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Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 38 Review Analysis (2022)

Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 38

Note: The Nike Pegasus 39 is here!

Published on: 12/18/2021

The Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 38 is a popular running shoe that offers comfort and versatility for everyday runs.

The Consensus

9.2Overall score
Very good comfortable, durable, and versatile daily trainer
Don’t have time to read the full review? Here’s what you need to know.

Nike’s star trainer is back: the Air Zoom Pegasus 38! The previous model marked a significant overhaul in the series (with notably the introduction of React foam). The Pegasus 38 carries on down this path with only a few changes to report. This new model keeps what worked on the 37 and course corrects the few things that disappointed runners.

Let’s start with the elements that don’t change much: the midsole, with its React foam and Air Zoom unit, continues to offer comfortable and smooth cushioning. Nothing spectacular in terms of responsiveness—this is a point that inevitably comes up every year. At the same time, it’s not in the DNA of the Pegasus. For a bouncier trainer in the Nike range, we recommend the Nike ZoomX Invincible Run. The stack height is still 28 mm thick under the heel and 18 mm under the forefoot (the drop is 10 mm). So it’s a good option for athletes who like good cushioning while staying clear of maximalism. In terms of underfoot feel, male testers note that the sole is a little softer than before, while female testers report a bit more firmness (the configuration is slightly different between men and women). Overall, the cushioning is of moderate density.

The rubber outsole gives a good grip and seems sturdy. The main change here is the use of Nike Grind (post-industrial recycled materials) up to 9%. Nothing to shout from the rooftops, but it’s a start! One important point flagged by a couple of reviewers: it seems that there are some early signs of sole wear (“creasing” to be exact), so that’s something to keep an eye on.

Let’s move on to the upper, which concentrates most of the changes. The forefoot is higher and wider, which will delight people who need volume. Some testers complained of some heel slippage with the P37, and Nike adjusted this part for a more secure lockdown. On the other hand, the midfoot webbing allows the upper to hug the foot more evenly when pulling on the laces. Finally, the tongue is longer and more padded. The Pegasus has always offered an impeccable lockdown, and this 38 version is no exception.

The Consensus

In summary, the Pegasus is unsurprisingly… a Pegasus: comfortable, durable, well-fitting, and affordable! While the ride won’t knock your socks off, it’s a reliable shoe that has the merit of being suitable for everyone (or almost)—a star trainer for everyday use that continues to win the popular vote.
Comfort
9
Durability
9
Value for money
9.5
Design
9.5
PROS
  • Great comfort
  • Cushioning that absorbs shock well
  • Well-fitting mesh upper with secure lockdown and roomier than previously
  • Versatile model
  • Sturdy build
CONS
  • Testers unanimously note the lack of responsiveness when it comes to the cushioning
  • Some users report signs of creasing on the sole

Technologies

Outsole

  • The rubber compound of the outsole, with 9% of Nike Grind (recycled materials), delivers a safe grip on city terrains.

Midsole

  • React: the plushest of Nike’s foam. It offers a comfortable and lively ride.
  • The Zoom Air unit under the forefoot improves shock absorption and delivers a snappy toe off.

Upper

  • The Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 38’s mesh upper comfortably keeps the foot secure in the shoe while facilitating airflow, especially when the running gets tough.
  • The midfoot webbing delivers precise and pleasant foot lockdown by allowing the upper to wrap around the foot uniformly when tightening the laces.
  • The tongue in foam adds extra support and improves comfort on the top of the foot.
  • The wider forefoot allows the P38 to be suitable for feet of all shapes and sizes.

Facts

Technical Specs

TerrainRoad
Pronation typeNeutral
Drop10 mm
Heel stack height28 mm
Forefoot stack height18 mm
Weight (men)275 g/9.7 oz
Weight (women)235 g/8.3 oz
Release year2021

Cushioning

Softness (1-5)3 – Moderate
Bounce (1-5)3 – Moderate

Technologies

OutsoleRubber compound
MidsoleReact, Zoom Air
UpperEngineered Mesh, midfoot webbing, tongue in foam, wider forefoot

Use

SpeedSlow, moderate
DistanceMid, long, 10k, half marathon, marathon
WorkoutDaily runs

Comparisons – Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 38 vs.:

Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 37

There are few changes from one model to another: same weight, same stack height, and same heel-to-toe drop. The React/Zoom Air midsole and rubber outsole are nearly identical on both versions. The main changes lie in the upper with a more spacious forefoot and a better heel fit.

Nike ZoomX Invincible Run

See the side-by-side comparison.

Nike React Infinity Run Flyknit 2

See the side-by-side comparison.

Nike Air Zoom Vomero 16

See the side-by-side comparison.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Does this running model fit true to size?

Yes, the Pegasus 38 fits true to size, as confirmed by testers. Therefore, you can buy your usual size for running shoes.

I have overpronation. Can I run in the Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 38?

Yes, this model should be suitable for all people. Indeed, it’s a neutral running shoe. As such, its goal is to suit all athletes independently from their type of pronation. Although it doesn’t offer stability technologies to center the foot while running, it’s pretty stable overall. Also, let’s note that stability shoes are not more effective than neutral shoes to prevent injury. Accordingly, we advise you to select your running shoes according to their comfort, the most critical criterion.

I weigh more than 187 lbs/85 kg. Can I run in these shoes?

Yes, this model has a comfortable stack height with 28 mm under the heel and 18 mm under the forefoot, which is sufficient to support most runners, regardless of their weight.

Is this model suitable to run a marathon?

This Nike road shoe is versatile enough to suit different types of workouts and distances. For the marathon, you should rely on your experience first. It’s best to add it to your training rotation to ensure there’s no discomfort or pain on your long runs. It’s a shoe that many runners use for the marathon every year, so there should be no worries.

Kevin Le Gall

Kevin Le Gall

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.

0 thoughts on “Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 38”

  1. Improved comfort in all the noted mentions of the review.

    Compared to the 37 which was very durable and didn’t show wear for almost 800miles, the outsole on the 38 is creasing after less than a month…
    (I’d love to hear if this is the case for anyone else.)

    Also compared to the Youth version and the midsole foam of the Youth version is not as soft as the React used in the adult version -(not necessarily a deal breaker). What turned me off was the sensation of the airbag underfoot. The laces were also shorter but non stretchy.

    Reply
  2. @Melissa – thank you for your review! The comment about the sole creasing is something we also read somewhere. We thought this might have been an isolated incident, so we left it out. However, since you experienced the same, we now flagged it in our analysis.

    Reply
  3. I’m getting arch pain and would like to know if this shoe is for a neutral arch….not a high arch and not flat feet, just a neutral foot?

    Reply
  4. @Geraldine: yes, it’s a neutral shoe. Do you have the same issue with other shoes? If not, then I would return it. The Pegasus 38 suits most people, but there are always exceptions. Maybe give a try to the Nike Invincible Run? The New Balance Fresh Foam 1080 v11 is also a good alternative. Please keep us posted! Thanks, Kevin

    Reply

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