A lightweight and sensitive trail shoe that fits a regular to narrow foot best
Price: $130 ListPros: 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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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.
New Color Options
Though the color combo we tested in our review isn't offered anymore, Nike still offers the Terra Kiger 5 in several bright pops of color. One of the current options is pictured above.
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.
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 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 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.
With its lightweight and more flexible design, you can feel most things underfoot. This shoe offers quite an intimate trail experience overall.
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.
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 ourselves 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.
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.
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.
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.
Overall, comfort and fit are sub-par in comparison to the other more cushioned options out there.
This is a lightweight shoe, weighing only 8.4 oz for a size nine. It would make a great trail racing option.
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.
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.
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