Gear Review: Nike Zoom Terra Kiger 3 Trail Shoe

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The Nike Wildhorse 3 has been my do everything shoe this year. I get to test and review a lot of shoes, but none fit my feet and perform quite like the Wildhorse. I use them for hiking, backpacking, trail running, travel, and even a little road running. The combination of cushion, grip, protection, and comfort are second to none in my book. As much as I love the Wildhorse, there are times when they feel like just a little too much shoe. With an 8mm drop and a plush midsole, I sometimes get the urge for something a little more responsive. This feeling is what drew me to the Nike Zoom Terra Kiger. The Terra Kiger is the streamlined race car in the Nike trail running line up. Where the Wildhorse is built for all day comfort, the Terra Kiger is built for speed.

Support Trail to Peak by purchasing the Terra Kiger 3 on Amazon:

Nike Mens Zoom Terra Kiger 3

Nike Zoom Terra Kiger 3 Shoe Review Trail Running Hiking
Nike Zoom Terra Kiger 3

Fit and Feel:

I wear a 12.5 in the Wildhorse and a 12.5 in the Terra Kiger, this my usual shoe size for most trail running shoes. The overall volume of the Terra Kiger is pretty tight, but not it a bad way. The fit just feels snug, secure, and precise. There isn’t much of a heel counter, but because of the snug fit, there is no slippage or movement while running and hiking. The toebox volume is low and takes a little getting used to. On my first few wears, I thought the shoe might be a little too small, but as they broke in, I’m glad I stayed with the 12.5. The toe box is comfortable and wide like the Wildhorse, which is welcome comfort when compared to the tight toebox of Nike’s road running shoes. My favorite part of the fit and feel is with the midfoot wrap Fly-wire. The Fly-wire does a great job of locking my food down with out any hot spots or pressure points. The inside of this shoe is virtually seamless and can be worn barefoot in comfort.

Nike Zoom Terra Kiger 3 Shoe Review Trail Running Hiking


The upper on the Terra Kiger 3 is different than the upper on the Wildhorse 3 and uses a more open mesh. The mesh breathes incredible well and does a good job of keeping out dirt and debris. One are on the Terra Kiger that I like better than the Wildhorse is the half wrapped tongue. The Wildhorse has a standard ungussetted tongue.The Terra Kiger has the tongue fully attached on one side, so it really wraps the foot nicely.

Nike Zoom Terra Kiger 3 Shoe Review Trail Running Hiking
Tongue And Upper

The shape and last of the Terra Kiger is very comfortable and molds nicely to my food. I’ve worn these shoes on slow days and for speed work, and they feel like socks for anything I through at them. Even when I use them for sprints on the track, they stick to my feet like glue without any irritation. This is one of the first shoes I’ve been able to use for such a wide range of applications.

As I mentioned above, the toe box volume can feel a bit constricting at first, but the shape is very nice. I have a bit of a duck foot, with a narrow heel and wide forefoot. These shoes fit my foot shape without issue. The Wildhorse is perfect, but these are pretty close to perfect.

Nike Zoom Terra Kiger 3 Shoe Review Trail Running Hiking
Toe Box Open Mesh


The midsole is where the Terra Kiger and Wildhorse really start to differ. The Terra Kiger has a 4mm drop with 24mm in the heel and 20mm in the forefoot. The 4mm is half of the 8mm found in the Wildhorse. The Terra Kiger uses low profile zoom air units in the heel and forefoot which makes for very comfortable and responsive cushioning in a lightwieght package. I thought the low profile would make this shoe harsh on hard packed trails, but that has not been the case. Just like the Wildhorse, the Terra Kiger uses a full length Phylon midsole. I haven’t started putting too many miles on these yet, but I’ve been getting a solid 300 miles out of my Wildhorses. There isn’t much in the way of pronounced arch support in the Terra Kiger, but they are very stable.

Nike Zoom Terra Kiger 3 Shoe Review Trail Running Hiking
Nike Zoom Terra Kiger 3 Shoe Review Trail Running Hiking


The outsole on the Terra Kiger is virtually identical to that of the Wildhorse. It all starts with the super grippy waffle pattern. I’ve found this outsole pattern to work well on everything I’ve tried it on. The outer edge is a black carbon rubber, and the inner pattern, is a more colorful sticky rubber. I hit 200 miles on my first pair of Wildhorse 3s before they started to show any signs of wear. Even after 320 miles, a few of the lugs are flat, but the outsole is still very functional. I’m hoping to get the same kind of wear out of this outsole on the Terra Kiger. So far so good.

Unlike the Wildhorse 3, the Terra Kiger does not have a rock plate in the forefoot. It does have a zoom air unit, but it’s not quite as protective. The plus side to this is that the shoe feels more flexible, and offers better ground feel. The down side is that I tend to feel a little more of the rocks on trail than I’m used to.

Nike Zoom Terra Kiger 3 Shoe Review Trail Running Hiking
Terra Kiger Outsole

Support Trail to Peak by purchasing the Terra Kiger 3 on Amazon:

Nike Mens Zoom Terra Kiger 3

Final Thoughts

I came to the Terra Kiger 3 looking for a faster, more responsive, version of the Nike Wildhorse 3 and it has delivered. I still use my Wildhorse 3s for longer hikes, runs, and days in the mountains. The Terra Kiger 3 is my go to shoe for shorter runs, quick hikes, or days when I just want to go and feel fast. They’re a little more expensive than the Wildhorse 3 at $125 (Wildhorse is $110), but I feel they offer great value for that price. If you’re looking for a responsive shoe with a low drop that runs fast, this is a great option.


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17 thoughts on “Gear Review: Nike Zoom Terra Kiger 3 Trail Shoe”

  1. Really good write up. Question for you, since you try out a lot of trail shoes. I run in a Mizuno Wave Rider 10 2E and have found nothing comparable in terms of a trail shoe. I just can’t find any quality brands that make a “wide.” Any guidance? Thanks!

    • Thanks, Russell. Finding a true wide trail shoe is not an easy task. I think New Balance is the only company that does. Altra makes shoes that tend to work well for people with wide feet, but they’re just a D width and a wide toebox, not a 2E. You might want to take a look at the New Balance Leadville v3 in a size 2E. It’s also important to assess your foot on a Brannock device and see if you truly do have a wide foot. My feet are wide, but they are low volume. If I were to wear a 2E shoe, the width would feel great, but my feet would be swimming around. Sometimes people with wide feet just need a wide toebox and a shoe that allows for the expansion of their midfoot.

  2. Loving these shoe reviews. I’m really particular about my shoes for hiking and running, but I don’t know much about them in general. The more I read your reviews, the better my understanding of what I’m looking at and why I may or may not want/need a certain feature. Thanks!

    • Thanks, Robb. I started to really get in to the development and design of footwear back when I was running marathons. Like you, I’ve always been really particular about my shoes. Learning all the terminology really helped me dial in on the shoes that work well for my feet.


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