Whether we realize it or not at some stage in our lives most runners have owned a pair of Nike Air Pegasus. My sister still refuses to throw away her “gardening” pair from the late 1990s! Now in its 29th edition, and with a couple of new updates, we thought it would be a good time to revisit this Nike mainstay.
On first impressions the new Pegasus 29 doesn’t seem to have changed a whole lot from the 27 and 28 models but if you dig a little deeper some positive additions have been added. Wearers of the Lunarglide 4 will know just how comfortable Nike’s one piece fly knit upper feels on the foot, and while the new Peg 29 only has it in the forefoot, it makes for a great feeling as the shoe slips on. The Pegasus upper has always been fairly uncomplicated and durable and nothing changes here. I’ve logged about 250 kilometers in mine so far (on and off road) and I believe the upper could still sit on the shelf as if about to be sold.
Nike has a reputation here in Australia for producing shoes that suit runners with narrow feet but that’s definitely not the case with the Pegasus. There’s plenty of volume throughout the shoe to accommodate a variety of foot shapes and sizes. I’ve personally always liked a snug fit, especially around the mid-foot, which is probably a throw back to my days of wearing spikes and racing flats. So I found I had to tighten up the laces a fair bit to get that same feel but the majority of runners wont have this issue. The forefoot has plenty of room for the toes to find their rightful place and if you’re an orthotic wearer then the Pegasus won’t have any trouble accommodating them.
The mid-sole of the Pegasus 29 is where this shoe gets the business done. Why? Simply because it’s simple! Nike designers might not agree with me on that but this shoe is simple in construction with an uncomplicated Waffle tread and flexibility in the forefoot perfect for easy running whether it’s long or short. I personally find the Zoom cushioning that Nike use in the Pegasus 29 much more responsive than the Lunar foam of various models so the ride is pretty smooth and not too soft.
Without a lot of fanfare this shoe continues to soldier on and be a favorite around the world with good reason. In working out the type of runner the Pegasus 29 suits I almost wanted to say everyone, but that is a bit ridiculous, so I’m suggesting nearly everyone amongst traditional running shoe wearers. It’s a great shoe when used as a daily trainer/long run shoe but I’d look elsewhere if you were thinking of using it as a tempo shoe. The Peg is a big mile logger, not a speed machine.
In our coaching work Brian and I constantly reenforce the keep it simple motto. Whether it’s technique assessment, strength training, building training schedules or recommending shoes, removing anything that is over complicating the matter is a must to gain improvement. To quote a well known slogan for a sugary breakfast cereal that no one should ever eat “the simple things in life are often the best”. This certainly rings true for the Nike Air Pegasus 29.
By Mark Gorski
If you’d like a bit more information about the Pegasus you can watch Mark and I having a chat about it in the video below.