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The 2023 SELF Sneaker Awards

Nike Pegasus Trail 4 Gore-Tex Review: A Shoe for Tricky Terrain—And for Brunch After My Run

Finally, cute waterproof sneakers that don’t feel swampy.
Nike Pegasus Trail sneaker
Nike / Amanda K Bailey
Nike Pegasus Trail 4 GORE-TEX Women's Waterproof Trail Running Shoes
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  • Waterproof design
  • Lightweight and airy
  • Looks cute
  • High price

I recently started hiking and trail running as a way to decompress and unplug after my long, busy weeks. Now that I’m fully engulfed in my Sunday adventures, I eagerly count down the days until I can lace up my sneakers and enjoy the outdoors.

Sometimes, though, the weather isn’t up to par, and I return home with soggy, icky feet. I’ll admit it: I’ve always gravitated mainly toward sneakers that look fly versus functional, weatherproof kicks. That left me in a predicament—I don’t want to skip out on a good hike or beach run, but I also prefer not to have to compromise on style.

So when I received a pair of the Nike Pegasus Trail 4 Gore-Tex to test for SELF’s 2023 Sneaker Awards, I was excited to think that I may have finally found a solution to my problem. The trainers contain Nike’s Gore-Tex material, which is supposed to keep your feet dry. And on top of that, they’re really cute. So I was curious: Would this shoe look good with my everyday fits and protect me on my adventures despite gloomy forecasts? I decided to give them a go to see for myself.

Who it’s for

The Pegasus Trail 4 Gore-Tex is a shoe for folks who love to hit up trails, whether they’re jogging, hiking, or simply going for a nature walk.

They’re also for those who aren’t afraid to get a little bit wet on their outdoorsy adventures, either. Thanks to their Gore-Tex upper, which keeps water out, this sneaker is the type you’d pull out on a rainy day. Basically, if you’re a fan of Nike’s popular and long-standing Pegasus road running sneakers but plan on taking your shoes on rainy excursion and tricky terrain, these might be an option for you.

Out of the box

Although the appearance of outdoorsy trainers shouldn’t really matter too much—because chances are you’ll probably ruin them by stepping in mud or dirt—these kicks are very cute. What popped out first to me was their sleek and modern look, mainly because I’m used to trail shoes being super bulky and kinda ugly. I tried out a pair in Barbie pale pink and sophisticated teal, which looked super chic and even garnered a bunch of compliments.

I have to say, though, their streamlined look, especially around the toe box, worried me a little bit, since I have wide feet. Still I laced them up and got to testing.

Fit and feel

I tried the Pegasus Trail 4 Gore-Tex in my standard size, which doesn’t change when it comes to wearing tennis shoes, casual kicks, or running ones. Upon first wear, they fit snugly with about a half inch at the top of the sneaker to allow room for my feet to breathe and wiggle around a bit. Though I was nervous about their narrow width, they still worked out for me because of their stretchy lining. They were also very cushiony, making them feel extra comfy for those longer trails.

On the trail

Luckily, with all of the rain NYC has been getting this summer, it wasn’t difficult to pinpoint a day to test these Nike trainers. I took these out on muddy terrain for a 20-minute trail jog. On that first run, I was looking for them to have four qualities: a springy cushion, a lightweight feel, enough stability so I didn’t slip, and the ability to keep my feet dry. Not only did they exceed those expectations, but they even provided some extra surprises—like preventing rocks and pebbles from slipping into my sock thanks to the lining on the back of the sneaker.

I tested these trainers on a day when it was super muggy and wet, and, though I was drenched in sweat and as sticky as I could be, my feet didn’t suffer that same fate. These shoes have a very lightweight and breathable fabric; I didn’t feel as gross and steamy as I would wearing thick, heat-trapping rain shoes.

Nike Pegasus Trail 4 GORE-TEX Women's Waterproof Trail Running Shoes

Bottom line

These sneakers help me live out my dreams of being a city girl who dips and dabbles in adventurous activities like trail runs on wet and muddy terrains while looking very cute. Though they’re a bit steep in price, I think they’re worth the investment, especially if you want a solution that’ll help you get outdoors more, even when the weather isn’t that great.

And I’d be remiss not to mention this part: Although they’re not marketed as a lifestyle shoe—again, they’re made for trail running or hiking—they’re so chic that I am seriously considering buying another pair to wear when I’m going out to do fun but rainy-day activities like a dewy hike or walk. Besides, who says I can’t have two? One pair that’s fine to be crashed and muddy and another one kept in pristine enough condition to look good at brunch.