Not considering myself much of a trail runner, I am always a little hesitant to review a trail shoe since I feel like I am out of my area of expertise.
What makes a good trail shoe to me isn’t necessarily traditional, as I live only 2K from a park with over 30mls of trails.
I don’t like to drive there when I can easily run, so I need a trail shoe that is lightweight and retains comfort on asphalt. Fortunately , upon testing the Nike Zoom Terra Kiger 3, I found a shoe that fits my needs quite well.
Nike Zoom Terra Kiger 3 General Info
I took my pair of the Terra Kiger 3s out for an eight mile run the day they arrived, and was pleased that they felt pleasant on the pavement as I trotted to the park.
Many trail shoes jar my legs to pieces on even five to ten minute asphalt stints, but not these.
The ride is firm and snappy off the ground, and retains this quality well when plowing through mud and up hills.
My feet moved around a bit on my first few outings due to the wider toe box, but tightening the laces remedied this quickly. Plus, on the one ninety minute run I did in these, I appreciated the roomy toe box as my feet began to swell.
The traction is really great with the Zoom Terra Kiger, especially considering there isn’t a rock plate with this model.
I completed one longer quality session in the Terra Kiger and was pleased with the way they performed throughout.
I ran a four-mile uphill tempo run on trails, recovered at the top, and then completed some fartlek coming back down the same four mile stretch.
At some point during the climb, it began to rain heavily. I was dreading coming down on the slick terrain, but the shoes held-up quite well.
However, even though most of my shoes have less than an 8mm drop, my calves and quads were a bit sore the next day.
I imagine the Nike Wildhorse would be viewed like a big brother to the Terra Kiger, but I think they both have a place in the Nike trail line.
Add to these features a really cool colorway, and was pleased with the package as a whole. Overall, the shoes reminded me of a blend between the old Nike Free Trails or the Scott T2 Kinabalu.
Nike Zoom Terra Kiger 3 Sole Info
The Terra Kiger 3’s outsole is constructed of a durable rubber material with high-traction lugs strategically placed for slippery conditions.
The Zoom units at the forefoot and heel are barely noticeable, but aid in maintaining a snappy, efficient cadence throughout the gait cycle.
The shoe features a 4mm drop from heel to toe, so runners accustomed to more cushioned, higher-profile shoes will need to ween themselves into running in the Terra Kiger with some prudence. Otherwise, expect some sore calves.
Nike Zoom Terra Kiger 3 Upper Info
The Zoom Terra Kiger 3’s upper combines some of Nike’s best technology to date. It is seamless and can be worn sockless if desired.
It also features an asymmetrical tongue that wraps the foot securely while running over technical terrain. The upper breathes very well, and doesn’t trap water in wet conditions.
However, runners with a narrow forefoot may consider sizing down due to the wider toe-box.
Nike Zoom Terra Kiger 3 Conclusions
The Nike Zoom Terra Kiger 3 provides a great blend of durable traction and lightweight versatility that will please most trail runners. The ride is decidedly firm and responsive, making it a great option for faster terrain runs or longer trail races.
The low-profile design makes technical trail running very efficient, and the seamless upper helps keep blisters at bay for longer outings.
We thank the nice people at Nike for sending us a pair of Zoom Terra Kiger 3 to test. This did not influence the outcome of the review, written after running more than 50 miles in them.