When the first Nike Pegasus released in 1983, Ronald Reagan was president, future CEO Mark Parker was still climbing the ranks at the Swoosh, and a good portion of our readers weren't even born yet. Over three decades later the sneakers are still running, with the latest entry into the line, the Air Zoom Pegasus 33, debuting today. The series has succeeded over the years by focusing strictly on performance–acting something like the yin to the flashy yang of the more visibly striking Air Max line.
This is not a sneaker for your Instagram. Visually it's not particularly bold–save for the floral options available on NIKEiD and scattered graphic colorways. It doesn't seek to reinvent the wheel in the way that recent Nike runners like the LunarEpic Flyknit and the forthcoming Zoom All Out Flyknit do. The Pegasus approach in recent years has been more iterative, with the line evolving slightly annualy. As should be the case with a real runner, it's a shoe better felt than seen.
Nike's senior director of Running Footwear Bret Schoolmeester explained this process of tweaking the design rather than starting from scratch.
“This design was about fine-tuning the details of what makes this shoe great,” he said. “We knew the Pegasus already provided a smooth ride and a perfect fit, but we wanted to make it even more responsive. We obsessed over it.”
The new level of responsiveness is achieved via more Zoom cushioning on this edition, which is doubled up from the last go-round. Nike designers brought a new bag for the forefoot–one you can really feel bulging under the ball of your foot on first wear.
Other tech specs on the shoe include an engineered mesh upper, CushLon midsole, and waffle piston-equipped outsole.
Nike's attaching the Pegasus 33 to Mo Farah, an Olympic gold medalist and member of the brand's elite Oregon Project running group. Farah's been a face of the Pegasus line for a few years now (to the extent that Nike running shoes have pro athletes attached to them), and says he prefers the model's neutral ride.
The Nike Pegasus line has long since proven that it's here to stay, with a quiet legacy stretching from the debut 1983 version (designed by none other than Mark Parker) to the modern offerings (Still worn regularly by Nike co-founder and chairman Phil Knight). The Air Zoom Pegasus 33 might not populate your social media feeds like other Nikes, but it should find a spot in the rotation of runners looking for something snappy for logging mileage.