Nike Zoom Pegasus Vs. Nike Zoom Elite

Written By: Jeremy N

Nike running is a highly innovative and forward-thinking brand within the running shoe industry. Nike is often compared against New Balance, as they are some of the top brands in the business.

Anyway, you’re here to find out which Nike shoe would make the best daily trainer for you, so let’s get started.

As a company always seeking to push the bounds of human capability, although more recently better known as the creator of the modern “super-shoe”,

Nike also produces a multitude of shoe models that would take many hours to break down in-depth, so for your convenience, we have broken down two of the most popular Nike neutral shoe models; The Pegasus and Elite.

Nike Zoom Pegasus Vs. Nike Zoom Elite:

The Nike Pegasus has long been a favorite in the running community for its reliability and versatility, as there are very few runs the pegasus cannot do.

It provides a great mix of cushion and responsiveness with react foam and an air zoom unit.

The Nike Elite provides a snappier toe-off and more responsive ride overall. It can be worn as a daily trainer, but most will enjoy it as a traditional speed shoe.

This article gives information on the two most recent iterations of each model, pros/cons, and compare and contrast between the two - Nike Pegasus and Zoom Elite. Let’s get started.

Nike Zoom Pegasus Vs. Nike Zoom Elite

Nike Pegasus Review:

The original workhorse shoe in the Nike lineup, The Nike Pegasus is pretty much the shoe you think of when you are talking about Nike’s daily trainers.

Over the years, however, it has changed into what is essentially a solid lightweight daily trainer with a snappy ride from heel to toe.

You might be interested: Nike Pegasus FULL REVIEW

Nike Pegasus - sole

Making some big changes from its previous versions the Nike Pegasus 37 is a neutral running shoe that offers an almost entirely new ride with the implementation of the Nike’s React midsole foam and Air Zoom unit strategically placed in the forefoot for a lightweight and responsive ride.

Although it is React foam, the midsole is noticeably firmer in this shoe than in other shoe models featuring the same foam.

Plenty of runners enjoy this firm and responsive ride in a daily trainer, but for me, it feels a little too firm for my liking in a shoe supposedly made to take on a bulk of your weekly miles.

White Nike Shoe

There is a translucent upper mesh made to be low-profile and has a midfoot band to hold your foot comfortably and securely into the shoe through tight turns and slippery conditions.

Nike Pegasus - laces

The upper is my favorite part of this shoe, as it offers a stripped-down, breathable, and comfortable lockdown with no unnecessary frills.

For greater durability, Nike implements its classic waffle outsole design with Duralon blown rubber in the forefoot for multi-surface traction and a rubber crash rail on the lateral side of the shoe to offer a smoother transition from heel-to-toe-off throughout the gait cycle.

The transition in this shoe does not feel super smooth.

While I originally thought you’d be getting more miles on it, I now see that most will probably only get between 400-500 quality miles out of this trainer.

You might be interested: 5 Shoes Similar to Nike Pegasus

Nike Zoom Elite Review:

Nike Zoom Elite - side view

The Nike Zoom Elite is a snappy, yet deceptively cushioned uptempo daily trainer that was made to provide a responsive underfoot feel for those looking for a non-carbon plated workout shoe with some extra protection.

The last model of the Zoom Elite was a far cry from its predecessors, as it used to be more of a true daily trainer for those who seek a lighter weight feeling underfoot.

However, that does not mean it isn’t pretty great for steady and longer efforts. If you are someone training for a 10k-marathon and want a lightweight, traditional lightweight workout shoe with some extra protection then the zoom elite would be a solid option.

The upper provides a solid lockdown over the top of your foot thanks to the Flywire lacing system.

That pairs well with the engineered upper mesh that's incredibly breathable and lightweight overall. It almost feels like one of the final shoe models from the old “traditional” racing shoe era.

Nike Zoom Elite - laces

The midsole consists of a full-length cushlon foam that pairs well with an air zoom unit in the forefoot for extra “pop” in your stride at the toe-off.

White and Purple Shoes

For a lightweight trainer, there is a considerable amount of rubber on the outsole, which provides plenty of traction to take turns and feel secure on the ground.

However, I found that it wore down much quicker than most rubber outsoles do, fading at around 60 miles into the lifespan of the shoe. I would have wished to see more longevity.

Nike Zoom Elite - sole

The best way to describe it in terms of current Nike shoe models is that the Zoom Streak feels like a beefy Streak or a stripped-back Pegasus. I think you will get around 200 miles out of this shoe, but you should probably only wear it for faster efforts.

Uppers: Nike Pegasus vs Nike Zoom Elite

The uppers between these two shoes are pretty different. Between the Translucent Mesh upper in the Pegasus 37 and the seamless mesh upper with Flywire cable in the Zoom Elite, they offer different overall fits.

The lacing systems in both shoes get the job done, although they are both underwhelming. They are awkward initially while lacing up for a run, but you’ll find that they break in after lacing up a couple of runs.

White and Purple Nike Shoes

Quick Tip: Always untie and retie your running shoe before and after each run. This makes sure you have a good lockdown on every run and extends the lifespan of your shoes.

Grey Shoes

The uppers both feel light and breathable, although neither feels very soft or has much padding around the tongue areas. The Zoom Elite gets the nod when it comes to comfort and lockdown overall. It just feels better over the top of the foot.

Sole Unit: Nike Pegasus vs Nike Zoom Elite

As we mentioned earlier, the Pegasus is rocking a full-length react midsole foam and the Zoom Elite is going with a full-length cushlon midsole foam.

The rides are similar in many ways because they both feel responsive and slightly firmer, but the Pegasus is probably more comfortable for daily training overall, whereas the Zoom Elite is going to feel better on faster days of running.

In the Nike Zoom elite, the air zoom unit in the forefoot really does provide a snappy sensation at the toe-off that more minimalistic runners will enjoy.

Because the midsole foam is a little firmer and closer to the ground, you will feel less impact absorption when you land on the ground, but that feedback could be exactly what you’re looking for in a traditional workout shoe.

Black Shoe Sole

The React foam in the Pegasus also feels stiff and snappy. This shoe definitely offers that responsive feel that some look for in their daily trainers.

Along with a stiffer foam, the Air Zoom Unit adds an extra layer between you in the ground, and it feels pretty much like the only part of this shoe with any sort of soft feeling.

The outsoles both offer suitable traction and durability. The Crash Rail in the Pegasus 37 feels just a little smoother than the Zoom Elite. 

Grey Shoes Sole

Although others will have a different opinion here, I think the bouncy and soft nature of the Pegasus offers more when it comes to comfort and support, but if you are looking for something snappier for your daily miles then the Zoom Elite would be a better option.


Honestly, The Pegasus and The Zoom Elite offer only slightly different training experiences.

The Pegasus offers a responsive, yet cushioned daily trainer feel with its stripped-back design and features, whereas the Zoom Elite will get you feeling closer to the ground and ready to rip a faster tempo run or long interval.

They both serve their purpose well, but it depends on what you are looking for.

The price does vary a lot, as the Pegasus is sitting at an affordable $120 and the Zoom Elite is harder to find nowadays, but you’ll be able to grab one for $110 or less if you can find your size.

I think the Pegasus 37 may get you to 500 miles before starting to wear down beyond reasonable comfort and protection. As for the Zoom Elite, I estimate most people will get around 200-250 miles, as they are made for performance over durability.

Ultimately, it comes down to what kind of ride you prefer. If you want a reliable and responsive feel, then try out the Pegasus.

If you want a lower to the ground, snappy uptempo shoe, then the Zoom Elite might just be your shoe (if you can find one these days).


Hi, Jeremy Here, 

I am the the guy behind Train for a 5K. On this site, I share everything that learned along my running journey. The content I create is the running training I wish I had before we started this journeyAbout Me.

Last update on 2023-09-25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Hi, Jeremy Here, 

I am the the guy behind Train for a 5K. On this site, I share everything that learned along my running journey. The content I create is the running training I wish I had before we started this journeyAbout Jeremy. 

I have run over 250 races including the California International Marathon, Clarksburg Country Run, and various other 5K & 10K races throughout the United States. I am a former Athletics department employee at University of the Pacific and Shoe Consultant with Dicks Sporting Goods

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