Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 39 Running Shoe Review: The Classic Shoe Just Keeps Getting Better

This Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 39 review is part of our 2022 SELF Certified Sneaker Prices, where the shoe won Best Long Distance Training Shoe. You can see the rest of our winners here.

It took me a long time to come to running in Nike. For years, I felt like Nike was designed for people who wanted less cushioning, more responsiveness, and a stronger feel to the ground; people who were faster; maybe people with stronger knees.

The (ridiculously expensive) Nike Air Zoom Alphafly NEXT% are the shoes that changed all that; I ran the 2021 New York City Marathon in these shoes, and since then I’ve found a few more styles from the brand that are actually pretty awesome for running and everyday training. Still, I’m largely a Nike skeptic, and I come to every shoe with a raised eyebrow and crossed arms.

All that to say, when it came time to review the Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 39 ($130, nike.com), I was ready to be critical. But here’s the thing – these shoes are seriously awesome. The latest iteration of Pegasus builds on the base offerings that debuted almost four decades ago: lightweight cushion and durable support, designed for everyday runners at all levels.

After spending the last month using them, I can say that they absolutely live up to that standard. The Pegasus are a perfect addition to any runner’s regular rotation, whether you’re heading out for a 5K practice run or a 10+ mile practice run. I would also recommend them as a great introductory shoe if you are just starting out. Read on for my full review of the latest Pegasus style and see what I mean.

How I tested

This time last year I had just started training for the New York City Marathon, which meant I was on a strict training schedule that steadily increased my mileage and pushed me to do more and more. more every week.

But this year ? It is exactly the opposite. I still run almost every day, but with a totally different mindset. Some mornings I get motivated and run two miles to the nearest track, then do a combination of fast and slow 400-meter laps, checking my pace on my Apple Watch, pushing myself to finish a little faster. Everytime. Other days it’s a long, slow jog along the waterfront where I’m not at all on the lookout for my pace. In short: I walk an average of 40 km per week on the New York sidewalk, but I let my mood guide my pace.

Adapt

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

Another thing I’ll note: I tend to like a slightly looser fit, so even though I went for a 7.5, I know I can wear a size 7 too and it fits better . If this sounds like the type of fit you prefer, one that really hugs the sides of your foot, consider going for your usual size. Likewise, if you plan to wear them in cooler weather or don’t wear them for long runs outside (where your feet tend to swell), you may enjoy a tighter fit.

Darryl A. Chapin