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Shoe Review: Nike Zoom Pegasus 31

July 18th, 2014

The Pegasus series has become a favorite of many runners over the years and the legacy continues with the recent release of the Zoom Pegasus 31. (Check out RW’s first look at the Pegasus 31 from May here.) The Pegasus is traditionally known to be a neutral daily trainer suitable for long distances, but in an effort to make the shoe better, the 31st edition gets revamped with a faster road feel.  To help fine-tune this “fast feel,” the Nike development team received technical suggestions from the 5000m and 10000m Olympic Gold Medalist Mo Farah resulting in a firmer ride built for performance.

Overview:

Nike lowered the heel drop to 10mm, 2mm lower than its predecessor, to engineer the quicker design.  The lowered drop, while not massive, can be a factor in promoting more of a mid-to-forefoot strike while running.  Another significant update is seen in the addition of a slightly elevated forefoot, resulting in a smoother and quicker transition of the foot during forward propulsion. Through research, analysis, and feedback from wear testers, who logged over 16000 miles, the new quick and responsive Zoom Pegasus 31 was born.

Technical Details:

We see significant updates in the Pegasus 31, most notably on the outsole with the addition of the lateral rubber crash rail system. This system is composed of two strips of rubber divided by a flex groove to help create a wider footprint that stabilizes your foot from impact phase to toe off.

Rails guide foot from impact through toe-off for a quick turn-over

The new crash rail is very similar to the lateral beveled edge seen in the Mizuno Wave Rider 17, which provides a smooth ride with a feel of lessened impact. Both shoes are slightly firmer but still provide a cushioned feel.

Mizuno Rider 17 lateral beveled edge

The soft and cushioned feel has always been a key component to the Pegasus line, and while the 31 is slightly firmer, we still notice a cushioned sensation due to the full length cushlon foam that works with the Nike Zoom Air unit in the heel. Zoom Air is a pressurized system with thousands of fibers that compress and absorb energy upon impact but release and shoot out on toe off to create a responsive snappy feel. In this update, the Zoom unit is brought even closer to the foot for enhanced heel protection while running on the hard roads.  While there is a lack of cushioning in the forefoot due to the absence of Zoom Air, the more minimal feel along with vertical flex grooves helps enhance forefoot flexibility.

Wear Tester Findings:

  • Fit wise, the Pegasus seemed to have a snug fit. The bonded overlays helped create a sock like feel without being overly restrictive.
  • The new engineered mesh upper with fewer layers helped reduce weight and made the shoe feel faster.  While weight was only reduced by 0.2 oz, the shoe felt fast enough to do quick track intervals while still having enough cushion to be worn over the marathon distance.
  • The Zoom Air unit brought closer to the heel helped testers feel more protected on the roads and gave the shoe a smoother experience.
  • Lateral Rubber Crash Rail System gave testers an increased sense of stability over previous Pegasus models. The crash rails provided a more fluid feel with lessened impact.

From generation to generation, the Pegasus has continued to innovate and create faithful followers. Whether you’re a loyal follower or new to the series, the responsive Nike Zoom Pegasus 31 ride is sure to continue the Pegasus legacy.

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