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Nike Air Zoom Terra Kiger 7 Review

These shoes are a great choice for folks looking to go fast on hard-packed single track
Nike Air Zoom Terra Kiger 7
Credit: Nike
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Price:  $140 List | $90.97 at Backcountry
Compare prices at 3 resellers
Pros:  Light, sensitive, very stable
Cons:  Traction inadequate on slick surfaces
Manufacturer:   Nike
By Matt Bento ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  Mar 6, 2022
Our Editors independently research, test, and rate the best products. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Learn more
72
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#12 of 19
  • Foot Protection - 25% 6.0
  • Traction - 20% 6.0
  • Sensitivity - 15% 8.0
  • Stability - 15% 9.0
  • Comfort - 15% 9.0
  • Weight - 10% 6.0

Our Verdict

The Nike Air Zoom Terra Kiger 7 is an excellent trail shoe for fast and flowy trails. It has an outstanding balance of protection and sensitivity and feels like it has way more cushion than what's there. These shoes can take you from the pavement to the fire roads to winding single track with ease, though mountain runners will want a stickier rubber for running over exposed granite (like the La Sportiva Kaptiva). For everyone else (except those with the narrowest of feet), the Terra Kiger is a worthy choice that we would not hesitate to add to our own shoe collection.

Editor's Note: The Nike Air Zoom Terra Kiger 7 review was updated on March 6, 2022, with more in-depth product comparisons and suggestions on which shoes you should buy.

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Overall Score Sort Icon
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Pros Light, sensitive, very stableUnbeatable fit, very comfortable, fantastic underfoot protection, doesn’t absorb much water, ankle collar keeps out debris, very stableUltralight, supportive, uncharacteristically agileWell cushioned, comfortable fit, sticky rubber grips rock very well, decent priceAffordable, comfortable ride, versatile crossover option
Cons Traction inadequate on slick surfacesExpensive, hard to get on foot, must wear above the ankle height socks, hard to stuff laces into garageLoose-fitting heel pocket, lack of trail feelingHigh heel counter, not the lightestSoft upper is unstable, lacks energy, inconsistent traction
Bottom Line These shoes are a great choice for folks looking to go fast on hard-packed single trackThe cream of the crop for trail running shoes delivers fine-tuned long run performanceAn ultra-supportive trail runner with an agile feel that is unlike any other HOKA shoe we've ever testedA very well cushioned shoe that is optimal for heel strikers and makes for a great option for everyday training as well as ultra distancesA comfortable, consistent, and approachable shoe for those looking to crossover from roads to trail running
Rating Categories Nike Air Zoom Terra... Salomon S/Lab Ultra 3 HOKA Torrent 2 Salomon Sense Ride 4 Brooks Divide 2
Foot Protection (25%)
6.0
9.0
8.0
7.0
7.0
Traction (20%)
6.0
7.0
7.0
7.0
6.0
Sensitivity (15%)
8.0
6.0
5.0
8.0
6.0
Stability (15%)
9.0
9.0
7.0
7.0
8.0
Comfort (15%)
9.0
9.0
9.0
8.0
9.0
Weight (10%)
6.0
6.0
9.0
7.0
6.0
Specs Nike Air Zoom Terra... Salomon S/Lab Ultra 3 HOKA Torrent 2 Salomon Sense Ride 4 Brooks Divide 2
Measured Weight (per pair) 21 oz (size 9.5) 21.5 oz (size 9.5) 18.3 oz (size 9.5) 20.7 oz (size 9.5) 21.5 oz (size 9.5)
Stack Height (Heel, Forefoot) 16.5 mm, 12 mm 26 mm, 18 mm 23 mm, 18 mm 27 mm, 19 mm 25 mm, 17 mm
Heel-to-Toe Drop 4.5 mm 8 mm 5 mm 8 mm 8 mm
Lug Depth Not Available 4 mm 5 mm 3 mm 3 mm
Upper Mesh Anti-Debris mesh with sockliner Unifi REPREVE recycled mesh, TPU Synthetic mesh Mesh, TPU
Midsole React foam, Zoom Air heel unit Energy Save PU foam with Profeel Film rock protection HOKA Profly: dual-density foam Optivibe Brooks BioMoGo EVA foam
Outsole Rubber Contagrip MA Rubber Rubber Contagrip MA rubber Brooks TrailTack rubber
Rock Plate? Yes Yes No No Yes
Lacing Style Traditional Quicklace with garage Traditional Quicklace with garage Traditional
Wide Version Available? No No No No No
Sizes Available 6 - 15 US 4 - 13 US 7 - 15 US 7 - 14 US 7 - 15 US

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 essentially unchanged.

Performance Comparison


Nike Air Zoom Terra Kiger 7 trail running shoes - hard packed dirt trails is where these shows really show their stuff.
Hard packed dirt trails is where these shows really show their stuff.
Credit: Ryan Baker

Foot Protection


While this shoe certainly doesn't have the best protection, it does have an excellent balance of protection and sensitivity. Featuring a heel stack height of 16.5mm 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. It isn't our favorite shoe for rocky, technical trails with the occasional scramble, but that has more to do with traction and stability, as the protection is adequate for most terrain and is even suitable for shorter distances on the pavement.

Nike Air Zoom Terra Kiger 7 trail running shoes - the rock plate has migrated to the midfoot of the terra kiger 7...
The rock plate has migrated to the midfoot of the Terra Kiger 7, where it was in the forefoot of the previous version 6.
Credit: Ryan Baker

Traction


This tread of the Terra Kiger 7 consists of a shallow lug pattern that sheds mud well and performs well 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.

Nike Air Zoom Terra Kiger 7 trail running shoes - the tread isn't particularly deep, but it's tough and resists...
The tread isn't particularly deep, but it's tough and resists breaking down.
Credit: Ryan Baker

Sensitivity


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 sensitivity gave us the confidence to let loose on the downhills, as we could easily feel the trail and react quickly to whatever came our way.

Nike Air Zoom Terra Kiger 7 trail running shoes - perhaps our biggest gripe, the rubber could be stickier for running...
Perhaps our biggest gripe, the rubber could be stickier for running over smooth granite.
Credit: Matt Bento

Stability


This shoe feels wonderfully stable with a somewhat low stack height and plenty of room for the forefoot to splay while remaining locked in place. 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.

Nike Air Zoom Terra Kiger 7 trail running shoes - the low stack height and medium drop make these shoes feel very...
The low stack height and medium drop make these shoes feel very stable.
Credit: Ryan Baker

Comfort


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.

Nike Air Zoom Terra Kiger 7 trail running shoes - though the tongue is minimally padded, these shoes remain...
Though the tongue is minimally padded, these shoes remain comfortable when we crank down the laces.
Credit: Ryan Baker

Weight


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 lightweight shoe. If counting ounces is your thing, we implore you to check these shoes out, as they are a worthy compromise.

Nike Air Zoom Terra Kiger 7 trail running shoes - these light shoes are more for those who are nimble on their feet...
These light shoes are more for those who are nimble on their feet than for those who "crush" the trail.
Credit: Matt Bento

Should You Buy the Nike Air Zoom Terra Kiger 7?


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, and you may want something more protective for mega runs in the mountains.

Nike Air Zoom Terra Kiger 7 trail running shoes - our tester enjoying the miles of trails in the hills above carson...
Our tester enjoying the miles of trails in the hills above Carson City, NV.
Credit: Ryan Baker

What Other Trail Running Shoes Should You Consider?


This shoe has an average price and way above average performance relative to other shoes we've worn. In our experience, they are very durable, and we expect to get loads of pleasurable miles out of them. As stated above, these are not for extremely steep, rough, or rocky terrain. If this is the type of trail you like to take when out on a run, the Salomon Speedcross 5 or the Inov-8 Roclite 290 may be better suited to your style.

Matt Bento
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