Hoka Clifton 9 VS Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 40: What Should I Buy?

If you’re a runner searching for your next reliable daily trainer, the Clifton 9 and Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 40 are two of the most popular options on the market right now. Both shoes provide cushioning and support for your daily runs, but they achieve it in different ways.

The Clifton 9 prides itself on maximum cushioning with its high-stack midsole, while the Pegasus 40 takes a more balanced approach.

To help you determine which shoe is the better choice for your needs, we’ll compare the key features, performance, and value of the Hoka Clifton 9 and Nike Pegasus 40. Read on to find out which of these daily trainers is right for you!

Similarities And Differences Between Hoka Clifton 9 And Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 40:

FeaturesClifton 9Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 40
Launched In20232023
StabilityNeutralNeutral
FlexibilityModerateModerate
SizingNarrowTrue to size
Weight8.8 oz (men’s), 7.6 oz (women’s)10.2 oz (men’s), 8.8 oz (women’s)
CushionHighModerate
OutsoleDurabrasion rubberRubber
MidsoleCMEVA foamNike React foam
UpperMeshMesh
Retail Price$145$130

Features Comparison:

By now we have seen the overview of both sneakers. Now we will see what both of them bring to the table in the features department to make your choice easier.

Materials

The Clifton 9 uses a lightweight mesh material on the upper to provide breathability.

The midsole is made from Hoka’s signature CMEVA foam which gives high energy return for a responsive feel. The outsole uses durable Durabrasion rubber in high-wear areas to resist abrasion.

Clifton 9
CLIFTON 9

Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 40
Pegasus 40

The Pegasus 40 also utilizes a breathable mesh upper and has a midsole made from Nike React foam which aims to deliver a smooth, stable ride.

The outsole is fully rubber for durability. The Pegasus relies on more traditional foam compared to Clifton’s unique CMEVA material.

Durability

In terms of durability, both shoes are well-constructed to withstand miles of use. The Clifton 9’s rubberized outsole provides great traction and resists wear and tear even after high mileage.

The Pegasus 40 is equally durable with its full-length rubber outsole and sturdy React midsole foam. Overall, both shoes are built to last and can go the distance as daily trainers.

Fit

The Clifton 9 runs quite narrow so it may not work well for runners with wider feet. The Pegasus 40 has a more accommodating fit that runs true to size for most foot shapes.

Clifton 9 Top View
CLIFTON 9 TOP VIEW

Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 40 TOP VIEW
PEGASUS 40 TOP VIEW

The Pegasus will work better for wide-footed runners who find the Clifton too snug. However, both shoes have an adjustable upper that secures the midfoot for a locked-in feel.

Stability

As neutral shoes, both models offer decent midfoot support but lack the hardcore stability technology found in motion-control shoes.

The Clifton 9’s high, compressed midsole foam and Meta-Rocker sole design give it impressive stability for a neutral shoe. The Pegasus 40 won’t correct severe overpronation but provides moderate stability during transitions and landings.

Cushioning

The Clifton 9 really shines when it comes to plush cushioning. The full-compression CMEVA midsole and rockered design soften impact extremely well, making the shoe ideal for recovery days and long distances.

The Pegasus 40 has decent cushioning but it runs firmer due to the React foam. Cushion-seekers will favor the Clifton but the Pegasus still absorbs shock reasonably well.

Value for Money

At the $145 price point, the Clifton 9 delivers exceptional value in a well-cushioned daily trainer. The Pegasus 40 costs $130 so it’s a bit more budget-friendly, but testers found the updates didn’t justify the price increase from the Pegasus 39.

Overall, the Clifton edges out the Pegasus slightly when it comes to value, but both are quality shoes at reasonable prices.

Performance Comparison:

We will now see which of these two Runners is better interms of their performance. Hopefully after reading this you’ll make an informed decision.

For Walking

The Clifton 9 is not ideal for everyday walking due to the rockered sole which is designed for fluid foot transitions during running. The curved shape causes some instability when walking at slower paces.

However, the Pegasus 40 performs well as a walking shoe thanks to its flatter platform. The Pegasus provides good shock absorption and comfort for all-day wear.

For Running

As expected, the Clifton 9 excels as an easy day running shoe thanks to its soft, bouncy cushioning. The meta-rocker midsole promotes smooth heel-to-toe transitions at slower paces.

The Pegasus 40 is more versatile as a daily trainer suitable for both easy and uptempo running. It offers a responsive, well-balanced ride for a variety of training needs.

For Plantar Fasciitis

The Clifton 9 works very well to relieve pain from plantar fasciitis thanks to its plush cushioning and rocker sole which reduce strain on the plantar fascia.

The Pegasus 40 can also aid plantar fasciitis with its adequate midsole cushioning, but the firmer React foam doesn’t absorb shock as well as the Clifton 9.

For Standing All Day

The Clifton 9 lacks the all-day support needed for extended standing due to the curved rocker shape. However, the Pegasus 40 performs admirably as a standing shoe since it has a stable, flat base with consistent underfoot cushioning to reduce fatigue.

The Pegasus 40 is a great choice for jobs that require long hours on your feet.

Final Verdict:

Overall, the Hoka Clifton 9 is the superior choice if you want a soft, ridiculously cushioned ride for recovery days and long distances. The curved rocker sole provides smooth transitions but compromises stability for walking or standing all day.


On the other hand, the Nike Pegasus 40 is an excellent well-rounded daily trainer suitable for most running needs. While not as plush as the Clifton 9, it offers a more versatile ride and better walking/standing support.

So, if you crave maximum cushioning for easy miles, go with the Clifton 9. But if you want an all-purpose trainer with a balanced ride, choose the Pegasus 40. Both are great options, just pick the features that align with your running style and goals!

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