Who should buy the Nike Zoom Terra Kiger 8

Cop the Terra Kiger 8 from Nike if you're looking for a: 

  • responsive trail shoe for mid to long distances that can handle moderate to fast tempos
  • light running shoe for training runs and even races

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Who should NOT buy it

Skip the Nike Zoom Terra Kiger 8 if:

Nike Terra Kiger 8 vs. 7 

The Nike Zoom Terra Kiger 8 carries over the same midsole and outsole design from its precursor. The only changes seen are found in the upper, including: 

  • an even more breathable mesh cover
  • modified heel for a more locked-in fit

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Sticks like glue when it's not wet

This is especially true on light mud, dirt, loose forest trails, and dry rocks. However, the lugs can be overbearing and can pain the foot when used on hard-packed trails. 

Could be grippier on soft ground

The outsole of the previous Terra Kiger 7 has been called out by many trail runners for its poor grip on slick surfaces (rocks and roots included). And with the Kiger 8's unchanged outsole, the same problem continues.

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Maximizing control, minimizing strain

Despite its low-to-the-ground design, experts agree that it still offers plenty of protection. In the heel, it has a segmented rock plate that prevents any poking sensation when you step on sharp rocks, roots, and debris.

On the top, there is a set of overlays on the forefoot that act as toe bumpers. 

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Feel your strides come to life

The Nike Zoom Terra Kiger 8's React foam is neither soft nor harsh, creating the right blend for a responsive ride. 

The foam shows 34 HA on our durometer test which is a bit softer than the average 40.5 HA (a lower number means softer). However, it is nowhere near the softness of the Nike Pegasus Trail 3 (14.5 HA!)

Visually, here is what the softness level of the React cushioning looks like:

Keep in mind though that the foam tends to stiffen up in colder temperatures. In our freezer test, where we put the shoe in the freezer for 20 minutes and then measure the softness again, the difference shows 30.9%. So, it needs a bit of breaking in on a chilly day.

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No more heel slips with the Kiger 8

One of the gripes many runners share with the Kiger 7 is the poor heel clutch. With the eighth iteration, they say the redesigned heel "works wonders" in preventing slips. 

Step-in is uh-mazing

The upper looks plasticky but is the exact opposite to the touch. Even more, it offers ample protection from lace pressure when tightening the fit. And it's plenty breathable too; those who have tested under warm weather all claim that it remains breezy. 

Pinches pennies

The Nike Air Zoom Terra Kiger 8 now costs less. From $160 (in version 7), it now retails for only $140. 

The Nike Terra Kiger gained a little weight but still light

Iteration after iteration, the Nike Terra Kiger gains a few more grams. And in this version, it's no different. For all the cushion and protection you get, the price to pay is weight gain.

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But it's not a heavy shoe by any means. With its 10.2 oz / 288 g it still sits at the average across trail running shoes (10.5 oz / 298 g).

It's one of the more flexible trail shoes

The Terra Kiger 8 gave back 28.8 N on our flexibility test which is more flexible compared to the average 30.8 N. You can also see how easily we were able to bend the shoe both in the forefoot and torsionally.

Looks fire! 

Apart from its colorways, the Kiger 8 has a sleek yet aggressive look about it that makes it a standout among most trail shoes. It looks so good; testers say Nike really "knows how to design nice-looking shoes."

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  Nike Zoom Terra Kiger 8 Average
Whole shoe
Weight (g) 288 277
Drop (mm) 5.9 8.9
Flexibility of the shoe (N) 28.8 30.8
Flexibility of the shoe (Freezer 20 min) (N) 37.7 40.5
Flexibility of the shoe (% of change) 30.9 31.3
Lace slip test with the knot (N) - -
Longitudinal flexibility (1-5 scale, 5 being the stiffest) 4 3.3
Torsional flexibility (1-5 scale, 5 being the stiffest) 4 3.5
Upper
Thickness - Tongue (mm) 6.0 6.2
Width Upper - Forefoot (mm) 98.6 98.8
Width Upper - Heel (mm) 71.0 76.5
Lace Stretch (1-5 scale, 5 being the most stretchy) 3 2.6
Flexibility of the heel counter (1-5 scale, 5 being the stiffest) 2 3.1
Tongue: gusset type gusseted (both sides) -
Heel: pull tab finger loop  
Midsole
Width Midsole - Forefoot (mm) 110.9 111.8
Width Midsole - Heel (mm) 87.1 89.1
Stack - Forefoot with insole (mm) 22.2 24.1
Stack - Heel with insole (mm) 28.1 32.9
Durometer Midsole Heel (Room temperature) (HA) 34.0 40.5
Outsole
Outsole thickness (Heel) (mm) 2.0 3.7
Lugs Depth (mm) 3.9 3.4
Durometer Outsole Heel (Room temperature) (HC) 84.0 82.2
Insole
Insole Heel Thickness (mm) 3.5 4.6
Insole: removable yes -

Facts / Specs

Terrain: Trail
Weight: Women 288g
Drop: Men 6mm
Arch support: Neutral
Forefoot height: Men 24mm
Heel height: Men 30mm
Collection: Nike Air Zoom Terra Kiger, Nike React, Nike Air Zoom, Nike Air

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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.