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New Nike Trail Running Shoes

July 19th, 2013

Nike Running, a powerhouse in the world of run training and racing, is stepping off the roads and onto the trails this season with two new trail shoes. When you think of trail running, Nike might not be the first footwear manufacturer that comes to mind, but you won’t want to miss the new Zoom Terra Kiger, or the Zoom Wildhorse.

Both of these trail monsters have a heel-to-toe drop of 4mm and a cushioned yet responsive platform. The big differences between these two new models? The Terra Kiger has Zoom Air units in both the forefoot and heel, while the Wildhorse only has a heel unit. Plus, the upper of the Terra Kiger has a few more bells and whistles, including Dynamic Flywire and engineered mesh.

Nike Zoom Terra Kiger

We sent out three of our own folks to test drive the Nike Zoom Terra Kiger, and our testers here at the ‘House are unanimously impressed with this shoe. If you want a performance fit and a secure ride on diverse terrain, you owe it to yourself to give this shoe a try.

“The Terra Kiger gives you a sticky rubber outsole with plenty of traction on the trail. The Zoom Air units protect you from the ground but doesn’t disconnect you. I picked my way through terrain with confidence, even though the shoe doesn’t have a rockplate.” - Taro

“Just a really refined shoe. You can tell Nike put a lot of development time into rolling out a great product here. And no signs of chafing after over 50 miles in this upper. I can focus on where I’m going, not on how banged up my feet will be afterward.” – Nicole

“One of the perks of this job is getting plenty of comped shoes to test. So I don’t buy a lot of running shoes. But I’m actually going to buy a second pair of Terra Kigers. They really are so good that I want to have a pair in the bank.” – Matt

Nike Zoom Wildhorse

The Zoom Wildhorse uses a platform similar to the Terra Kiger in many respects. From the outside, it looks the same, but it is solid foam up front instead of integrating a Zoom Air unit.

The dynamic upper moves with you and protects your foot from loose sticks and debris on the trail. There’s more room overall in the upper compared to the Terra Kiger, which is a benefit for runners who like a less aggressive fit. A lugged outsole identical to the one on the Terra Kiger gives you plenty of traction.

“So what’s best for me?” is the big question for many trail aficionados who are debating which of these two Nike models to add to their lineup. In our opinion, the added features of the Terra Kiger are well worth the extra $15 tacked onto the MSRP, but keep in mind that you’ll also be trading up to a closer, more performance-oriented fit. Either way, we think you’ll find a lot to like in these new models, and kudos to Nike for making a solid move into the trail market.

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  • eric

    How do these fit. No shoe fiter yet. I wear 9.5 in Mizuno WR 15′S and help?

  • Matt

    The Terra Kiger and Wildhorse both are standard running shoe length. You should still fit best in a size 9.5 D.

  • Eric

    Just checked your site. The wildhorse has the she fit guide scan. It says to buy a 10. Just wondering if I should go 10 or 9.5….

  • Matt

    Thanks for the question. Shoefitr gives sizing recommendations based more on shoe volume than shoe length. The Wildhorse and Terra Kiger are a standard running shoe length but both shoes are on the shallower side in terms of toebox height. If you are looking for a more generous fit, you should go up 1/2 a size, but the shoe is designed for a more streamlined fit and should provide enough length in your standard size.

  • Jamie

    Terrific shoe this Wildhorse. Unlike typical Nikes which have low and narrow toe boxes, these are roomy. I usually wear a 10 but upped the Wildhorse to 10.5 since I’m planning to wear them for a 100K ultra. Love the traction and keeps me nimble on the twisty trails. A departure in so many ways for Nike to be making these since they usually just convert their regular models to trail instead of taking a ground up approach.

  • FiveHigh

    These look very nice! but I wonder how much dirt will get in my sock.

  • sneaktango

    Look at the crazy ventilation system! I never like the zoom air cushioning though. The regular air were always far more comfortable than zoom air for me.

  • Matt

    How well does the upper keep dust and dirt out?

  • Matt

    The closer fit on the Kiger and Wildhorse means that you’re not likely to get much debris around the heel/ankle. The closed mesh material does a good job of keeping out dust and dirt in the rest of the shoe. I’ve come back from some runs on dry, sandy trails in the Kiger and my socks are still almost completely white.

  • June

    Saw this one at the store. i was really tempted… Maybe I will go back :)

  • Tom

    I like this pair. but same question… how well does the upper keep dust and dirt out?

  • Matt

    I’ve continued to run in the Wildhorse and remain impressed by how well the upper protects against dirt and debris. Even though there is the top layer of open mesh, there is another closed mesh upper beneath that keeps out pretty much all dirt.