If you’re new to trail running or simply aren’t sure of your style, finding the right pair of trail shoes can feel like discovering that elusive needle in a haystack. In reality, what you may need until you discover your patterns is a great crossover shoe. Crossovers are light-duty trail running shoes that can work on tough terrain or on the pavement. The Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 36 Trail is one of the best crossover trail running shoes on the market today. With trail-specific lugs and a handy fortified toe bumper, this is a shoe that offers a comfortable fit whether on the trail or taking a walk around the neighborhood.
Aggressive Traction for a Crossover Shoe
We like to describe the Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 36 trail as a crossover shoe because, in many ways, that’s exactly what this shoe is. With that said, you’d never know this is a crossover by simply looking at the aggressive traction provided on the outsole. Still, the lug pattern is not quite as profound as what you’d find on a mountain running shoe. The rugs are 3mm deep and sit displayed in a variety of multi-directional patterns on the heel and forefoot. This helps the shoes to provide a good deal of bite. Nike seemed to have thought of everything because they even pre-rounded off the edges to increase the shoe’s overall durability. On the outer edge of each foot, you’ll find even deeper lugs for an even greater grip benefit.
Dampened Impact with Ample Foot Protection
Any trail runner (new or experienced) is going to crave some degree of foot protection. What Nike provides with the Air Zoom Pegasus 36 trail is more than adequate, but it is far from being the most proactive on the market today. There is a nice 28mm of thick EVA foam cushioning in the heel, with those iconic Nike Air Pockets interspersed within. We found that the shoes do an excellent job of moderating any deep impact when sharp rocks or roots were encountered on the trail. With that said, some sensation will come through, which may be ideal for runners who enjoy a higher sensitivity. The Pegasus 36 Trail offers up balanced protection and just the right amount of sensitivity without compromising that beloved Nike rebound with each step.
Comfortable Trail Shoes for Any Terrain
If there is one thing Nike has always been known for it is crafting comfortable shoes. Their Air Zoom Pegasus 36 trail option is far from the exception. These are a profoundly comfortable pair of shoes. Aside from the classic Nike cushioning, this is a trail shoe that fits true-to-size. They are neither too narrow nor too wide, meaning that any foot shape can enjoy a cradled run with stability. Unlike some trail options, the upper is not robustly padded, meaning the shoe can hug your foot without feeling constricting. There is also minimal padding near the ankle and on the Achilles tendon, which provides just the right amount of support and comfort without any rub. The mesh uppers breathe well, allowing for feet to stay cool and comfortable even on very hot days. In our opinion, the only true downside of the shoe is that they do not perform as well in water as other trail varieties.
Overall, this is a great crossover trail shoe with ample traction, foot protection, and comfort. These offer up a stable and balanced run on most types of terrain, without feeling limited in their capacity.