Aesthetics aside, I have been trying to like a Nike running shoe for years. In the past, Nike running shoes have always felt very narrow for my size 13s, just way too tight to comfortably run in over long distances. To be fair, I have a hard time finding a comfortable running shoe that fits properly, period. When the average male sample size is a US 9, you never really get a performance product meant for a size 13. When I do find a fit I like (usually in day-glo puke or “Im a dork” pink and white ) I tend to grab as many pairs as possible, running each into the ground. I am not the type to care about hype or trend, I really just want something functional and minimal that works for me and will last for a couple hundred miles…and that doesn’t look like absolute rainbow vomit. This is my motivation when shopping for a running shoe.
When the Vaporfly 4% came out, a few of my friends (who are also all judgmental assholes about functionality) told me that they were big fans. One said it’s like being a kid again, like getting back that spring in your step..lol. These guys, who hate everything perceived as “cool” by the fuck bois and hype beasts, were also singing the praises of this shoe. I thought if they like it, it must be good..and it was. I got a hold of a pair and dropped some of my fastest runs ever. I was having so much fun, I blasted three thirteen-mile threshold runs in the first 3 days I had them (not smart). If the adi zero adios boost was my Volvo, the 4% were my Ferrari, that gorgeous aggressive toy you break out on Sundays (or race days) and just flex the shit out of..I was abusing the fuck out of them right off the bat.
Buuuut….what fun is a shoe you can’t have? These things are $275 (not a big deal but alriiiight), good for 75mi (what is that, like a week, week and a half?) and they sell out before you even know they were restocked. Fucking brilliant marketing and great product execution. Even fully aware of all the hype and bullshit around them, I will still grab as many as I can whenever I come across them. Just because they are so much fun to rip in and they absolutely make me run faster.
So now what? Am I destined to grind the boring reliable Volvos for life? I didn’t even know the Pegasus Turbo were coming out, or what they were in the first place..I’m so detached. I saw a post of some influencer activation the other day, the next thing I know a friend is sending me a pair via messenger from Nike HQ in mid-town (thanks). Awesome, I love testing new stuff, I product tested while consulting for adi for about 5 years, I also come from a 10-year architectural background so anything that has to do with design critique is my shit. I love picking things apart and coming up with better solutions, “better” meaning better for me and the way I (we) run, and where. I got them yesterday, and today was my first run. One run is by no means a basis for a full review, but what follows has been my impression so far.
I am training for the NYC Marathon. I am fortunate to have the winner of this year’s OSR30 (also an amazing personal trainer) Travis Hawkins, taking me under his wing. This is what he does for a living, and he is very good at it. I am about a month in and so far so good…amazing actually. Running faster than ever and feeling strong. This is my first time attempting to train for NYC, to be prepared for the grueling 26.2 on my home turf. I have jumped into NYC kind of last minute twice, and as a result of no training, had lack-luster performances. I am excited to prepare and crush this year. Today’s workout was a 10min warm up, the main set was 5 reps of: 4min at V02 max, followed by 2 min recovery..followed by a 5min cool down. Typically I would be in my tattered and destroyed adi zeros, that probably have 350 miles on them, but today..something new.
You can look up all the technical bullshit on 100 websites so I will cut to the chase and discuss my impressions. Slipping on the Pegasus Turbo they felt very accommodating to my large, flipper-like feet. The toe box was roomy but not oversized and the foot bed allowed full expansion of my footprint on impact. The shoe was snug (not tight) in all the right places, providing support and confidence that the shoe would be under my feet when striking the pavement, or when taking a sharp pivot. I tied them to be fitted in a standing, push-off position and hoped this would serve me well. How tight I tie my running sneakers depends on how much stretch there is in the material of a shoe’s upper and how much tensile play there is in the shoelace. Too tight and you get that pinch on the bridge of the foot from the laces cutting in, too loose and you sacrifice lateral stability, confidence and control of the shoe on impact and push-off. Mis-tying resulting in the need to stop, and re-tie the shoes – that is a major tragedy during the course of any run. My tying method proved to be correct and the shoe stayed perfectly in place throughout the run. Traction on dry ground was predictable, and overall the shoe gripped as expected on various surfaces. Nothing worse than a slippery running shoe, I am very curious to see how they perform in the rain on the many textures this city has to offer a runner. This shoe is very light, and breathability in motion was great.
Once tied up and ready to go I could feel that the construction of the shoe was not as rigid as the adi zero, it’s upper was more flexible in all directions and the sole’s suspension provided some shock absorption without a total loss of energy return. I don’t want to say it felt like an ultra boost, because it was more rigid than that, but not quite as responsive as the adi zeros. The Pegasus Turbo was a really nice ride though, streamlined enough to be fast without feeling bulky or heavy, but soft enough to hammer in over and over without absorbing too much impact in those little foot bones. The foam is supposed to be the star of the show, and I would agree that it was. Upon impact and push-off there is an efficiency in energy return to the body. There is very little energy being lost into the ground, so when you’re moving full tilt, with max cadence, your hips staying level, the shoe carries your momentum as you kick. You can feel it as you ease into pace and carry on for miles, like you just pedaled hard on a bike and are now coasting. This was a pleasant surprise as the previous iterations of the Pegasus are way too mushy to be taken seriously as a daily grinder of serious weekly miles of any real speed or distance.
I really like how they look, aggressive, sleek, minimal, mostly (ok not really) all black. At least there is no neon puke, or pink flowery crap. Many little details that scream speed, efficiency, future, evolution.
People asked me to tell them how they feel after I posted a photo of them yesterday, they feel fucking good. I don’t get paid to tell you this, I honestly don’t give a shit about product. This shoe is a relief, something new that seems to accommodate my grind. Something that looks good and has the bite to go with the bark. At this point I recommend getting a pair to workout in, oh wait, how much are they? Whatever it is, the next best thing, which is pretty good too, may only save you 20 bucks, but they certainly won’t look as cool. I am looking forward to seeing how they hold up over 400 miles, only one way to find out. I will follow up after the next 100 miles to update.