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Shoes

Nike Zoom Terra Kiger 2 Trail-Running Shoe (Fall 2014)

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8.5 oz | 4mm drop | $125

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The Dirt: A low-drop, breathable trail shoe made for speed, the Nike Zoom Terra Kiger 2 is an ounce lighter than its burlier cousin the Wildhorse, with shorter lugs that provide traction on the trail without slowing you down on the roads and sticky rubber on the mid forefoot for grip on wet surfaces. The Kiger 2 offers the nimbleness and groundfeel of a minimalist shoe, but with a bit more stability and cushion.

Most testers praised the shoe’s natural fit and its versatility over a variety of terrains—roads included—and distances, though some found the tread and protection somewhat lacking on rocky technical trails.

Best For: Road-to-trail runs and less technical singletrack trails; marathon-distance or shorter races.

Fit: Snug through the heel and midsole, with a roomy toebox.

 

Tester Raves

  • “The shoe is like wearing a luxury sports car with its aggressive traction, tight lacing for sharp corners and low profile for speed … And despite its 4mm drop it never felt like a ‘minimal’ shoe. My calves were never screaming at me for running hours in a low-profile shoe, which they often do.”
    —Michael Linscott
  • “This shoe propels you forward and you forget you even have shoes on … There is just enough shoe to protect and support your foot, but nothing extra. My feet feel like Spiderman.”
    —Lauren Arnold
  • “There are very few shoes I’d grab for a six-mile run but also lace up for a long ultra. The Kiger has the perfect balance of cushion and protection, all in a lightweight package.”
    —Brad Williams

 

Testers on Fit

  • “The shoe fits a little tight. I had to get used to this feeling. But it moves so well with my foot that I don’t feel cramped in it at all.”
    —Lauren Arnold
  • “The shape of the shoe is excellent. A narrow heel, contorted midfoot and a wide toebox allows the toe splay that feels as if the shoe was custom made for my foot.”
    —Lou Brenner
  • “The first fit of the shoe is tight and overly snug, especially across the midfoot. The tread on the heel felt like it stuck out too far, creating a feeling of instability.”
    —Michael Linscott

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Testers on Tread

  • “The sticky lugs and low profile make this a great shoe for fast and technical terrain. I never felt unstable or that the shoe was holding me back on rocks, scree and other tricky spots.”
    —Michael Linscott
  • “It has great traction on the trails, especially on loose terrain, and yet I feel comfortable on the road with it too.”
    —Brad Williams
  • “These are great on nearly any surface as long as the runner is accustomed to minimal, low-drop shoes and is agile and light-footed and willing to carefully float through the technical stuff.”
    —David Stango
  • “It felt like the tread wasn’t able to penetrate through the first layer of loose sand on top of rocks or trails or even sidewalks to grip the actual surface.”
    —Liz Stuart

 

Testers on Downsides

  • “On a run, when I reached the two-hour point, I started wanting a bit more support. I also found that gravel ate up the tread quickly. After just one long run on gravel, bits and pieces of the tread had torn off.”
    —Lauren Arnold
  • “For a minimal trail shoe built for gnarly trails, I think Nike really should have made a better upper. Even a small change to have more protective rubber coating on the key spots is needed. I found myself being a bit more careful on the rocky terrain I was running.”
    —Jonathan Loewus-Deitch
  • “The openness of the mesh fabric allowed for lots of dirt to enter the shoe.”
    —Mary Fauth