Review: Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 34
The footwear equivalent of the boy next door
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There are running shoes, and then there are shoes designed specifically for training purposes. If you are clear about your daily fitness routine, you will know which of the two to pick. For the rest of us, a more versatile pair, which works well for running, jogging and in-gym routines, etc., is a better option. And that is exactly where Nike’s Air Zoom Pegasus 34 comes into the picture.
The Pegasus range has been around for more than 30 years. The overall design of the Pegasus 34 is a lot like its predecessors, with minor improvements and tweaks to bring the shoe up to date with the preferences of modern fitness enthusiasts. Unlike the very pronounced upper mesh on some of the running footwear we have seen over the past few months, the Pegasus gets a subtler Flymesh fabric upper. It is essentially a single piece that wraps the entire shoe. You will notice that the design lines represent a sense of movement on the sides of the shoe. There are Flywire cords too running down the sides of the shoe—these are concealed beneath the mesh, and provide robustness to the overall design.
While the comfort level of any shoe is a subjective matter, the Pegasus 34 doesn’t leave much room for debate—there is a generous amount of padding on the top and on the sides. The shoe has a heel-to-toe offset of 10mm (most running shoes have an offset of 8mm), but the assurance that the Pegasus 34 offers in terms of grip and feedback means that you don’t have to spend time getting used to the characteristics of the shoe.
Nike hasn’t changed much in this version in terms of the midsole and outsole materials. Under your foot will be Cushlon foam—this is firm enough to let you get feedback from the surface you are training on, in the forefoot and rear foot areas. But the Air Max cushions as well as the foam absorb enough to iron out any discomfort on uneven surfaces. There are air cavities in the heel and toe areas, for additional cushioning against vibrations running through from the outsole.
The outsole is a mix of two materials: Duralon and Carbon rubber. The tread design and layout is quite interesting too. You have the hexagonal pattern, also called flex grooves, under the toe and partly under the mid-foot area too. On the outside of each shoe, as it would land on the surface, are rubber crash rails that absorb impact and help traction. The grip is excellent, and the ability to turn and dash comes with a lot of reassurance. The Pegasus 34 offers a greater sense of durability than most rivals.
The Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 34 doesn’t have the most exciting design, but what you get is a more breathable upper and more room for the foot than its predecessor offered.
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