Updated: April 21st, 2024
Why is Nike Announcing a New Pegasus 1 Year in Advance?

Last week, Nike announced the future release of two new Pegasus running shoes: the Pegasus 41 and the Pegasus Premium.

We spoke already about the Peg 31, with a change of foam from React to ReactX and an updated upper.

The same day, Nike did something they never do: they announced the future release of a brand new model – called the Nike Pegasus Premium, with a release date of Spring 2025 (which usually means anything between January and March).

What makes the Pegasus Premium… premium?

The Pegasus Premium seems to be a love letter to Nike Air Zoom technology.

Air Zoom was developed originally for football (the European kind) shoes: athletes needed a cushioning system such as the Nike Air, but in a much lower profile than the Air and Air Max units of the decades past.

For the first time, Nike uses a full-lenght Air Zoom unit, visible from all sides of the shoe.

I need to admit it looks really good. I want a pair.

Nike ZoomX – the premium foam found in Nike’s record-breaking shoes – is the main material for the midsole, with ReactX added to the heel.

How is this going to help me run?

We have to take Nike’s word for this, since nobody has seen a pair. The rationale behind the design of the shoe is:

  • the Zoom Air unit is contoured to the natural profile of the foot, guaranteeing responsiveness throughout the transition from heel to toe;
  • this midsole will return more energy than any previous Pegasus model (including the Turbo)
  • because of the full-length of the Air Zoom unit and its design, it is meant to provide the same assistance to all runners, independent of where they land on the foot.

Overall it would seem that the Pegasus Premium is designed top to bottom for performance. But is this going to be the case?

Take me back to the Nike Air Max 360

nike air max 360

I clearly remember the launch of the Air Max 360 in 2006. It was the first shoe with a midsole without foam, and completely made out of a huge, full lenght Air Max unit.

The 360 was never a technical running shoe, but it was Nike marketed it as such. Just to jog your memory (pun intended), here is one of the original videos released by Nike in 2006:

You can read sentences such as “would i be so light that running felt effortless?” or “could I go forever” ?

We don’t know if the Nike Pegasus Premium is going to be a gimmick. It could indeed be the best running shoe ever made, but you will never know from the press release until somebody starts running in them.

Adidas sold millions of pairs of a shoe (the Ultraboost) that took adidas’ latest (at the time) innovation in running material and made a showcase out of it.

The shoe was never amazing for running, but it was a premium shoe and people did indeed run in them. But adidas had better shoes in their lineup.

Why announcing a shoe now, one year before?

Maybe I am wrong, but I don’t remember Nike announcing shoes that will be released one year in advance. If anything, they’d keep the designs secret as long as possible so not to give time to counterfeiters to create fake versions.

But here we are, in April 2024, discussing of a Nike running shoe that will release in the spring of 2025.

The reality is that Nike is not doing particularly well right now. Sales are down (propped up by some consistent discounting), share prices are down and a series of re-orgs have started to help the Oregon brand save money.

One culprit for this bad performance seems to have been indicated, both from customers, retailers and industry experts, as a lack of innovation.

The Brand has been accused to focus their innovation to the top-tier of sport shoes (think Alphafly and Vaporfly) while resting a little too much on their laurels for daily training shoes such as the Pegasus line.

Nike had to reply to these criticisms by letting everybody know they keep innovating and experimenting with different materials, technologies and ways to construct footwear.

If there’s a shoe that deserves a Premium version is the Pegasus.

Brooks has added the Ghost Max to their Ghost line and Saucony has added the Kinvara Pro to their Kinvara line.

Nike already has a Turbo version of the Pegasus – why a Premium?

I would say “why not?”. As long as this is indeed a performance shoe and not a lifestyle shoe borrowing the name of one of running’s longest franchises, I’ll definitely be buying a pair as soon as they come out. Will I run in them? That’s still to be seen.

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