First released in 1983, the Nike Pegasus series has undergone several technological upgrades through the years. We look back at its journey so far…
When Nike named its new line of shoes Pegasus, it aimed to give customers a shoe that could nearly give them wings and make them fly rather than just run! That was in 1983, and today several iterations and over 35 years later the series has undergone major technological revamps and supported numerous runners around the world. Nike’s best-selling running shoe till date, its latest avatars are the Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 36 and the Nike Zoom Pegasus Turbo.
The current Chairman, President and CEO of Nike, Inc., Mark Parker was part of the team that created the first ever Pegasus. At that time Parker was manager of advanced product designs and director of design concepts and engineering. Phil Knight, Founder of Nike, Inc. too loves his Pegasus (in black) and often wears it to even black-tie events, meetings and public speaking appearances!
Elite athletes like Joan Benoit Samuelson, Matthew Centrowtiz, Timothy Cheruiyot, Amy Cragg, Lelisa Desisa, Evan Jager, Geoffrey Kamworor, Eliud Kipchoge, Faith Kipyegon and Bernard Lagat have been known to train in the Nike Pegasus. The go-to shoe for British distance runner, Olympic and World Championship gold medallist, Mo Farah, Nike created a special edition of his favourite training shoe, the Nike Air Zoom Pegasus.
“I have been running in the Pegasus for years, and it’s a shoe I can always rely on. The mixture of cushioning and responsiveness gives me a versatile option to run fast some days and far others,” shared Mo Farah. Nike released the Air Zoom Pegasus Mo Farah in 2017 to celebrate Farah’s achievements. Its design was inspired by personal details such as the red colourway of his favourite football club, the Union Jack flag as a nod to being knighted by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and for holding the honour of Commander of the British Empire. The gold accents on the shoe were for his nine global gold medals.
Over the years Nike has released many special editions of the Pegasus. In 1988 it came up with the men’s Air Pegasus ACG made with a synthetic leather upper and rubber toe guard for off-road running and cold, wet conditions. The 1991 men’s Air Pegasus A/T was aimed at all-terrain running and was crafted from black and grey leather and synthetic leather. The 1991 Air Pegasus Racer was for everyday runners wishing for a lighter shoe. In 2003 Nike offered another version of Pegasus for wet conditions – the Air Trail Pegasus. It had a rubber toe guard, and the tough, traction trail waffle outsole was engineered to provide better grip.
In 1997, Nike Pegasus was temporarily dropped from the line. In 2000 it returned as the Air Pegasus 2000. Designed by industry veteran and Air Max Plus designer Sean McDowell, the model was part of the Bowerman Series, which was essentially a collection of dependable footwear for runners by runners.
In 2004 the Nike Pegasus was finally tuned to suit the anatomy of the female foot, the median support was increased and the women’s saddle was made more curvaceous. In 2006 Nike finally released a completely women specific version and by 2018 it even offered a responsive Cushlon foam specifically tuned for women.
The newest Nike Pegasus’ in stores are in striking hues of neon green. Check out the Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 36 and Nike Zoom Pegasus Turbo. If you’d like to purchase a Nike Pegasus, click here to view the latest available styles.