Nike Pegasus Trail 3 review
- Soft, bouncy ride
- Very comfortable
- True to size
- Wide for a Nike
- Wide loop on heel
- Durable construction
- Reflective swoosh
- Killer grip on dry trails
- Not grippy in wet
- Top 12% in trail running shoes
- Top 9% in Nike running shoes
- Top 18% most popular running shoes
The most similar running shoes compared
Nike Pegasus Trail 3 review and lab test
The Nike Pegasus is well known. It’s Nike’s daily cushioned road trainer and on the 38th iteration currently. With its success came the need for a trail version.
The Pegasus Trail 3 is still the youngster on the block, it’s designed as a max-cushioned trail trainer for those looking for soft, plush padding for long efforts in a sexy, sleek package.
There’s a lot that’s good about this shoe, and if you live in the arid west, or somewhere that doesn’t see a tonne of rain they may be perfect for you, BUT, and it’s a big but, if you live in wet climes this shoe is a disaster.
Read on to find out why.
Who should buy the Nike Pegasus Trail 3
Anyone looking for a max cushioned trail shoe with insanely soft landings should consider the Pegasus Trail 3.
The Nike React midsole is a dream underfoot and unlike most Nikes, this shoe can work for people with slightly wider feet.
This shoe is highly durable so if you plan to run on the roads to the trails, or want a shoe that can do both, the Trail 3 may be a solid choice for commuters.
Also, consider the Hoka Challenger ATR 6 which fills similar needs.
Who should not buy it
Do not buy the Peg Trail 3 if:
- You have super wide feet. Although this shoe is wider than most Nikes it’s still constricting. I recommend trying the Salomon Sense Ride 4 , it was more accommodating in my experience.
- You live in a wet climate. The outsole is a disaster on wet terrain. The Inov-8 grip is fantastic, and I suggest checking out the Terraultra G270 .
- You run in super hot temps. There are plenty of trail shoes with a more breathable upper.
- You want to go light and fast. This shoe is heavy and prefers long slow runs. Check out other lightweight trail shoes instead.
Peg Trail 3 not as narrow as other Nikes
Let’s start with fit. I am never all that psyched to get a Nike into the testing lab, mainly because I want so badly to love them, but they all tend to be too narrow for my wide feet.
The Peg Trail 3 seemed to be more of the same. Straight from the box, I could barely get it on my foot, but surprisingly once on, there was actually plenty of space up in the toebox and after a few runs and some breaking in, the shoe worked well on my feet.
They are tight across the midfoot but provide great lockdown because of it, just know you’ll need to wear these a few times before you can truly test them.
Pegasus Trail 3 like clouds underfoot
The underfoot comfort of the Peg Trail 3 is supreme. It’s just fantastic. Honestly, it feels more like a road shoe, than a dense dull trail shoe.
The full Nike React midsole is plush and soft and bounces down the trail without being overly unstable.
The padded tongue is soft across the top of your foot and stays put thanks to its fully gusseted design.
There are a few issues though.
The ankle collar in the heel rises up a bit high and throughout my runs, it annoyed my Achilles with insistent rubbing.
Tall, soft, and wide
I can mostly sing praise for the Nike React midsole and there’s a lot of it on the Pegasus Trail 3.
At 35.3mm stack in the rear and 10.3mm drop, the shoe feels a bit tall and steep. Compare this to the Salomon Sense Ride 4 at the 26.5mm in the heel and just 7.3mm drop which feels more grounded and nimble.
All that foam means it’s just a joy to bound down the trail in. It’s a max-cushioned shoe that’s not dull and marshmallowy like most high-stack EVA trail bruisers out there, and it crushes on the downhills. It has a big extended heel also which helped add stability while descending.
But the responsiveness of the midsole does make it a bit wobbly, which luckily Nike planned for. They gave the Trail 3 a nice wide platform underfoot at 116mm in the forefoot and 92.6mm in the rear (compared to the average of 112.8 and 89.3mm) ensuring it’s as stable as can be considering how soft and tall the midsole is.
The only downside is this much midsole comes with heft, and the rest of the shoe isn't reliable for breaking any weight records by any means, and because of that, it feels sluggish on climbs.
One other thing worth mentioning is this shoe feels like it has some light support under the arch. If you’re a light pronator looking for a supportive trail shoe this may be worth a look.
Break-in need for wide feet
The shoe needs a break-in period for people with extra wide feet, other than that, it’s ready to go on day one.
Peg Trail 3 needs to go on a diet
This shoe struggles with being fast. It’s slow on the climbs and even on flats, you can feel them on your feet. I pushed this shoe to a 5min pace, so it can be done, but it’s not where it performed best.
At 10.8 ounces (306g) it’s a hefty design even for a max cushioned trail shoe. The average shoe we’ve tested is 9.5 ounces (269g), and if Nike could configure this to be under 10 ounces they’d have a real gem on their hands.
No real durability concerns
Durability on the Peg Trail 3 shouldn’t be a concern, well except that it’s a Nike. But past the typical Nike issues, this shoe can go the distance.
The outsole is 5.5mm thick and 86HC hard (compare to 3.8mm average outsole depth and 79.2HC hardness), meaning it won’t wear down easily.
And the upper is thick and covered with protection. There’s a thick rubber toe bumper and welded toe overlays ensuring the front doesn’t blow out prematurely.
Nike’s trail outsoles suck
It’s a known issue, Nike trail shoes have terrible rubber outsoles, and Nike yet again hasn’t updated it for the Pegasus Trail 3.
Now, this may be a bit confusing so pay attention.
The grip on these shoes is fantastic, on anything dry. If you live somewhere as I do (Colorado) these kill it out on dry dusty trails.
BUT!!!! If you encounter water, wet rocks, tree roots, or any moisture they turn into ice skates. The hard outsole which gives the shoe added durability is also its biggest weakness.
If you live somewhere wet, stay away from the Pegasus Trail 3. I tested these by splashing water on a rock on one of my runs to see if Nike fixed the outsole from V2, and even gingerly standing on the rock was enough to send me rolling into the Poison Ivy.
I can’t imagine trying to navigate wet terrain at speed in these. Nike it’s time to get real and just call Vibram…
Where should you run the Peg Trail 3
These shoes are great out on a variety of terrain. They could be ideal as a multi-surface shoe and the hard outsole should wear slowly on pavement if you are running to and from the trails in these.
The Peg Trail 3 is actually soft and responsive enough to be a road shoe if needed in a pinch.
Obviously, just avoid the rain and puddles, I can’t imagine hitting a crosswalk in these on a misty morning…
Breathability isn’t great
The shoe runs hot. It has plenty of perforations in the upper making you think it would be cool on warm days, but there’s a full sock liner in the inside blocking the heat from escaping.
As you can see on the video, fog only escapes through the vent holes, while the rest of the upper is relatively impervious. Obviously, the vent holes are there for a reason but there's just not enough of them considering they are the only place heat is escaping.
If you run in really hot temps this shoe may be too warm.
Trail 3 has great lockdown
Lockdown was great in the Trail 3. It’s a touch tight on my wider foot, which obviously helps, but there’s also a dynamic banded lacing system which coupled with the gusseted tongue provided solid lockdown across the midfoot.
The heel didn’t move around at all, no problems back there other than it feeling a touch tall like I mentioned earlier.
Not a great winter shoe despite running warm
Although this shoe would be ideal in cold temps thanks to its breathability issues, it’s not great in cold weather.
All that sweet soft React foam gets stiff in cold temps. In our freezer test, the shoe stiffens up 62.6% (average shoes stiffen just 30.9%) making this less ideal out on cold, frosty trails days.
Love the looks and the heel loop
Gotta mention the looks, damn this shoe was sexy (before I cut it into pieces). Honestly, I’d buy this as a town sneaker. With its grip issues, it has limits in my lineup, but it was cool enough looking and comfortable enough to just have for cruising around in.
Also, the heel loop is well done and a solid update. It’s no longer a heel-wide band like in V2, it’s now a smaller piece of webbing but they put enough on the back of the shoe to easily slide andy finger through, even a thumb. Small details make me happy.
Lastly, it’s got a semi-reflective swoosh. Small thing to point out, and although it could be highly reflective, at least it bounces some light. Glad they thought about those that hit the trails in the dark.
Complete lab-specs overview
Lab test results, specs (official), compare popularity interactive, recently viewed.
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- Shoe Size Chart
Made for high performance, the Nike Pegasus Trail 3 Running Shoes offer the perfect mix of comfortability and high-efficiency.
With the aim of preventing injuries and offering a comfortable running experience, Nike's patented React from covers the shoe from heel to toe providing cushioning around the foot.
The design of these Nike Pegasus Trail 3 Running Shoes are a nod to the classic Pegasus look; the traditional collar remains and the tongue is identical to the vintage design.
To ensure that you're kept as comfortable as possible, Nike have opted for a mesh material to run along the top and side of the shoes for breathability.
Nike Shoe Size Chart
REDUCED!! Nike Air Huarache Mens DD1068 002 Black
REDUCED!! Nike Womens Run Swift 909006 010
Nike React Pegasus Trail 4 Mens DJ6158 400
Nike Air Max Verona Womens CZ6156 101
Nike Womens Air Max 90 SP CQ6639 700
Adidas Originals Baara Boot Mens Walking Boots Trainers EE5530
Nike Womens Air More Uptempo Trainers Dm3035 100
Nike Blazer Studio Mid Mens Hi Top Trainers 880870 400
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Discovering the historic neighborhoods of Perm
Perm. Building of the Nobility Assembly, Siberia Street 20. August 1999
The city of Perm, a major industrial and administrative center located just on the European side of the northern Urals, extends for miles along the high east bank of the Kama River. It was a destination of particular interest for Russian photographer and chemist Sergei Prokudin-Gorsky (see box text below), who visited the city on his first trip to the Ural Mountains in 1909.
Prokudin-Gorsky captured a series of riverfront vistas from the just-completed massive railroad bridge across the Kama. But he also took his tripod-mounted camera to the hillocks to the east of the city, where he photographed panoramic views of the central district that give a sense of Perm’s urban neighborhoods.
Panoramic view west from City Hillocks. From right: Monastery Street with Transfiguration Cathedral; Trading (now Soviet) Street with Church of St. Nicholas; Peter-Paul Street; Intercession (now Lenin) Street, with Church of Nativity of the Virgin. Summer 1909
My first visit to the Perm region occurred nine decades after Prokudin-Gorsky, in the summer of 1999. Subsequent trips, in 2014 and 2017, revealed a city marked by major new construction.
The name “Perm” is documented as early as the 12th-century chronicle “Tale of Bygone Years” and is apparently derived from Finno-Ugric words pera ma , meaning "distant land." In the medieval period "Perm" designated territory in the northern Urals controlled by the economic power of Novgorod, whose hunters and traders reaped the bounty of its valuable furs. By the 17th century, much of the area belonged to the vast Stroganov holdings in the northern Urals.
Founded for industry
The settlement of Perm originated in the early 18th century as part of the quest by Peter the Great to exploit ore deposits in the Ural Mountains. These raw materials provided secure sources of essential industrial-grade metals needed above all for the army.
The guiding force in developing this area was Vasily Tatishchev (1686-1750), one of Russia's early professional historians. A scholar with a gift for practical activity, Tatishchev admired Peter the Great and was an influential proponent of the central role of autocrat and state in Russian history.
During the 1720s, Tatishchev established settlements at mines, smelters, and metal-working plants throughout the Urals, including Yekaterinburg. In 1720, he chose the 17th-century village of Yegoshikha, located near the small Yegoshikha River, a tributary of the Kama. The stream is hardly visible in the ravine in the foreground of Prokudin-Gorsky’s rich panoramas.
Construction began on the main Yegoshikha factory on May 4, 1723, which is considered Perm’s founding date. The name “Perm,” however, was officially adopted only in 1781 after a command by Catherine the Great that transformed the factory settlement into an administrative center for the Urals.
Because of its favorable location within the Volga River basin, Perm during the 19th century developed into a transportation center for salt and other minerals, as well as metal ore and the products of metal factories throughout the western Ural Mountains. In 1846 regular steamboat service appeared on the Kama.
Expansion and development
Much of Perm burned during a fire in 1842, but the town quickly recovered. In 1863, Perm was included in the main Siberian highway, and in 1878, construction was completed on the first phase of the Urals Railroad from Perm to Ekaterinburg, part of a railroad construction boom that culminated in the early 20th century with the completion of the TransSiberian Railway.
Perm’s growth at the turn of the 20th century was reflected in Prokudin-Gorsky’s overviews of the central city, with its belching smokestacks. Despite sweeping changes in the century following Prokudin-Gorsky’s visit, several of the buildings captured in his photographs remain.
A historical record in images
Perm. Detail of view west from City Hillocks. Center: Bell tower and Church of St. Nicholas, attached to the Mariinsky Women’s High School. Right background: central fire station & watchtower. Summer 1909
The photograph richest in detail is a panoramic view taken due west from the city hillocks located to the east of the central district. On the far right is Monastery Street with its dominant landmark, the Transfiguration Cathedral, visible through the haze of industrial smoke. This street links a series of monuments surveyed in my previous Perm article .
The next thoroughfare to the left was Trading (now Soviet) Street. Its main landmark (apart from a belching smokestack) is the bell tower and cupolas of the Church of St. Nicholas, built in 1895-99 to commemorate the marriage of soon-to-be-emperor Nicholas and Alexandra in 1894. The church was attached to the large Mariinsky Women’s High School.
Church of St. Nicholas, attached to the Mariinsky Women’s High School. (Cupolas & bell tower demolished in Soviet period.) August 1999
With the establishment of Soviet power, the St. Nicholas bell tower and cupolas were demolished, and the entire building was converted for the use of the Agriculture Academy (now a university). My photographs from 1999 reveal that most of the basic red brick structure has survived.
Dimly visible just beyond is the red brick watch tower of the central Perm fire station. Completed in 1883, the tower and its surrounding depot are still maintained in their original function, as my 1999 photograph shows.
Central fire station & watchtower. August 1999
In the center of Prokudin-Gorsky’s photograph is a boulevard whose segments were called Great Nobility Street and Peter-Paul Street, the latter named after the Cathedral of Sts. Peter and Paul, a sliver of whose bell tower is at the photograph’s right edge. Built in 1757-64, it is the oldest surviving brick church in Perm. I have included my black-and-white photograph of the cathedral. (Its bell tower, destroyed in the Soviet period, has not yet been rebuilt.) Renamed Communist Street during the Soviet period, the entire boulevard is now called Peter-Paul Street.
Cathedral of St. Peter & Paul, southwest view. (Bell tower demolished in Soviet period.) August 1999
On the left of Prokudin-Gorsky’s panorama is Intercession (now Lenin) Street. In the distance is the bell tower steeple and dome of the Church of the Nativity of the Virgin (Lenin Street 48), built with merchant donations over a long period from 1787 to 1816.
Perm. Detail of view west from City Hillocks. Intercession (now Lenin) Street. Left: Church of St. Mary Magdalene. Right: Church of Nativity of the Virgin. Summer 1909
This second brick church in Perm was closed in 1928, its bell tower and cupolas were demolished and the structure was converted into a student dormitory. My photograph from 2014 shows the restored church without the bell tower, which was rebuilt at the end of the year.
Church of Nativity of the Virgin (Lenin Street 48), northeast view. Its bell tower, demolished during Soviet period, had not yet been rebuilt at time of this view. It has now been rebuilt. June 2014
On the far left, two small green domes indicate the Church of St. Mary Magdalene (Lenin Street 11), built in a neoclassical style in 1889-92 as part of a large orphanage. Prokudin-Gorsky’s took two close views that are especially valuable in view of the structure’s subsequent history. In the 1930s the cupola and bell tower were demolished, and a third story was added — as seen in my 1999 photograph. The building now serves as the Institute of Ecology and Genetics.
Church of St. Mary Magdalene, southeast view. Summer 1909
Former Church of St. Mary Magdalene. Dome & bell tower demolished with addition of third floor in 1930s. Now used for Institute of Ecology and Genetics (Lenin Street 11). August 1999
Revelations of past splendor
A bit farther down the same block is the splendid Gribushin mansion, hidden by the trees in Prokudin-Gorsky’s photograph. Originally built in 1895-97, the house was rebuilt in 1905 in a lavish baroque manner for the merchant Sergey Gribushin. Referred to in Boris Pasternak's novel Doctor Zhivago as the "house with statues" (in the town of “Yuriatin”), the mansion serves as the headquarters of the Urals Division of the Russian Academy of Sciences.
Gribushin mansion. Now headquarters of Urals Division of the Russian Academy of Sciences (Lenin Street 13). August 1999
Gribushin mansion (repainted). June 2014
And if Prokudin-Gorsky and his assistants had maneuvered his bulky camera just three more blocks, to the intersection of Siberia and Ascension (now Lunacharsky) Streets, they would have photographed two more cultural monuments. On one side is the elegant neoclassical building of the Nobility Assembly, built by Ivan Sviyazev in 1832-37.
Perm. Building of the Nobility Assembly, Siberia Street 20. August 21, 1999
On the other side of Siberia Street is the house built in 1852 and acquired in 1862 by Pavel Diaghilev, grandfather of the renowned impresario Serge Diaghilev, who spent much of his childhood there.
Diaghilev house (Siberia Street 33). Childhood home of Serge Diaghilev. August 1999
Prokudin-Gorsky’s photographs of pre-revolutionary Perm convey an invaluable sense of a provincial Russian city, with its mixture of traditional architecture and rapid industrial expansion. These richly detailed views of the city’s neighborhoods have become a unique record of a historic milieu that fades with each passing year.
In the early 20th century the Russian photographer Sergei Prokudin-Gorsky devised a complex process for color photography. Between 1903 and 1916 he traveled through the Russian Empire and took over 2,000 photographs with the process, which involved three exposures on a glass plate. In August 1918, he left Russia and ultimately resettled in France where he was reunited with a large part of his collection of glass negatives, as well as 13 albums of contact prints. After his death in Paris in 1944, his heirs sold the collection to the Library of Congress. In the early 21st century the Library digitized the Prokudin-Gorsky Collection and made it freely available to the global public. A few Russian websites now have versions of the collection. In 1986 the architectural historian and photographer William Brumfield organized the first exhibit of Prokudin-Gorsky photographs at the Library of Congress. Over a period of work in Russia beginning in 1970, Brumfield has photographed most of the sites visited by Prokudin-Gorsky. This series of articles juxtaposes Prokudin-Gorsky’s views of architectural monuments with photographs taken by Brumfield decades later.
If using any of Russia Beyond's content, partly or in full, always provide an active hyperlink to the original material.
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