See the Nike Pegasus Trail range at Sportshoes.com
As I’ve steamed through the life expectancy of my On Cloudventure (that developed an annoying squeak), I’ve been looking for a new pair of waterproof trail running shoes that are not too extreme and a bit more “door to trail”. I loved my Nike Zoom Wildhorse 3, which bridged that road/trail gap but they were not waterproof.
When the Nike Pegasus 36 Trail GTX came on the market, they looked like the shoe I was looking for. The road shoe bit of the normal Nike Pegasus, with better grip and protection from the elements.
I’ve had my Nike Pegasus 36 Trail GTX for a few months now, which is a good trial period and the English winter really put them to the test.
The colours were not quite to my liking, but as I’m getting older I’m getting less conservative about having strangely coloured running shoes, so went for the bright orange sole. The Gore-Tex upper has no stitching due to the waterproofness, but Nike has made a good stab a making it look like a running shoe, but the flexibility and comfort of a standard running shoe does look compromised.
Upper and lacing
The first point should be that the GTX version does not have the Flywire lacing system (the little wires that run down the shoe from where the laces are and when the laces are pulled tighter, the whole of the upper is pulled in, hugging your foot) that is now common on many Nike shoes. The tongue is also thin; therefore shoes are not snug and slightly uncomfortable when the laces are pulled tight. Every time I’ve worn these shoes, I’ve also suffered from lace slippage and therefore the shoes can feel loose at the end of the workout.
The waterproof upper is not very flexible and feels stiff when compared to a standard road shoe, though this has eased the more I’ve used them. There is a widened forefoot giving a roomier fit but ends up making the shoes feel loose, which is not helped by the lace slippage.
The shoes are high at back, which is off-putting at first, but the design moves the shoe away from your Achilles tendon so that it doesn’t rub. There’s nice reflective detailing that is useful in the dark.
The lugs are not massive, as you can see from the photo, so these shoes are very much trail and grass shoes. In anything too muddy, they are going to struggle. The pay off is that it’s reasonable to run on roads in them, so for me to get the mile to Wimbledon Common is manageable. There’s not much protection at the front of the shoes, so not for scrabbling up rocks. The shoes do have that strange trail/astro turf trainer thing, that on a wet slippery surface, like tiles, they are lethally slippy.
The shoes are made from Gore-tex, which is the byword for waterproofness. I have found that on a wet day, some patches of the upper looked to be wet and some parts didn’t, which has made me query the shoe’s resistance (see photo above). The shoes have not kept my feet bone dry, but they have kept them dry enough for an hour’s workout or run. Any longer and your feet will feel damp. The breathability of the shoe may have a part to play in this. The English winter has been properly filthy, so going through 10-foot wide puddles have been very normal.
The Nike Pegasus 36 Trail GTX have taken a bit of wearing in. This is partly to do with the upper, but also the cushioning that has to be a little stiffer and stronger to combat the terrain you are running over. Zoom Air units in the heel and forefoot provide the cushioning, as does the midsole foam.
The drop is 10mm which makes it feel more like a road shoe. One of the other Nike trail shoes, the Nike Terra Kiger only has a 4mm drop, which may not be to a roadrunners liking. The weight is 288g approx for a Men’s Size 9, which is similar to the Terra Kiger, which are described as lightweight.
These shoes are not for the mountains, the deep mud or anything too technical. Nike describes them as trail shoes and that’s what they are. On grass, gravel and damp earth trails (with not much climbing) is where these shoes excel. For those who have some road to get from their door to the trail, the Nike Pegasus Trail GTX manage well on the tarmac and will keep your feet dry-ish, even on the wettest days. Make sure to tie them up correctly too.
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