Nike Air Zoom Terra Kiger 7 Review
Cons: Traction inadequate on slick surfaces
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Nike Air Zoom Terra Kiger 7
|Price||$140 List||$179.95 at Backcountry||$119.96 at Backcountry|
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|$140.00 at Amazon||Check Price at REI|
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|Pros||Light, sensitive, very stable||Unbeatable fit, very comfortable, fantastic underfoot protection, doesn’t absorb much water, ankle collar keeps out debris, very stable||Excellent traction, protective and sensitive, light, comfortable, durable||G-grip graphene enhanced outsole is very durable, super comfortable, low to the ground and responsive||Extremely grippy traction on all terrain, wider than previous versions, comfortable right out of the box|
|Cons||Traction inadequate on slick surfaces||Expensive, hard to get on foot, must wear above the ankle height socks, hard to stuff laces into garage||Expensive, tongue comfort affects some||Not as sticky as previous versions, not super protective underfoot or in the upper||Warm, doesn’t breathe or drain water super well, high heel counter|
|Bottom Line||These shoes are a great choice for folks looking to go fast on hard-packed single track||The cream of the crop for trail running shoes delivers fine-tuned long run performance||The perfect definition of a do-everything trail running shoe, which also happens to be zero-drop||A very comfortable, low riding shoe that has excellent and durable traction||A very popular shoe known for its excellent traction, redesigned to not be so prohibitively narrow|
|Rating Categories||Nike Air Zoom Terra...||Salomon S/Lab Ultra 3||Inov-8 Terraultra G...||Inov-8 Roclite 290||Salomon Speedcross 5|
|Foot Protection (25%)|
|Specs||Nike Air Zoom Terra...||Salomon S/Lab Ultra 3||Inov-8 Terraultra G...||Inov-8 Roclite 290||Salomon Speedcross 5|
|Measured Weight (per pair)||21 oz (size 9.5)||22.4 oz (size 11)||20.9 oz (size 11)||21.6 oz (size 11)||24.4 oz (size 11)|
|Heel-to-Toe Drop||4.5 mm||8 mm||0 mm||4 mm||10 mm|
|Stack Height (Heel, Forefoot)||16.5 mm, 12 mm||26 mm, 18 mm||22 mm, 22 mm||17.5 mm, 13.5 mm||30 mm, 20 mm|
|Upper||Mesh||Anti-Debris Mesh with sockliner||Breathable Mesh||Mesh upper with ADAPTERWEB foot cradle system||Nylon mesh, synthetic overlays|
|Midsole||React foam, Zoom Air heel unit||Energy Save PU foam with Profeel Film rock protection||Powerflow Max||PowerFlow||Injected EVA|
|Outsole||Rubber||Contagrip MA Rubber||Graphene Grip||Tri-C Sticky||Contagrip|
|Lacing Style||Traditional||Quicklace with garage||Traditional||Traditional||One pull QuickLace system with lace pocket|
|Wide Version Available?||No||No||No||No||No|
|Sizes Available||6 - 15||4 - 13||7 - 15||7 - 15||7 - 14|
Our Analysis and Test Results
We've been fans of the last few iterations of the Nike Air Zoom Terra Kiger, and this latest addition mostly follows the path of predecessors, with a few tweaks. This shoe features the same Nike React midsole, but the stack height is a little higher, and the rock plate in the forefoot has been moved back a bit and now resides directly under the midfoot, while the uppers remain largely unchanged.
While this shoe certainly doesn't have the best protection, it does have an excellent balance of protection and sensitivity. With a stack height of 16.5mm under the heel and 12mm in the forefoot, there's not a lot between your foot and the trail. However, the React foam combined with the air pocket in the heel and the rock plate under the midfoot make it feel like there is a lot more than what the numbers say. This isn't our favorite shoe for rocky, technical trails with the occasional scramble, but that has more to do with traction and stability, as ithe protection is adequate for most terrain, even shorter distances on pavement.
This tread of the Terra Kiger 7 consists of a shallow lug pattern that sheds mud well and performs perfectly on hard-packed single track and dirt fire roads. It features Nike's high abrasion rubber, which we've found to be durable and resist breaking down longer than much of the competition. The midfoot has exposed React foam, and while we didn't damage or puncture that part of the outsole, heavy midfoot strikers should be wary. When cruising over talus or wet granite slabs, the rubber doesn't feel as sticky as compounds from Salomon or La Sportiva, but we felt very confident bombing steep dirt trails.
Like previous versions of this shoe, lucky number 7 is a sensitive model, letting you feel roots, rocks, and uneven terrain while still protecting your tired feet. This gave us the confidence to really let loose on the downhills, as we could easily feel the trail and react quickly to whatever came our way.
With a somewhat low stack height and plenty of room for the forefoot to splay while remaining locked in place, this shoe feels wonderfully stable. It has just enough drop to encourage forefoot striking and give that sense of forward inertia we've come to expect from the modern running shoe, without the heel feeling clunky.
We find the Terra Kiger to be very comfortable. It fits true to size and has a medium width, with a little extra room in the forefoot. The fit reminds us of some of our favorite models from Salomon. The upper is a breathable perforated synthetic and feels light and airy along with the lightly padded tongue. The tongue has just enough padding to keep the laces from feeling too tight over the top of the foot, even when they're cranked down on a high-volume foot.
Our scale puts a pair of these shoes at 21 ounces for a size 9.5. While not the absolute lightest shoe we've reviewed, they offer a lot of comfort and protection for such a light shoe. If counting ounces is your thing, we implore you to check these shoes out, as they are a worthy compromise.
This shoe has an average price and way above average performance, so it's easy to call it a great value. So far in our experience, they are very durable, and we expect to get loads of pleasurable miles out of them.
The Nike Air Zoom Terra Kiger 7 will appeal to many different runners. They are lightweight, and the medium amount of drop will appeal to experienced trail runners and road runners. Folks new to hitting the trail will appreciate the cushioning and familiar feel. Just remember that smooth and flowy trails are their forte, as you may want something more protective for mega runs in the mountains.
— Matt Bento