Nike Pegasus 40 Review: A Legend Hits Midlife
We independently review everything we recommend. When you buy through our links, we may earn a commission.
10.9 oz. (309 g) for a US M10.5,
8.5 oz. (242 g) for a US W8
33 mm in the heel, 23 mm in the forefoot (10 mm drop)
React midsole, rear and forefoot Zoom Air units, more cushioned upper
🟢 Reliable and long-lasting
🟢 React midsole balances soft and firm
🔴 Functionally unchanged from the Pegasus 39
THOMAS: It was a shock when I hit 40. In your thirties, you can maintain “coolness” with little effort. Sure, you aren’t in your twenties, but you have experience. However, staying hip (that’s still, cool right?) after 40 takes some work. Can the Pegasus still hang with the young folk, or should it be relegated to the dad core conference where you will find the Peg 40 cheering on the sidelines of Little League games, walking amusement parks with cargo shorts, making diaper runs to Target, and, if lucky, trimming the hedges while sharing a beer with neighbor Ted?
I thought Nike would throw a big surprise party for the 40th birthday of the Pegasus. Instead, it turns out Peg got a shoulder slap and a necktie—chin up, big fella. Better luck next year. Who knows, maybe you’ll get a gold watch when you hit 50.
To be fair, the Pegasus is in a between-updates version since shoes typically run on an every-other cycle before major changes are implemented, specifically in the midsole. As such, the React midsole with forefoot and rear Zoom Air units remain the same as the Pegasus 39. Essentially, what we’re getting is a design change to the upper, including more padding around the collar and a redesigned midfoot band. Is that enough to light the candles on the cake? Let’s find out.
ROBBE: The Pegasus has a special place in my heart. It was one of my first running shoes and my first marathon shoe. Which, in a way, is the perfect encapsulation of this shoe. It’s a great workhorse that covers 80% of your running and it’ll stay steady over hundreds of miles.
Is it a thoroughbred? No. Is it an old mare? Again, no. But it will trot you around to the local saloon where maybe you’ll be lucky enough to win a gunslinger duel. Do you follow? Probably not, but it will all make sense eventually.
THOMAS: The Pegasus remains your old trusty daily trainer. If the Pegasus were a car, it’d be a Honda Civic or Toyota Camry. It’s not fancy, but it is reliable.
First, let’s take a look under the hood. The Pegasus 40 fits true to size with no heel lift and some wiggle room for your toes. The integrated tongue with the bootie fit provides some comfort, along with the gently padded collar and heel counter. A breathable mesh upper and reconfigured lacing system is the only update to the Pegasus 40. Gone is the Flywire from the 39, in place is a redesigned midfoot band and individual lace bands. The midfoot strap system is the most noticeable update. The structure for the laces wraps from one side of the shoe, goes under the foot, and up the other. The laces close the circle to lock the foot in place.
The shoe fits true to size.
ROBBE: What I love about the Pegasus is that it won’t let you down. And while we always want the newest and most exciting shoe (don’t we all love shiny new shoe toys?), in a way it’s nice to know from year to year the Pegasus is reliably the same. Sure, foams will change, uppers will ebb and flow, but it will always meet or exceed the current standard for a daily trainer. And that’s what the Pegasus 40 does.
Since the midsole and outsole is the exact same as last year, the ride remains the same. It’s enough comfort to log a ton of miles, but it’s not overly soft or firm. The Zoom Air units aren’t super noticeable, but provides a bit of a boost when you need it.
The upper has always been solid in the Pegasus, and while I prefer the Flywire construction of last year, there’s nothing inherently bad about this version. It provides a solid lockdown and comfort, with just the right amount of room in the toe box. The tongue feels a little too substantial for me, but there’s plenty of comfort there. Some people like a lot of comfort in their upper, and the Pegasus delivers on that front.
The design isn’t significantly different from last year, but there are a couple minor changes. You’ll still know it’s a Pegasus.
THOMAS: The lack of excitement in the Pegasus 40 gets me down. The shoe doesn’t look fresh or feel energetic through your stride, and its best design feature is the little smiley face graphics on the tongue and insole. I wanted to know why the shoe took me so long to review. I procrastinated in writing this one up. I usually work quickly on Nike reviews because they drive a lot of traffic. It came down to a sense of deja vu. What is worse is that the update to the shoe makes me like the fit less than the 39, and it adds weight. The Flywire on the Peg 39 looks better and performs better than the new midfoot strap lacing. I bet the new lacing system costs Nike less to produce as well. It is a step backward instead of an improvement over the last Pegasus.
ROBBE: I don’t know if we’re just running in too many “arms race” shoes, or if I just perpetually want the Pegasus to be more than it is, but this version just wasn’t super exciting. I’d even say this version may be a step back from last year. I preferred the more airy upper of the Pegasus 39, along with the Flywire. It was also lighter and it feels that way.
The Pegasus 40 isn’t overly heavy (though, like Thomas said, it is almost an ounce heavier). I didn’t feel I could pick it up in the same way as the 39 or even the 37/38 years.
Nike says the upper is more breathable this year, and while it hasn’t been overly warm here, I don’t see how it’s more breathable than the Pegasus 39. That version had a very open venting on both the lateral and medial sides and in the toe box. Both have a bootie wrap inside but this upper is more substantial, no doubt. I mean, the extra weight had to come from somewhere, and since the midsole and outsole are unchanged, all signs point to the upper.
The price point of the Peg hung in the $120 range forever, it’s finally going up to $130. This doesn’t bother me because pretty much every shoe has gone up by $10 this year, but it might matter for you.
THOMAS: We review shoes in the context of what is available. In the past, the Pegasus was usually a standard-setting model for the daily trainer category. However, compared to some of the other brand’s offerings, the Pegasus 40 is starting to lag behind.
At the $130 price point, it’s in the range of a lot of daily trainers these days that can do the job as good or better. For other recommendations, check out the additional shoes in the feed at the end of this post, or pick up the Nike Pegasus 39 on sale.
Not to beat a dead Pegasus, but I speak for all of us who love the innovation that Nike brings to their high-performance line and wish that the Nike team reimagined the 40th edition of the iconic model. Here’s to more one-horned horses in 2024.
ROBBE: I think, because of my ongoing nostalgic love for the Pegasus and its legacy in running, I always want the Pegasus to be more than it is. Which probably isn’t fair to the Pegasus. It’s always going to be a workhorse that gets you from point A to point B, it’s never going to give you 800 horses under the hood and take you to 60 mph in Tesla Plaid time. It may get a 6-disc CD player and a Kicker amp in the trunk at some point, but it’s still gonna remain true to its traditional chassis and frame.
I’ll say this– I ran in the Adidas Ultraboost Light this morning– a shoe that is supposed to be a running shoe but is really more of a good-looking hologram. The Pegasus is real and it’s never been otherwise. Sometimes that is good enough.
Have something to say? Leave a Comment
As the founder of Believe in the Run, Thomas’s goal is to help runners pick the shoes and gear that will make their running experience the best that it can be.
All-time favorite shoes: Saucony Kinvara 2, Hoka Clifton 1, Nike Alphafly Next%More from Thomas
Robbe is the senior editor of Believe in the Run. He loves going on weird routes through Baltimore, finding trash on the ground, and running with the Faster Bastards. At home in the city, but country at heart. Loves his two boys more than anything. Has the weakest ankles in the game.
All-time favorite shoes: Nike Epic React, Saucony Endorphin Speed 2 Runshield, Asics Metaspeed Edge+More from Robbe
With the Pegasus 39 available for less than $70 it makes me wonder if double the price is worth it for the Pegasus 40.
The truth is (and this review does not mention, or realise it even) that the 40 just looks and feels more premium than the 39, exactly because of the upper. I’ve seen both side by side and the 40 feels more “expensive”. And in some of the colors, especially the off white and red, it is the best looking Pegasus ever probably. You may no care about looks, but a lot of people do. Also, the 40 I found huged my feet a lot better, it just felt more comfortable to wear. I haven’t run with it yet.
Yup, that’s exactly my though. Right now all of the Peg 39 colors are on sale for $77, with 20% coupon that brings them down to ~$60. It’s going to be REALLY hard to get another shoe as reliable for putting in a few hundred miles (or more) on a day-to-day basis than that.