Summary

We spent 6.1 hours reading reviews from experts and users. In summary, this is what runners think:

5 reasons to buy

  • Many were impressed by the updated version of the Nike Air Zoom Wildhorse which offers great levels of comfort, cushioning and support.
  • The Nike Air Zoom Wildhorse 3 has a rock plate that keeps the foot protected while running on rough surfaces.
  • The rubber forefoot gives impressive grip on wet surfaces.
  • The 3rd version of the Air Zoom Wildhorse has a wider forefoot for enhanced foot splay and comfort.
  • The Wildhorse 3 is durable, said some user reviews.

2 reasons not to buy

  • The shoe is too narrow for some runners.
  • Some complained that the laces loosen constantly which is quite annoying.

Bottom line

The Nike Air Zoom Wildhorse 3 offers more than its previous version. It gives runners maximum support and impressive protective comfort. This shoe was designed for trail running and it has the traction needed for wet and rough surfaces. Overall, the Wildhorse gained positive reviews from its users.

Facts

Rankings

Among the better Trail running shoes
A top rated Nike running shoe
It has never been more popular than this May

Expert Reviews

82 / 100 based on 14 expert reviews

  • 80 / 100 | Gearist | | Level 5 expert

    The agility of the Wildhorse 3 is good though not as much as the Kiger 3. This is partially due to the lack of breaks in the full-coverage outsole (the Kiger sports basically full-coverage also, but there are small line gaps which aid flexibility) but also to the additional midsole stack.

  • 75 / 100 | The Ginger Runner | | Level 5 expert

    Not quite as plush as I was hoping

  • 89 / 100 | Trail to Peak | | Level 5 expert

    The Wildhorse 3 is durable, stable, comfortable, and downright functional. It also looks great in my opinion. 

  • 88 / 100 | Running Competitor | | Level 5 expert

    It provides a lot of protection for your feet without feeling the least bit clunky.”

  • 86 / 100 | Runblogger | | Level 5 expert

    The outsole of the Wildhorse 3 also gets a makeover. The lugs are a bit larger/longer in the central region, and those surrounding the margin of the sole are much more prominent.

  • 80 / 100 | Sportskeeda | | Level 5 expert

    With its amazing strength-to-weight ratio, Dynamic Flywire cables aid in dropping the weight of Wildhorse 3. An EVA sock-liner on the curvature of the heel and arch area offer increased comfort and support.

Become an expert
  • Nike presents several changes in the Wildhorse 3 that modify the dynamics of the shoe and make it better suited for bruising ultra-long runs as well as technical trail running. The shoe is meatier and heavier than ever to provide runners improved comfort, durability, protection, and cushioning for extended periods of really long runs.
  • One clear change is the removal of the lightweight mesh with something infinitely stronger and more durable. It currently features a reinforced, dual-layered mesh that is as breathable as before, but can substantially take more serious poundings than the past upper iteration. A closer look shows a bigger and more prominent overlay acting as toe protection. It effectively protects the toes without sacrificing flexibility as it is a bit elastic.
  • Cushioning and underfoot protection get a huge boost as well. The 3rd iteration of the Wildhorse now offers a higher stack height with an 8mm heel offset. Previously, the stack height was 22mm heel and 18mm forefoot. The new dimensions of 28mm heel and 20mm forefoot are very substantial changes that deliver more cushioning and protection. It allows Nike to place a meatier midsole foam for more cushioning and protection. Speaking of protection, the inclusion of a new dense rock plate takes ultra-running underfoot protection to another level.
  • Nike answers to heel slippage issues by providing a more substantial heel counter that really secures the foot from any type of extraneous movement.
  • For a trail shoe that comes up with several changes to change its performance and goal, the outsole has to undergo a revamp as well. In this case, Nike adds 4mm beveled lugs that practically blanket the entire outsole. This update increases in several levels the grip of the shoe in a variety of trail areas.

Nike calls the fit standard, but is considerably wider than any of the past models. The aim is to provide more room for the toes to splay and to accommodate swelling, especially since it usually happens during ultra-long runs on challenging trails. The heel and midfoot have adequate snugness. It is an update that makes the shoe more versatile as it can cater to the needs of a multitude of runners. The available widths are D for the men’s and B for the women’s. Sizing is standard with options ranging from 7 to 15 for the men’s and 5 to 12 for the women’s.

The ever-reliable waffle outsole is still utilized in the Zoom Wildhorse 3, but presently incorporates 4mm lugs all over the place. Combining sticky rubber in most areas while a carbon rubber covers high-impact sections, the outsole is an excellent blend of serious bite and incredible durability.

There are two components that make up the midsole. There is the iconic Zoom Air unit in the heel that compresses upon impact and goes back to its original form for a more responsive run. As the unit compresses, it also absorbs most of the shock to soften the impact upon landing. A full-length Phylon foam, which is very durable and resilient for such a lightweight material, handles the responsive cushioning in this shoe.

A heavy-duty and double-layered open mesh forms a majority of the upper. It has more than adequate breathability with enhanced durability for brutal trail runs. Welded overlays are strategically placed to provide superior structure and lockdown support. A molded-EVA sockliner enhances interior comfort and fit. Nike uses the Flywire cables that are directly connected to the sole for a better wraparound fit and support.

Author
Jens Jakob Andersen
Jens Jakob Andersen

Jens Jakob is a fan of short distances with a 5K PR at 15:58 minutes. Based on 35 million race results, he's among the fastest 0.2% runners. Jens Jakob previously owned a running store, when he was also a competitive runner. His work is regularly featured in The New York Times, Washington Post, BBC and the likes as well as peer-reviewed journals. Finally, he has been a guest on +30 podcasts on running.

jens@runrepeat.com