The Nike Trail Pegasus Trail 2 is a $130 shoe designed for commuting across town to the trailhead – mixing in road with trail.
The Pegasus Trail 2 is the newest model from Nike’s Pegasus series following the Pegasus 36 Trail.
This stylish shoe integrates new features to increase proficiency on the trail but is less trail-oriented than the Wildhorse.
Full length, React foam midfoot cushioning, an oversized outsole, and a neoprene faux gaiter come together for the first time in this shoe with mixed results.
My initial impressions of these shoes were delight with its wild but stylish look and surprise by a higher stack than I’d ever imagined seeing on a Nike shoe.
At 9.4 oz., they are noticeably heavier than trail shoes that I typically run in – coming in about an ounce heavier than its Pegasus Trail 36 predecessor (which weighs in at 8.2 oz) and a few ounces heavier than my maximalist shoe of choice, the Hoka Evo Mafate 2 (which weighs in at 8.9 oz).
The heel tabs made it easy to slip into the neoprene faux gaiters and soft breathable upper; however, the shoe was wider and shorter in the forefoot than I would have preferred.
My first couple of runs in these shoes were on flat pavement and dirt trails, where these shoes excelled.
The React foam midsole provided a comfortable underfoot experience and adequate responsiveness for a heavier shoe. The breathable, soft upper kept my foot cool and prevented abrasions or blisters.
On my first true trail run up Bear Peak in Boulder – which is significantly technical with its steep, rocky ascent and descent – these shoes were not comfortable for long.
The outsoles were not sticky enough to provide traction on rock faces, which did not inspire confidence with my footing.
Additionally, the midfoot cage was not secure enough to keep my foot stable on uneven terrain. On the descent, the tips of my toes were smashing into the front of the shoe making them almost unbearable.
Ultimately, I would not opt to use these shoes for any trail with significant elevation change.
The oversized outsole provides excellent underfoot protection and extends out beyond the toe and heel, giving that “mountain-bike” feel like you can roll over obstacles.
The soft, perforated upper provides decent protection from rocks and other trail hazards. The perforation allows the shoe to drain and keep your foot drain if you encounter water.
As someone who doesn’t typically use gaiters, I appreciated the built-in “faux” gaiter prevented dust, sand, and annoying pebbles from entering the shoe.
After 50 miles over varied trail terrain, these shoes have fared decently well with no holes and few abrasions and only minimal wear on the outsoles.
Despite the softness of the upper, it has withstood contact with rocks and other hazards surprisingly well.
I anticipate this shoe being durable enough for longer efforts (50+ miles), especially on the types of terrain it excels on.
Despite these shoes being heavier, it was possible to run fairly quickly in them on flat terrain; however, I would not wear these for trail races or speedwork.
While more comfortable, the upper is so soft that it compromises responsiveness.
The multidirectional lugs on these shoes did not grip terrain well; so they slowed me down on the ascent and descent, as I did not feel confident stopping when it was steep on any type of terrain really.
These may be suitable for long races on a combination of dirt and pavement.
These shoes run small, so order a half size to one full size larger than other trail shoe brands.
The mid-foot cage did not fit well around my narrow foot causing instability on rocks and other uneven terrain, so this shoe may be more secure on a wider foot.
My foot was slipping primarily towards the outside of my foot causing me to roll my weight onto my little toe.
The neoprene “boot” with faux gaiter felt comfortable around my heel, and the pull tabs made these shoes easy to take on and pull off. The lace system required a double knot but stayed secure.
The Nike Pegasus Trail 2 was one of the coolest looking trail shoes I’ve run in, and I appreciated Nike’s integration of new trail-specific features in this version.
These shoes would be practical for a runner seeking extra protection while training on flatter dirt trails or for road runs that have some dirt sections.
The faux gaiter and oversized outsole are effective trail features that provide protection.
However, the lack of traction and stability make them unsuitable for running trails with significant elevation change, sloppy or muddy conditions, or on rocky terrain.
Ultimately, I will only use the Nike Pegasus Trail 2 for training runs on the road where I may encounter some dirt or other soft surface.
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