For runners looking for a do-it-all road to trail shoe that looks good, fits well, and is durable enough to handle high mileage.
Long distance runners who need a more spacious toe box. Trail runners looking for a shoe with more protection on technical terrain.
Nike’s trail version of the signature Pegasus road running shoe is back for its fourth iteration.
The Nike React Pegasus Trail 4 is a versatile and durable road-to-trail shoe. The Pegasus Trail 4 maintains the supportive and springy React midsole from the Pegasus Trail 3 and makes some updates to the upper for enhanced fit and lockdown.
Other updates include an enhanced outsole pattern to enhance traction and stability without sacrificing road performance. At $140, the price is average for similar trail runners, like the Brooks Cascadia 16 ($130) or Altra Outroad ($140).
I was impressed with the sleek and stylish appearance of these shoes right out of the box. I also tested the Nike Trail Pegasus 1, which I thought was also a stylish road to trail running shoe; but the 4 looks even better.
The Pegasus Trail 4 loses about 1 oz. of weight from its predecessor primarily through the reduction of its stack height by about 1mm.
My first observation while putting on the shoe and going on a run was that the fit felt secure without significant extra room in the toe box. The flywire lacing uses a corded design to reinforce a snug, locked-down fit.
The soft cushioning is thick enough to provide some protection from the trail without sacrificing too much stability. The upper is hefty and rigid enough to provide some protection to the top of the foot in complement to the rubber toe cap.
Running in these shoes feels great. For their use case – which is road to trail – these are excellent.
These use cases include running on roads to the trailhead, running on mixed terrain where there may be variable conditions and surfaces, or pure trail so long as it’s relatively non-technical.
The traction and protection leave something to be desired on more technical, steep, muddy, or wet, slippery surfaces. There is some tradeoff in responsiveness for the softer, more trail-oriented midsole. The narrower, most snug fit also limits these to shorter efforts.
The protection on the Pegasus Trail 4 is ideal for its use case – road-to-trail and non-technical trail terrain.
The upper is more sturdy than a road running shoe (like the Pegasus 39) and the toe cap covers more area (although less than its Trail Pegasus 3 predecessor). The upper features an additional rubberized skin layer on the upper near the toe for added protection and durability.
There is no rock plate, leaving some vulnerability to underfoot hazards like rocks and roots. The stack height provides some underfoot protection (36mm heel/26mm forefoot) compared to the Pegasus 39 (33mm heel/23mm forefoot).
The Pegasus Trail 4 lives up to Nike’s claim as your “workhorse with wings.” I tested them on a variety of terrain types from snowy, icy roads to dirt singletrack to technical steep, rocky terrain.
fter over fifty miles, the upper shows barely any signs of wear and tear in the black and gray colorway. They barely accumulate dirt and dust can be easily brushed off.
The outsole shows minimal signs of wear, and the tread integrity remains. I am confident in being able to use these for hundreds of training miles. While comfort and performance may be a limiting factor for a longer distance, durability would not be the limiting factor for using these for an ultra distance race.
The Pegasus Trail 4 can handle fast terrain, but I prefer it for training runs at moderate speeds. The 10mm drop is typical for a trail shoe. I would not prefer this shoe for a fast course.
The Nike React foam midsole is designed to be responsive and soft without too much added weight, and it delivers well on the Pegasus Trail 4. The result is a smooth, springy ride that minimizes fatigue over mileage.
These perform best on flatter, smoother trail terrain, like hard-packed single track, dirt or gravel roads, and grass. The lugs are not as long as other trail shoes, which make them more durable for road but compromises traction on rocky, muddy, and snowy terrain (especially if it’s steep).
The secure fit is a feature of the Pegasus Trail 4. They initially felt tight, so if you are between half sizes, consider sizing up. The corded lace system provides excellent lockdown and comfort for most foot widths (unless you have a really wide foot).
I sometimes find my foot rolling in a wider shoe, but my foot did not budge in these.
I found the toe box to be more narrow than other trail shoes that I’ve used, which limits the space available for toe splay over longer efforts.
The sturdy, thicker upper provides more protection from trail hazards and the cold for those running in wintry conditions. The tradeoff is decreased breathability on hotter, humid days.
While I do many of my weekend runs on more technical trails in the summer, shorter winter days don’t allow me as much time to get to a trailhead for a daily run.
The Pegasus Trail 4 is perfect for days that I’m running out of the house onto the road where I may encounter some hard packed snow mixed in with sections of dirt and grass.
Since I love the way these look and fit, I like them for travel when suitcase space is limited, but I want to be prepared for most types of runs.
Overall, the Pegasus Trail 4 is an excellent shoe for a single road/trail running quiver or for anyone looking for a durable shoe to go miles on variable but less technical terrain.
While the outsole leaves something to be desired in traction and protection on rocky, steep, or potentially slippery terrain, there are many other surfaces this Pegasus Trail 4 excels on.
This shoe delivers a responsive and reliable ride on the road and on less steep grass, dirt, and hard-packed snow.
Exceptional durability allows you to run out your door without worrying about super soft lugs being worn down by the road on your way to the trailhead.
These are also ideal if you have sections of grass, wintry conditions, or other terrain mixed in on your daily runs.