REVIEW: Nike Terra Kiger 8 Trail Running Shoes
Written By: SportsShoes
The Nike Air Zoom Terra Kiger 8 keeps it light and tight. It's a no-frills shoe built with only what you need, for a secure fit and feel. This shoe is designed to provide stability and comfort, so you stay agile and upright on challenging off-road terrain.
|Drop||4.5mm (Stack Height - Heel: 30mm, Toe: 24mm)|
|Length||True to size|
|RATINGS (out of 5)|
The most famous sports brand in the world is no stranger to making a big impact when it comes to releasing new shoes and the Nike Terra Kiger are certainly no exception. In terms of look, they certainly have the WOW factor. There are few trail shoes on the current market who can match their eye-catching colours and design.
This shoe features a lightweight, breathable mesh upper which really helps to keep feet cool and ventilated. In fact, if you hold it up to the light, you can almost see through the thin layer of mesh which hugs the top of your foot like a veil. All around the edge of this material is a thicker and more protective rand which also extends to the front toe bumper. I really feel that Nike succeeds here in providing the perfect balance between protection and breathability.
It’s the close attention to detail that really impresses me with the Terra Kiger. For example, I really love the design of the lacing system – especially the top panel of material which completely wraps around the perimeter of your foot to help provide extra stability and support. This shoe is designed to lock your heel in place, keeping your foot secure during movement. Ultimately, it helps you be more agile when running over rocky terrain.
This section slightly overlaps the rest of the main lacing panel and means both sides of the shoe can be pulled more closely together, therefore allowing for a really personalised fit. It also features two top lace holes at either side, to give you more options when lacing the shoe. Just inside the top of the shoe, around the back and sides, there are 3 small sections of padded material which act like tiny cushioned pillows which help provide supreme levels of comfort. Particularly useful for preventing rubbing and abrasion when running across challenging terrain and your feet naturally move more inside the shoe. Complementing the above, the tongue is padded for comfort, gusseted (attached to either side to keep out debris) and perfectly shaped in size and design.
In terms of fit, I wear a size UK 10 in Nike and once again this shoe is consistent with their brand sizing. I’m yet to wear a Nike shoe that breaks this convention and having consistency throughout their ranges really gives me confidence when ordering new and different styles online. You may think this a strange and obvious comment to make – but it’s not always the case with some brands!
I purposely decided to test this shoe on the high trails of the Costa Blanca - an area of Spain renowned for its harsh and aggressive terrain. Turn up with the wrong trail shoes and you might as well pack your bags and head for home. Most of the trails and paths are carved straight into the rock, with plenty of loose rock and everything, including the flora and fauna, wants to hurt you. Therefore, it’s extremely important to wear a shoe that protects you from this harsh environment because ultimately you need enough cushioning and energy return to handle the constant pounding on the hard, rocky trails.
Comfort and cushioning are the key to the success of this shoe, the latter is a real stand-out feature. The outsole is split into three distinct sections; with two large areas of Nike React soft foam and a Zoom Air unit in the forefoot to provide extra responsiveness and energy return. Nike React soft foam is so softly cushioned that it feels like you are running with crash pads under your feet. It soaks up big impact like a sponge and protects your feet from sharp stones and rocks. This is one of the most cushioned trail shoes I’ve ever worn. The Terra Kiger also features a rock plate which stretches across the length of the foot for added protection.
In dry conditions, the Terra Kiger 8 grip effortlessly to the rock, with lugs deep enough to handle most types of terrain. However, in wet conditions, this is not always the case. When it rains, limestone is no friend of this shoe. I often found myself having to negotiate exposed sections of wet rock with a high degree of caution. That said, it would be unfair of me to single out this shoe for this reason, as almost every trail shoe I’ve tested on wet limestone has its limitations. In comparison, on this terrain and in these conditions, the Terra Kiger lies somewhere in the middle of the performance scale.
The Nike Terra Kiger 8 in summary;
- An outstanding trail shoe which provides high-levels of comfort and cushioning.
- Lightweight and ideal for both racing and training.
- Perfectly suited for hard and rocky trails in dry conditions.
- Extremely breathable.
- A safe and secure fit, providing stability with a ‘Lock and Go’ feel.
Related posts: THE BEST TRAIL RUNNING SHOES 2022