If you’re looking for a decently priced trainer that will last a long time, the Pegasus 40 is a good choice. It has a very comfortable upper and has a stable ride. It’s also suitable for gym and casual wear.
If you want an exciting daily trainer with a bouncy ride, the Pegasus 40 is not the shoe for you. It has a very predictable, traditional daily trainer ride.
If it was any other brand, the 40th anniversary of their most popular mid range, neutral daily trainer would have been a big celebration with a massive marketing push and a boat load of substantial upgrades.
The Nike Pegasus 39 was a significant update last year but this year, the 40 has only received an upper update and its advertising has been nothing special.
I remember 10 years ago that the Pegasus 30 was also just a minor, upper only update. This is disappointing because Nike could do so much more with big milestones like these. The Pegasus is the oldest running shoe series after all.
The Pegasus used to be one of the most popular dailies. Back in the day, the Pegasus didn’t have much competition. Super foams didn’t exist and neither did carbon plates or jumbo midsoles. The Pegasus of today has lost its clout and over the years, has been overtaken by other, more modern daily trainers like the Hoka Clifton which has a very thick, cushioned midsole.
In the Nike running category, there are far more exciting options like the Vaporfly and the Invincible Run which use Nike’s premium, super bouncy midsole foam, ZoomX.
The Vaporfly is supposed to be a race day shoe but that doesn’t stop inexperienced runners from using it as a daily trainer. The Pegasus’ dull, bland ride just can’t compete in comparison.
It’s as textbook a daily trainer as you can get.
When I reviewed last year’s Pegasus, I found that it was an adequate trainer with no major flaws and one of the best Peg versions to date; it just had a really boring, bland ride. Since then, I’ve only used it for casual walking.
This year’s Pegasus 40 weighs 9.4 oz (266 g) which is trending in the wrong direction. Last year’s version weighed 9.2 oz (261 g). It still has a 10 mm drop and costs $130, the same price as the Pegasus 39.
My first run was a 10 kilometre easy run which I didn’t enjoy very much. The ride felt flat, firm, and the outsole sounded really slappy and loud against the road.
The ride felt exactly like last year’s version except the new upper felt more comfortable, more padded, like a thicker, softer duvet. I could also feel that the upper was more roomy.
Compared to other daily trainers which I’ve run in recently like the Cumulus 25, Cloudsurfer, and Propel v4, the ride of the Pegasus 40 felt dated (old fashioned).
There are two main differences between the upper of the Pegasus 40 and the Pegasus 39. The first is that the mesh of the 40 is softer and more stretchy.
This results in a forefoot and toe box which are roomier and more accommodating. The fit is still true to size but now it’s more suited to runners with high volume feet.
The second difference is that the midfoot Flywire system has been replaced with midfoot panels for improved midfoot lockdown. I can’t say that I noticed an improvement in midfoot lockdown but the panels do contribute to the weight gain.
There’s an internal heel counter which is the same as the Pegasus 39 but heel lockdown isn’t as good because of the looser upper fit of the new version. The tongue is fully gusseted but there’s still lateral tongue slide because the laces don’t go through a loop in the middle of the tongue.
The Pegasus 40 now also has a small, thin reflective stripe on the back of the heel which is always a welcome addition.
If you’ve ever run in a Pegasus, you’ll know that it wasn’t designed to be exciting or something groundbreaking. It was designed to be predictable and consistent. A shoe that feels like a past Pegasus ;a tough workhorse for getting the job done.
The ride of the Pegasus 40 feels exactly the same as the Pegasus 39 because they have the same midsole and outsole.
It’s one of the firmer riding daily trainers so you can expect a ride which is firmer than the Cumulus 25, Ride 16, Novablast 3 and Clifton 9.
I prefer trainers which are softer and more cushioned but I did manage to do a 38 km long run in the Pegasus 40. It wasn’t a fun experience but I didn’t feel any discomfort or a lack of cushioning so you could run a marathon in the Pegasus if you can endure a relatively firm ride.
It has a Zoom airbag in the forefoot and another one in the heel. The airbags in the Pegasus’ midsole prevent its ride from evolving into a soft, engaging one which other daily trainers possess. The reason is that the airbags are firm so the surrounding React foam has to be a similar density or the airbags will feel lumpy.
Zoom Air is the Pegasus signature technology but I feel that this could be one of the last versions which have Zoom Air. If Nike added ZoomX into the midsole instead of airbags, the ride would be softer, smoother and more lively.
The Pegasus 40 doesn’t have any modern technologies like an energy-returning midsole or a rockered geometry so it doesn’t feel efficient or energy-saving. It has an old school ride which feels like any of the previous 10 versions of the Pegasus.
I use the Pegasus 40 for only easy runs because I find it difficult to pick up the pace in it. It has a flexible forefoot and the React/Zoom Air combination isn’t very responsive. The midsole isn’t thick compared to maximalist daily trainers like the Novablast so it feels stable but not very new-age.
The outsole is still the Pegasus’s main strength. There’s plenty of thick Duralon on the forefoot and harder BRS 1000 on the heel which won’t wear down prematurely. I’ve taken previous Pegasus’ to over 1000 km of usage and the Pegasus 40 is capable of the same high mileage.
The waffle grip provides excellent traction on most surfaces except for wet concrete and other smooth surfaces due to how hard the rubber is but footstrikes feel very loud and slappy.
The Pegasus 40 isn’t the game changer that we hoped for or that the Pegasus series deserved. If Nike keeps on failing to innovate, the Pegasus will continue to decline in popularity.
Last year’s Pegasus 39 was an interesting shoe because it had a brand new midsole, outsole and upper but the Pegasus 40 feels really dated. It can’t match the other daily trainers in terms of cushioning, energy return or versatility.
It’s still a decent running shoe at a decent price and it’s a fine choice if you’re used to the Pegasus ride or you want a comfortable gym/lifestyle shoe. It just doesn’t have a special or unique ride capable of hooking you in. I couldn’t wait to finish my 80 kilometres of testing in it so that I could run in other shoes.
If I was in charge of developing the next version of the Pegasus, I would increase the stack height, switch to a softer midsole foam and eliminate the firm airbags to create a smoother, plusher ride.
Version 40 is more comfortable than version 39 with a softer, more accommodating upper but it’s slightly heavier.
The Pegasus 39 at a discounted price is a much better deal because the 2 shoes are very similar.
You don’t need to upgrade if you’re a Peg fan and you already have the Pegasus 39.