-end cushion and flexible ride, I find the Pegasus 29 ideal for racing half- and full- marathons. A great do everything trainer at a relatively low price, the Pegasus 29 will appeal to a wide range of neutral runners.