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Road Running Shoes • August 7, 2019

Nike Pegasus Turbo 2 Performance Review

What You Need To Know

  • Weights 8.2 oz./233 gram for a M10.5
  • Basically a lighter and slightly faster version of the Pegasus
  • Midsole combines layers of ZoomX and React foam
  • The Nike marketing hype train needs to just chill down a bit

THOMAS: The hype was unreal for the original Turbo. Nike marketed the shoe with rockets and plumes of smoke erupting from the back of the trainer; I’m shocked it wasn’t in promo materials for Fast and the Furious 22.

I mean, it was the only other Nike shoe other than the Vaporfly to have ZoomX in the midsole. But damn, were Nike’s marketing afterburners on full throttle.

As it turned out, the Turbo still adhered to the laws of gravity, and more than I would’ve liked. I was disappointed. And confused. I liked the Vaporfly with ZoomX midsole. I loved the Epic React with React foam. Both materials combined into the Turbo midsole should create a centaur-like hybrid, right? It just wasn’t happening for me.

When the Turbo 2 was released, I honestly wasn’t even going to get it. After all, the midsole and outsole were unchanged. Could an upper make that much of a difference?

Turns out, yes— especially if you set your sights a little lower than outer space.

Nike Pegasus Turbo 2 Upper

The Good

THOMAS: The upper on the Nike Pegasus Turbo 2 got all kinds of cleaned up. Lost the stripe, ditched the flywire, got rid of the outer mesh, tossed the extra foam padding in the collar and tongue, chopped the height of the tongue down, and 86-ed the extreme elf heel counter.

It all got replaced with a variable reinforced mesh upper with only a little foam padding on the sides of the heel counter. Throw in an ultra-thin tongue, ribbon-like laces, and welded reinforced eyelets. The upper isn’t as iconic as the original Turbo, but it is elegant in its simplicity. It is also lighter and more breathable.

With the high expectations from the first Turbo out of the way, I was able to experience the shoe from a less emotional mindset. This time I was able to settle into the shoe and find the actual character of the React+ZoomX midsole. The main takeaway is that it’s light and cushioned just enough to make runs enjoyable.

Long runs were more comfortable, and during tempo runs the React and ZoomX firmed up just enough to give a smooth feel. In a nutshell, the Turbo 2 is a lighter Pegasus. It has a similar feel and fit, just lighter and a touch softer.

My size 10.5 weighed 8.2 oz./233 grams, fit true to size (if not a smidge long) with a 10mm drop.

MEAGHAN: If you liked the original Pegasus Turbo, you will like V2. If you didn’t try the Turbo (I don’t blame you) it’s considered a lighter, faster version of the Pegasus.

Nothing has changed beneath the foot. The shoes are designed with two layers of foam: the top layer is ZoomX (the stuff you find in the Vaporfly) and the bottom layer is React. Since React is a more durable foam, Nike didn’t have to add much rubber to the bottom, which helps keep the shoes light. My W7.5 came in at 6.15 oz. V nice.

The upper is where things saw an overhaul. What used to have two layers of engineered mesh and flywire lacing, now has a sleeker one-piece engineered mesh and an inner lining support to hold your foot down. It certainly looks better.

ROBBE: Out of the box I was pretty stoked on them. Sizing was on point, albeit a little weird with some roominess in the forefoot of the shoe (more on that later). I love the design of these. It’s sleek and trend-setting. I’m glad the elf-ear collar is gone; I almost think it was a joke to see how many other companies would follow along.

My longest run in the Turbo 2 was a 10-mile long run, and I felt pretty great throughout. They’re not exactly supercharged, but the cushion is there in a lightweight package, which is really 90% of everything I want in a shoe.

Shop Pegasus Turbo 2 – US

Nike Pegasus Turbo 2 Upper 2

The Bad

THOMAS: The Turbo 2’s tongue can get a little sloppy and crinkles up. I would love some pop in the toe-off, the shoe is missing a life under the palm of the foot. Finally, $180. That is bananas. We need to get the prices back to reality or wait for sales.

MEAGHAN: I was excited to see an update to the upper because the racing stripe on the original was not only unsightly, but it rubbed my feet raw. Unfortunately, Nike turned a shitty upper into a new and different shitty upper.

The first issue I had was with the lacing system. When I tighten up my laces, there is a ton of puckering. And I have wide feet.

Also, the tongue doesn’t stay in place and I had to wear thicker socks with a heel tab in order to avoid rubbing and discomfort around my heels. Who wants to wear thick socks in the summer?

ROBBE: I also didn’t like the tongue. I need me my gussets to hold it together on the sides. If I wanted a crinkle-cut fry I’d go to Shake Shack, not to a group run. That said, it was more aesthetically unpleasing than anything; functionally it didn’t really bother me.

Overall, I just didn’t totally feel these, for what I was expecting. They were fine overall, but if you’re gonna call “all aboard” on the hype train, it should be choo-choo-ing out of the station.

For starters, I felt the upper to be a little stiff in a plasticky way, and not form-fitting like the React flyknit I’ve come to love. The ride itself was kind of like a Pegasus, in that it’s nice and just stable enough. While the Turbo 2 is lighter, I didn’t feel much pop coming off it, at least not the same pop I get from the Epic React.

And yeah, get out of here with that price. I will tell you that there are $100 shoes I’ve reviewed in the last six months that run as good as these. Or really, if you love the Epic React, just stock up on those. No need for the Turbo 2.

Lastly, I’m not at all cool with neon coming back, it needs to hibernate for at least 5 more years. The colorway looks stupid if you’re wearing literally anything other than all-black.

Shop Pegasus Turbo 2 – US

Nike Pegasus Turbo 2 Outsole

Nike Pegasus Turbo 2 Conclusion

Meaghan: I really wanted to like the Nike Pegasus Turbo 2. I really did. After 30 miles I just don’t think this is a shoe for me. Nike suggests this is an “uptempo” shoe, but I can’t seem to find a place for it in my training. The cushioning is too mushy for fast days and they’re not comfortable enough for easy days. Honestly, it’s a hard pass for me. Sorry, Nike fanboys everywhere (including the one I live with).

Thomas: The Nike Pegasus Turbo 2 beats the Pegasus 36 and the Zoomfly 3 to make it my top Nike daily trainer. I can’t believe it myself. A shoe I panned last year comes back with a different upper and steals the show.

After 70+ miles the shoe still feels brand new, and while there is some wear on the exposed React, from past experience this won’t cause any real issues. Speaking of the Epic React, the two shoes are somewhat interchangeable, the difference being that the Turbo has a more stable supportive platform. I wouldn’t call it a stability shoe at all, but compared to the Epic it feels more structured. The choice between these two will come down to the individual preference of the runner.

Like a song that you hate at first but then become obsessed with, the Turbo has returned as a chart-topping smash.

You can pick it up at Running Warehouse for $180 using the shop link below.

Shop Pegasus Turbo 2 – US



Have something to say? Leave a Comment

  1. Jeff says:

    Funny …. Peg Turbo v1 was my favorite all-around shoe of 2018/9. Lots of road/mellow trail training, two non-technical trail ultras (50k/100 miles), love them. The new upper and tongue make it fine on roads but more sketchy on the trails so I returned v2 and got two pairs pf v1 on sale ….

  2. Jay says:

    Great review, thank you very much! Was just looking for this kind of react vs turbo comparison, went with the React 2.

  3. Mike says:

    Good review. I bought the original Pegasus at full price and was disappointed. I bought them later on a sale and they were just over $100. At that price, I was pleased.

  4. Kaydee says:

    I trained through 3-4 pairs of the Turbo 1’s for my marathon last winter. I absolutely loved the feel and they felt fast. So, naturally I was really excited when the Turbo 2’s came out. They really disappointed me. They feel completely different in every aspect of the fit. In the Turbo 1’s I was excited to put them on and do my workouts and long runs. Not so much with the Turbo 2s. They are stiffer, not as springy-feeling and the tongue flapping all over the place drives me nuts. They definitely don’t feel as fast as the Turbo 1’s… The laces come undone all the time too! I have gone to my local running store and stocked up on all the old Turbo 1’s before they disappear for forever! Loved the Turbo 1’s, hate the Turbo 2’s. They are a completely different shoe…. I truly hate when this happens! They took a completely great shoe and totally botched it! DON’T FIX IT, IF IT AIN’T BROKE NIKE! haha 😉 Bring back the Turbo 1’s please.. thanks..

  5. Justin Nezich says:

    I have 3 pairs on the original turbos. I absolutely loved them. They are fast and light. I could run 8-12 mile runs comfortably one day and the following day do a track & tempo workout in them. 1 thing I really liked, the original turbos are probably the best looking running shoe ever. The racing stripe looks incredible, never have I gotten more compliments than when I wear my original Turbo’s with the racing stripe. After Thomas’s review I ended up purchasing the nike epic react fkykint but that shoe while being comfortable ran much slower. Not sure how Thomas loved that shoe that generally runs slow and was on average 20 seconds slower per mile than the original turbos. I’d like to try the Turbo 2’s, I still have a new pair of originals, so I’ll wait on tte turbo 2’s to go on sale.

  6. Found this really interesting, thanks for sharing!

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