Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 39 VS Hoka Mach 5: What Should I Buy?

Looking for a new pair of running shoes? The Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 39 and Hoka Mach 5 are two of the most popular options on the market in 2023. Both shoes offer responsive cushioning, breathable uppers, and excellent traction – but which one is the better choice for your running needs? Read on for a detailed comparison of these two great shoes.

Similarities And Differences Between Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 39 And Hoka Mach 5:

FeaturesPegasus 39Hoka Mach 5
Launched In20222022
StabilityNeutralNeutral
FlexibilityGoodGood
SizingMen’s 7-13, Women’s 5.5-12Men’s 7-13, Women’s 5.5-12
Weight10.4 oz (men’s), 9.2 oz (women’s)8.5 oz (men’s), 7.5 oz (women’s)
CushionNike React foam, Zoom Air unitsProFly foam
OutsoleDurable rubber with waffle patternRubber with waffle pattern
MidsoleNike React foamProFly foam
UpperEngineered meshEngineered mesh
Retail Price$130$140

Features Comparison:

Materials

The Nike Pegasus 39 uses a durable rubber outsole with a waffle pattern for traction. The midsole features Nike’s responsive React foam along with Zoom Air units in the forefoot for energy return. The engineered mesh upper provides a breathable and supportive fit. The Pegasus 39 upper has been updated from the previous version to be more breathable and flexible.

Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 39
PEGASUS 39

Hoka Mach 5
MACH 5

The Hoka Mach 5 also utilizes a rubber outsole in a waffle pattern. The midsole is made from Hoka’s lightweight and responsive ProFly foam. Like the Pegasus, the Mach 5 has an engineered mesh upper for breathability and support.

The Mach 5’s upper was also redesigned from the previous model to improve fit and comfort. Both shoes use high-quality materials for excellent cushioning and energy return.

Durability

The Pegasus 39 is known as a very durable shoe that can handle high mileage without breaking down. The rubber outsole holds up well over time, and the React foam midsole maintains its responsive properties even after many miles. The upper also remains intact even with regular use. Many runners get over 500 miles out of the Pegasus before considering retirement.

The Mach 5 unfortunately does not have the same reputation for durability, specifically in the outsole. Several reviews mention the rubber wearing down quickly, sometimes with as little as 100 miles.

The foam midsole remains resilient for longer, but the outsole appears to be the weak point in the Mach 5’s durability. The upper does hold up well over time. So runners looking for a highly durable shoe may want to lean towards the Pegasus.

Fit

The Nike Pegasus 39 runs true to size for most runners. The engineered mesh upper provides a comfortable, sock-like fit with ample room in the toe box for natural toe splay while running. The midfoot area offers a secure lockdown.

The Pegasus is available in a wide range of men’s and women’s sizes, making it accessible for many foot shapes. Some reviewers note the fit is slightly wider than previous versions.

Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 39 TOP VIEW
PEGASUS 39 TOP VIEW

Mach 5 Top View
MACH 5 TOP VIEW

The Hoka Mach 5 fits similarly to the Pegasus, with a comfortable upper and accurate sizing. The engineered mesh allows for good ventilation and flexibility. The midfoot has adequate support while not being overly snug.

The toe box enables natural toe splay during the running motion. Hoka shoes tend to fit those with narrow to average-width feet best. Overall, both shoes have excellent fit for a variety of foot types.

Stability

As neutral running shoes, neither the Nike Pegasus 39 nor the Hoka Mach 5 are designed to specifically correct overpronation. However, they both offer decent inherent stability for neutral runners through their midsole cushioning and upper lockdown.

The Pegasus provides a good balance of cushioning and responsiveness to keep runners steady and upright during transitions. The midfoot bands also promote some mild arch support and stability.

Likewise, the Mach 5’s ProFly foam midsole absorbs shock while keeping the foot stable on impact. The snugger-engineered mesh upper also lends stability by securing the foot over the platform. If you need correction for overpronation, you may want to look into stability or motion-control shoes instead.

Cushioning

The Nike Pegasus 39 uses the React foam midsole and Zoom Air units in the forefoot to provide a soft and responsive ride. The foam is on the firmer side of Nike cushions for a propulsive toe-off, while the Zoom Air pods offer more plush, bouncy cushioning on impact. The 10mm drop also promotes smooth transitions. Overall, the Pegasus provides an excellent balance of softness and energy return.

The Mach 5 features a softer ride than the Pegasus thanks to the new ProFly midsole. Reviewers describe the foam as supremely lightweight and cushioned without feeling mushy or slow. The lower 5mm drop also encourages a more natural foot strike.

While the Pegasus may edge out the Mach 5 in terms of energy return, the Mach appears to have an overall softer and bouncier cushion. If you want maximum plushness, the Mach 5 may have an advantage.

Value

At the $130 retail price, the Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 39 is considered a good value for a daily trainer from a major brand like Nike. The durable outsole, responsive React foam midsole, breathable upper, and overall versatile performance make it a reliable choice for runners looking for an everyday shoe. Plus Nike frequently offers sales bringing the price down closer to $100.

The Hoka Mach 5 comes with a higher $140 price tag. The lightweight feel, plush ProFly midsole, and improved upper do help justify the higher cost. However, when considering that durability concerns may lead to a shorter lifespan, the value proposition of the Mach 5 becomes more questionable. Runners prioritizing low weight and soft cushioning may find the Mach 5 worth the investment, but the Pegasus likely gives more mileage per dollar spent.

Performance Comparison

For Walking

The Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 39 and the Hoka Mach 5 both perform well for walking shoe needs. The cushioning and support they provide translate well from running to walking. The Pegasus offers excellent shock absorption and energy return to put a pep in your step mile after mile.

Similarly, the Mach 5’s plush cushioning helps keep you comfortable when wearing them for extended periods of walking. The breathable uppers also help keep your feet cool when walking on warm days. For medium to high-mileage walking, you can rely on either shoe.

For Running

As daily trainers designed for logging miles, both the Pegasus 39 and Mach 5 handle a wide variety of running needs. The Pegasus provides a durable and stable platform that excels at daily runs at moderate paces. The React foam gives good energy return for an efficient stride while the Zoom Air units provide responsive bounce.

The Pegasus can also handle uptempo runs like tempo runs or fartleks. However, some runners may prefer a snappier shoe for faster paces. The Mach 5 is similarly built to handle everything from easy jogs to marathon training runs.

The soft ProFly foam gives it more bounce for a livelier turnover on quicker runs. Its lightweight build also suits faster running. For most running needs, you can count on either shoe. But the Pegasus leans more towards daily mileage while the Mach 5 excels for speedwork.

For Plantar Fasciitis

The plush cushioning of the Mach 5 makes it a great option for combating plantar fasciitis pain. The soft ProFly foam midsole absorbs impact to take stress off the plantar fascia tissue. The low 5mm drop also encourages a more natural foot strike to minimize strain.

While the Pegasus 39 is also cushioned, its React foam is on the firmer side. For severe plantar fasciitis, that may not provide enough shock absorption. So the Mach 5 gets the clear edge for targeted plantar fasciitis relief due to its ultra-soft foam.

For Standing All Day

With their well-cushioned midsoles and breathable uppers, both the Nike Pegasus 39 and Hoka Mach 5 can relieve foot pain associated with standing all day. However, the Mach 5’s softer ProFly foam likely gets a slight advantage for providing comfort over extended periods on your feet.

But the Pegasus has the more durable outsole to handle wear and tear from all-day standing better. So while the Mach 5 cushions a bit better, the Pegasus offers long-lasting support – making both shoes good options for occupational standing needs.

Final Verdict

In the end, the choice between the reliable Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 39 and the cushier Hoka Mach 5 depends on your priorities. If you want durable daily mileage with moderate cushioning, go with the Pegasus.


But if you crave softness for recovery runs or plantar fasciitis relief, choose Mach 5. Weight-conscious runners who don’t mind replacing shoes more often will also prefer the lighter Mach 5.

You can’t go wrong with either shoe, but be sure to consider your individual needs to pick the better option.

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