Nike Air Zoom Vomero vs. Pegasus (2021)
These two flagship shoes of the Nike series are complementary.
The Nike Air Zoom Vomero 16 aims to offer a more stable ride although it’s a neutral shoe like the Pegasus 38. Thus, it translates into a wider platform and comes with a TPU piece at the rear to better guide the foot while running.
The Vomero 16 also offers more cushion with its 30 mm heel stack height versus 28 mm for the Pegasus 38. Overall, it makes it more suitable for longer distances even if the Pegasus also does very well at this level.
In both cases, the heel-to-toe drop is 10 mm, which is standard.
Then, even if in theory the Vomero uses a more responsive and cutting-edge foam (ZoomX), in practice, the Pegasus is more bouncy with its React midsole. The testers explain this by the density of the platform: the Vomero feels softer while the Pegasus appears firmer underfoot. Also, on the latter, the Zoom Air unit gives a more responsive bounce while on the Vomero it results in better shock absorption.
Finally, let’s note that the Vomero’s upper is softer which gives a comfort-oriented lockdown. Conversely, the Pegasus upper provides a more snug, performance-oriented lockdown.
Vomero or Pegasus: which one to choose?
Overall, the Pegasus appears to be more versatile with its more responsive cushioning that makes it suitable for tempo sessions. On the other hand, with about 0.7 oz/20 g less, it’s lighter than the Vomero.
Nevertheless, runners who need more stability or prefer a softer cushioning will go for the Vomero. Finally, the Vomero is reputed for its sturdy design, which is particularly well-suited to heavy runners.
New softer upper
Good overall versatility
Still a bit heavy (no change since the previous version)
Cushioning that absorbs shock well
Well-fitting mesh upper with secure lockdown and roomier than previously
Some users report signs of creasing on the sole
Nike Air Zoom Vomero 16
Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 38
|Drop||10 mm||10 mm|
|Heel stack height||30 mm||28 mm|
|Forefoot stack height||20 mm||18 mm|
|Weight (men)||292 g/10.3 oz||275 g/9.7 oz|
|Weight (women)||252 g/8.9 oz||235 g/8.3 oz|
|Midsole||Zoom Air, ZoomX||Zoom Air, React|
|Upper||Engineered mesh||Engineered mesh|
|Softness (1-5)||4 – Soft||3 – Moderate|
|Bounce (1-5)||2 – Low||3 – Moderate|
|Speed||Slow, moderate||Slow, moderate|
|Distance||Mid, long, 10 km, half marathon, marathon||Mid, long, 10 km, half marathon, marathon|
|Workout||Daily runs, recovery||Daily runs|
Kevin is the founder and editor of Runner’s Lab. He started running in 2015 and completed his first marathon in Rotterdam in 2016. He’s also worked for Under Armour from 2016 to 2018 and helped launch their running collection in Europe (in particular the HOVR shoes). In addition, Kevin is a 300-hour certified yoga teacher (Sivananda) and uses this experience to run more mindfully with a focus on well-being over performance.