Nike is back with their trail version of their popular pegasus line with another great looking shoe. The upper was completely redone this year with reinforced mesh, improved heel, and a more stylish look. The sole unit remains the same.
It sits in the middle of Nike’s trail shoes. It is lighter than the Wildhorse, but not as fast as the Terra Kiger. It competes with the likes of Brooks Cascadia or Hoka’s Challenger.
The Pegasus Trail 3 is maximally cushioned
Not particularly stable
I was in love with the shoe right out of the box. I loved the way it looked and felt in my hands. It fit perfectly on the first go around and felt very smooth.. React foam is plush and stable and this works great both on road and on trail.
I was a fan of the Trail Pegasus 2’s and how it set itself apart from the road version of the Pegasus. I liked the improvement to the upper and how it gave me a better locked down fit.
While the upper was completely redone, the sole did not appear to be changed at all. I knew these would work great on packed down dirt and gravel but it would not be able to zone out on trails that had any sort of debris on them. Anything with roots, rocks, or stream crossing had me staring at the ground and making sure I could stay in control. If it was remotely wet I was second guessing wearing these.
Thankfully the midsole is quite thick. While I had to be hyper aware to stay in control, it at least stayed comfortable when I was going over rocky terrain.
The generous amount of react foam makes it comfortable when trotting on rocks. The toebox has a bumper that extends from the outsole with a rubber pattern on top of the mesh.
This shoe worked great on packed dirt trails with minimal roots and rocks. It was durable enough for me to take it on longer distances without sacrificing comfort. After 50 miles there was barely signs of wear.
Unfortunately, the state park I run trails on is far from “ideal” conditions: roots and rocks galore in a river valley. This translates into lots of muddy sections and stream crossings. I really had to make a conscious effort when I was running through wet conditions. The outsole traction is just not great on anything that is remotely muddy or wet. Thankfully the upper breathes great and dried quickly when it did get wet.
I wouldn’t say this is the fastest shoe I’ve ever ran in, but the react midsole compound makes it feel faster than it feels in your hands. On a good day, the shoe absorbed impact eloquently and allowed me to lift off with ease.
Flat grade was best, but it still allowed me to take on hills as long as it was a dry day. I found my cadence shot way up out of fear of slipping after any inclement weather.
Would I wear this on a fast course? Definitely; best believe I will be checking the weather before I do though.
This is probably one of the most comfortable running shoes I have owned; road or trail. The upper gives a ‘just right’ fit. It is a tad bottom heavy, but it’s not noticeable while running.
The gusseted tongue and lacing system allowed for no hot spots or discomfort. The heel locked down great, and there is a decent amount of space in the toe box.
Buy size smaller
Buy size bigger
This is a shoe that continues to get better every year and I can’t recommend it enough. I truly enjoyed running trails in these. When I would jump onto pavement in-between trail sections, it didn’t feel awkward like some trail shoes do. Nike continues to improve their trail line every year and this is no different.
I was disappointed to see there were no changes to the outsole and I hope this is fixed in the next version. I really, really hope the traction gets better next year because this was a big issue for me. I almost feel like my trail running cadence improved with these because I was so conscious about not falling.
Would I consider the traction issues a show stopper? Definitely not. Since road to trail shoes have such well rounded profiles, it’s going to be by design that they will fall short in certain areas. Don’t let it stop you from enjoying this shoe.