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Nike Air Zoom Terra Kiger 5 - Women's Review

A lightweight and sensitive trail shoe that fits a regular to narrow foot best.
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Price:  $130 List | $97.46 at Backcountry
Compare prices at 2 resellers
Pros:  Responsive cushioning, stable, sensitive, lightweight, durable for its design
Cons:  Not protective, lacks comfort elements, tight toe box, white material stains
Manufacturer:   Nike
By Amber King ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  Aug 2, 2019
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72
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#11 of 18
  • Foot protection - 20% 6
  • Sensitivity - 20% 8
  • Traction - 15% 6
  • Stability - 15% 9
  • Comfort and Fit - 15% 5
  • Weight - 15% 9

Our Verdict

If you're looking for a lightweight and stable shoe, the Nike Zoom Terra Kiger 5 delivers. One of the most durable and high-performance shoes in this review for its weight class, it offers minimal protection and balances sensitivity and stability fantastically. The outsole features super sticky rubber that performs well over wet surfaces but fails to deliver on sloppy surfaces or super steep slopes. The fit is best for those with a regular to narrow foot, offering a more tapered fit in the toe box that can squish for those with a wider foot. We tested this shoe for over 60 miles through the Spring and early Summer in the San Juan mountains. After our in-depth field testing, we deem this a great lightweight trail option that you can take on most trail surfaces.


Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards  Editors' Choice Award Best Buy Award Top Pick Award  
Price $97.46 at Backcountry
Compare at 2 sellers
$149.95 at Amazon$120.00 at REI$129.95 at Backcountry
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$120 List
Overall Score Sort Icon
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Star Rating
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Pros Responsive cushioning, stable, sensitive, lightweight, durable for its designSuperb traction, amazing durability, wide-toe box, zero-drop design, great sensitivity, highly protective outsole and upperComfortable, versatile fit, great responsiveness, fantastic value, durableExcellent traction, great balance of foot protection and sensitivity, specific fit, durable outsoleGreat price, flexible, comfortable, responsive, one-pull lacing system
Cons Not protective, lacks comfort elements, tight toe box, white material stainsLaces come undone easily, lacks a women’s specific fit, upper takes time to break-inDoesn't shed mud well, some midsole compaction over timeHigher heel is less stable, lugs wear down on pavementNo aggressive outsole, lug durability is questionable
Bottom Line A lightweight and sensitive trail shoe that fits a regular to narrow foot best.This Editors' Choice winner crushes every metric with its innovative and super durable design.A superior performer that offers exceptional value on all types of terrain.An aggressive trail shoe that is built for the steepest and most technical trails out there.A well fitted and comfortable shoe that is best for non-technical surfaces.
Rating Categories Air Zoom Terra Kiger 5 Inov-8 TerraUltra G260 Peregrine ISO Speedcross 5 Sense Ride 2
Foot Protection (20%)
10
0
6
10
0
8
10
0
8
10
0
9
10
0
7
Sensitivity (20%)
10
0
8
10
0
10
10
0
8
10
0
8
10
0
8
Traction (15%)
10
0
6
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
10
10
0
6
Stability (15%)
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
7
10
0
7
10
0
8
Comfort And Fit (15%)
10
0
5
10
0
7
10
0
9
10
0
8
10
0
9
Weight (15%)
10
0
9
10
0
8
10
0
7
10
0
5
10
0
9
Specs Air Zoom Terra... Inov-8 TerraUltra... Peregrine ISO Speedcross 5 Sense Ride 2
Measured Weight 8.4 oz 8.75 oz 9.8 oz 10.7 oz 8.6 oz
Ideal Terrain All terrain All terrain All terrain Soft surfaces, technical terrain Non-technical trails, cross-over terrain
Width Options Regular Regular Regular and Wide Regular and Wide Regular
Heel-to-Toe Drop 4 mm 0 mm 4 mm 10 mm 8 mm
Stack Height from toe to heel (mm) 20/24 9/9 18.5/22.5 10/20 27/19
Upper Flymesh, TPU toe box Kevlar Mesh IsoFit Nylon mesh, sythetic overlays 3D Mesh
Midsole Phylon molded, Zoom Air units EXTERFLOW PWRFOAM Injected EVA Vibe
Outsole Sticky lugs Graphene Grip PWRTRAC Contragrip ContraGrip
Rock Plate? None Yes None Yes None, profeel film
Sizes Available 5 - 12 4 - 15 5 - 12 5 - 12 7 - 10

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Nike Zoom Terra Kiger 5 is a lightweight, stable, and low-profile shoe. It's an excellent option for those with a regular to narrow foot profile that are seeking a racing option for shorter distances.

Performance Comparison


The Nike Zoom Terra Kiger 5 in all its glory looking over the San Juan mountains in Colorado. This lightweight trail running shoe has the affinity to tackle technical terrain and cross-over for a responsive ride on dirt roads. While the colors are pretty 'euro' a white color is not so functional for true trail runners that are going to get dirty.
The Nike Zoom Terra Kiger 5 in all its glory looking over the San Juan mountains in Colorado. This lightweight trail running shoe has the affinity to tackle technical terrain and cross-over for a responsive ride on dirt roads. While the colors are pretty 'euro' a white color is not so functional for true trail runners that are going to get dirty.

Foot Protection


This shoe offers minimal protection with the use of both its midsole and a segmented rockplate. The midsole has a stack height of 24 mm in the heel with 20 mm in the forefoot. For a trail shoe, it offers sufficient protection, but in comparison to other trail shoes out there, it could be better.

While the upper does some work to wick away water  it doesn't offer the best dry time. After hiking through the snow for over an hour  then running for another  the shoe is still wet and has not dried out. We do appreciate the underfoot cushioning that is responsive and protective.
While the upper does some work to wick away water, it doesn't offer the best dry time. After hiking through the snow for over an hour, then running for another, the shoe is still wet and has not dried out. We do appreciate the underfoot cushioning that is responsive and protective.

While running on a super sharp and rocky trail, we noticed rocks protruding and poking the bottom of our feet. Testing determined this to be a result of the squishier midsole and segmented rock plate, which do not have continuous construction.

The toe cap isn't the most protective and is quite flexible. We'd like to see a harder a burlier option. As a result  this shoe isn't our favorite if you're going to be encountering a lot of 'fixed' rocks on the trail.
The toe cap isn't the most protective and is quite flexible. We'd like to see a harder a burlier option. As a result, this shoe isn't our favorite if you're going to be encountering a lot of 'fixed' rocks on the trail.

The overlay mesh does a good job of keeping out debris, but it's not very water-resistant or breathable. It fairs well on more technical trails; you just have to be careful where to put your foot.

Sensitivity


If you're seeking a sensitive shoe, this is one to consider. With its lightweight and more flexible design, you can feel most things underfoot. It offers quite an intimate trail experience overall.

Jo tests the sensitivity of two different shoes. In this case  the Nike Terra Kiger 5 definitely won with her feeling more rocks and trail treasures underfoot.
Jo tests the sensitivity of two different shoes. In this case, the Nike Terra Kiger 5 definitely won with her feeling more rocks and trail treasures underfoot.

Traction


The outsole is composed of a sticky rubber that excels on wet surfaces. The shoe itself is flexible, so it does turn under pressure, making it less apt to kick in a snow step or the like.

A look at all elements of the outsole.
A look at all elements of the outsole.

The lugs are small, flexible, and multidirectional. While the rubber does a great job holding on to slippery surfaces with rocks, water, or small quantities of mud, the lugs don't grab very well when heading down steep trails.


While hiking uphill, we didn't notice much slippage, but on the down, we found ourself not trusting the integrity of the grip. Overall, traction is decent. It performs well on most trail surfaces but is limited with super-soft surfaces filled with lots of mud or snow. It also has trouble gripping on steep slopes.

We test the traction of those lightweight runners over snow. While they aren't the best for this function  we found ourselves moving through snowfields for a few miles before the terrain got too steep.
We test the traction of those lightweight runners over snow. While they aren't the best for this function, we found ourselves moving through snowfields for a few miles before the terrain got too steep.

Stability


Stability is wonderful; this shoe has a low-profile design (4 mm drop) that makes you feel one with the trail. The shoe's sensitivity allows you to adjust your positioning for better stability overall. The shoe itself is quite flexible, and molds around trail hazards that you might come across. Overall, we were happy with the performance in the stability metric.

This shoe is flexible and wraps around trail hazards for increased stability. This is largely due to the responsive yet flexible midsole foam material used through its body.
This shoe is flexible and wraps around trail hazards for increased stability. This is largely due to the responsive yet flexible midsole foam material used through its body.

Comfort & Fit


Our testers were across the board when it came to this metric. First, this shoe fits those with a more narrow foot but does well with a regular width. The toe box feels a bit tight for those with a wider foot, making them feel cramped. The collar does a good job wrapping the foot, but the heel cup is not as snug as we wish. There is minimal arch support.

A look at the internal elements of the shoe. The elements are not 'plush' but they are smooth and comfortable.
A look at the internal elements of the shoe. The elements are not 'plush' but they are smooth and comfortable.

The cushioning underfoot is quite responsive and bouncy, making this an excellent option for flatter or faster terrain. The materials lining the shoe are smooth and soft to the touch. However, we are not psyched on its lack of breathability or the drying ability, which we experienced on a super hot day where we encountered snow at a high altitude.

The collar is also comfortable and provides a nice  specific fit.
The collar is also comfortable and provides a nice, specific fit.

Overall, comfort and fit are sub-par in comparison to the other options out there. For example, the Saucony Peregrine ISO, our Best Buy Award Winner, offers a much more versatile fit and comfortable overall ride.

The lacing system integrates into the body of the shoes to adequately wrap your foot as needed.
The lacing system integrates into the body of the shoes to adequately wrap your foot as needed.

Weight


This is a lightweight shoe, weighing only 8.4 oz for a size nine. It would make a great trail racing option.

The weight of a size nine shoe. This lightweight option is great for racing or days where you are feeling more like a minimalist.
The weight of a size nine shoe. This lightweight option is great for racing or days where you are feeling more like a minimalist.

Best Applications


The Kiger is a lightweight, low profile shoe for those seeking a trail racer that doesn't push into ultra distance. It fits a regular to narrow foot best, with the affinity to tackle almost any kind of technical terrain. Unfortunately, it takes a while to dry out completely, and yes, the white pattern will stain over time. We love it as a lightweight option, which lacks a few protective and comfort elements.

The mountains are a great place for this shoe! As long as the trails are dry  they'll keep you logging the miles. It's not a favorite for long distances  but many runners out there have used them for ultra distance distances and races with less mileage. If you want a shoe that'll help you increase your turnover  this lightweight contender might just be the ticket.
The mountains are a great place for this shoe! As long as the trails are dry, they'll keep you logging the miles. It's not a favorite for long distances, but many runners out there have used them for ultra distance distances and races with less mileage. If you want a shoe that'll help you increase your turnover, this lightweight contender might just be the ticket.

Value


A mid-range for any trail shoe, this one costs $130. While the Terra Kiger 5 didn't top any charts in our metrics, it's still a great option for those seeking a lightweight and sensitive shoe. Since there aren't many out there with this profile, it might be worth the value. However, there are other trail shoes out there that are a little heavier and offer better performance for a better price, such as the Saucony Peregrine ISO.

Conclusion


The Nike Zoom Terra Kiger 5 is a lightweight and low-profile trail running shoe. It has its caveats, like a lack of comfort and protective elements, but it's super stable and sensitive. The outsole delivers performance on all surfaces except for the super steep, snowy, and muddy, which not all trail runners will encounter.

The Nike Zoom Terra Kiger 5 is a lightweight trail shoe that can take on most trail obstacles that a trail will throw at you.
The Nike Zoom Terra Kiger 5 is a lightweight trail shoe that can take on most trail obstacles that a trail will throw at you.


Amber King