Nike Pegasus Trail 4 Review Analysis (2022): Ready for the Toughest Trails?
Published on: 07/18/2022
Nike upgraded an already impressive hybrid road-trail shoe with the release of its updated and lighter Nike Pegasus Trail 4.
Very good all-around trail running shoes with plush cushioning and enhanced grip.
Don’t have time to read the full review? Here’s what you need to know.
The Pegasus Trail line by Nike has had the reputation of being an extremely comfortable hybrid shoe with just a couple of things holding it back from becoming elite. Can Nike address those issues without sacrificing that comfort that has become synonymous with the Pegasus Trail series? With a few caveats, the answer is yes.
The outsole redesign includes new rubber and an advanced and varied lug pattern. The updates give the Pegasus Trail 4 a better grip and less weight. Speaking of weight, the Pegasus Trail 4 is lighter (10.2 oz for a Men’s 9) than the previous iteration, which is helpful when running up a steep trail or on the road.
Other than the weight and lugs, the most significant updates were to the upper. Nike decided to go with a simple but attractive mesh upper. The more structured design, halfway gusseted padded tongue, and Flywire system for lacing blend for improved lockdown.
One thing that didn’t change is the plush cushioning. The Nike react midsole cushioning is an exceptional mix of support and comfort. All these factors combine to equal a comfortable ride for new or experienced runners on varied terrain unless the trail becomes too technical.
Please read our full review of the Nike Pegasus Trail 4 for more information.
- Much lighter than the previous Peg Trail model
- Comfortable shoes
- Secure Fit with updated the Flywire lacing system
- Breathable mesh upper
- Attractive design
- New outsole with smaller and varied lugs
- Great road to trail shoes
- Not for wide feet
- Not ideal for exceedingly technical trails or muddy trails
- Improved grip but could still be better
- Stack height too high
Nike Pegasus Trail 4 Complete Review Analysis
The word hybrid can mean a lot of things these days. In many instances, the item in question is trying to please everyone. If done poorly, trying to please everyone can mean compromises that create something no one wants. If done properly, a hybrid appeals to all the camps. With the Pegasus Trail 4, Nike has created a shoe that reviewers agree hits the right notes as a road-to-trail shoe.
As popular as Nike is as a brand, it is probably not the first shoe that comes to mind when thinking about trail shoes. Nike has made their name through road shoes and other sports. Though not perfect, the updates to the Pegasus Trail 4 should put Nike into more trail shoe conversations.
The outsole of the Nike Pegasus Trail 4 is a noticeable improvement over the Trail 3 shoe. Based on the harsh criticism of the Pegasus Trail 3, any improvement would have been welcome, but Nike made some good moves here. While the new rubber outsole will not be confused with the extreme grip of Vibram Megagrip or Litebase, it’s a big move in the right direction.
In addition to the change in rubber, Nike also improved the lug depth and patterns. They are deeper (ranging from 3-4mm), which does improve the grip and keeps you from slipping on uneven terrain. The updated pattern also does a great job in providing grip where you need it while removing unnecessary rubber where it isn’t needed.
The front lugs are a sticky rubber that many runners found to be stable and powerful while on the trail. That being said, these are not the optimal shoes for more technical trails. The grip is acceptable, but excessive technical maneuvering or dangerous rocks, dirt, mud, or extreme terrain will make you want a sturdier trail shoe.
So the grip is improved on the trail, but how does this translate to the road? The updated grip indirectly improves the shoe when on the road as well. The new varied pattern leaves some exposed foam, reducing the weight without compromising the grip. The Peg Trail has been a great road shoe, and that is still the case with the Trail 4.
What do you do to change the midsole of a shoe considered to be tremendously comfortable? If you’re smart, you leave it alone, which is exactly what Nike did. The Pegasus Trail 4 midsole is full-length Nike React foam.
Athletes who tried the Peg Trail 4 described the React cushioning as luscious and flexible. The foam is soft but balanced. It’s a material that’s light, built for performance, and responsive.
The stack height is high, with 36 mm at the heel and 26 mm at the forefoot for a men’s shoe. The drop of 10 mm (between heel and forefoot height) is on the high side for a trail shoe. Under normal conditions, reviewers found the shoe’s drop height stable. On a more technical trail, however, they found themselves looking for the increased control a smaller drop would give.
One item runners mentioned was the noticeable lack of a rock plate. The good news is that they didn’t say it negatively. A rock plate can protect you from sharp rocks or other things you might encounter on the trails, but trail runners didn’t miss this shoe. This trail running shoe felt soft and flexible while absorbing trail debris like a champ.
Foot lockdown (upper)
The Nike Pegasus Trail 2 had some real issues with its upper. It was too loose and unstable, particularly on steep downhills. The Pegasus Trail 3 made some upgrades that trail runners appreciated, but Nike took it to another level with the next version of these Nike trail shoes.
The light and simple upper uses an attractive and breathable mesh. The foot stays cool even in supreme heat. In addition to the new material, the halfway gusseted tongue has more padding, and the shoe has a more structured design. The ankle has ample padding and a finger loop you can fit your finger through, making it easy to wear.
The lacing system on the Pegasus Trail 4 is the highly lauded Flywire lacing system. Instead of traditional lacing, Flywire uses small light cables that stretch with the foot. When laced up all the way to the top eyelet, the lacing provides secure and proper lockdown.
Nike trail shoes have a reputation for fitting narrow, but the Nike Trail 4 is a bit more accommodating to wider feet. Reviewers wouldn’t go as far as saying this is a shoe for wide feet, but it should be suitable for most others. The toe box is rounded and roomy with an uncomplicated fit.
Runners found the ride with the Nike Pegasus Trail 4 to be sturdy on dry and wet trails and stable on moderate or light trails. The smooth ride provided by the React foam is springy and superb at absorbing small rocks or anything pointy encountered on the trail.
The shoe feels light and fast due to the lower mass, and it’s an easy transition from road to trail and vice versa. The performance is also impressive on all types of runs, from short to long, slow, fast, daily, and recovery runs. Running longer distances remains comfortable due to the Flywire laces allowing for flexibility.
In tandem with the React foam, the new lug design received high marks when pushing these shoes uphill or downhill on light trails. Once the running went from light trails to difficult and technical trails, some problems arose.
Advanced navigation and maneuvering on rough trails led to midfoot and heel slippage complaints. Reviewers also found that the plushness they usually liked was too soft and more like an unstable sponge when going for quick movements.
The high-stack and drop were also a mixed bag. While some runners appreciated the slight forward lean, which led to an aggressive running form, others wanted the control that accompanies a lower platform.
After putting the Pegasus Trail 4 through the paces, testers found no issues with durability. This includes hard surfaces, trail running, and every combination of the two. The upper and outsole are in it for the long haul with you.
The brand also added a toe bumper to these shoes to help avoid stubbing toes or ripping the material on rocks, roots, or whatever might pop up on the trail.
The only note of caution is that if used primarily as a road shoe, you’ll expect to see the lugs wear down much faster than if primarily used as a trail running shoe.
Whether you’re an avid runner or a beginner, the Nike Pegasus Trail 4 is a great shoe. Its key features are a luxurious feel, heel padding, proper lockdown, flexibility, and better performance on slightly rocky terrain.
As long as you’re not getting too crazy with rugged terrain, have a wide foot, or want a lower drop, this Nike Pegasus will do the trick. It’s available at a reasonable price ($140) for a shoe that does so much.
If you’re traveling and can only pack one pair of shoes, you can do much worse than the Nike Pegasus Trail 4. It is the perfect hybrid for all-around uses like hiking, trail running, running on roads, or having other various adventures.
|Heel stack height||36 m|
|Forefoot height||26 mm|
|Weight (men)||10.2 oz/289 g|
|Weight (women)||9.4 oz/267 g|
|Upper||Engineered mesh, Pull tab, Flywire, Extra Skin overlay|
|Distance||Mid, long, marathon|
Comparisons – Nike Pegasus Trail 4 vs.:
Nike Pegasus Trail 3
If you have a pair of the Peg Trail 3, it’s most likely time to upgrade to the Peg Trail 4. The benefits of the Pegasus Trail 3 are comfort and versatility. The drawbacks are the weight and questionable grip.
The Nike Pegasus Trail 4 is just as comfortable and versatile as the 3 but in a lighter package. The updated upper also offers more support with a much better grip.
Running on hills, loose dirt, and wet surfaces was a scary suggestion in the Pegasus Trail 3 but not as daunting in the Pegasus Trail 4 with the new rubber and lugs.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
This shoe fits true to size. While it is roomier than some Nike shoes, it is still not the best choice for someone with wide feet.
Yes! The combination of comfortable but supportive Nike react foam, breathable upper, and durable outsole can handle the rigors of an ultramarathon.
As discussed, the Pegasus Trail 4 is an exceptional hybrid shoe. For extra technical trails, challenging terrain, or loose or wet trails, Nike offers the Nike Air Zoom Terra Kiger 8. The Terra Kiger is more suitable as a dedicated trail running shoe.
Yes, the Nike Trail 4 is a hybrid in more ways than one. In addition to being great for running, it also doubles as an above-average fast-hiking shoe.