Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 40 Review (2023)

Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 40 Introduction

Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 40 Review (1)Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 40 Review (2)

If it was any other brand, the 40th anniversary of their most popular mid range, neutral daily trainer would have been a big celebration with a massive marketing push and a boat load of substantial upgrades.

The Nike Pegasus 39 was a significant update last year but this year
, the 40 has only received an upper update and its advertising has been nothing special.

I remember 10 years ago that the Pegasus 30 was also just a minor, upper only update. This is disappointing because Nike could do so much more with big milestones like these. The Pegasus is the oldest running shoe series after all.

The Pegasus used to be one of the most popular dailies. Back in the day, the Pegasus didn’t have much competition. Super foams didn’t exist and neither did carbon plates or jumbo midsoles. The Pegasus of today has lost its clout and over the years, has been overtaken by other, more modern daily trainers like the Hoka Clifton which has a very thick, cushioned midsole.

In the Nike running category, there are far more exciting options like the Vaporfly and the Invincible Run which use Nike’s premium, super bouncy midsole foam, ZoomX.

The Vaporfly is supposed to be a race day shoe but that doesn’t stop inexperienced runners from using it as a daily trainer. The Pegasus’ dull, bland ride just can’t compete in comparison.

Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 40 Review (3)Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 40 Review (4)

These days, the Pegasus target market is new runners who want a safe choice
and non-runners looking for a comfortable gym or casual shoe for walking.

It’s as textbook a daily trainer as you can get.

(Video) What Changed?? | 2023 Nike Pegasus 40 Review | Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 40 vs 39

When I reviewed last year’s Pegasus, I found that it was an adequate trainer with no major flaws and one of the best Peg versions to date; it just had a really boring, bland ride. Since then, I’ve only used it for casual walking.

This year’s Pegasus 40 weighs 9.4 oz (266 g) which is trending in the wrong direction. Last year’s version weighed 9.2 oz (261 g). It still has a 10 mm drop and costs $130, the same price as the Pegasus 39.

Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 40 First Impressions

Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 40 Review (5)Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 40 Review (6)

My first run was a 10 kilometre easy run which I didn’t enjoy very much. The ride felt flat, firm, and the outsole sounded really slappy and loud against the road.

The ride felt exactly like last year’s version except the new upper felt more comfortable, more padded, like a thicker, softer duvet. I could also feel that the upper was more roomy.

Compared to other daily trainers which I’ve run in recently like the Cumulus 25, Cloudsurfer, and Propel v4, the ride of the Pegasus 40 felt dated (old fashioned).

Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 40 Upper

Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 40 Review (7)Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 40 Review (8)

There are two main differences between the upper of the Pegasus 40 and the Pegasus 39. The first is that the mesh of the 40 is softer and more stretchy.

(Video) Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 40

This results in a forefoot and toe box which are roomier and more accommodating. The fit is still true to size but now it’s more suited to runners with high volume feet.

The second difference is that the midfoot Flywire system has been replaced with midfoot panels for improved midfoot lockdown. I can’t say that I noticed an improvement in midfoot lockdown but the panels do contribute to the weight gain.

Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 40 Review (9)Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 40 Review (10)

There’s an internal heel counter which is the same as the Pegasus 39 but heel lockdown isn’t as good because of the looser upper fit of the new version. The tongue is fully gusseted but there’s still lateral tongue slide because the laces don’t go through a loop in the middle of the tongue.

The Pegasus 40 now also has a small, thin reflective stripe on the back of the heel which is always a welcome addition.

Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 40 Sole Unit

Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 40 Review (11)Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 40 Review (12)

If you’ve ever run in a Pegasus, you’ll know that it wasn’t designed to be exciting or something groundbreaking. It was designed to be predictable and consistent. A shoe that feels like a past Pegasus ;a tough workhorse for getting the job done.

The ride of the Pegasus 40 feels exactly the same as the Pegasus 39 because they have the same midsole and outsole.

It’s one of the firmer riding daily trainers so you can expect a ride which is firmer than the Cumulus 25, Ride 16, Novablast 3 and Clifton 9.

(Video) Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 40 Review

I prefer trainers which are softer and more cushioned but I did manage to do a 38 km long run in the Pegasus 40. It wasn’t a fun experience but I didn’t feel any discomfort or a lack of cushioning so you could run a marathon in the Pegasus if you can endure a relatively firm ride.

Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 40 Review (13)Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 40 Review (14)

It has a Zoom airbag in the forefoot and another one in the heel. The airbags in the Pegasus’ midsole prevent its ride from evolving into a soft, engaging one which other daily trainers possess. The reason is that the airbags are firm so the surrounding React foam has to be a similar density or the airbags will feel lumpy.

Zoom Air is the Pegasus signature technology but I feel that this could be one of the last versions which have Zoom Air. If Nike added ZoomX into the midsole instead of airbags, the ride would be softer, smoother and more lively.

The Pegasus Turbo Next Nature and the Zoom Fly 5 are examples of Nike trainers already using ZoomX in their midsoles with no airbags.

The Pegasus 40 doesn’t have any modern technologies like an energy-returning midsole or a rockered geometry so it doesn’t feel efficient or energy-saving. It has an old school ride which feels like any of the previous 10 versions of the Pegasus.

Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 40 Review (15)Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 40 Review (16)

I use the Pegasus 40 for only easy runs because I find it difficult to pick up the pace in it. It has a flexible forefoot and the React/Zoom Air combination isn’t very responsive. The midsole isn’t thick compared to maximalist daily trainers like the Novablast so it feels stable but not very new-age.

The outsole is still the Pegasus’s main strength. There’s plenty of thick Duralon on the forefoot and harder BRS 1000 on the heel which won’t wear down prematurely. I’ve taken previous Pegasus’ to over 1000 km of usage and the Pegasus 40 is capable of the same high mileage.

The waffle grip provides excellent traction on most surfaces except for wet concrete and other smooth surfaces due to how hard the rubber is but footstrikes feel very loud and slappy.

(Video) Nike Pegasus 40 | FULL REVIEW | 40th Anniversary of an Icon

Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 40 Conclusions

Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 40 Review (17)Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 40 Review (18)

The Pegasus 40 isn’t the game changer that we hoped for or that the Pegasus series deserved. If Nike keeps on failing to innovate, the Pegasus will continue to decline in popularity.

Last year’s Pegasus 39 was an interesting shoe because it had a brand new midsole, outsole and upper but the Pegasus 40 feels really dated. It can’t match the other daily trainers in terms of cushioning, energy return or versatility.

It’s still a decent running shoe at a decent price and it’s a fine choice if you’re used to the Pegasus ride or you want a comfortable gym/lifestyle shoe. It just doesn’t have a special or unique ride capable of hooking you in. I couldn’t wait to finish my 80 kilometres of testing in it so that I could run in other shoes.

Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 40 Review (19)Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 40 Review (20)

If I was in charge of developing the next version of the Pegasus, I would increase the stack height, switch to a softer midsole foam and eliminate the firm airbags to create a smoother, plusher ride.

Version 40 is more comfortable than version 39 with a softer, more accommodating upper but it’s slightly heavier.

The Pegasus 39 at a discounted price is a much better deal because the 2 shoes are very similar.

You don’t need to upgrade if you’re a Peg fan and you already have the Pegasus 39.



Should I size up or down in Nike Air Pegasus? ›

Fit. I usually wear a half size up in Nike, and this shoe is no exception. The Pegasus 39 comes in regular and wide widths, but it's worth noting that Nike notoriously runs a bit narrow, so if you're on the fence, try the wide, knowing you can return them if they don't fit correctly (more on the return policy below).

Is Nike Pegasus 40 true to size? ›

Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 40 Upper

The fit is still true to size but now it's more suited to runners with high volume feet. The second difference is that the midfoot Flywire system has been replaced with midfoot panels for improved midfoot lockdown.

Are Nike Pegasus good for everyday use? ›

Nike Pegasus 40 review: Verdict

It's a great running shoe for everyday runs, with a decent amount of pop to get you around most sessions. Fit-wise, this is one of my favorite versions of the Pegasus yet. I loved the gentle padding around my foot in the shoe, and the smooth ride underfoot.

Is Nike Air Zoom Pegasus worth it? ›

There's ample cushioning for long-distance runs. The Pegasus 39 is a decent half-marathon shoe if you don't want to pay the Vaporfly Next% or Saucony Endorphin premium. While it's not as engaging as a plate-equipped running shoe, the Zoom Air + React midsole never feels flat or boring.


1. Nike Pegasus 40 Review: Unboxing & First Impression
2. Nike Pegasus 40 Review
(Doctors of Running)
3. Nike Pegasus 40 Review | The Best Pegasus To Date!
5. Worth Buying? Nike Pegasus 40 Review
(Hes Kicks)


Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Otha Schamberger

Last Updated: 30/06/2023

Views: 6546

Rating: 4.4 / 5 (75 voted)

Reviews: 90% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Otha Schamberger

Birthday: 1999-08-15

Address: Suite 490 606 Hammes Ferry, Carterhaven, IL 62290

Phone: +8557035444877

Job: Forward IT Agent

Hobby: Fishing, Flying, Jewelry making, Digital arts, Sand art, Parkour, tabletop games

Introduction: My name is Otha Schamberger, I am a vast, good, healthy, cheerful, energetic, gorgeous, magnificent person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.