In the last several years, Nike has made a name for itself in the running shoe industry; while it always offered footwear for endurance athletes, the athletic wear giant has started listening to what runners really want, and created products specifically for them.
It all started when Nike released its ZoomX foam about two years ago, and put it in the Vaporfly 4%, claiming this would be the shoe that broke the two-hour marathon mark. Even though Eliud Kipchoge didn’t break the record, he was able to recognize that Nike’s new technology was revolutionary.
Flash forward to this year, when Nike had a new challenge on their hands; Kipchoge himself said that while he loves the Vaporfly 4%, it’s strictly a racing shoe, and he wanted to get that same feel in his everyday trainer. Hence the Nike Pegasus Turbo.
As a two-year Pegasus wearer, I was definitely intrigued by this new release. Because it had the ZoomX foam, which is more responsive than any other running shoe on the market today (Nike claims it returns 85 percent of effort put in), I thought I didn’t really need it since I’m not an elite runner. Heck, I’m training for my very first marathon and just trying to finish – not break any records. I was set on getting the new model of my go-to running shoe, the Nike Pegasus 35.
When Nike invited me to come to New York to try out the new shoe though, I couldn’t pass that up.
When the Pegasus 35 was released in early spring, I was really excited about the changes; in fact, Nike made a softer midsole specifically for the women’s shoe, which was actually my biggest complaint about the 34 model. The way the shoe is designed in the back to peel off the achilles, and the lighter weight all were things I was looking for in a shoe to train for my first marathon. The Pegasus 35 had an Epic React-feel on the classic Pegasus model – what more could you ask for?
Well, the Nike Pegasus Turbo is, as the name suggests, based off the popular Pegasus shoe, but with the ZoomX foam. Could this be even better? I was about to find out.
When I first put on the shoe, it felt really comfortable. The upper was a thicker material than I was used to for running shoes, but have had some issues with Nike’s flyknit uppers in the past, and this felt like it hugged my foot but also cushioned it at the same time. To this day, that is still my favorite part of this shoe.
Nike coaches took us on a three mile run around Manhattan and Chinatown in New York, with two different stops educating us on the story behind the shoe, and how it’s built. During the run, I immediately noticed how secure my foot felt, and how bouncy the foam was – I didn’t expect to actually notice a difference, but these shoes are truly responsive!
The next day I laced up the Nike Pegasus Turbo and went for a four-mile run around Central Park (which, if you’ve never ran there, I highly recommend it. It’s beautiful). I was again impressed with how comfortable these shoes felt. Aside from the standard breaking-a-shoe in blisters on my toes, I didn’t even really notice I had new shoes on.
The final day of the Nike excursion happened back in Chicago; Nike hosted a half mile race in a parking garage in the Loop, so, the first half of the race was downhill, the second half was uphill, and the entire thing was a sprint. I’m really glad I got to experience the Pegasus Turbos in this setting, because I knew they’d be great for my longer, steady training runs, but they also worked well for a speed session. I don’t do much speed training, but this shoe seems really versatile overall.
About a month later, I’ve put in almost 100 miles into these shoes. They have become my marathon training shoe, and have not let me down yet. Just this past weekend I ran 15 miles (my longest-ever run!) and while it was difficult, my legs kept carrying me along without any hesitation. I can’t stress enough how comfortable these shoes are! Plus, the neon pink stripe down the front makes me feel fast, even at my 9:30 pace.
The biggest complaint about this shoe is the price; in fact, I had a guy on Saturday ask me if they were worth the $180 and the hype. I answered honestly: for someone training for their first marathon, who tends to pound a little harder when fatiguing and has iffy knees, absolutely. Would I buy another pair for after the marathon when I’m going back to shorter runs? No, probably not. But if the rest of this season continues as it has, and I become an annual marathoner, then the Nike Pegasus Turbo might be on my feet for years to come.