Nike Zoom Wildhorse 2 Trail-Running Shoe (Fall 2014)

Heading out the door? Read this article on the new Outside+ app available now on iOS devices for members! Download the app.

9.5 oz / 4mm drop / $110



The Dirt: A year after re-entering the trail-shoe market, Nike offers this update to the Wildhorse—an agile rocket capable of handling roads, gravel, moderately rocky trails and even mud. Its airy upper thrives on hot summer runs.

The relatively firm midsole offers ample cushioning for mid-distance runs. However, some testers wished for a sturdier upper and slightly more rock protection to lend comfort on the technical trails that the sticky-rubber, waffle-pattern outsole excels on.

Best For: Varied terrain in any weather; 5Ks to 50-milers.

Fit: The Wildhorse 2 runs a half-size to a full-size small, with a glove-like fit, medium width (wider than most road-oriented Nikes) and a roomy toebox.


Tester Raves

  • “This shoe provides ultimate agility and speed without too much concern of getting beat up on the rocks and roots. It feels and looks minimal, but has both aggressive and appropriate thickness and stiffness that feels like you have plenty of flexibility.”
    —Jonathan Loewus-Deitch
  • “I really like the balance of light weight and good cushioning. I have had a stress fracture in my metatarsals, so I am always sensitive there and these felt great. The upper was comfortable and I was a fan of how these shoes did in the dirt and loose gravel.”
    —Alex Esposito
  • “I love the breathability of this shoe. I haven’t tried a trail shoe for a long time that has such a nice mesh in the uppers.”
    —Lauren Arnold


Testers on Fit

  • “The first thing I noticed about this shoe was that I should size up. I usually wear a women’s 8.5 or 9, but I should try out a 9.5 or 10. I have wide feet, and this shoe feels quite narrow to me.”
    —Michelle Smith
  • “When I first put it on, it seemed a little tight. But after wearing it around the house, I’m not sure I could go up a size. But an 8.5 in the Pegasus seems slightly bigger.”
    —Lauren Arnold
  • “The shoes are wide compared to most Nike shoes, allowing your toes to splay more naturally, but keeping your foot low and in place within the shoe.”
    —Jonathan Loewus-Deitch


Testers on Tread

  • “The tread is great for running on a variety of conditions. My feet gripped well on loose dry dirt and mud. The sticky rubber also helped my feet grip well on large rocks, though I do not feel like the body or tread is beefy enough for a trail with big stream crossings, cold weather or large rock sections with a lot of scrambling. The tread is substantial but not overkill, because I also felt comfortable running on roads and on the track.”
    —Michelle Smith
  • “These perform well on most terrains. Specifically, they’re good for terrains and wetness similar to their birthplace in the Pacific Northwest. I found them exceptional on trails that were technical, wet, muddy, grassy, dry and gravel roads.”
    —Jonathan Loewus-Deitch
  • “I liked it for all terrain, but I think loose to packed dirt and gravel was a great terrain for this shoe. I wouldn’t take this out in the heavier rain or snow because it won’t hold up to that, but I think a softer surface (mud) due to either of those would not be a problem.”
    —Alex Esposito


Testers on Downsides

  • “I think the upper could have more protection. Perhaps there could be more rubber coating on the sides for foot rolls and stick jabs to the upper. I’ve already started to see scuffs on the sides that don’t have coated protection, and the fabric could easily rip with a good rub on a rock. The front of the toe material that meets the upper rubber coating is already peeling off within 50 miles of running in these.”
    —Jonathan Loewus-Deitch
  • “Is this the best shoe for runners fixed on bombing down hills and mindlessly hammering technical terrain? Probably not. This shoe is better suited for the light-footed runner, more likely to rock hop than stomp, who still wants a bit of protection for the longer runs.”
    —David Stango

Want to Know What It Takes to Finish at Western States? Just Ask Hellah Sidibe.

Find out what happened when this six-year run streaker and HOKA Global Athlete Ambassador took on an iconic ultramarathon in California's Sierra Nevada