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Nike Air Zoom Terra Kiger 8 review

The Nike Air Zoom Terra Kiger 8 is a lightweight and agile trail shoe for high-mileage off-road training. Here's our full review

Our rating 
4.3 out of 5 star rating 4.3
£125.95
Nike Air Zoom Terra Kiger 8

The Kiger 8 is neutral trail shoe that Nike describes as a ‘no frills shoe built with only what you need, for a secure fit and feel’.

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At first glance, the women’s version’s a stylish affair, built with the classic mesh upper, heel loop, and multidirectional lugs we’ve come to expect in a pair of trail kicks.

Meanwhile, updates from the Kiger 7 include a new mesh upper, which features an additional layer to help keep out debris. We like the textured style, but that extra layer can make the shoe feel less breathable after a few sweaty miles.

Fit and comfort

The main feature Nike aims to capitalise on is fit which, after several long runs in testing, we found no qualms with.

Comfort is boosted thanks to the shoe’s cushioned heel, gusseted tongue, which helps to prevent debris from entering, and lacing system with added zonal padding, all of which all help to securely lock in the foot when in motion and leave no sore pressure points.

In particular, the heel is designed to create a locked-in feel for better stability when running, helping to avoid heel slippage and any squished toes during descents.

That’s not to the detriment of space, however, as the shoe feels true to size, with a generous toe box for toe splay and foot-swelling over longer distances.

Run feel and protection

A thin toe bumper in the form of an overlay aims to provide some additional protection against small rubble on the trail, while keeping the shoe’s overall weight down.

The in-built React foam cushioning isn’t too soft, which has the desired effect of maintaining responsiveness, while the Air Zoom pod’s designed to provide an ‘extra spring’ when running and add to that energetic feel.

Despite feeling fast, we found the central rock plate, which aims to protect the sole of the foot from sharp rocks, made the shoe feel a little flat and rigid, especially on hard-packed surfaces.

In terms of build, the shoe offers neutral arch support with a relatively low heel-to-toe drop at 6mm. If you tend to overpronate or strike at the heel, this shoe geometry may not be optimal for you.

For this reason, we wouldn’t reach for the Kiger 8 for fast racing, for us they lacked that completely responsive feel needed to get into a proper rhythm on the trail, especially during forefoot running. As for weight, the shoe sits at 255g for a UK5.5, which is relatively agile for a trail shoe.

Traction and grip

The Kiger 8 sports the same 5mm multidirectional lugs as the 7, which provide ample traction in dry to mildly muddy conditions. They aren’t too unwieldy for short spurts on the tarmac, but if you often run on harder trail surfaces, then you may want to go for another Nike model with lugs smaller than 4mm, as the low profile translates to increased ground sensation.

Not a fan of the pink? Fear not, there’s also orange, green, black and mauve options in the women’s model.

Verdict: Decent trail shoes, but could feel too rigid for hard surfaces

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Score: 85%