- Solid lockdown
- Super breathable
- Great for longer distances
- Solid traction – can handle multiple different surfaces
- Stiff out-of-the box
- Tiny pebbles can get stuck in the tread
- Narrow fit for some people
The Pegasus line has a great reputation within the running community and the 34s continue that tradition. They are great running shoes for longer distances.
The Pegasus line are always among the best running shoes available and the Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 34 is no exception. It’s pretty crazy to think that the original Pegasus shoes debuted in 1983! That’s a long time ago! So they must be pretty darn good to last that long, right? Well, short answer – yes, they are pretty awesome. But what’s so special about the Pegasus 34?
First, let’s tackle what’s changed over the Pegasus 33s – the biggest change you’ll probably notice is to the upper. Nike went with an updated Flymesh material this year. It has larger ventilation holes, it’s softer and is just overall more breathable. I give Nike a big thumbs up on this change. The Pegasus 34s are also slightly lighter this year by about a half ounce. Honestly, I’m not sure you’ll even really notice the difference but it’s still worth mentioning for all you speed demons out there. Next, Nike changed the lacing system this year – on the 33s, the Flywire cables were kind of exposed but Nike decided to hide them a little better on this year’s version. I’m not really sure what prompted the change – I’m guessing it was durability concerns or maybe it was purely for aesthetic purposes – either way I like this year’s model better. Lastly, Nike added a reflective strip on the heel for all you night runners.
The midsole and outsole largely stayed the same on the 34s. You still have the same 10mm drop and the little air bubbles (hence the name) that sit under the heel and forefoot. So you can expect the same great bounce back and responsiveness that you are used to with the Pegasus line. The outsole still has the same pentagon shapes on the medial side and a crash pad along the lateral side of the foot. It worked with the Pegasus 33s so why change it? I think the traction is pretty darn good whether you’re on the track, road, treadmill or even more slippery surfaces. Lockdown is also solid with these shoes – that Flywire lacing system definitely does its job. I had no issues with my feet moving around the internal heel counter also does a good job of locking your heel in place.
As far as negatives, I’ve heard a lot of people complain that the 34s are too stiff out of the box. I somewhat agree but certainly not to the extent that some people are griping. After a few runs, they break-in quickly and I think they are pretty comfortable. I’ve also heard some people say the 34s fit a little too narrow. I personally didn’t have this issue but if your feet are a little on the wider side you may think about ordering up a half size, otherwise I’d say they fit true to size. Another negative is that tiny little pebbles can get stuck in the tread sometimes – not a huge concern but it can get a little annoying sometimes.
Overall, I’m a big fan of the 34s and the Pegasus line in general. There’s definitely a reason why they’ve been around so long. They have a tempting price point, they’re great for long distances, can handle multiple different surfaces and are super breathable. At the end of the day, you really can’t wrong with either the 34s or the 33s.