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Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 32

Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 32

By guest reviewer: Austin Bonds

Mo Farah, the Olympic gold medalist, is starting directly at me – from a distance though. And he’s also the focal point on a Nike poster in the windowsill at the front of the store. I’d be honored to meet a runner like Mo Farah one day, but for now I’ll watch his running from afar like others and marvel at his fast. His “So Fast” (according to the poster text).

Along with exuding a sense of confidence – or intimidation – to those who look upon the poster, Mo is also holding the recently updated Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 32 in his hand. Introduced to runners in 1983, the Pegasus is an iconic shoe for Nike. Incidentally, the Pegasus was the first running shoe I was fitted for back in 2006. Thirty two years undoubtedly indicates the staying power of this particular flagship training shoe. Here are some thoughts on version 32.

I haven’t seen many reviews for the Pegasus 32 yet as it is still arriving on the market, but the few I have come across are positive. After putting version 31 on one foot and 32 on the other, I found the 32 to have a slight edge in terms of slip in comfort. In fact, this initial sense of comfort can make or break a person’s interest in a running shoe and whether to potentially purchase it.

According to Nike, the upper on version 32 is an “engineered mesh upper.” I’m not entirely sure what this means, but the slight reduction in weight from version 31 to 32 suggests that this “engineering” had an impact, even if it is small. This soft mesh likely adds to the overall comfort of the shoe as well.
The most noteworthy revision of the Pegasus is the inclusion of Flywire to help secure the midfoot and arch. From a design standpoint, I believe that Flywire is what attracts eyeballs to take notice of the Pegasus and other models Nike makes that incorporate this technology. In short, design matters – and Nike is always conscious of this truth.

Unlike models today that are comprised of a lower heel to toe offset, the Pegasus remains at 10 millimeters. A crash rail on the lateral side of the shoe facilitates a smooth transition through the gait cycle, and an inner sleeve adds further step in comfort across the top and sides of the feet.

The Pegasus 32 utilizes a Zoom Air Bag in the heel to provide cushioning upon impact; this is in contrast to the forefoot, which has a touch of firmness about it. I believe Nike revised the forefoot of the Pegasus 31 and 32 to be a bit firmer to distinguish it more from another namesake model – the Vomero (which is soft in both the heel and the forefoot). In fact, I thought the Pegasus 30 felt very similar to the Vomero.
Version 30 of the Pegasus was well liked by runners due to that pillow softness, but I wonder if this is why the 31 and 32 are not liked as much. The midsole in version 32 appears to be unchanged from 31, and this accounts for a similar feel in both versions, though I’ll return to my initial remark about comfort: the 32 feels noticeably better (at least to me). As to price, I wondered if this was simply a matter of time, but the Pegasus has finally crossed the $100 price threshold.

Regarding the new $110 price, I saw this remark on a running forum thread recently: “That was the last of the affordable shoes to put lots of mileage on.” Another reviewer chalked this increase up to inflation, but I was one who also thought that the Pegasus would stay at $100 for years to come. In short, price is always a consideration in the buying process. I’ll be curious to see how the Pegasus matches up with the Brooks Launch 2 and the New Balance Fresh Foam Zante (which are both $100) from a pricing standpoint.

In closing, even with the Pegasus 32 on my feet, I will never match the “So Fast” of Mo Farah. Few runners on earth can. His speed is simply staggering. I’ll run my own version of fast, and with regards to the Pegasus 32, I personally like the firmness of the forefoot as I feel that it tends to generate quicker foot turnover for me. The result of quicker foot turnover usually translates into a faster pace. This is my “So Fast.” Run after yours.


Have something to say? Leave a Comment

  1. Nemecek says:

    Do the doping allegations made by Kara Goucher and other former Project Oregon athletes or the tests that Mo has missed bother you at all?

    It seems that Nike runs into quite a bit of trouble with the athletes they sponsor… Lance Armstrong, Michael Vick, Oscar Pistorius, Tiger Woods, Kobe Bryant, Marian Jones, Justin Gatlin. the list goes on….

    Not trying to sway you, just bring it up in response to your comment about being honored if you had the chance to meet Mo Farah.

  2. Austin Bonds says:

    Thanks for the thoughts, Nemecek. I agree with your observation – it is troubling that many professional athletes (in numerous sports) have had both moral and legal issues on and off the field.

    I haven’t read much yet on the response to the allegations about Project Oregon athletes, so I’ll be curious to watch how this unfolds in the coming months (or years). I believe admiration for anyone can always change based on their choices in life, be they good or bad.

  3. stefan says:

    I wonder why Nike keep that level of drop on so many of their shoes. I´m old enough to have run when shoes had very little drop. Suddenly the shoe companies changed that and it was like “what the heck did they put under my heels?”
    I still think big heel-toe drop is the most stupid “invention” ever to come out of the running shoe industry. It serves no purpose. Believe it or not, but people heel striked without any problem long before modern running shoes entered the market.

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