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Nike Zoom Pegasus Turbo 2 Performance Review

The Nike Zoom Pegasus Turbo 2 is now available. Last year, the 1st edition of the Pegasus Turbo won a ton of dedicated fans. Is the follow up worth your $180?

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Super light shoes that can handle long distances are now a trend in the performance running category. Another example is the Reebok FloatRide Run Fast. These type of shoes are aimed at track/speed workouts and race days.

Last year, with the introduction of ZoomX in the Nike Zoom VaporFly 4%, Nike was able to shed a lot of weight and not compromise on cushion. The Nike Pegasus Turbo brought ZoomX, Nike’s lightest foam, to everyday training and the Nike Zoom Pegasus Turbo 2 continues the tradition. We were able to test both the male and female models of the Pegasus Turbo 2. We ran a bunch of miles in them, relaced them, had conversations with other runners that use them, and even bled in them. So enjoy this one, cause we worked hard for it:

Jodi: This was my first experience with ZoomX foam and I gotta say, I like it. It makes for a fast and responsive shoe. When I go for a run, yes I have my watch tracking me because I enjoy collecting the data, but I don’t ever do speed training. I know my typical average pace, so I just pick a distance and head out. Time and time again, the Zoom Pegasus Turbo 2 surprised me when I got back to my house. Each time, my brain exclaimed “yo girl that time was fast.” Some might call this a placebo effect, but in all honesty, I run because it’s a way of life for me. I love it and I do everything possible not to feel bogged down by it (which means I avoid speed work). So to see my times decrease naturally was really interesting. One note of caution though. The cushion gets very thin towards the toe area and any rogue rocks I encountered hurt like a mother.

Drew: The Pegasus Turbo 2 is so light that I didn’t expect the cushion to be this good. In hand, it doesn’t feel as substantial as everyday runners like the Salming Greyhound. But the cushion on the Turbo 2 works well. Several times, I ran 7+ miles in them and felt great the next day. While the cushion seems to scream “race day only,” the ZoomX is good enough for it to be used as an everyday runner. The only complaint I had was that the ZoomX doesn’t rebound as fast as other foams. The cushion needs a solid 48 hours recovery time before you can run in the shoes again. It’s generally recommended you use all foam cushioning systems every other day to assure the foam completely rebounds. With a lot of sneakers you can fudge a bit on that advice. With the Pegasus Turbo 2, I’d recommend that as a rule.

Jodi: For anyone who follows the WearTesters Instagram account, you already know, these are the shoes that made me bleed my own blood. I had plenty of people, including my own dad, make jokes about how grippy the traction must be. The traction IS solid, but it is in no way to blame for my inability to avoid a sandbag left in the middle of a sidewalk. Accidents happen right?

The traction is actually pretty interesting. Its a ton of mini pentagons all over the outsole, but only made out of rubber on the forefoot and heel. All the rest is left as foam, which cuts down on the weight. I ran on every surface I could find around my neighborhood and running trails, wet and dry, and never worried about slipping.

Drew: Who leaves a sandbag in the middle of a sidewalk? My conspiracy detector is beeping like crazy right now. Is another sneaker blog gunning for the WearTesters team? Hhmm. What was I doing? Oh, review. Where was I, yes, traction. Jodi pretty much said it all in regards to the traction’s performance. The only comment I have to add is about durability. I’m really grinding down the mini pentagons on the outsole and I don’t have confidence the outsole will make it to 300 miles on asphalt. Keep that in mind if the majority of your running is on roads or streets. I’ll probably keep these off to the side for races and rubber track speed workouts to preserve their lifespan.

Jodi: I feel the lockdown for this particular shoe is very interesting. It literally has double the amount of eyelets then any of my other current runners have. This is a shoe that does not want to give you up. Because of my foot shape, I didn’t utilize those extra eyelets and I noticed some heel slippage at the start of my runs, but it quickly became something I didn’t notice anymore. There is an internal heel counter and mini heel pillows built in to help out.

Drew: The lofted mesh upper features no flywire like last year’s model but the sidewalls are still surprisingly stiff. Maybe it was the double lace loop structure but I felt secure on top of the midsole. The TPU heel counter is hidden but super stiff. Your heel isn’t going anywhere. A shoe this light rarely if ever packs this much support. I really like what the design team did.

Jodi: The upper is made up of two very breathable layers of engineered mesh with a super stretchy tongue. And thanks to my lovely concrete swan dive I can tell you that it’s all super durable. The only part on my shoe that experienced any damage was the collar lining that ripped when I fell. There’s plastic underneath the eye stays to prevent ripping when tugging on the laces.

Drew: The collar feels a little cheap but the rest of the materials on the Pegasus Turbo 2 are what you’d expect on a runner that’s trying to be as light as possible. The thin, stretchy tongue is a premium touch. The lofted mesh and synthetic upper is light and airy but super strong. It’s minimal but your get materials commensurate with the type of shoe.

Jodi: Speaking of laces, I do not love them. For one, thanks to my wide, high arched feet, I needed to re-lace the shoes after my initial try on. They have double holes down both sides of the shoes, and when Nike sent them out all of the holes were being utilized. I decided to use only the inner holes so that I could have a little more wiggle room when it came to tying and then double knotting my laces. The lace holes are very sturdy and shaped in such a way that you can’t just rip the laces out. It’s a bit time consuming to lace them up. Once I finished the relace, I realized the laces do NOT stretch. So even if you double knot them, if they aren’t perfectly taught, there is a chance they’ll come loose. Even then, because they don’t stretch there can be some discomfort if you don’t tie them just right. Writing all that out has me sounding very much like Goldilocks (of Three Bears fame). My apologies. But if you’re a runner, you know. Anything that is mildly irritating at the beginning of a run becomes 10x more so as the run continues.

Drew: Jodi and I had different fit issues. For Jodi’s issue, WearTesters Instagram follower Ben Johnson came to the same conclusion as her and relaced them while completely switching the laces to avoid having excess lace. The laces worked well enough for me in the initial configuration but the tongue kept sliding to the side (despite a mid-tongue lace stay). This is something that frustrates me and often causes me to kick shoes to the curb. Luckily, the Pegasus Turbo design team included a couple lace holes on the outside of the mid tongue that line up with the lace design. I undertook the painstaking relacing process and used one of those holes on the edge of the tongue. After that, no tongue slippage! It did cramp the stretchiness of the tongue a bit but it was worth it.

My biggest complaint in fit was the collar. Compared to the original Pegasus Turbo’s sculpted and padded collar, the Turbo 2 isn’t in the same league. While the collar features an elongated ankle pillow on each side of the foot (which were much appreciated), the overall collar was stiff and unforgiving. Wearing no shows with the Pegasus Turbo 2 is a no go. You’ll need running socks with a heel tab to avoid blisters. Overall, I loved the forefoot and midfoot fit once the tongue slippage issue was fixed. It’s too bad the collar couldn’t quite complete the triple crown.

Jodi: Given my very rocky start with the Nike Zoom Pegasus Turbo 2 I have to say I think it’s a fantastic runner. It’s an easy go to whether doing a mid week training run or my sacred Saturday long run. The only thing intimidating about it is the price.

Drew: The Pegasus Turbo 2 has small issues here and there but it won’t have trouble selling due to the legions of fans of the original. For me, I’m keeping the Pegasus Turbo 2 around as a speed and race day shoe. It’s also in the early lead for the shoe I’ll be wearing when I run a ½ marathon in December (this one, if you want to join me). It’s a hard sell at $180 but if you’ve got the budget for multiple targeted running shoes, you should certainly be trying on and considering the Nike Zoom Pegasus Turbo 2.

Buy Men's at Nike Buy Women's at Nike

Heel to Drop: 10mm (12mm forefoot, 22mm heel)

Nike Zoom Pegasus Turbo 2 Scorecard

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