Nike’s classic neutral trainer keeps it consistent in its 36th version
The Air Zoom Pegasus 36 retains its place as Nike’s most reliable everyday trainer. Made for neutral runners, this shoe is cushioned with a little bit of pop for longer races. Combined with its great style, it’s a shoe that runners have been coming back to for over 3 decades.
- Classic running shoe, 36 years strong
- Great color options
- Stylish look
- Good value
- Not ideal for races or tempo runs
- Could be better cushioned
Nike is the top retailer for athletic shoes, offering a variety of sporty options, with plenty of selection in the running department. One of Nike’s newest shoe releases is the Air Zoom Pegasus 36, upgraded from the Zoom Pegasus 35 with just some small changes, and available in men’s and women’s sizes.
The Air Zoom Pegasus 36 is fairly affordable for a good, quality running shoe. This shoe is not a high end shoe with the newest technology, but it is a great shoe that is designed for all levels of runners, and considered one of their best selling running shoes.
The unique feature in the Pegasus 36, however, is an air pouch within the shoe, which is why it is called the Air Zoom. Overall the Pegasus 36 is going to be a shoe that most runners would feel comfortable using. However, it does have a more neutral arch support, and is best as an everyday running shoe, and it is designed for speed.
The Pegasus 36 is a shoe for road running. With its neutral design, it will be perfect for normal pronators, but the shoe offers plenty of support for under pronators as well. So, it appeals to many runners.
Engineered mesh is used on the upper unit of the Air Zoom Pegasus 36. This type of fabric makes the shoe rather flexible and is nearly seamless from front to back. It also allows the upper to form easily around the shape more naturally around your foot, as it bends and swells during the heel to toe running transition.
The upper mesh is also very breathable as it has extra perforations added to the high heat areas, which helps keep your feet dry and cool. The low profile of this upper provides extra support and minimizes foot movement within the foot, securing the tongue of the shoe from sliding during your run and giving you more responsiveness.
The Pegasus 36 has a very clean look due to the seamless upper. The weight of the shoe is also lightened because it does not have the extra overlays or external supports that other shoes have. Yet the mesh is thicker in areas that will experience more wear and tear, like the edges around the toe box.
With only 5 lace up holes instead of 6 on most shoes, it gives the shoe more ability to bend and adjust when you take off, giving the shoe a more natural feel. Plus, to secure the laces, the Pegasus 36 has Flywire cable loops around the midfoot. This creates extra security of the laces without pulling too tight on the mesh.
One nice part about the upper is that the gusseted tongue has been modified in the Pegasus 36. They have taken some of that puffiness out of the tongue, making it thinner, so that it doesn’t stick up as high and rub on the ankle.
Within the Pegasus 36, there is a sockliner that adjusts to the shape of your foot, giving you extra support and stability. This will definitely help you feel better on your run, like you have more foot control. The cushioning is made of Cushlon ST foam, which is nice and responsive, without excess give.
The Zoom Air, an air pouch that is the full length of the shoe, gives your run a smooth feel, and allows for extra bounce and agility. The Pegasus 36 is the only shoe with the air pouch, which helps offset the impact of the foot strike against the road with extra shock absorption. Just walking around in the shoe you can feel the extra spring in your step.
The forefoot portion of the Pegasus 36 outsole is constructed of Duralon, a spongy blown rubber compound that is ready for high impact traction, and gives the foot some extra cushion. There are waffle shaped grooves on the bottom of the shoe to provide extra grip and control as your foot strikes the road.
The external heel portion, however, is made of a carbon rubber called BRS 1000. The Pegasus 36 is built with this material to protect the foot against high impact and provide extra shock absorption. The way the rubber grips the road can also be felt, which will help give runners more confidence in their stride.
The lateral sides of the outsole also have a special tread pattern called the Crash Rail. This design used on the Pegasus 36 creates more lines and grooves horizontally on the outsole, making your gait cycle glides transition more smoothly. This also gives the shoe extra durability against wear and tear.
Known by runners as The Nike Peg, the Air Pegasus 36 is the 36th version of the Pegasus. Each time Nike upgrades the Pegasus it keeps getting better and better! Nike strives to make this shoe to fit an average foot, cost-effective for all runners, durable for even the hardest and longest runs, and comfortable to minimize aches and strains.
The design of the Pegasus 36 is stylish and they were thoughtfully constructed, as Nike is well known for. A favorite feature of many runners is the Flywire cable loops, as they make adjusting the shoe’s fit easy in separate areas of the shoe.
All around the Pegasus 36 gets great reviews. The majority of runners feel that the shoe shapes well to the foot, leaving your foot to move naturally and your running efforts to be fluid. The only minor comments indicating any cons to the shoes, are possibly of the interior of the shoe feeling too tight.
The majority of truly avid runners might say the Pegasus 36 is great for long runs and every day running. The one thing that it might not be best for is those races where you are aiming for speed, as the cushioning may be just a little too soft when you would need more of a firm take off.
Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 36 vs Air Zoom Pegasus 35
The new upgrades in the Pegasus 36 are minimal, as the Pegasus 35 had already been a great running shoe, and part of a well-reviewed series of running shoes. The Pegasus 36 was made to be less bulky when Nike designed the upper to be slimmer and gave the heel collar and tongue unit less padding.
The breathability of the shoe was also improved by giving the entire shoe extra micro-perforations. The upper was also constructed out of a stronger overlay system, so that you can tie your laces as tight as necessary and they will not dig into the fabric mesh of the shoe. This helps keep the shoes from getting too tight on top of your foot.
Many runners already loved the Air Pegasus shoes, and the Pegasus 36 holds up that reputation. There were a lot of changes from the Pegasus 34 to the Pegasus 35. Nike prefers to do really big updates every other year, so with the 36 model, there were just a few slight improvements.