The Nike Pegasus has been one of Nikes staple running shoes for a long time now. This is probably one of the best selling running shoes year after year.
It promises a neutral, cushioned ride that can withstand high mileage daily training as well as fast paced running. Given the trends of todays running shoes market this shoe splits the gap between minimalist and maximalist.
The pegasus is actually the very first running shoe I ever purchased. So I was eager to receive and begin testing the Pegasus 33.
It weighs 10.8oz and has a 10mm heel to toe drop. Upon receiving the shoe the first thing I notices is that it is very pleasing aesthetically. This is pretty common for Nikes shoes so it came as no surprise.
Last year the Pegasus added a seamless upper with “Flywire” technology which is also present in the new version.
Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 33 Sole Unit
This version of the Pegasus continues the use of Nike zoom cushioning in the midsole. As we explain in our guide to Nike running shoes, Zoom cushioning is part of the Nike Air family and is designed as a lightweight, durable cushioning.
It is a thin cushioning designed to bring the foot closer to the ground and rebound quickly immediately preparing your shoe for the next footfall.
This type of cushioning is meant to be responsive and from running in the shoe I can definitely agree with that. The shoe has a smooth responsive ride that meets right in the middle when it comes to cushioning.
It provides a smooth soft ride that is responsive and never feels too squishy. One thing that this shoe really has going for it is that it’s versatile. Its very smooth and it can be used for a variety of different runs.
I found the comfort to be average on long runs. The cushioning is great for the most part but its softness begins to wear away when going long. This is not to say that it’s not tolerable.
It is absolutely fine for long running. I just would maybe prefer a slightly thicker layer of cushioning at times.
One complaint I have about this shoe has to do with its overall shape rather than the cushion used in the midsole.
The cushion is designed to be stable and I think it meets that goal for the most part. The problem is that the sole of this shoe feels really narrow. For me this manifested itself by causing me to feel slightly unstable at times while running.
I point this out has a caution to those who overpronate but still run in a neutral shoe. This may be one of the shoes to avoid if you are this type of runner. It has the potential to exaggerate your pronation and cause you to feel unstable.
The outsole is completely covered in rubber with some strategically placed grooves that allow the shoe to flex in different directions.
The lateral side of the shoe has horizontal lines with vertical lines slightly medial to that. Moving closer to midline and the medial side of the outsole there is a matrix of pentagon shaped rubber lugs.
One strange thing about the outsole is that the rubber is very hard and almost feels plastic like. I was worried about traction on wet pavement but it ended up not being an issue.
I think the plastic like appearance was just the initial finish of the outsole. Once I started running more in the shoe it wore off and looked like normal rubber.
Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 33 Upper Info
The upper of this shoe is very comfortable and uses a thin flymesh material with an inner sock like liner attached to the tongue of the shoe that creates a pocket for your foot. It fits snug through the entire foot.
I would describe it as a sock like fit. There are no seams or areas within the upper that cause irritation.
This shoe won’t please those who like a really wide toe box but it does offer some room in the toe area by using a sock like material that is flexible and conforms to the shape of your forefoot and toes.
It breathes well and at no point felt hot even in 90+ degree wether. One innovation introduced last year and included in this upper is the use of Nike “flywire” cables.
Each eyelet for the laces has two “flywire” drawstrings that your laces actually go through.
These flywire drawstrings are tethered to the base of the shoe and continue up the lateral and medial aspects of the shoe in a zig zag like pattern.
As you tighten the laces of the shoe you can really feel these flywire strings tightening against the sides of your foot. Thankfully there is a sock like liner inside the shoe to protect your foot from them digging in.
In general I think the flywire cables do actually help you lock down the fit of the upper and really pin the upper in position on your foot.
I occasionally have issues with shoes sliding forward on my foot which causes me to have to tap my heel on the ground while running or switch to a heel lock lacing schematic but this shoe can really be pinned down and locked into position on your foot.
This is similar to what is seen in last years model but is a little more pleasing aesthetically as the flywire cable are less exposed than in the 32.
Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 33 Conclusions
The Pegasus 33 is a solid everyday Neutral trainer. I enjoyed running in the shoe and plan on keeping it in my rotation. It is versatile and feels light on the foot despite having gained some weight compared to last years version.
The seamless upper and flawier technology that’s been carried over from last years model is very comfortable. I liked it the most for mid distance relaxed pace runs.
As mentioned previously I did encounter some small stability issues which I am attributing to the thin base of the shoe. I believe that this shoe would be great for most runners especially when considering its reasonable pricing.
It is absolutely a shoe that should be considered by those looking for a neutral trainer that they plan on running a lot of miles in. It also retains mostly the same as the previous model when it comes to the midsole.
So if you were a fan of the Pegasus 32 you’ll likely be happy with the similar ride but will gain a slightly redesigned upper. I liked this shoe better than the Mizuno Wave Rider 19, and New Balance Fresh Foam 1080 due to its softer cushioning and comfortable upper.
We thank the nice people at Nike for sending us a pair of Air Zoom Pegasus 33 to test. This did not influence the outcome of the review, written after running more than 50 miles in them.