When it comes to workhorse training shoes there aren't many options out there that have the sort of long-standing credibility of Nike's Pegasus range β the Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 38 is the latest from that lineup.
Like its most recent predecessors, the Pegasus 38 is a shoe built for the long haul, combining comfort and cushioning with a high level of durability. However, although the React midsole is predominantly designed to take the brunt of your running, it's no slouch when it comes to versatility and picking up the pace.
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The most surprising aspect of Nike's Pegasus range for us has always been what you get for your money. For a mid-range budget option, it offers an experience and a build that you would expect from a more expensive shoe.
We've been putting the Nike Pegasus 38 through its paces over 70 miles of running. Is it worth investing in as your next daily training shoe? Let's take a look.
Price: $120 | Weight: 294g/10.7oz (Men) | Type: Road | Heel to toe drop: 10mm | Sizing: Fits true to size but is available in extra wide | Alternatives: Hoka One One Rincon 2, Adidas SL20, New Balance FuelCell Propel, Saucony Ride 14, Brooks Ghost 13
Before we start running through the details of the shoe we should point out that very little has changed from the Pegasus 37, so, if you've tried that shoe already, you won't find many surprises in this version. The main modifications made are to the upper β adding a slightly wider toebox as well as more comfort and breathability βand a larger Air Zoom pod section.
For us, the most important technology in the Pegasus 38 is the midsole foam. Like many of Nike's more expensive offerings, the 38 uses React foam throughout the full length of the shoe. It's a material that's largely popular due to its durability, as well as the fact it offers a good balance between cushioning and responsiveness.
The result is a shoe designed for versatility, which is what you want when it comes to a good value workhorse.
There's also the addition of a Zoom Air unit that sits in the forefoot of the shoe, a feature designed to increase the overall bounce of the shoe, especially when it comes to the toe-off.
On the outsole is a generous helping of rubber that covers the bulk of the React midsole material. As well as being fairly thick, it's also impressively tough, which means it'll keep the midsole safe for longer.
Finally, the laces incorporate a widened loops across each side which help to give a more locked-down and modifiable fit.
Running in the Pegasus 38 β like its predecessor β is a largely uneventful experience. But that is by no means a bad thing when it comes to a workhorse shoe. Fundamentally the best experience you can have in a hardwearing daily trainer is that it almost goes unnoticed as you clock up the mileage.
The Pegasus ticks a lot of boxes but doesn't particularly excel in any of them. There's enough cushioning to take the brunt of high mileage training, there's enough responsiveness to the midsole foam to allow you to train at a higher pace and the shape and fit keep your feet comfortable regardless of distance.
We found that the Pegasus 38 works best on those daily efforts when you just want to get the miles done but you don't know how you're going to do it. The sort of day when you leave the house with a distance in mind but you're not sure if you're going to go fast or take it easy.
For slow runs, whether that a recovery run or long training miles, it has plenty of cushioning and feels plush and enjoyable to use day after day. For the faster efforts, it's hard enough and contains enough pop to pick up the pace without feeling sluggish.
After 70 miles we found there were almost no signs of wear and tear on the outsole rubber, so it's a good option if you want a hard-wearing shoe that will last you a while.
For the price, there's a lot to like about the Pegasus 38 and it's a great option if you're either a beginner looking one pair of versatile shoes on a budget or someone looking for an all-rounder training option to complement a lighter race shoe.
If, however, you already own the Pegasus 37 and you're looking for an upgrade it may be worth saving a few pennies and seeing if you can pick up another pair before moving on to the 38 as the updates are minimal.