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Nike Pegasus Trail 4 - Women's Review

Though this shoe has some functional elements, it is not a trail shoe that we recommend across the board
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Nike Pegasus Trail 4 - Women's Review (The Pegasus Trail bites down well into soft earth, providing strong traction on softer trails.)
The Pegasus Trail bites down well into soft earth, providing strong traction on softer trails.
Credit: Ally Arcuri
Price:  $140 List
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Manufacturer:   Nike
By Ally Arcuri ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Apr 30, 2024
58
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#20 of 20
  • Foot Protection - 25% 5.0
  • Traction - 20% 6.0
  • Sensitivity - 15% 6.0
  • Stability - 15% 6.0
  • Comfort and Fit - 15% 5.0
  • Weight - 10% 8.0

Our Verdict

The Nike Pegasus Trail 4 is a more rugged version of an incredibly popular road running shoe. With surprisingly good traction, a good trail feel, and an attractive profile, the Pegasus is an adequate trail companion. It lacks some of the substance that we have grown accustomed to on our more adventure-equipped runners. Nevertheless, if scampering up occasional hills where traction is necessary is in your future, the Pegasus Trail will serve you well. But if you want a do-it-all trail shoe that will support you through marathon training, we expect that you'll be very disappointed in what this shoe is able to offer.
REASONS TO BUY
Lightweight
Bitey lugs
Breathable
Fashionable
REASONS TO AVOID
Poor mud shed
Lacks protection
Less comfortable
Editors Note: This review was updated to include new product comparisons on April 30, 2024.

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Bottom Line A less rugged trail runner that grips pretty well, but doesn't hold up in comparison to other optionsThis is our go-to recommendation for runners seeking a comfortable, well-tractioned shoe for short and long distances alikeFeaturing an upgraded upper and a stable zero-drop design, this shoe is a dependable and comfortable trail running option, ensuring comfort even during extended runsThis is the shoe you want if you need something rugged to tackle slippery, muddy, and otherwise messy trailsAn affordable and functional trail shoe that is perfect for new runners, budget-conscious runners, any anyone looking to tackle moderate terrain
Rating Categories Nike Pegasus Trail... Hoka Torrent 3 - Wo... Altra Lone Peak 8 -... Salomon Speedcross... Brooks Divide 4 - W...
Foot Protection (25%)
5.0
7.0
7.0
9.0
6.5
Traction (20%)
6.0
8.0
7.0
9.0
7.0
Sensitivity (15%)
6.0
7.0
8.0
7.0
6.0
Stability (15%)
6.0
9.0
8.5
6.0
7.5
Comfort and Fit (15%)
5.0
8.0
9.0
6.0
7.0
Weight (10%)
8.0
8.0
5.3
5.8
7.4
Specs Nike Pegasus Trail... Hoka Torrent 3 - Wo... Altra Lone Peak 8 -... Salomon Speedcross... Brooks Divide 4 - W...
Sizes Available 5 - 12 US
regular
5 - 11 US
regular
5.5 - 12 US
regular and wide
5 - 11 US
regular and wide
5 - 12 US
regular
Measured Heel Stack Height 34 mm 26 mm 23 mm 34 mm 29 mm
Measured Heel-to-Toe Drop 10 mm 5 mm 0 mm 13 mm 8 mm
Rock Plate No No TPU Not disclosed No
Measured Lug Depth 3.5 mm 4 mm 3.2 mm 6 mm 3 mm
Measured Weight 7.55 oz 7.52 oz 8.14 oz 8.54 oz 7.82 oz
Upper Mesh Mesh Ripstop Mesh Textile/synthetic Mesh
Midsole Nike React Foam EVA Altra EGO Energy Cell+ DNA Loft
Outsole High-abrasion rubber Rubber MaxTrac Rubber TrailTack rubber
Heel Tab Type Finger loop None Finger loop None None

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Nike Pegasus Trail 4 is a trail version of a shoe best suited for the road. While lightweight and peppy, this shoe lacks the features we truly want for our long-distance workhorses. If your trail runs are short, quick, and followed up by lifting sessions at the gym, this version of the Pegasus Trail will probably be enough for you; but as long-distance friends, we desire more from our trail running shoes.

Performance Comparison


nike pegasus trail 4 for women - we don't love the pegasus trail, but it gets the job done when the...
We don't love the Pegasus Trail, but it gets the job done when the job in question is short and not very technical.
Credit: Ally Arcuri

Foot Protection


The Pegasus Trail 4 doesn't offer anywhere near the foot protection we are used to seeing on trail running shoes. Even if we take this shoe out of the comparison and assess it on its own, it still comes up short. The upper mesh is lightweight and fresh, but it allows sand and water to infiltrate easily. The whisper of a toecap is mildly protective but doesn't cover nearly enough to be considered a truly protective element. To be fair, the Pegasus is touted as a trail shoe for light trails, and it follows that you don't need quite as much protection in that kind of terrain. If that is what you'll be running in the Pegasus, you'll find it protective enough. If you want a shoe that won't fold when it gets sucker punched by a rogue rock, you'll need to look elsewhere.

nike pegasus trail 4 for women - the flexible and breathable upper doesn't provide very much...
The flexible and breathable upper doesn't provide very much protection at all.
Credit: Ally Arcuri


Traction


The lugs of the Pegasus Trail are spiky and sharp. They perform well on loose, sandy terrain because of their ability to bite into the soft earth. The lugs are smaller in diameter than some of our higher-scoring contenders and are more tightly spaced. This lug design almost feels like a cleat and is really functional on softer trails. The outsole is made of high-abrasion rubber, and the lugs hold up well on the roads. However, the grip doesn't translate as well as we would like on scree or more technical surfaces.

nike pegasus trail 4 for women - the bitey lugs beneath the pegasus trail are strong - provided...
The bitey lugs beneath the Pegasus Trail are strong - provided you're running a certain type of terrain.
Credit: Ally Arcuri

The outsole of the Pegasus holds damp sand more than we prefer. It's not the worst mud shed we've ever seen, but it is disappointing. Since this trail runner functions best on damp, loose dirt, we wish it could shed that type of earth more efficiently. Once the outsole is caked in damp sand and dirt, it becomes slippery on smooth surfaces.

nike pegasus trail 4 for women - the mud shed, or in this case, damp sand shed, disappointed us.
The mud shed, or in this case, damp sand shed, disappointed us.
Credit: Ally Arcuri

Sensitivity


Even with a 34.5mm stack height in the heel, the Pegasus Trail is adequately sensitive. Because it has a 10mm drop, the toe side of the shoe has significantly less material underfoot. This translates to good sensitivity in the forefoot, which allows you to be a bit more nimble on your feet. The platform doesn't have a rock plate but is made of durable and rigid rubber, which feels firm yet unimposing. We notice the lack of a rock plate, but in a way that lends itself to increased sensitivity.

nike pegasus trail 4 for women - the low forefoot of the pegasus makes it more sensitive than many of...
The low forefoot of the Pegasus makes it more sensitive than many of the more rugged trail shoes in our line up.
Credit: Ally Arcuri

Stability


For a 10mm drop shoe with very little lateral support, the Pegasus Trail 4, is more stable than we expected. Part of this stability comes from the narrower profile of the shoe as a whole. Because the Pegasus runs slightly skinnier than most other shoes we tested, the fit has inherent stability. Nike also utilizes their Flywire technology, which secures the midfoot of the shoe around your foot. This technology reduces the lateral movement of your foot within the shoe.

nike pegasus trail 4 for women - the pegasus is adequately stable because of nike's flywire design.
The Pegasus is adequately stable because of Nike's Flywire design.
Credit: Ally Arcuri

Comfort and Fit


The Pegasus Trail 4 has a narrow fit and a comfortable, lightweight upper. Nike does not manufacture a wide version, so if your feet are on the wider side, you most likely won't enjoy the feeling of the Pegasus on your feet. This is a minimalistic take on a trail shoe, meaning it doesn't have many features for added comfort. Due to the lack of cushioning and firm outsole, we don't recommend this shoe for long-distance runners who want comfort during extraordinarily long efforts. The stiffness of the outsole further confirms this opinion.

nike pegasus trail 4 for women - we grew to appreciate the minimalistic comfort of the pegasus on...
We grew to appreciate the minimalistic comfort of the Pegasus on short, forgiving trails.
Credit: Ally Arcuri

Because of its narrow fit and lack of cushioning, the Pegasus Trail scored just above average in this metric. We found the shoe comfortable right off the bat but felt heel slippage and rubbing as our testing miles added up. Due to the lack of lateral structure, it was tough to mitigate the heel slippage, leading to skin irritation. We continuously tried to tighten the laces and even fed them through the heel-lock eyelets. This did not stop the heel cup discomfort from occurring but did encourage us to tighten the upper to the point that it was too tight. We know that not every runner will share this experience and discomfort, but it is a notable reason why we wouldn't choose this trail runner as a mainstay in our arsenal.

nike pegasus trail 4 for women - the upper lacks cushion, but it isn't particularly uncomfortable.
The upper lacks cushion, but it isn't particularly uncomfortable.
Credit: Ally Arcuri

Weight


Each US size 6.5 Pegasus weighs in at 7.55 ounces, significantly less than some of the heavier shoes we've tested over the years. While this is an impressively low weight, it is to be expected because this shoe lacks protective features and has minimalistic cushioning for comfort.

nike pegasus trail 4 for women - here you can see how minimal the upper of the pegasus trail really is.
Here you can see how minimal the upper of the Pegasus Trail really is.
Credit: Ally Arcuri

Should You Buy the Nike Pegasus Trail 4?


If you want a shoe with a rigid platform that has traction but feels more like a weight-lifting shoe, then the Pegasus Trail is a great choice for you. If your feet are on the narrower side and your runs are short and moderately technical, this shoe will serve you well. In most other scenarios, this is not the trail runner we are jumping up and down to recommend. Its price is comparable to some of our highest-scoring shoes, so it is by no means a budget buy. If you are just getting into trail running and looking for your first pair of trail shoes, we recommend you keep looking.

nike pegasus trail 4 for women - while we were able to find enough comfort to enjoy our runs in this...
While we were able to find enough comfort to enjoy our runs in this shoe, it isn't one that we are likely to recommend to our friends and fellow runners.
Credit: Ally Arcuri

What Other Trail Running Shoes Should You Consider?


If you like a lot of the elements of the Pegasus Trail 4 but want it in a more trail-ready package, we whole-heartedly recommend the Salomon S/Lab Ultra 3. With a minimalistic design but significantly more protection, sensitivity, and comfort ratings, this is one of our favorite trail runners in the lineup. The Brooks Catamount 3 is another great option. The Catamount has a rather slender fit as well, but outscored the Pegasus Trail in every metric, making it a slightly more trail-ready shoe.

Ally Arcuri