Neutral / cushion / high arch
Shoes for runners who do not need any additional arch support (Around 50% of runners). Best for people with normal, high or medium high arches. See the best neutral shoes.
Stability / overpronation / normal arch
Shoes for runners who need mild to moderate arch support (Around 45% of runners). Best for runners with a low arch. See the best stability shoes.
Motion control / severe overpronation / flat feet
Shoes for runners who needs a lot of arch support. Best for runners with flat feet. See the best motion control shoes.
Good to know
Heel to toe dropMen: 8mmWomen: 8mm
The height difference from the heel to the forefoot, also known as heel drop, toe spring, heel to toe spring or simply drop.
There are many opinions about what a good heel drop is. We do not recommend any in particular. Lean more in this video.
Heel heightMen: 28mmWomen: 28mm
Forefoot heightMen: 20mmWomen: 20mm
WidthMen: NormalWomen: Normal
Release dateApr 2019
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92 / 100 based on 2 expert reviews
Gonna' take my Wildhorse 5 to the old town road - Run 'til I can't no moreMore photos
The Nike Kiger 4s was my absolute favorite trail running shoe up to that point, and I put hundreds of miles on them very quickly. They're actually still in my rotation, though with how many miles I've logged on them they probably shouldn't be.
Having loved the Kiger 4, I figured I'd give the Nike Air Zoom Wildhorse 5 a try. From my perspective, they seemed to be a more beefed-up version of the Kigers with more significant cushion and heel-to-toe drop for longer outings.
Since I've been hitting some longer miles on the weekends in the Rocky Mountains, I thought the Wildhorse 5 would be the perfect long-distance solution.
As of writing this review, I've used the Wildhorse 5 to cover 75+ miles (10,000+ ft of elevation gain/loss) on primarily Boulder County and Rocky Mountain National Park trails. It's been a dry month, so I haven't experimented with the shoe in muddy conditions yet, but it has had a shot at some rather slick portions of some damp trails.
Yeah, I'm gonna' take my Wildhorse 5s to the Rocky Mountains. I'm gonna' run 'til I can't no more...
Without further ado, here are my experiences and review of the Nike Wildhorse 5.
After unboxing the Wildhorse 5 (beautiful looking shoe in my opinion), I was stoked to give them a try. I took them to local Lake McIntosh for a quick 4-mile run. At first, the shoe felt stiff.
More stiff than most new trail runners, but after getting 10+ miles in them, they finally started to break in and feel right.
Surprisingly, I had the same experience with the responsiveness. At first, I felt like my feet were just slamming into the ground, and it wasn't until I hit double-digit mileage that I begin to feel some energy return from each step.
It should be noted, also, that I hit a 12-month PR (still recovering from injuries) in these shoes the first week without any extra input, so that was a huge confidence boost in the Wildhorse.
Honestly, my first impressions with the shoe weren't great. I was regretting buying them over the Kiger 5s. But after a full week of breaking them in, I finally began to experience the true Wildhorse that everyone else was raving about.
TLTR? Here's the Quick Pros and Cons
After 75+ miles, here are the pros and cons of the Wildhorse 5. I'll go into greater detail in the review, but if you have places to be and runs to run, here's the quick and easy:
- Cheap: I bought these shoes at a wonderful $88, and that's fantastic for any trail running shoe. Granted, these were discounted from the original selling price, but the Wildhorse's selling price started and is still far below the Kiger 5s, which is a huge plus for me.
- Durability: After 75+ miles in this shoe, it's showing very little signs of wear and tear. The upper and outsole of the shoe still look pristine, so I imagine I have hundreds of miles left in the shoe. The cushion does seem to be collapsing a bit faster than the outside appearance of the shoe, but it's not at an alarming rate.
- Roomy Toe-Box: Lots of room for your feet to breathe and splay naturally. I never find myself in a hurry to get out of the shoes and back to my slides.
- Padded Tongue: This is a pro and a con. Honestly, it feels good to have the cushioned tongue hugging the top of my foot, but sometimes it causes the foot to feel constrained and like I need to loosen the laces. Win-loss.
- Light: This shoe is heavier than the Kigers, but I've been surprisingly satisfied with the light feel. At just about 10.6 ounces, it's still a relatively lighter trail shoe.
- Poor Heel Fit: The shoe feels snug all around except for in the heel pocket. I have to lace up the shoes a bit too tight if I want my foot to sit securely in the heel pocket, which I'm not a big fan of. When I'm bombing hills, it sometimes feels like my heel is flapping along without the security I'd prefer.
- Grip: On dirt trails and crush rock, these shoes hold up no problem, but I've found they're not quite as grippy when I'm doing some class 2, class 3 scrambling. And if it's wet, the grip gets detrimentally worse.
- Cushion Fails Quickly: I was planning on using this shoe for my longer runs, but I've found the cushion collapses a bit prematurely. Miles 3-5 feel fantastic, but then the shoes seem to lose most responsiveness after that. I usually rotate shoes to give each pair a 48-hour break, so when I return to the Wildhorse 5 a couple of days later, the cushion is there, but it just doesn't seem to last as much as I'd prefer.
The protection provided by the rock plate is excellent, as I've yet to feel anything from the jagged rocks I frequently encounter.
The grip, however, leaves me wanting much more. The lug pattern reminded me of the Kiger 4 (which provided fantastic grip), but I was unfortunately surprised to find it didn't perform as I'd hoped.
I don't feel as confident as I would like to when bombing down steep trails or scrambling over rocks. And if I'm trying to hop between wet rocks while crossing a stream, I find myself very uncomfortable.
The cushioning was the primary reason I opted for the Wildhorse 5 over the Kigers, yet it didn't deliver as I'd hoped.
Sure, when you slip them on, you feel the extra cushioning padding your foot all around, but it just doesn't hold up to the beating from the trails.
After a few miles, the cushioning seems to fall behind the Kigers. The extreme cushioning of the tongue is a pro and con for me. Sometimes it makes the most feel extra secure, but other times it causes the foot to be constrained.
Really happy with the upper. The shoe feels snug and great (except for the heel), and I love the welded overlays for support, fit, and protection.
Not a whole lot of breathability and poor drainage, but besides that, couldn't ask for more from the upper.
All-in-all, while the Wildhorse 5 doesn't check all my boxes, I can't deny it's a high-quality shoe. From the upper to the laces to the outsole, everything feels well-made and durable.
Reading this review, it may seem like I had more negative things to say, but overall, I like the Wildhorse 5. It just didn't deliver on the points I was hoping it would.
For the beginning trail runner looking for a shoe to handle a variety of terrains and distances, I'd say this is a go-to trainer. I wouldn't recommend it for any ultraraces, though, since I feel like the cushioning just doesn't perform as long as it should.
For now, I'm going to take my Wildhorse 5s to the Old Town Road and keeping running.
They have hundreds of miles left in them, and while they might not be my go-to, they're going to fit nicely into my weekly rotation for shorter, slower training runs.
This expert has been verified by RunRepeat. Reviews are neutral, unbiased and based on extensive testing.
With minor changes, the Wildhorse 5 got just a little bit better. The upper became more traditional and lighter weight, while the rest of the shoe stayed the same. It might be more accurate to think of this shoe as the Wildhorse 4.5, because there is a lot of shared DNA with the 4. It still has problems when it is wet outside, and that’s disappointing - a new rubber compound or different outsole design could have fixed that flaw, but underneath the foot nothing really changed.
- The Nike Air Zoom Wildhorse 5 features a major update in its upper. The shoe received a new look but it still offers maximum breathability just like its predecessor. The new version now uses an open mesh that is still flexible and durable.
The Nike Wildhorse 5 has a standard running shoe length and it runs true to size. The shoe offers medium fit from the heel to the forefoot and it has a toe box that is roomy enough for the toes to splay.
The men’s and women’s version of the shoe is available in standard medium width option. Wide-footed runners should consider purchasing a larger size to get the perfect fit.
In the outsole of the Nike Air Zoom Wildhorse 5 is the high-abrasion rubber that is environmentally-friendly. It gives durability to the outer sole without affecting flexibility and traction.
Configured in the outsole is also the multi-directional lugs that are designed to deliver reliable traction on soft and hard surfaces.
Added in between the midsole and the outsole is the Stoneshield. It provides added underfoot protection to keep the foot safe from sharp trail debris. This additional layer does not affect the shoe’s flexibility.
Utilized in the midsole is the full-length Phylon foam that delivers lightweight cushioning. It protects the foot against impact and delivers flexibility for a more satisfying running experience.
A crash pad is added at the bottom of the heel. It has a gender-specific design and is efficient in reducing landing impact.
In the upper of the Wildhorse 5 is the open mesh material. This mesh coverage has enough ventilation to keep the foot dry and sweat-free. It also offers maximum durability for long-term use. It also comes with seamless overlays for structural integrity and improved fit.
The Dynamic Flywire is integrated into the lacing system. It is used to give runners an impressive fit and added support. It also provides a secure mid-foot lockdown.
The padded tongue and collar provides added comfort and enhanced fit.
The Air Zoom Wildhorse is one of the trail running shoe models from Nike. Now on its 5th version, the shoe continues to deliver the best to runners of all levels. There are two features that make the shoe a winning model to most trail runners - the traction and cushioning.
Traction. Trail shoes with multi-directional lugs are reliable when it comes to both uphill and downhill runs. The lugs of the Wildhorse 5 are aggressive yet lightweight and they offer long-lasting stability on uneven terrains.
Cushioning. The combination of the Phylon foam and Zoom Air unit functions incredibly well on the trails. People love how responsive and soft the performance of the midsole is, making the Nike Wildhorse 5 a good option for trail runners.