4 Best Nike Hiking Running Shoes

Paul Ronto
Paul Ronto on
4 Best Nike Hiking Running Shoes
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If your next hikes involve summiting mountains and encountering technical terrains, shallow streams, and shrubberies, you may need a reliable pair of hiking shoes. If you’re out searching for the right fit, we have tested various All Conditions Gear (ACG) hiking shoes from Nike for you to consider, as they can double for urban hiking and outdoor adventure.

From waterproof ACG models to lightweight trail kicks, we discovered that the Nike hiking shoes have gained the trust of many when it comes to great quality, reliability, and comfort. The Swoosh offerings in the hiking category include the Nike ACG Air built for the great outdoors with an emphasis on comfort, protection, and style.

After field and lab testing all the shoes in our inventory and sifting through the data, we then rank all the best Nike hiking shoes and provide you with our in-depth reviews. Check them all out below.

How we test running shoes

For this guide, we put in the legwork and trekked 30+ miles for each pair of Nike shoes on a range of terrains and murky trails. We also analyse the technologies and the quality of materials used for all the footwear on the list.
Our procedure includes doing the following steps:
  • We purchase the Nike hiking shoes from our own pocket. This safeguards our complete freedom and impartiality when giving our assessments and publishing our reviews.
  • We wear each Nike model on actual hikes and backpacking trips to get a real-world feel of the fit, comfort, ankle stability, waterproofness, outsole traction, heel protection, and many more. We subject all the Nike shoes further to the grind of multi-day hikes, tackling tougher terrains and inclement weather.
  • We also scrutinise and crack them open inside our lab to accurately measure their different parameters.

Best Nike hiking shoes overall

What makes it the best?

An excellent all-rounder, this shoe is spectacularly grippy across all terrain, whilst being comfortable, agile, and displaying superb lockdown. The Nike Wildhorse 8 undoubtedly has an excellent pedigree, which is what makes it the best overall Nike hiking shoe in our lineup.

We were impressed with how easily the Wildhorse 8 tackles all types of terrain, and we decided to dive deeper to discover the reasons. Our durometer measurements showed a soft rubber on the outsole: 83.3 HC compared to the average 86.1 HC. The soft outsole offers more traction on hard or polished surfaces, such as rock and asphalt. On the other hand, our torsional rigidity tests showed this shoe is more flexible than average. We rated it 3/5, while the average is a stiffer 3.9/5. On uneven surfaces, such as rocks and roots, our feet can mold to the surface below, increasing our grip. The 3.5 mm lugs, while 1 mm shallower than average, are spaced in such a way that they shed mud and snow easily. All in all, we trust the adaptable Nike Wildhorse 8 to provide us with a firm foothold on whatever the trail throws at us.

The Wildhorse 8 almost gives us wings, and we feel comfortable and confident springing up and down rocky inclines. In the lab, we pushed the shoe to 90° with a force gauge. It showed 21.7N, proving this to be an almost unbelievably flexible shoe! It offers a very natural ride, allowing our foot to flex and move with the terrain.

We experienced unbeatable lockdown in this shoe, and even after long hikes, with plenty of ups and downs, our feet remained snugly locked in. We assessed the heel counter, rating it an average 3/5 - the perfect balance between comfort and rigidity while preventing our heels from slipping. The lacing over the padded tongue is reliable and we didn’t have to stop to adjust them.

We worry a bit about the durability of the Nike Wildhorse 8. With no toe bumper to protect our digits from bumps and scrapes, the upper doesn’t perform well in our durability tests either. The Dremel wore a large hole in the mesh upper after only 4 seconds. We don’t recommend the Nike Wildhorse 8 to hikers who need a more solid workhorse.


  • Superior upper comfort
  • Durable
  • No need to break it in
  • Superb lockdown
  • Ample toe box space
  • Great traction on muddy, boggy, snowy trails
  • Also comfortable on hard surfaces
  • Sheds mud easily
  • Stable and protective midsole
  • Smooth, enjoyable ride
  • Best for daily training and trail LSDs


  • Not as protective for the toes
  • Does not like to go fast
  • Can be unstable at fast paces
Full review of Nike Wildhorse 8

Best lightweight Nike hiking shoes

What makes it the best?

The latest edition of the Nike Terra Kiger range features numerous updates which make it a superb choice for hiking and trail running alike. The unbelievable plush midsole is offset by exceptional stability, all the while shaving off the extra grams. This is why the Nike Terra Kiger 9 can rightfully claim its spot as the best lightweight Nike hiking shoe.

The Nike Terra Kiger 9 has been on a strict diet when compared to the previous iterations! Our scales noted a superbly lightweight 10.2 oz (288g), 9% lighter than the Kiger 7. When compared to the average hiking shoe, which weighs 13 oz (374g), we see that this is indeed a lightweight shoe. The result for our feet is putting in more miles per day before they get tired.

The React foam cushioning offers a soft ride that is unrivaled in comfort, and it is always a delight to slip into these shoes. Our durometer measured the softness of the midsole at a stunning 17.3 HA! For reference, the average hiking shoe midsole is a significantly harder 30.7 HA. As a bonus, in our lab-simulated winter conditions (i.e. a freezer), the midsole only hardened up to 22.9 HA. This cushy ride keeps our feet comfortable all day on the trail, whether it’s warm or cold out.

With such a soft midsole, stability can be a cause for concern, but the Nike Terra Kiger 9 refuses to compromise. In the lab, we measured the width of the forefoot at 115.3 mm, a full 4.1 mm wider than average. The heel, too, is 2.2 mm wider than average, at 89.9 mm. Combined, they make for a wide landing surface which provides stability and prevents our feet from rolling, even when hiking over rocks and roots.

Although the 4.4 mm lugs are around average for hiking shoes, we found that the Nike Terra Kiger 9 doesn’t perform well on soft terrain such as mud or snow. We therefore don’t recommend them to hikers who need a shoe with reliable traction for wet, soft surfaces.


  • Bouncy and durable React foam
  • Excellent grip on dry terrain
  • Built-like-a-tank upper
  • Adequate cushioning for long runs
  • Fantastic choice for wide feet
  • No heel slippage
  • Light and agile
  • Remarkable value at £160
  • Outstanding choice for forefoot strikers


  • Subpar grip performance on wet terrain
  • Could be more stable
Full review of Nike Terra Kiger 9

Best Nike hiking shoes for trail and city

What makes it the best?

Among the Nike hiking-running shoes we ran in and dissected in the lab, React Pegasus Trail 4 is our top road-to-trail shoe. It has the grip to handle road pavements and moderate trails, a balanced cushion for a responsive and well-planted ride, and a flexible nature that encourages smoother transitions. 

Starting with traction, the outsole gave us the confidence to run through asphalt, loose soil, and gravel confidently. Our durometer shows its rubber is slightly above average, protecting us from sharp rocks. Meanwhile, the 3.4 mm lugs supported our uphill and downhill adventures with ease. They didn’t get in the way when we shifted to road running and found the depth optimal for hybrid shoes.

The firm cushion has enough stack for comfort and bounce on the road. Meanwhile, the denser foam offers better ground feel, protection, and stability on trails. Upon checking in the lab, the React foam is 24.1% firmer than average. 

Its airy and flexible nature allows us to be agile, promoting control and speed. Our flex test shows this trail shoe is 13.0% more adaptive than average. Weighing only 9.6 oz (272g), it’s way lighter than the average trail shoe (10.4 oz / 296g).

React Pegasus runs narrower than average. For those with wider feet, we recommend checking if the wide option is accommodating enough.


  • Efficient road-to-trail
  • Well-cushioned
  • Stable ride
  • Excellent, secure fit
  • Very breathable
  • Great traction
  • Unexpectedly light
  • Reasonably priced


  • Not for muddy areas
  • Not for wide feet
  • Could be more stylish
Full review of Nike Pegasus Trail 4

Best Nike shoes for water hiking

What makes it the best?

As an “all conditions gear,” we found ACG Watercat+ best for water hiking among Nike hybrid shoes we tested. We effortlessly traversed through currents as the Watercat+ cut through the water gracefully — and effectively drained it. Its low stance gives ground feel and its stickiness helps us control our balance on wet rocks.

Our feet can breathe freely and dry out almost instantly when we leave the water. The basket-looking shoe weaves cords together, leaving holes for faster drying. We never had to soak our feet in stagnant water because the sole has perforations for underfoot drainage too!

Watercat+ gives a nearly barefoot feel with its malleable and grounded build. We feel nimble and can easily balance on unstable ground, especially underwater. In our lab bend test, it emerged 30.7% more flexible than the average hiking shoe. Our caliper confirms its lower-than-average 22.0/17.3 mm stack — leading to a leveled 4.7 mm drop that connects us closer to the surface.

Honoring its feline name, it gives us remarkable traction on slippery rocks. Our wet adventures feel steady thanks to the rounded beehive patterns on the outsole that act like suction cups.

Unfortunately, the minimalist upper isn’t solid enough to provide ankle support for pronators. It doesn’t hold our feet in place, so we recommend exploring other options if stability is a priority.


  • Outstanding water drainage
  • Immensely breathable
  • Excellent abrasion resistance
  • Very light on foot
  • Amazingly grippy on wet
  • Very grounded platform
  • Bends along with the foot
  • Adaptable fit with a roomy toebox
  • Easy on-and-off
  • Comfy in-shoe feel
  • Bold aesthetics


  • No arch or ankle support
  • Catches debris and small pebbles easily
Full review of Nike ACG Watercat+

Nike has been a powerhouse in the footwear industry since the beginning of time. Or at least it feels that way. That’s because Nike has continually designed, tested, and manufactured purpose-built footwear for a wide selection of activities, like performance footwear for sports, running shoes, and everyday shoes for everyday errands.


So it wasn’t surprising when Nike entered into the outdoor footwear industry. As you’d expect Nike’s lineup of hiking shoes seems to making customers happy.   

Nike “All Condition Gear” Shoes

Nike All Condition Gear (ACG) is Nike’s special foray into footwear and apparel for outdoor activities. The motto for ACG gear is “Designed, Tested, and Made on Planet Earth. For Outdoor Use.”

Regarding footwear, Nike has a brand new line of fresh ACG hiking shoes, all of which are specifically designed to take you places outside and accompany you on adventures. Let’s take a quick look at some of the core components of Nike ACG hiking shoes.

To start, I’ve categorised the ACG lineup into two categories– hiking boots and shoes and slip-on shoes and sandals.  

ACG Hiking Boots and Shoes

The Nike ACG lineup has a selection of high-top hiking boots, like the ACG Air Zoom Gaiadome GORE-TEX and ACG GORE-TEX Mountain Fly.

The ACG Gaiadome GORE-TEX is Nike’s rendition of a classic hiking boot. It has a classic lace-up closure system, a robust upper with a high-top collar for ankle support and protection, a grippy outsole for messy off-pavement trails, and a GORE-TEX membrane for waterproofing.

On the other hand, the ACG GORE-TEX Mountain Fly is more like a lightweight hiking shoe. However, it features an integrated high-top gaiter around the ankle to add a little protection and some support while sealing off the shoe's interior from dirt and debris.

The ACG Mountain Fly also has a “low” version without the integrated gaiter called the Mountain Fly 2. The Mountian Fly 2 looks like a traditional low-top hiking shoe. It features lightweight and breathable materials, a foam midsole with an additional shank for support, a gusseted tongue to keep out dirt and moisture, and an outsole inspired by mountain bike tyres to give you traction on trails.

In Nike low top ACG hiking shoe collection, they also have the ACG Lowcate. This is Nike’s trail-to-town hiking shoe. It features a more “classic” aesthetic that allows it to blend in seamlessly while worn in town.

But it also features a super grippy outsole for ascending and descending on a variety of surfaces like rock, dirt, gravel, and mud. It also uses Nike’s Trailframe Technology in the midsole– an integrated shank that protects your feet from sharp objects on the trail and provides more stability on uneven trails.  

ACG Slip-On Shoes and Sandals

The ACG lineup of Nike hiking shoes also has a selection of slip-on shoes and sandals targeted toward outdoor usage.

For example, the ACG Moc is Nike’s rendition of camping and backpacking-friendly camp-shoe. It features a foam midsole and a drop-in footbed perfect for bringing the plush comfort you are used to at home to camp. And it has a durable and grippy outsole, and bungee closure system for easy on and off.

Similar is the ACG Moc 3.5– a lightweight and insulated version of the Moc, perfect for colder days at camp or for simple errands around town.

Next, is the ACG Watercraft+, Nike’s slip-on water shoe. It’s made with woven knit cords that allow the shoe to breathe, dry quickly, and facilitate water drainage. And of course, most importantly for water shoes, the Watercraft+ has a sticky rubber outsole that adds traction on various terrain types, whether they be wet or dry.

A lineup of outdoor-centric footwear wouldn’t be complete without an adventurous off-road sandal. That’s where the ACG Air Deschutz+ comes into play.

The Deschutz+ features a classic 90’s aesthetic that looks good on the trail or in town. Plus, it features Nike Air Technology in the heel to give cushioning on bumpy or rocky terrain. And it's made with quick-drying materials in the upper so they're perfect for water-related activities or the unpredicted rain storm. 

The ABCs of Nike ACG

We love it when a footwear lineup comes with a backstory. In the case of Nike’s ACG footwear, it’s about the ABCs

  • A- Design, tested and made on planet earth. For outdoor use. 

  • B- Location Based Story Telling

  • C- Designing with Earth as Muse

  • D- Product Testing

  • E- Sustainability

  • F- For Outdoor Use

Nike Trail Running Shoes

In addition to the already extensive ACG collection, Nike also designs trail running shoes that can easily double for hiking. These include the Pegasus Trail, the Wildhorse, and the Kiger, to name a few.

Core components of Nike’s trail running shoes

Light and airy mesh uppers

All of the Nike trail running shoes featured in this article feature an upper constructed with synthetic materials and mesh. A reliance on synthetic materials like mesh helps keep the overall weight of the shoe down. For example, the Nike Kiger is among the lightest trail shoes we've reviewed, weighing only about 10 oz (285g).

Nike Terra Kiger 9 Weight

The synthetic mesh uppers also facilitate better breathability. Breathability is critical for trail running shoes because the more a shoe can breathe, the better your feet can ventilate and avoid overheating.

In addition, breathability often translates to quick drying. So even if your shoes get wet while out on the trail, you can expect them to dry quickly when given the opportunity. 

Plush EVA foam midsoles

Shock absorption is critical for trail running shoes. Regarding shoe construction, one of the big players in charge of shock absorption is the midsole. Nike trail running shoes come with a super comfy, dare we say “plush”, EVA foam midsole.

All of our recently tested trail shoes from Nike proved to be much softer than average. Some of them were even 80%(!) softer than average!! We found them to be exceptionally comfortable for both long-distance running and hiking.


Rock plates in the midsole

Nike trail running shoes don’t only feature high-quality cushioning for shock absorption. In addition to the EVA foam midsole, some of their trail running shoes also feature rock plates.

For example, the Wildhorse 8 and the ZoomX Zegama Trail all feature integrated rock plates in the midsole area of the shoe.


Rock plates are a super helpful addition to trail running shoes. They add support and stability to the shoe. As well as help protect your feet from sharp objects on the trail, like roots and rocks.

So if you don't mind adding a little bit of weight to get more protection, we recommend a Nike trail running shoe with a rock plate. 

Grippy outsoles

Traction is one of the most important considerations when it comes to trail running shoes. Therefore, it goes without saying that Nike trail running shoes come with grippy outsoles.

Nike Terra Kiger 9 Lug depth

Depending on the model, you will find that the lug depth on Nike trail shoes varies from 3 to 4.5 mm. Choose deeper treads for muddy and slushy terrain and go for thinner ones if you transition from road to trail a lot.


Paul Ronto
Paul Ronto
Over the past 20 years, Paul has climbed, hiked, and run all over the world. He has summited peaks throughout the Americas, trekked through Africa, and tested his endurance in 24-hour trail races as well as 6 marathons. On average, he runs 30-50 miles a week in the foothills of Northern Colorado. His research is regularly cited in The New York Times, Washington Post, National Geographic, etc. On top of this, Paul is leading the running shoe lab where he cuts shoes apart and analyses every detail of the shoes that you might buy.