The outsole of the Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 34 Shield is unlike the everyday running shoe outsole. This statement applies to both its appearance and functionality, since both plays into each other here. The hard rubber material it is comprised of isn’t a departure from standard running shoe design, but the way in which it was patterned is. On half of the underfoot toward the medial side, several hexagonal lugs have been placed to provide extra traction on the road. On the lateral side, the designers of this shoe implemented long vertical grooves with a few horizontal segments around the midfoot. The purpose of this design seems to be to improve control on the insides of the runner’s feet while allowing enough momentum
on the outsides to increase speed and mitigate corners.
One area of these shoes that don’t seem to have much innovation present is the midsole. This isn’t to say that the midsole of the Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 34 Shield isn’t effective or impressive, just that no interesting tweaks or reimaginings were implemented into its design. Runners can expect the same responsive and lightweight EVA cushioning
that has served them so well in just about every other running shoe on the market. Nike hasn’t added an air pocket for extra shock absorption as in their Air Max products, instead referring to their midsole design as a Zoom Air. Runners shouldn’t expect to be blown away by this product but they should expect a comfortable and responsive ride.
A lot of thought went into the design of the Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 34 Shield’s upper, even though it may just look like a generic Nike running shoe upper at first glance. The material used for the majority of its top half is FlyMesh, a synthetic mesh material that is highly breathable due to multiple points of perforation. The benefit to using this material over Nike’s popular Flyknit is a slight increase in protection, especially when it comes to moisture. Reflective elements have also been added to the sides of these shoes in order to provide enough visibility in low-light environments to ensure the wearer’s safety. Finally, a small finger loop on the back allows for runners to easily slip into these shoes without catching on their heels, which is a nice touch on Nike’s part.
At roughly 10 ounces per shoe on average, these Nike running shoes are well within the typical weight of this kind of shoe. This means that customers who are already accustomed to running in casual
running shoes, especially shoes made by Nike, will feel right at home when running in the Air Zoom Pegasus 34 Shield. Unfortunately, there isn’t much else to say about this aspect of these shoes since they function identically to most other footwear products of its caliber.
It’s important for a running shoe to offer breathability while being worn so that runners can attack the track with their full strength and not worry about being uncomfortable
from excessive heat or bogged down with sweat
. Something worth noting about the Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 34 Shield and it’s ventilation is that it manages to accomplish this task while also providing external protection from water. While many other forms of athletic footwear will offer either water resistance or high breathability, Nike’s FlyMesh upper material manages to provide both in spades. This is perhaps the most impressive aspect of this shoe’s design.
Despite not featuring any additional features intended for providing comfort, many satisfied customers have stated that the Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 34 Shield is a very comfortable shoe. This can mostly be attributed to the quality of its design, having been perfected by Nike over hundreds of iterations. One small feature that positively contributes to this shoe’s comfort aside from this is the small finger collar that helps to prevent the rear portion from snagging on the wearer’s heel when putting it on. Additional comfort can even be provided by replacing the internal lining with an orthotic insole, which can be very helpful for individuals suffering from injuries such as shin splints. The only real negative about these shoes as far as comfort is concerned is the fact that their sizes run a bit small, meaning that runners with wide feet will have some difficulty finding the right size for them.
The average lifespan for a pair of casual running shoes is around 250-300 miles, provided that they are regularly maintained and only used in appropriate running environments. The same can be said for the Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 34 Shield for the most part, although a few aspects of its design help to improve its overall durability
. One of these aspects is the water protection provided by the FlyMesh upper material which is very effective at warding off moisture damage. The other is the specialized outsole treading that ensures extra protection for high-impact areas while also providing enough control to help avoid scuffing the undersides of these shoes from accidental slippage.
As was previously mentioned, these shoes are able to protect the wearer’s feet from moisture due to its water-resistant upper. Thanks to its finely tuned outsole design, the Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 34 Shield is also able to protect
the wearer from sustaining any damage to their body or their shoes from slippage, since it provides the ideal amount of stability and traction for handling the average running environment. That said, it is important to note that these shoes will only provide these degrees of protection in their appropriate running environments. Taking these shoes on the beach, in the gym, or on a trail won’t yield the same benefits and can lead to injuries if the wearer doesn’t exercise proper caution.
The EVA material used for this shoe’s midsole was selected specifically due to its ability to provide fantastic responsiveness for the wearer. This material manages to be both dense and springy, meaning it is able to provide support for the feet while also storing and releasing the energy gathered with each ground impact. Coupled with the lighter weight of this shoe, the result is a fantastic footwear offering for individuals interested in speed work such as Tabata-style sprinting workouts.
While there are many impressive features to be found in the design of the Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 34 Shield, one thing that isn’t particularly noteworthy about its design is the way it handles support. Sure, the outsole and midsole provide some secondary supportive benefits as a consequence of their primary design intentions. However, no dedicated support system has been implemented in these casual running shoes. This means that runners who struggle with pronation discrepancies or who are prone to stress injuries such as plantar fasciitis will need to either use additional orthotics with these Nike shoes or look for a more supportive product.
These are casual running shoes meant for use in low-intensity running environments. This includes a running track, a field, an asphalt road, or a sidewalk. Thanks to the outsole, some additional performance can be squeezed out of the Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 34 Shield on flatter trails that don’t have many obstructions. However, anything more intense than a hard and flat dirt path is out of the question for this Nike product.
Depending on where a potential customer looks for these shoes when shopping online, the Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 34 Shield can come at a price tag that is either surprisingly high or conveniently low. On Nike’s official online storefront, these shoes have been heavily discounted due to the fact that they have been rendered obsolete by subsequent Air Zoom releases. However, the limited availability that came about as a consequence of its age resulted in astronomically inflated prices on retailers like Amazon.
The key to any shoe’s traction lies in its outsole. The designers of these Nike shoes understand this fact and designed the underfoot of the Air Zoom Pegasus 34 Shield to ensure the greatest possible degree of grip in the most meaningful way. This means that the outsole of these shoes is not only built to provide this grip to a variety of running surfaces but that it is built to ensure that the traction isn’t obnoxious to the point of impeding the runner’s top speeds.
As a lighter pair of running shoes with thinner materials used for its construction, it makes sense that the Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 34 Shield would feel very flexible. This extra pliable feeling is present in areas that make sense, such as on the very bottom and top. Because of this, wearers of these shoes will feel comfortable enough that it won’t feel as though their feet are trapped inside two coffins.
Nike are the masters of striking a perfect balance in their footwear design between flexibility and stability. Nowhere is this fact better exemplified than in this specific product. Although the flexible features mentioned in the above section provide some comfortable pliability, the stability found in the midsole of the Air Zoom Pegasus 34 Shield ensure that runners maintain control during their entire run. Thanks to the outsole’s tread patterns, this control can even be maintained during tight turns.
These Nike shoes have a difference in elevation from their heels to their toes of around 10 millimeters. The benefit of this design decision is that extra padding is present around the heels of these shoes, providing more comfort for runners who are prone to striking the ground with this part of their feet. It’s a common practice that is sure to feel like business as usual for the average running shoe wearer.
- Alternate outsole treading on medial and lateral sides
- Compressed EVA foam midsole ensures support and responsiveness
- FlyMesh upper ensures ventilation and flexibility
- Moisture resistant coating
- Higher heel drop encourages heel striking
Without the wordy and bizarre name given to this product by Nike, the Air Zoom Pegasus 34 Shield would likely never gain any recognition as it would be buried by the countless other Nike products churned out season after season. However, a closer examination of this product reveals some appealing features that prove it deserves some extra attention. These shoes are well worth their discounted rate, although it is worth noting that newer versions are available.