Nike Zoom Pegasus 31 General Info:
Very few running shoes can match the Pegasus namesake in terms of longevity and popularity, and perhaps for good reason. Since 1983, the Pegasus has been worn by every runner from Olympic athletes to fitness enthusiasts, serving both populations equally well by providing a trusty companion for daily training. The shoe has always fashioned a high-level of modern cushioning technology without sacrificing responsiveness on the road.
Nike Zoom Pegasus 31 My first impression the Pegasus 31 was marked by how far the shoe had come since my last pair in this installment. In college, I wore the Pegasus 26 for a season when the shoe was still a part of the famed Bowerman line.
I liked the shoe, but it was initially quite stiff, rigid on the foot, and took some real pounding before it broke-in properly. The Pegasus 31 was practically the antithesis of this first impression, as the shoe hugged my foot like a glove and felt smooth from my first few steps in them.
My first jaunt in the new Pegasus was a quick five mile run after work. Usually, it takes my legs a while to warm-up after sitting most of the day. However, the plush responsiveness was immediately noted with the shoe as I went out the gate and onto our town’s Greenway path.
It felt bouncy on the pavement, and was light enough to keep my stride alive on a few of the grass fields that interweave the path. It offered plenty of protection underfoot over gravel, and maneuvered well on tighter turns.
These things stated, this is a shoe with excellent functionality over varied terrain and at a variety of moderate speeds,
The Nike Pegasus 31 will definitely become my go-to shoe for longer runs for the next while, as this is where the shoe really shines. I usually prefer very light, fairly minimal trainers for daily runs and workouts, but I do enjoy a more cushioned shoe for long jaunts and recovery jogs.
The Pegasus feels its best when your legs start to tire and some extra support is needed to keep fatigue at bay. The outsole is such that you can efficiently move between a heel and forefoot strike as your pace dictates, and the upper breathes very well even in humid weather.
Because of this shoe’s versatility, it will definitely be one that I recommend to my high school runners in the fall.
I have always looked at the Pegasus as a filler model for runners who are still learning to run with good mechanics, but don’t necessarily have any “bad” pronation or supination habits ingrained into their stride.
The same holds true for newer adult runners looking for a shoe to “get the job done” in regard to their weight loss or fitness goals, and of course high-mileage speedsters will enjoy the “ah-ha” sensation of slipping their foot into its glove-like body.
Nike Zoom Pegasus 31 Sole Unit:
The Nike Pegasus 31 features a fairly standard Zoom outsole that has become a stand-by for the brand’s more popular models. There is a slim vein that runs from heel to mid-foot in the shoe designed to guide the foot towards the ground at impact.
However, the flat nature of the outsole prevents this feature from over-stabilizing a neutral gait, and it is unnoticeable when running. The shoe’s outsole is advertised as being flexible, but I have found it to be quite rigid when flexed with the hand.
I may simply be used to really flexible models, but I feel that Nike probably just threw that sentiment into the Pegasus 31’s advertisement because it is a “catch-phrase” in shoe terminology right now.
The ride is eerily similar to the Nike Zoom Elite 6 which I currently have in my rotation. The Zoom Elite has slightly more arch support and the outsole is higher volume, but otherwise the shoes are next of kin on the road.
However, the Pegasus fits more true to size than most Nike models, as many shoes I have owned from the brand have run a half-size small based on my usual size nine. Regardless, the Pegasus 31’s outsole provides plenty of cushioning while still maintaining good ground feel for an athletic ride.
Nike Zoom Pegasus 31 Upper:
The upper on the Pegasus 31 wraps the foot securely with the latest training fabrics from Nike. It isn’t quite as pliable as the Fly-Knit line, but it feels more traditional while still providing great breathability and air flow over the foot.
The shoe’s seamless construction prevents chafing and blisters, and my one run in the rain so far was without incident in this regard. The tongue is well-cushioned over the metatarsals, and helps keep the ankle in a neutral position by fitting close to the foot when running.
Nike Zoom Pegasus 31 Conclusions:
The Nike Zoom Pegasus 31 is a great neutral training choice for young runners, heavier runners, and the fleet of foot alike, making it a solid package sure to be seen at your favorite training venues this summer.
It excels on longer runs and could double as a marathon racer for some runners, but don’t expect to blast any track workouts or set short distance PRs in this model; it was made to shine over the miles of trials, and Nike has plenty of lighter racing options to choose from, anyway.
Pegasus new-comers may get hooked on the shoe’s responsive feel, while faithful Pegasus wearers may find this model to be the line’s best addition yet.
We thank the nice people at Nike for sending us a pair of Zoom Pegasus 31 to test. This did not influence the outcome of the review, written after running more than 50 miles in them.