Nike Pegasus Trail 4 Review: We’re In Love With This Hybrid Hero
10.3 oz. (291 g) for a US M9.5
Ultra-comfortable bed of React foam
36 mm in heel, 26 mm in forefoot (10 mm drop)
Reworked lacing, upper, and much-improved outsole pattern
🟢 Incredibly comfortable and versatile
🟢 Great road-to-trail shoe
🔴 Outsole still needs work
$140 (on sale for $84)
TAYLOR: People drool over all the important aspects of a shoe– the details and design, the colorways and the comfort. Cults have been formed over less. Somehow, Nike has that Kool-Aid recipe figured out, but the secret ingredients are always held close to the chest. Nevertheless, every year Nike has us going all “ayooga” over anything it puts out, especially on the trail side. Case in point: The Nike Pegasus Trail 4.
If I’m being real, I was neither here nor there when I heard this version was headed my way. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed last year’s edition, but Nike has always seemed one degree away from excellence on the trails. However, when I cut the tape and flipped the lid, my heart skipped a beat. This shoe is drop-dead gorgeous and not the update I expected.
There’s a certain flair here that we haven’t seen before. It’s perfectly trail-ready, yet sophisticated. It’s clean and edgy all at once. As I pulled it out of its cardboard mobile home, the build quality and weight improvements were immediately apparent. It’s not a total rebuild — the full-length React midsole and basic recipe are the same as ever (this is a good thing). However, an updated upper mesh, Flywire lacing system, and *gasp* a new outsole design mark the notable changes.
The team collectively and thoroughly enjoyed this one last year. Can it improve this year?
ROBBE: I’m not ashamed to say that I may have worn the Nike Pegasus Trail 3 more than any other shoe over the last year. Not just for trail running– for casual use as well. In fact, I rank it as one of the most comfortable shoes I’ve ever worn, period, and have recommended it to countless friends. One guy in our running group used it strictly as a road shoe and loved it. Also, may I just say that the waterproof GTX version of the shoe (on sale for $110 at the time of this writing, an absolute steal) is simply stunning and performs flawlessly in less-than-favorable conditions.
In any case, I was excited to see what changes were made in this version of the shoe and even more excited to hear that the full slab of React foam would stay on. As Taylor said, the upper, lacing, and outsole lug pattern are the main changes here, but good news— it made a great shoe even better.
MELISSA: Road meets the trail with the Nike Pegasus Trail 4, and I couldn’t be more thrilled. Its sleek design, added traction, and sweet upper make this a great hybrid shoe for varied terrain running. Taylor waxed a little poetic, so I’ll stay down to business.
TAYLOR: Improvement doesn’t quite encompass the Pegasus Trail 4 changes. This shoe is going Super Saiyan, just in a more subtle way than Goku.
Perhaps the biggest story of the Pegasus Trail 4 is that it slashed weight like Walmart prices. My US M10.5 came in at 10.3 oz. This shoe went from one of the heaviest (11.9 oz. for the last iteration in the same size) to a perfectly respectable trail offering. If this were the only update to this shoe, it still would have been enough to bump it up a notch.
So, where the heck did Nike find so much weight to trim? The main area is the outsole. Nike finally ditched whatever crap rubber was underneath on the last few versions. The new outsole packs a few cutouts that expose some foam, but it has no effect on durability. The grip isn’t wildly better, but the new lug pattern with its varied 4mm lugs does give a better bite on some terrain. Yes, even wet surfaces. As a whole, the outsole makes for an easy transition from road to trail (and back again).
React foam has long been a favorite of mine and still ranks high with modern foams. I think the word luscious describes it pretty well. The durometer sits right on the edge of medium and soft, which gives a pleasant mix of comfort and dependable performance. I’d compare it to the Asics Fuji Lyte 2 and Altra Timp 4. While the 10mm drop is steep for the trail scene, I found the Pegasus Trail 4 stable overall. It boasts one of the best rides if you stick to easy or moderate terrain.
The upper follows suit with comfort and durability. The halfway gusseted tongue (midfoot to forefoot) and Flywire combo make for a much more secure fit than in the past. The tongue itself carries more padding and a new shape, which I like. It’s between puffy and racer styles and gives you perks from both. You can snug this one up without losing feeling in your toes and maintain a sleek feel.
Overall, the upper is more structured. Last year’s version was a little baggy, so I think that deserves some credit for the improved fit. As I said before, the overlays mirror the previous version. They’re minimal and seamlessly add structure to an already decently structured heel through the eyelet chains and around the toe bumper. That’s it — light, simple and effective.
ROBBE: Let’s go top-down with this one. The upper is much improved over last year, no question about it. While I probably liked the design of last year’s shoe a bit more, the actual fit of that shoe left some things to be desired. This one fits like a glove– if you use the top eyelet (which I think is necessary). Nike is notoriously narrow but this version of the shoe has a more rounded toe box and overall straightforward and parallel fit through the upper. It’s not wide by any means, but it’s more accomodating.
The mesh upper itself is incredibly supple and comfortable and bringing back the Flywire was an ace move that provides that fine-tuned lockdown. You really can’t miss with Flywire. A generous layer of padding around the inside of the collar doubles as a pillow for your ankle and a debris dam (hopefully). Overall, I just loved the way this upper fit.
Moving onto the midsole, I don’t have the exact specs but side-by-side with the Peg Trail 3 the stack of React in the midsole appears to be the same (36mm in heel, 26mm in toe). It feels as comfortable as last year’s version and that’s all that matters. On the run, the shoe feels like a very comfortable slipper with some gripper. It’s flexible and soft, so it conforms to whatever terrain you’re on. I took this on technical terrain over decent climbs with some paved paths thrown in and I loved every second of it. The loss of weight over last year’s version is stark and noticeable. Whereas the Peg Trail 3 felt clunky at times, this feels nimble and swift.
Just for shits, I took this on a 6-mile road run and seriously, this is a solid road shoe. In the same way that the Pegasus 39 is a great daily trainer for the road that can transition to trails in a pinch, the Pegasus Trail 4 is a great trail shoe that can eat up some pavement, no problem. (For all you outdoor adventurers/hikers/trail/road runners, note that this makes it a great travel shoe when you can only take one with you.) Obviously, if you’re hitting the roads the lugs will wear down faster, but that’s not a huge deal if you just want to turn this into a general-use road shoe.
We should probably talk about the grip since that’s been a thorn in our side for at least the last three years. It’s definitely improved. I’m not sure if that’s because the actual rubber compound is different or if it’s just due to the new outsole design (which is not full coverage rubber, btw), but it’s better for sure. Does that mean I’ll be scampering over slick rocks like a parkour billy goat? No, but I’ll feel better on those runs on rainy terrain.
Lastly, I thought the colors and design of this shoe kind of sucked when I first saw it in photos. However, up close and in person, it looks fantastic. I don’t know why that is, but sometimes it do be like that. Plus, you can be sure Nike’s got a shit ton of color combos in the oven at the test kitchen as we speak that should be on the menu in the coming months.
MELISSA: The Nike Pegasus Trail 4 feels light and springy. I love the upper — it’s breathable, secure, and oh-so-comfortable. I have a wider forefoot, and the toe box felt roomy enough, closer to the Terra Kiger than the Wildhorse.
Years ago, I lived three miles from a trailhead and would often start runs from my house, so no matter how long I ran in the park, I still had six miles of road running tacked on. I could see this being my go-to shoe for those runs. It would also be perfect for running fire/Jeep roads, giving you just enough grip and protection without the added weight.
And the kicker — function and fashion collide on this beauty of a shoe. The color scheme is the cherry on top — I received compliments both on the trail and at the Costco food court.Shop The Shoe - Men Shop The Shoe - Women
TAYLOR: It is kind of funny how from one year to the next, the list of good and bad can be very different. This year’s shoe isn’t entirely new but comes with some new-ish issues.
First, the Nike Pegasus Trail 4 is slated as a road-to-trail shoe. It’s probably one of our best examples of a hybrid trail shoe, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to treat it gently. I can’t just not take it up and over a mountain, right? Even though this shoe can take a decent amount of pounding, it’ll be best reserved for the recommended terrain. When the trails (or off-trail) became technical or required more intentional maneuvering, the midfoot and heel would give way. Even with the much better fit, it couldn’t hold down the foot enough to feel confident on the more technical track.
I’ve heard a few people describe this shoe as stable, and I need to denounce that. Anyone ever hear of speed wobbles? From the midfoot to the heel, there was some definite lateral rocking going on. It tended to happen in the scenarios where foot slippage would occur, too. Like the Craft CTM Ultra Carbon 2, the high 10mm drop didn’t help on technical stretches. If you’ve ever had ankle insecurities, be prepared to face them head-on.
You can disregard this last point if you typically wear Nike or Adidas. Forefoot width might be an issue for most others who don’t love to wear torpedos on their feet. I was hoping for a wider forefoot than the Terra Kiger, and most miles were comfortable. Bombing down hills, however, not so much. Most descents emphasized the slimness and my toes took the brunt.
ROBBE: Taylor and I usually agree on everything but I feel like we’re in disagreement on this one. I thought the shoe was surprisingly stable for the amount of stack height, largely due to the well-constructed and well-fitting upper. As for the width, I’m a Nike foot through and through so please don’t give me more width in the forefoot. There is nothing worse than sliding around in a trail shoe or trying to lock down the lacing to the point of your foot falling asleep. Those are still good things (for me, anyway), so let’s move to the bad.
As usual, the main culprit here is the outsole grip. However, as I’ve already said, it’s improved over last year’s version. That said, it’s not Vibram Megagrip or even Litebase. Or Inov-8 graphene. Or VJ whatever the hell they use. It still needs some work. When this thing gets a proper outsole, it should be unstoppable. The good news? We’ve seen leaks of next year’s ZoomX Ultrafly Next% and it appears to be an altogether different rubber compound. It even says “sticky rubber” on it, which we’d like to think is a middle finger directed at us. We can only hope!
On my road run this morning (non-humid 65F-degree temps, a rarity in Baltimore), my feet felt pretty hot in the shoes, so I wouldn’t consider this one of the more breathable trail shoes I’ve worn.
Other than that, I don’t have anything else.
MELISSA: My one caveat is that the tread on this shoe is still significantly less aggressive than its trail counterparts. While Pegasus held up on most trails, I found myself losing grip a few times on loose dirt and more technical terrain. I’m skeptical of its ability to grip wet and muddy surfaces. It’s almost like we’ve been saying this for years now.Shop The Shoe - Men Shop The Shoe - Women
TAYLOR: If you place any wager on the Nike trail horse race, this might be the betting favorite. Thanks to a significant update, the Pegasus Trail 4 retains its top-notch comfort and gets a boost in its versatility. The new iteration takes on more structure and puts its baby fat out to pasture.
The Pegasus Trail 4 is a trainer that can hang at various paces and in plenty of spaces. It’s a proper door-to-trail shoe. One of the best, in fact. It’s just as good of a road shoe as a trail shoe, and transitioning between pavement and dirt is seamless. However, I would keep this one toward the less-technical side of the continuum.
MELISSA: Nike’s Pegasus Trail 4 manifests my mythical, long-desired, perfect hybrid shoe for road and trail running. This versatile beast is the shoe for you if your running includes a combination of road and trail, with plenty of grip (on dry, moderate terrain) and the potential for speed. It’s a comfortable, secure, and stable ride worth the $140 fee.
ROBBE: If you’re looking for a non-technical lightweight trail shoe that can do it all while providing great comfort, then this is the shoe for you. I mean, this is a great choice for a walking shoe or a work shoe for someone who’s on their feet all day. As for running in it, like Taylor said, this really may be the perfect road-to-trail shoe. If you’re looking for something in that arena, this is a no-brainer. Just go and buy it– you won’t regret it.
You can pick up the Nike Pegasus Trail 4 for $140 by using the shop link below.
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Taylor Bodin is a trail and ultra runner living in Estes Park, Colo., with his wife and daughters. Trail running is pretty much the only hobby he can manage right now and loves it. Every so often, he will pop off a race or FKT attempt because competition is pure and the original motivator for him getting into running anyways. When not running, Taylor is a 1st grade teacher, running coach (track & field, Cross Country, and Trail/Ultra athletes), and volunteers at his church.
All-time favorite shoes: Hoka Tecton X, Speedland SL:PDX, Merrell MTL Long Sky 2.More from Taylor
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
East Coast raised and West Coast trained, Melissa truly enjoys running, especially ultra distances. She currently lives on the Southern California coast and can be found exploring Santa Barbara front country on the weekends.
All-time favorite shoes: HOKA Clifton, Nike Vaporfly NEXT %, Altra Lone PeakMore from Melissa