Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Confessions of an independent runner: Terra Kiger

My name is Tim Waz and I love the new Nike Terra Kiger trail shoe.

Whoa, it's out there now and I don't care who knows it! I swore off Nike back in the mid 90's with my last pair of Waffle Racers... how can you screw up a shoe with so little? But they did. Nothing felt right on my foot, toe boxes were too tight, heel counters were too stiff, uppers were either too tight or too loose, and not to mention... what did Nike know about running off road?!

Well, it took a few years but they nailed it and they nail it good. The Nike Terra Kiger is designed to fit like a track spike with a sock-like upper that is very low-profile. The mesh on the upper is very lightweight and breathable (which is great around here with our long hot summers) but still gives you a decent amount of support through what they call "Flywire" technology. Think of it as light bondage for your feet. The movement that you foot gets is tucked right in between "perfect" and "amazing". This is by far the best outsole I've felt in a long time.

The sole is made up of a dual-density blah blah blah... there are two "Zoom" pockets of air one in the forefoot and the other in the heel which gives the low profile design a feel more like a Brooks Glycerin without all the bulk. The outsole is patterned after my longed after original Waffle Races with aggressive cross angles cut into the sole for enhanced traction. The sticky rubber was great for moving fast over wet rocks and had no issues with slipping on steep climbs or quick descents. My first run in these shoes we on very technical single track and had no issues with the lack of a rock plate which only adds additional weight and stiffness to a shoe.

After logging my first 100 miles in my first pair of Nike Terra Kiger, I give Nike two thumbs up. This is a "go-fast" trail shoe, if you want something bulkier with the same feel, you may want to check out their Zoom Wildhorse (the Terra Kiger's beefier big brother).

What I really liked:

     Looks: cool design, very sleek
     Grip: a lot of traction with a very light sole
     Upper: I can not say enough about the comfort of this upper
     Drainage: Step in a puddle, the water pours right out - NICE
     Weight: 8.6 ounces, lets me know that I'm wearing shoes but still lets me feel the trail

What I didn't like as much:
     Sizing: In typical Nike fashion, I had to step up to a size 11.5 (Brooks size 10)
     Laces: a little long and the material may slip if not double knotted
     Brand: Sorry Nike... it'll take some time for me to get over what you did to my Waffles

My first 100 miles were broken down to 44 miles on trail and 56 on road. The wear pattern was very minimal even after some fast speed work on the road. So there you have it, and now you know... My name is Tim Waz and I love running in my Nike Terra Kiger.


  1. Alright so what's the heel to toe drop on these bad boys or are they minimal?

    1. Hey Tim - the Heel to toe drop is 4mm so they fall into the minimal classification which was what sold me on giving them a spin. I just logged 300 mile in them and I am still a believer and just ordered my second pair.

  2. I love these shoes for my local trails and like the feel so much, that I am thinking of using these for my faster road runs. I wish that they made a road version.

    1. I have been running with these for 300 miles now, with the bulk of the run on the road and they have held up pretty good! The trends are not too aggressive so you really can't tell that they are a "trail shoe"

  3. Hello! Those kicks are sleek indeed! I have a question, are those okay for flat-footed people? I've been using a lot of brooks and new balance's. I'm looking for other brands with sleeker designs lol! Thanks!


    1. Hey Mark - sorry I missed your post!!! There is not much of an built out arch support that you might need if you are more flat footed, but then again some running friends with lower arches do well from a non-structured arch.