The Nike Air Zoom Pegasus shoes hit the market in June 2019. They are the 36th iteration of the Nike Air Zoom Pegasus shoe! That already says a lot about these shoes.
The Pegasus range has an army of followers who get incredibly excited and riled up about updates and new shoes. There is always a worry that the changes made by Nike will ruin the staple of many a runner’s collection.
With the 36, these worries are unfounded. The Pegasus 36 has a few minor tweaks here and there but mostly, it sticks to the mold.
Like the previous iterations, the Peg 36 has a full length Zoom outsole and a comfortable, and durable upper.
The knit upper is available in a staggering number of colors. There were 17 colors on release, followed by a special design based around the United States of America Track and Field colors.
As if 18 colors weren’t enough, Nike then released color coded and team stamped designs for the 32 NFL teams that year. You can purchase midnight green and silver Peg 36s if you’re an Eagles fan or go for a blue and red design to show your love for the Giants.
Whether you go for the basic or the NFL shoes, you’re going to receive a block color upper with a contrasting Nike swoosh. The NFL shoes have a team logo on the heel and the tongue as well as a larger logo printed on the inside.
These shoes don’t have a particularly eye-catching or unique design, but they don’t need it. Pegs don’t have to rely on aesthetics to get customers to buy them. They rely on their quality and history.
Like the 35s, the Peg 36s have a dropped cuff and raised heel tab design. When you look at the shoes, one of the first things you notice is how long that heel tab is.
The ankle cuff is one of the things that Peg owners are particular about. On the 36, the ankle cuff is quite low. It steers as far clear of the ankle as possible to avoid rubbing.
When it comes to the laces, the Pegasus 36s uses Flywires as well as rubber eyelets. The Flywires are designed to provide extra support across the top of your foot.
These shoes can be used for training or as a race day shoe. However, the Pegasus Zoom Fly 36 tends to be preferred for race day thanks to its more advanced features.
- Full length Zoom sole for great energy return.
- Ergonomically designed tongue and heel tab creates a sock-like fit.
- Breathable, durable mesh upper.
- Available in a huge range of colors and designs.
- Great value for money.
- Provides reliable traction on a variety of surfaces.
- Laces are thin and uncomfortable.
- Shoe has a reputation for being narrow.
What We Love
There is so much to love about these shoes. They have been perfected over so many models and years making them one of the best running shoes around.
Let’s start with the Zoom outsole. This is only the second Peg to feature a full length Zoom sole. The first was the Pegasus 35.
The Zoom Air sole uses pockets of air to provide a responsive and cushioned shoe. Inside the air pockets are tensile fibers. These run top to bottom and compress when your foot presses downward.
The fibers then spring back to their original shape giving you explosive power and a snappy reaction to the ground.
Unlike other shoes, the Peg 36 features a full length Zoom sole. This means that the whole sole is an air pocket from toe to heel. The fibers are spread across and along the whole sole giving you complete support and cushioning.
The whole length sole also makes sure that the energy generated during the compression is going where it’s most useful. In shoes where only the heel is cushioned, you lose some of that power.
The other thing we absolutely adore about these shoes, is the heel tab. It looks fabulous for a start. That long, sleek upwards arch seems to hark back to the mythical winged horse after whom the shoes were named. It just screams aerodynamic.
The heel tab is more than just a pretty face, however. It is designed to provide extra support and protection to your Achilles. It rests around the tendon without squeezing, but it works hard to reduce and remove the rubbing you tend to get on the heel.
The increased height and length of the heel tab dissipates the pressure rather than focusing it where the heel meets the shoe. This means that even on the first run, you tend to avoid blisters on the heel.
The major difference Nike made with these shoes can be seen in the tongue. The 35s had quite a thick, uncomfortable tongue that made the tops of your feet hot. In the 36, Nike has gone for a more ergonomic tongue.
The material is much thinner than the previous iterations, and they’ve gone for an asymmetrical cut. The tongue reaches further on the outside of the foot than on the inside. This is to prevent rubbing on the inner ankle but it's also about the fit.
The Nike Zoom Air Pegasus 36 shoes fit like a sock. The tongue wraps neatly around to support the front and upper part of your foot, that extended heel tab cradles the back of your foot, and the Flywire lace attachments create a personalized fit.
We were absolutely delighted to see the changes they made to the tongue. It corrected the major issue we had with the 35s. It’s always awesome to see companies listening to the customer feedback.
Other highlights include the tread and rubber sole. These are great for both wet and dry conditions. You get excellent traction with the Pegasus 36s making them great all-round shoes. That being said, if you’re doing a lot of technical trails, then these probably aren’t going to cut it, especially in competition.
For non-technical running, however, these perform wonderfully across a huge range of environments. You don’t lose traction over sand, grass, or stone. They also hold up really well when fording creeks or brooks. They’re not waterproof, but they do tend to keep your feet mostly dry, so you don’t need to dodge puddles.
Room for Improvement?
There’s always something to work on. I mean, the fact that these are the 36th version of a shoe design just highlights that fact.
With the Nike Zoom Air Pegasus 36 shoes, our main concerns lie with the laces and the sizing.
The sizing is an old complaint that dogs many Nike shoes. They have a reputation for being quite narrow and tight around the waist and the toe box.
With the 36 we still have a few sizing issues. First and foremost, the toe box remains pretty shallow. This isn’t a problem for everyone, but if you have larger or thicker feet, you might feel a bit claustrophobic.
The waist is slightly larger on the 36 compared with previous iterations. This is great news for those with wider feet. You should find more comfort in the sole.
The slimmed down tongue does help the shoe fit better, however it does little to spread or mitigate the pressure created by the laces.
The laces are incredibly narrow which causes two problems.
Firstly, the narrow laces can, at times, feel like they are cutting into the upper part of your foot. This is exacerbated by the fact that the tongue doesn’t have much padding.
This is incredibly frustrating because in essence, Nike have fixed one issue by creating another.
The other issue with the thin laces is that they tend to come loose. A number of reviewers mention the fact that they have to stop and retie their laces because they’ve come loose.
It also means that you can struggle to get a real snug fit around the ankle unless you over tighten the laces. Of course, this can restrict blood flow, make you incredibly uncomfortable, and put a lot of pressure on your upper foot.
The Nike Zoom Air Pegasus 36 is a running shoe for every runner. True to the ethos of the Pegasus range, these shoes are budget friendly and versatile.
While they are not as flashy as some other shoes offered by Nike, they are still admirably adapted to all kinds of running.
The full length Zoom sole is the star of the show, providing great energy return and high levels of comfort. The ergonomic upper design shows the major differences between the Pegasus 35 and the Pegasus 36 shoes.
While we’re not a massive fan of the laces, we still highly recommend these shoes. After all, the laces can be swapped out. There aren’t any intrinsic issues that you need to worry about.
If you’re in the market for new training shoes that won’t break the bank, the Nike Zoom Air Pegasus 36 should definitely be on your radar.