The Nike Air Pegasus 83 is the pioneer model of the long-running Nike footwear line. Since 1983 the Swoosh brand has released a brand new model every year/ With the first model’s 40th anniversary coming in 2023, Nike is starting to bring back the Pegasus 83 for a blast of nostalgia.
To celebrate 40 years of the silhouette we are putting the Air Pegasus 83 under the spotlight in this Nike Air Pegasus 83 Review and Sizing Guide. We will showcase the growth and development of Nike’s running trainers over the years, headlined by this 80s retro sneaker. This Air Pegasus 83 review will also compare the OG pair with the modern Pegasus models and how they ft. All that and more as we take a trip down memory lane, delving deep into the history of the Pegasus.
The 80s was a game-changing year for the Oregon-based sportswear brand Nike. With Air technology in their hands, the competition just got tougher as other brands look to introduce something new. Then in 1983, Nike decided to release a brand new running shoe with the use of their cutting edge Air technology, but also more affordable than other leading competitors. Enter the Nike Air Pegasus, priced at just $50, ready to take on the running shoe market.
While the Nike Air Force 1 may be the more popular Air-equipped sneaker, the running frenzy took note of the Pegasus. This led to the arrival of even more Air Pegasus silhouettes, modified yearly to keep up with today’s running standards.
Nylon makes up the base upper of the Pegasus 83, with suede overlays on the toe, heel, and eyestays. The foam midsole houses a Nike Air unit in the heel for added cushioning. Bill Bowerman’s iconic waffle outsole caps off the design of the 80s running trainer.
The first Pegasus silhouette may not be the most popular shoe in today’s marketplace, but its running heritage is a testament to Nike’s early development.
Aside from improved cushioning, running trainers from the 80s also catered to varying foot types. This means that aside from achieving an accurate length, brands also modified the width. The Air Pegasus 83 fits true to size, the wide base and roomy toe area made the shoe a versatile lifestyle option too.
Most people can stick to their usual size and enjoy a regular fit.
What made the Pegasus label extremely popular for runners is that they’re suitable for various foot types. Those with wide feet can also enjoy the roomy width of the shoe, but if you’re still feeling a little too tight, go a half size up.
The Pegasus 83 normally fits well even for wide footers. But of course with varying foot shapes, the experience can be different for every foot type. In general, those with wide feet should expect a snug and comfortable fit when they put on the Pegasus 83 for the first time.
Ever since Nike introduced ZoomX on runners, the Nike Air Pegasus models became the more affordable running option in Nike’s running shoe line. The newer Pegasus silhouettes now feature Zoom Air units, plus a React foam midsole carrier.
The Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 38 originally came out in 2021, featuring a lightweight mesh base with textile reinforcements. React foam and a forefoot Zoom Air unit return in a similar fashion just like the Pegasus 37s. Nike managed to fix the narrow fit of the 37 on the Pegasus 38, but the rather dense cushioning disappointed a lot of runners. Don’t get us wrong, they’re still comfortable, but previous models with React offered more softness and bounce.
Luckily for running aficionados, the Air Zoom Pegasus 39 has been one of the best in the entire series. The sloppy fit of the 37 and 38 made Nike ensure that the 39 fixes these issues, and even upgraded the cushioning.
Full-length React foam remains as the primary midsole, but now with Zoom Air units in the heel and forefoot. The Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 39 is the better option if you’re looking for a new pair of running shoes. It’s great for the road, track or treadmill. It’s also one of the most comfortable sneakers that won’t hurt your pockets as much as the likes of the Alphafly or Vaporfly.
The Nike Air Pegasus is now under the Nike Sportswear category, meaning it’s a Nike lifestyle shoe. The good thing to know is that because of the neutral colourways and classic design, you can style the shoe with pretty much everything. There’s just something about trainers from the 80s that make them so versatile for fits, that includes Peg 83.
Retro trainers are great with joggers and cargo pants. If you’re feeling a little sporty, you can also rock some shorts with Nike socks to go along with your sneaker.
You can also wear slim and regular jeans for a quick and easy fit that takes less effort.
Shorts will also work good in the hot months. There’s loads of summer-ready colourways of the Pegasus 83 to complete the vibe.
The nylon upper on the Air Pegasus 83 is usually easy to clean, but the suede overlays may pose problems. This is not something to worry about as various sneaker cleaning brands have dedicated suede kits. You can use a soft cloth or a soft-bristled brush to get rid of the dirt on the nylon upper. The same goes for nylon, but it’s better if you have a suede brush to make sure you don’t damage the suede fabric.
DIY cleaning agents like hydrogen peroxide mixed with water can be a good alternative. Soak the brush in the mixture and scrub away the dirt and debris on the nylon upper. Use a cloth to dry up the scrubbed areas.
The Air Pegasus 83 is available now on the Nike UK website as well as other retailers worldwide. Check out some links we listed below for you to visit.
Nike UK – LINK HERE
END Clothing – LINK HERE
Offspring – LINK HERE
Seeing Nike revive the first-ever Pegasus model will bring a lot of nostalgia for those of us who have been in the sneaker game for a long time as well as those who appreciate that heritage aesthetic. While it’s not the ideal running shoe it was once designed to be, those looking to build their retro collection can take advantage of its return.
Another plus point is Nike has retained its rather affordable retail price nearly four decades later (with a slight increase due to inflation). This makes the Nike Pegasus 83 a great value heritage lifestyle shoe, that will take a lot of beating, that you can wear with anything.
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