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Nike Air Zoom Terra Kiger 7 - Women's Review

A narrow cross-over shoe built with responsive and minimal cushioning that can take on everything from flat roads to technical trails
Nike Air Zoom Terra Kiger 7 - Women's
Photo: Nike
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Price:  $140 List | Check Price at REI
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Pros:  Excellent on roads and trails, springy performance, sticky traction, good mud shed
Cons:  Less stable design, lower value
Manufacturer:   Nike
By Amber King ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  Sep 24, 2021
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68
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#14 of 17
  • Foot Protection - 25% 5
  • Traction - 20% 8
  • Sensitivity - 15% 8
  • Stability - 15% 6
  • Comfort and Fit - 15% 8
  • Weight - 10% 6

Our Verdict

The Nike Terra Kiger 7 stands out as an excellent cross-over shoe that has the potential to crush it across all types of terrain. The responsive midsole is peppy, offering superior spring to inspire quick turnovers and new personal records. The new updates make this shoe a tiny bit heavier than it has been in the past but a little more stable overall. The outer dries quickly with an outsole that sticks to steeper trails strewn with gravel in dry conditions. This is a favorite for those with a narrow, less voluminous foot and, if the fit works, could be your next companion for tacking miles on all types of terrain.

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Pros Excellent on roads and trails, springy performance, sticky traction, good mud shedSuperior comfort, light on foot, protective cushioning, stable architecture, breathable upperLightweight and streamlined, durable elements, very sensitive, precise fit, protective upper, stable on technical terrain, fun color optionsProtective, comfortable, wider toe box, excellent beefy traction for soft surfaces, huge valueSticky traction, protective, rainbow design is fun, great value, all surface capabilities
Cons Less stable design, lower valueLace pocket is difficult to use, tight collar can bite into the ankleExpensive, no extra room in the toe box, tongue requires readjustment, zero drop design is best for only someNot ideal for roads, huge sizingLess stable than most, harder midsole is less comfortable, narrower fit
Bottom Line A narrow cross-over shoe built with responsive and minimal cushioning that can take on everything from flat roads to technical trailsOur favorite shoe offers a well-balanced ride with one of the stickiest and most confidence-inspiring outsoles we've ever seenOur favorite for its low profile and zero-drop design that feels like an extension of the body, ready to tackle technical terrainA great all-around trail shoe with high value that's superb traction on soft surfacesThis rainbow contender has the ability to tackle all kinds of trail with excellent protection and sticky traction
Rating Categories Nike Air Zoom Terra... Salomon S/Lab Ultra 3 Inov-8 Terraultra G270 Salomon Supercross... Merrell Antora 2
Foot Protection (25%)
5.0
8.0
6.0
8.0
7.0
Traction (20%)
8.0
8.0
8.0
8.0
7.0
Sensitivity (15%)
8.0
9.0
9.0
7.0
7.0
Stability (15%)
6.0
9.0
9.0
8.0
7.0
Comfort And Fit (15%)
8.0
9.0
6.0
5.0
6.0
Weight (10%)
6.0
6.0
9.0
5.0
6.0
Specs Nike Air Zoom Terra... Salomon S/Lab Ultra 3 Inov-8 Terraultra G270 Salomon Supercross... Merrell Antora 2
Measured Weight (per shoe, size 9) 9.4 oz 9.8 oz 8.3 oz 10.5 oz 9.6 oz
Heel-to-Toe Drop 4 mm 8.6 mm 0 mm 10 mm 8.5 mm
Stack Height (Heel, Forefoot) 14.5 mm, 10.5 mm 26.8 mm, 18.2 mm 12 mm, 12 mm 29.3 mm, 19.3 mm 28.5 mm, 20 mm
Upper Synthetic leather textile Textile/synthetic Mesh and TPU Continuous ripstop nylon Mesh and TPU
Midsole Nike React Energy Cell, polyurethane foam Powerflow Max EVA Foam EVA
Outsole Rubber Rubber Graphene Grip Contragrip TD Vibram TC5+ rubber sole
Rock Plate? Yes Not disclosed Not disclosed N/A Yes
Wide Version Available? No No No No Yes
Sizes Available 5 - 12 4 - 13 5.5 - 11 5 - 12 5 - 11

Our Analysis and Test Results

What’s new with the Nike Terra Kiger 7 for women?


We compared the Terra Kiger 6 to the 7, and these are the differences we’ve observed:
  • More breathable upper (more breathable holes at the back of the shoe)
  • Less cushioned collar (thinner material)
  • More reinforced toe bumper (an additional TPU enforcement at the toe)
  • Outsole design has fewer lugs with higher surface area for better performance on steep terrain
  • A wider base across the heel, offering a little more stability
  • More length throughout the shoe, offering more depth and room in the toe box
  • A few more measured ounces on our scale

The updated Kiger 7 (front) next to the Kiger 6 (behind).
The updated Kiger 7 (front) next to the Kiger 6 (behind).
Photo: Amber King

The Nike Terra Kiger 7 is a cross-over trail runner with a light level of cushioning. It’s a favorite for fast and flat terrain because of its responsive ride. The outsole is sticky and does the trick on everything from single track to technical descents. Just note the fit is best for those with a narrow foot.

Performance Comparison


A look at the Nike Air Zoom Terra Kiger 7, an excellent cross-over...
A look at the Nike Air Zoom Terra Kiger 7, an excellent cross-over shoe for a narrow foot.
Photo: Amber King

Foot Protection


After three months and over 300 miles running with this shoe in the mountains and on beaches, we can’t say that it’s hugely protective. We appreciate the integrated rock plate that protects from sharp rocks, but other elements simply aren’t that burly. It has only 10.5mm of Nike React cushioning on the forefoot and 14.5mm on the heel. We could still feel rocks underfoot, and our feet felt a little more worn after 10 miles in this shoe compared to others. While the upper is quick to dry, it doesn’t protect from fine particulates. The upper mesh traps sand between the layers, causing us to have to empty the shoe out when in desert conditions. Overall, it earns a lower score in this category for its lack of protective elements.

While the toe bumper provides nice coverage, it's pretty flexible...
While the toe bumper provides nice coverage, it's pretty flexible and doesn't offer a ton of protection.
Photo: Amber King

Traction


We love the updated lug pattern that offers excellent traction on most types of terrain. The lugs are evenly spaced and, in muddy conditions, offer better mud shed performance than this shoe has in the past. We also love the tacky rubber that sticks to wet rocks and other nastier conditions. After a few road running sessions, we noticed that the lugs wore down quicker than other types of rubber, but this is to be expected with a stickier rubber compound. Overall, the Terra Kiger 7 offers good traction on steep and flat terrain, and it’s a shoe we’d trust on technical, wet surfaces.

The new traction pattern is a welcome addition that adds better...
The new traction pattern is a welcome addition that adds better stability and performance on the downhills.
Photo: Amber King

Sensitivity


Want to feel like you’re intimate with the earth under your feet? This shoe offers a nimble and sensitive ride. With a lower stack height across the heel and forefoot, you can feel every inch of the trail. When testing it on a mountain run to an alpine lake, we ran over a groundhog pocked landscape. We could feel every slope, undulation, and rock, which allowed us to reposition ourselves for a healthier foot strike in each step. If sensitivity is important to you, this is a shoe we’d recommend you consider.

We appreciate the low profile construction that offers great...
We appreciate the low profile construction that offers great sensitivity, especially while running the dry trails of the Grand Canyon.
Photo: Amber King

Stability


While this shoe offers stability in its sensitivity, our testers still felt a little less confident in it on really uneven and technical terrain. Unlike super stable contenders that swallow your foot, making you feel like you sink into the outsole, the responsive and rigid construction of the midsole on the Kiger 7 makes you feel like you are sitting higher, even though the stack height is lower than most. While the newest model does have a more stable feel than it’s had in the past, the narrow design doesn’t offer a ton of lateral stability. We think this is attributed to the shoe having less volume in its fit, which converts to a less stable feeling. That said, we appreciate the “wings” on the back of the heel collar that splay outwards, making the ride on the downhill more stable than it’s been in the past.

We prefer this shoe for smooth trails. Even though stability has...
We prefer this shoe for smooth trails. Even though stability has improved over the years, Nike has a little more work to do.
Photo: Amber King

Comfort and Fit


We appreciate the lightweight appeal and responsive cushioning that makes this shoe comfortable for long distances — depending on if the fit works for your foot. The newest design is longer, which offers a more versatile fit than it has in the past. The heel doesn’t pinch and will keep your foot in place. On the downhill, our feet didn’t slip forward either. Our only issue with the fit is the lack of volume (still) in the forefoot. While it feels a touch wider than it has in the past, there isn’t much top to bottom room, which doesn’t accommodate a thicker foot. Our testers with a slim, narrow foot love the fit of this shoe, which converts to better performance across the board. On the other hand, testers with a wider foot loathed putting it on. Overall, make sure the shoe fits. This version is true to size as well.

A look at a medium-width foot in the narrow and confining...
A look at a medium-width foot in the narrow and confining construction. If you have a narrow, low-volume foot, you might fall in love with its fit.
Photo: Amber King

Weight


While this shoe has always been touted as lightweight, the newest version now sits at a “regular” weight earning it an average score in this category. It’s a little heavier than it’s been in the past, but it still feels extremely lightweight when in use. The weight is distributed nicely, inspiring quick turnover and faster cadence on the trail.

Value


We think the price of the Terra Kiger 7 is a bit high for its ranking in this particular review. However, you might be willing to throw down the cash if you love the fit of Nike shoes and are looking for a responsive ride and confidence-inspiring traction on the trail.

Conclusion


While a little heavier than the previous iteration, the Nike Terra Kiger 7 still feels incredibly light on the trail. It offers a more responsive ride than most trail runners with a sticky outsole that’ll inspire any downhill charge. The fit is best for those with a narrow, less voluminous foot, and if it works, it’s one you’ll love for increasing your cadence and setting new personal best records.

We enjoy running to alpine lakes in the early Spring season with the...
We enjoy running to alpine lakes in the early Spring season with the Nike Terra Kiger. While the fit is specific, it works, and this shoe performs in a myriad of trail conditions.
Photo: Amber King

Amber King