Nike Pegasus Trail 3 GORE-TEX Waterproof Trail Running Shoes

I mainly focus on technology and consumer electronics. Occasionally it includes a turn to something seemingly unrelated, but there is always a connection. In this case, I tested a pair of Nike Pegasus Trail 3 GORE-TEX waterproof trail running shoes. Where is the tech connection? This would be the use of GORE-TEX Invisible Fit Technology.

Nike Design hits the mark

I’ve kind of never tried them before, but Nike’s Pegasus trail running shoes have quite a fanatical following. The company has had several generations to perfect the design and when it comes to a trail running shoe – or in my case, a trail hiking shoe – there is not much to complain about. The Pegasus Trail 3’s are lightweight (about 11 ounces each), very well cushioned, keep your foot stable, have aggressive “shockwave type” rubber pods (which extend over the toe) for grip and they come in a variety of attractive color options.

They also have a gaiter at the collar to prevent debris from entering the shoe. Didn’t really think about it until we spent a morning hiking through vast sand dunes. While other people regularly took off their shoes to shake off the sand, I never felt the sand coming in. Even though I sank into the dry sand with every step. When I came back from the hike, I took off the shoes over the tub and shook them, expecting at least to some sand to have made its way. But there were absolutely none.

GORE-TEX Invisible Fit Makes a Good Shoe Awesome

I brought the shoes with me on a two week vacation to Cape Cod. This is where the sand dunes come in. The weather was brutally hot the entire time and extremely humid. But these shoes were extremely comfortable and breathable, despite being waterproof. I could walk 10 miles without feeling like my feet were sweating, even though I had to change my shirt twice a day.

This performance can be attributed to the fact that these shoes are made using GORE-TEX Invisible Fit Footwear technology. This approach sees a GORE-TEX membrane bonded to the upper of the shoe instead of the traditional method of being added later in the construction as a separate layer. So you get the benefits of GORE-TEX (like waterproofing, breathability to let sweat evaporate, and quick drying) in a fully integrated package.

In addition to urban hiking, I have worn the Pegasus 3 on several forest trails. Their grippy soles and stability also proved they were very capable of traversing the mile-long Provincetown Causeway with its massive ocean-smoothed boulders. I always felt that my foot was solid. It was on the Giant’s Causeway that waterproof GORE-TEX proved its worth. We slightly miscalculated our timing on the crossing and encountered the onset of high tide, when the ocean water began to rise in a low section. I couldn’t avoid stepping in the water, but my feet stayed completely dry. You can see in the photo below that the water literally ran off the shoes and where they were submerged the water was completely kept at bay.

When tests don’t go as planned…

Here’s an out-of-the-ordinary use case that illustrates both the waterproof nature of GORE-TEX technology and its ability to dry quickly.

A few weeks ago I went to an outdoor concert in Toronto. The weather forecast called for torrential rain, so I thought I’d be smart and wear the Nike Pegasus Trail 3s – no worries about getting my feet wet, and the aggressive trail runner tread would come in really handy if the grass turned to mud.

Everything went as planned at first. My raincoat wasn’t quite up to the challenge, but the rain ran directly onto the shoes, so at least I had dry feet. I kept my foot on the increasingly slippery slope of the lawn of the amphitheater. But… as security began to lock down the site due to extreme weather conditions, the walkways flooded. I was wading through a wave of fast water that rose well above my ankles. You can guess what happened next. The gaiter that kept the sand out so effectively didn’t stand a chance when the water rose inches above it. The water filled my waterproof shoes and stayed there until I had a chance to empty it.

The lesson that waterproof shoes are only as good as their cover – as soon as water covers the shoe so it can pour into it, it becomes a water-holding container. So if you’re really going to wade, maybe consider a boot instead of a shoe…

However, the next day showed another of the advantages of these shoes and their GORE-TEX technology. Despite being absolutely saturated, six hours in the sun on a balcony dried them out completely.

Recommendation Nike Pegasus Trail 3 GORE-TEX

Can’t say I made a track functioning with the Nike Pegasus Trail 3 GORE-TEX waterproof trail running shoes. However, I took them on several weeks of walking seven to 10 miles a day in scorching heat, high humidity, and conditions that included urban exploration, nature trails, sand dunes, breakwaters rock and tidal pools. They stayed comfortable and dry in all of these conditions. In fact, they were so comfortable that the other shoes I packed pretty much stayed in my suitcase.

I noticed that these shoes were often sold out, at least on the Nike website. So if you’re considering a pair and see some in stock, I wouldn’t wait too long. If you are primarily interested in GORE-TEX technology, this company’s website includes links to other options from other major shoe manufacturers.

Disclosure: GORE-TEX provided broadcasts for evaluation purposes, but did not contribute to this review.

Darryl A. Chapin