The Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 39 is one of Nike’s most popular running shoes and has been a staple in their lineup for almost 40 years now. With each iteration, Nike aims to improve upon the previous model – making changes and updates based on the latest technology and user feedback.

So how good are the Nike Pegasus 39s specifically for running? Let’s take a deeper look.

Key Features of the Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 39

Before determining if they are good for running, we first need to understand some of the key features Nike packed into the Pegasus 39:

  • Zoom Air Units in the forefoot – These air pockets compress and expand to provide responsive cushioning. Having them in the forefoot gives you more bounce and energy return with each stride.
  • React foam midsole – This lightweight foam is both cushioned and responsive. It provides a smooth heel-to-toe transition.
  • Fit – The Pegasus 39 has a roomier fit, especially in the toe box area compared to previous versions. This gives your toes more room to splay out during runs.
  • Weight – At 9.2oz for a men’s size 10, the Pegasus 39 is slightly heavier than the 38’s due to added cushioning. But it remains lightweight enough for faster paces.
  • Durability – The React foam and rubber outsole hold up well over miles of use without breaking down. Reviewers can easily get 300+ miles out of their shoes.

How The Pegasus 39 Performed for Running

Now that we know some of its key components, let’s review actual running tester feedback after taking the shoe out on roads, tracks, trails etc.


Many runners commented on how the additional React cushioning provided a softer feel underfoot without feeling too squishy. The foam compresses nicely to absorb impact while providing good energy return while toe-ing off.

The Zoom Air units offer a responsive, snappy feel that works well upfront to complement the softer React foam in the mid and rearfoot. Together they provide the right balance of cushioning.


The roomier, more relaxed fit works well to provide all-day comfort for a majority of wearers. Most feet should feel relaxed in the shoes even at wider widths.

The partial bootie construction in the midfoot helps lock things down securely while offering some stretch for accommodating different foot volumes.

While the upper mesh looks thick, reviewers didn’t feel it was overly warm, indicating decent breathability. For warmer weather, the Pegasus 39 should work well for high mileage.


With its blend of cushioning and moderate weight, the Pegasus 39 works as a versatile daily trainer. You can take it for everything from shorter, quicker runs to longer miles and it handles a variety of paces well.

Most runners found the shoes suitable for races from 5Ks up to marathons. The React foam and Zoom Air pocket also provide enough snap for some speedwork days.

The Pegasus also works fine for easier trails, light gravel or dirt paths without much technical terrain. The outsole provides decent grip and traction.


This continues to be one of the Pegasus line’s strengths – durable enough to go the distance over hundreds of miles. Most testers experienced no premature wear or breakdown even after 300-500 miles.

The React foam holds its compression well over time and the high abrasion rubber outsole doesn’t quickly lose lugs or traction.

Potential Drawbacks

No shoe is perfect and testers did have some potential complaints about the Pegasus 39:

  • Heel slippage – Some wearers, especially those with narrower heels/ankles found there was too much room in the heel causing slippage. This led to irritation over longer distances.
  • Snug toe box – While the forefoot was widened, a few runners with wider feet still found it too narrow.
  • Thick tongue – The extra padded tongue created pressure points across the foot for some after longer miles.
  • Unstable landings – A handful of wearers felt disconnected or unstable at slower paces, indicating the Pegasus favors faster turnover runs.

So Are the Nike Pegasus 39 Good for Running?

Considering the overwhelmingly positive cushioning, comfort, versatility and durability – yes, the Pegasus 39 is an excellent running shoe!

It offers the trademark soft, responsive ride the series is known for while being more durable than previous versions. The changes to the upper improve comfort and breathability as well.

For neutral runners doing daily miles, long runs, races and wanting 1 shoe to tackle a variety of paces and distances, the Pegasus 39 is easy to recommend as a high-mileage workhorse.

Similar Running Shoe Comparisons

How does the Pegasus 39 stack up against some other popular neutral trainers?

Nike Pegasus 39 vs Nike Pegasus 38

The Pegasus 38 was firmer with more road feel from its React midsole and had a narrower fit. While still good for running, the 39 has better cushioning and upper comfort making it more enjoyable for long miles.

Nike Pegasus 39 vs Brooks Ghost 14

These neutral shoes have good cushioning but the Ghost feels softer from its DNA Loft v3 foam while the forefoot Zoom Air units give the Pegasus more pop. The Ghost 14 fits snug while the Pegasus has more room. Both work for versatile daily training.

Nike Pegasus 39 vs Hoka Mach 4

The Mach 4 has a more “marshmallowy soft” ride, especially at the heel while still being responsive. The low drop and rocker geometry makes it smoother for transitioning but initially unstable for some. It favors midfoot strikers. The Pegasus has a more traditional feel underfoot.

Nike Pegasus 39 vs Saucony Ride 15

These have broad appeal as daily trainers with cushion that works for long miles. The Ride 15 has a firmer compression foam midsole while feeling more dynamic upfront. The upper fits more securely on the Ride versus the roomier Pegasus.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where is the Nike Pegasus 39 made?

Nike manufactures the latest Pegasus lineup in Vietnam, Indonesia and China depending on sizing.

What type of runner is the Pegasus 39 best for?

With its blend of soft cushioning and responsiveness, the Pegasus 39 works best for neutral runners wanting a well-balanced and versatile shoe for daily miles, long runs and races.

Is the Pegasus good for walking?

Yes! While designed primarily as a running shoe, the Zoom Air unit and React foam provide comfortable cushioning during long walks. The flexibility also helps make it a great fitness walking shoe.

Is the Pegasus better than the Vaporfly?

The Vaporfly is a racing shoe built for speed and PRs while the Pegasus is meant for training. The Vaporfly gives a bouncier, propulsive feel best for faster paces and races up to the marathon. The Pegasus offers more versatility for daily miles.

Is the Pegasus 39 true to size?

Yes, most wearers found the Pegasus 39 fits true to size. However, the stretched forefoot and heel counter results in extra room. So those with narrower feet may want to size down half.

In Closing

The Nike Air Zoom Pegasus has been a staple neutral trainer for decades. The Pegasus 39 continues improving upon the line with a more cushioned and comfortable feel over high mileage. For runners wanting a reliable daily partner, the Pegasus 39 delivers versatile, durable performance.

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