As many may know the wild horse went through its first major overhaul last year with the six. The Wildhorse 7 seems to be only a minor update with a few tweaks to the upper from last year.
The outsole remains fairly unchanged and keeps its react midsole with a few more millimeters of foam and loses the air unit.
Out of the box the shoe is certainly visually different but still boasts a loud and eye catching colorway. Closer inspection showed so many similarities to the 6’s midsole.
The similarities were so close that I pulled out my pair of 6’s and side by side the only thing I could really tell was a colorway and material change to the upper.
The 7 continues to have a nice fit that felt true to size with a bit more width in the forefoot. The react foam Had a familiar bounce as before with a comfortable cushion.
What I also noticed was that with a lack of change many issues before continue to be the same issues. and the shoes instability over technical terrain continue to make the 7 more of a bucking bronco.
One of the biggest complaints I had with the Wildhorse 6 was the segmented rock plate.
The plate seemed something to make you feel more warm and fuzzy as you glanced at it through the outsole than really keeping my foot protected.
Fast forward to the 7 and there is no rock plate to bee seen when looking at the barrel of the WildHorse.
Nike claims that there still is a segment plate in there but the sharp rocks on the trail have proven otherwise.
The sting of the rocks felt just the same as the 6 and in the exact same places. So, my question again if you’re going to add a hefty slab of rubber to a shoe why not a hefty unsegmented rock plate?
The one added piece of protection that I really did appreciate is the generous textured toe bumper that protects well, but seems to have made the height of the toe box shallower that I remembered.
This go around the mesh in the upper has opened up quite a bit more and is consistent pretty much throughout the shoe. The same well placed thick ovelays are also again utilized.
This dynamic duo of materials again has created a robust and durable upper.
As I touched on before there are little changes to the outsole so runners will find the same anticlog rubber as before that covers the entire bottom of the shoe.
When I reviewed the 6 I had some suspicions of the durability of this rubber, but as the miles stacked on they have held up very well.
That said with no changes in that department with the 7 I see no reason not to expect many many miles of wear on the outsole.
For me I think that this is the category where a lack of showmanship with the wild horse is most evident.
I have to say once again that the react midsole gives the shoe a nice lively ride but more lope than gallop as it takes a lot of effort to make it fast.
This time around I will also come back to the big foam saddle in the heel of the shoe. Nike claims that its primary purpose is to provide protection and support and keep the heel centered in the shoe.
While it lends a more supportive ride and a couple more saddle blankets of protection than the Keiger, again I would be hard pressed to say that it helps with stability in any way.
The WildHorse 7 continues to be a pretty unstable shoe on technical terrain. the additional foam and removal of the airbag seemed to have improved this but only very slightly.
I am still very cautious and slow my pace over technical terrain more than other shoes, and I again have turned my ankles more often than not.
Traction is still just Ok and I till feel that the outsole rubber needs an overhaul to a Vibram mega grip.
This time around I put the 7 though alot more wet and muddy conditions and found far more negatives than positives.
The biggest problem I found was with mud and the shoes inability to clear it and grip.
The WildHorse 7 fit me true and again had a nice wide toebox but with a much lower ceiling than before. The more open mesh used has made the shoe more breatheabl, and comfortable on warmer days.
Visually the integrated gaiter looks the same, but somehow this time around I feel that its not quite as good at filtering out smaller rocks and debris.
I really apprentice the tongue of this shoe as it has just the right amount of padding to not make it to think with a supportive overlay that keeps lace bite at bay even when I would really tighten up on the laces.
The 7 is really well gusseted and gives a more supportive bootie feel than just a piece of fabric that helps the tongue from going off to one side.
For fans of the WildHorse 6 you will again absolutely love the 7 as the shoe is largely unchanged. For myself it still remains a underwhelming shoe.
The lack of confidence that the shoe provides over technical terrain continues to limit it from being a true stallion and hard to fall in love with.
The shoe continues to be great choice on smooth rolling dirt trails or bridle paths with minimal to no obstacles or technical sections to them.
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