Nike Zoom Pegasus Turbo 2 Intro
Nike is trailblazing into a new era of hyper-performance running gear that give runners an edge.
This Turbo 2 variant of the Pegasus shoe elevates the Pegasus line into the elite-class of shoes that is shared by record setting shoes.
Although $180 is steep for most shoes, this is a bargain for the newest in Nike technology considering that the Nike Vaporfly 4% Flyknit features the same foam and similar layout (although the 4% has a full-length plate and additional features that warrant the $200+ price).
It features a lightweight upper+foam on a 10mm drop platform. Other shoes outside of the Nike family that appear in the top crowd of fast trainers/racers would be the adidas adizero adios 4s or the New Balance Fresh Foam More shoes.
Nike Zoom Pegasus Turbo 2 First Impressions
The Pegasus line of shoes has a long history with Nike, generally offering a low-risk, high reward type of shoe that’s been tested and iterated for years and years.
Rather than introduce a dramatic price hike and design change, Nike spun off the Turbo 2 variant to capture the market that wants the overall design of the Pegasus shoes, but with the most bleeding edge tech on the foam with Nike’s ZoomX foam.
This model is only the second in the line of the Turbo shoes, where it makes marginal changes to the original.
The Turbo 2 keeps the same outsole and midsole design, and alters the upper for a simpler design without Flywire or a pronounced central fabric line over the toebox.
The Turbo 2 also slims down the tongue and heel area when compared to the original Turbos.
Some find this to be a welcomed weight reduction and improved fit, but others find the thin tongue and heel area to be troublesome when attempting to make a good fit.
I felt the latter, where it took me a handful of runs to get a handle on how to properly adjust the upper without it feeling too tight around the heel.
Nike is competing with other top of the line marathon racing shoes for the masses with this shoe since the foam tech came from Nike’s Breaking2 attempt, and Nike is placing it on the platform of a popular model.
I’m sure adidas’s adizero lineup is seeing this shoe as a solid competitor, along with many other $150 or higher price point cushioned racing-styled shoes like the Brooks Glycerin 17s.
Nike Zoom Pegasus Turbo 2 Sole Unit
Most of the Pegasus Turbo 2’s value is within the sole of the shoe. Protecting the ZoomX foam while also giving you some traction is the rubber overlay with concentrations at the heel and toe of the foot.
The hex pattern of rubber gives moderate traction, and the expanded spacing that begins to leave gaps that expose the foam seems to keep the shoe light but durable.
Apart from two bands of rubber running the edge of the shoe, the entire midfoot is exposed rubber that holds the same hexagon pattern around it.
A gap this wide exposing that much foam points to the shoe’s focus on lightweight running at the expense of durability.
One quirk of the outsole is a pronounced rectangular outline on top of the hex pattern near the forefoot.
This rectangular patch is partially there for durability, but seems to be there as a vestigial design that used to mimic the rectangular fabric line on the top of the original Pegasus Turbos that is no longer present on the Turbo 2s.
I found the outsole to be well suited for racing, track workouts and most daily runs.
However, I’m sure the shoe will start to lose a lot of traction after several hundred miles when the hex rubber patterns are worn down as they are relatively thin.
The real meat and potatoes of this shoe is all in the ZoomX foam. If you’re not aware of what ZoomX foam is, it’s the lightest, most energy efficient foam Nike has ever made.
Nike states this ZoomX formula gives you 85% energy return. For reference, other foams produced by Nike returned 60-65% of the energy.
The science and bio-mechanics around efficient foams is still growing, so it’s hard to quantify how much faster a runner will be with more efficient foam, but it is clear that this foam feels bouncy, soft, and won’t slow you down.
The question for most runners though is how much it makes sense to pay for marginal gains that could be just seconds over a 5k.
Some might feel this money is better spent on race nutrition, training plans, or a second pair of running shoes that gets them out of the door more.
My thoughts on this foam after racing and training in it is that it should be considered by 10k and higher distance racers that often place in races.
Nike Zoom Pegasus Turbo 2 Upper Unit
The upper’s design polarizes opinions on the shoe. Some welcome the thin fabric and sleek choices, others wish Nike padded areas up more and opted for thicker materials.
You’ll notice that most of the upper is a sleek-looking, near continuous wrap of an engineered mesh.
It’s highly breathable with many pores, so unless you get a dark color of the shoe, you’ll end up seeing the flashy colors fade as the pores fill with dirt.
But that’s an aesthetic drawback which shouldn’t matter much when you’re tossing $180 towards a shoe for the fit and performance.
I found the material to be suitable for racing and training, but unsure that it will last as long as most daily trainers.
The lacing system is simplified compared to the predecessor, removing the flywire and going with just regular laces that loop into reinforced fabric eyelets.
Since the upper is a thin mesh that gets pulled together with thin laces on top of a thin tongue, you don’t have much room for error when tightening up the shoes.
I had to stop 2 miles into my first run with these shoes because I had moderate pain on the top of my foot from an uneven fit.
I had not balanced out the lace tension across the top of my foot, which made the tongue move around and expose pressure points.
After several runs, I found I was tightening the shoe too much with my feet too far forward and needed to start with my heel further back before getting it moderately tight.
It’s also important to note that there isn’t much of a heel counter, where Nike gives you just a thin sewn on loop around the edges similar to New Balance’s Fresh Foam Cruz shoes.
Finishing out the upper is an exaggerated Nike logo that spills onto the foam. Nike is making sure you notice these shoes and know who made them.
Seems like almost a linear relationship between logo size now and price of a shoe.
The other quick aesthetic note I have with this shoe is that Nike offers this shoe with the “Design your own” option that lets you pick various colors for the base, stripe, tongue, swoosh, etc., but it adds $40 to the MSRP.
Nike Zoom Pegasus Turbo 2 Conclusion
Most of us don’t really need to spend more to get what elites use, but we do it anyway since we think it’ll help us go faster when compared to the base model, and that everything that the elites use is better than the base model.
Sure, you’ll probably go a little faster in these shoes, but you might find the base model of this shoe to be more comfortable, longer lasting, or more stylish.
Considering that this shoe has an older version that’s cheaper and fits better for some, it’s hard to strongly recommend this shoe to anyone.
However, I think those who are maxing out their training plans and need just a little bit of time shaved off their races should consider this shoe. Just make sure to spend some time getting the fit right.
We purchased a pair of Nike Zoom Pegasus Turbo 2 from runningwarehouse using our own money. This did not influence the outcome of this review, written after running more than 50 miles in them.