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Nike Air Zoom Terra Kiger 8 Review Analysis (Updated 2024)

Nike Air Zoom Terra Kiger 8

Published on: 04/26/2023

The Nike Air Zoom Terra Kiger 8 combines protection, grip, and firm cushioning for a safe ride on most trails.


Discover the latest iteration: Nike Kiger 9 (2023)

9.2Overall Score

Very good responsive, protective, and relatively lightweight trail running shoes.

Don’t have time to read the full review? Here’s what you need to know.

The first Terra Kigers were light, fast, and responsive trail shoes for going fast on relatively short distances. Recently, Nike decided to add more cushioning for more comfort and to go the distance.

The Nike Air Zoom Terra Kiger 8 continues on the same path. It has a 30 mm heel height with a heel-to-toe drop of 6 mm. The Nike React foam and Air Zoom cushioning give a firm and bouncy cushioning. The ride proves to be responsive and smooth on the different types of trails.

Traction is powerful on most surfaces, although very soft mud and wet rocks can be challenging.

Finally, the foot lockdown is precise for a secure fit with good volume to suit wide feet. Testers particularly appreciated the new heel counter that locks in the heel perfectly.

The Nike Air Zoom Terra Kiger 8 is almost identical to the previous version with some minor improvements. This is the right trail shoe for you if you are looking for a protective and performing model with firm cushioning for your medium to long sessions.

Please read our full review of the Nike Air Zoom Terra Kiger 8 for more information.

Foot lockdown and protection


  • Impeccable lockdown
  • Effective rock protection
  • Good ground feel despite the significant stack height
  • Responsive ride
  • Good grip overall


  • Few changes since v7
  • The firm cushion may not be suitable for all runners

Nike Air Zoom Terra Kiger 8 Complete Review Analysis


Nike Air Zoom Terra Kiger 8 review

After a significant evolution in 2021 with version 7, the Nike Air Zoom Terra Kiger 8 continues on the same basis with few changes. We find a resolutely protective model to suit ultra runners while keeping a nervous platform close to the ground.

Is this trail running shoe high-performance and versatile? Can it suit everyone? We’ll find out in our detailed analysis.

Grip and durability

Nike Zoom Terra Kiger 8 rubber outsole

The abrasion-resistant rubber outsole remains very similar to the previous model. It comes with medium-depth, multidirectional 4 mm lugs with a moderately aggressive shape.

According to testers, traction is very good, but the lugs contribute to the firm feel of the sole. Thus, they are mainly suitable for soft ground. Conversely, they don’t feel very comfortable on hard surfaces like asphalt or packed snow. So they may not be a good option if you’re looking for a hybrid shoe that can alternate between trail and road. It was the case with the first models but not this one!

Nike Terra Kiger 8 review grip

Overall, the Nike Terra Kiger 8 offers an effective grip on various types of mountain and forest terrains. Its only potential weak point is slippery rocky terrain, but unfortunately, this is the Achilles heel of most trail running shoes.

Finally, the durability is also quite decent, with no noticeable signs of wear during the runners’ tests. With a price of $140 (and much less later during promotional periods), this makes it a good buy!


Nike Zoom Terra Kiger 8 midsole cushioning

As mentioned in the introduction, the Terra Kiger has beefed up over the years. Initially an essential shoe with a relatively thin sole, Nike has chosen to make it a more protective and comfortable trail running shoe (probably to make it more accessible).

As a result, we find a 30 mm stack height in the heel and 24 mm under the forefoot. The heel-to-toe drop of 6 mm is moderate/low. In comparison, the Hoka Speedgoat 5 is at 5 mm.

The Nike React foam offers a reasonably firm underfoot feel as cushioning. This ensures good stability.

heel collar of the Nike Air Zoom Terra Kiger 8

In addition, a Zoom Air unit under the forefoot helps to soften the Terra Kiger a bit and make the push more comfortable at toe-off for more agility and snappiness.

The platform is quite flexible and allows for good contact with the ground (the sole does not completely isolate the foot despite offering adequate protection).

Finally, we should also note that the shoe kept the segmented rock plate from the Terra Kiger 7 to protect the foot from sharp rocks on the trail and better absorb shock.

Foot lockdown (upper)

Nike Air Zoom Terra Kiger 8 mesh upper

While many trail running shoes are effective but with a functional and unattractive look, the American brand continues to polish the design of its Terra Kiger. This version 8 is particularly good-looking with a discreet and trendy color scheme (red, blue, khaki). If it’s not to your taste, don’t worry, there’s always a black version for those who prefer to go unnoticed!

engineered mesh terra kiger 8

Then, we find a simple and efficient mesh with several overlays for excellent resistance to tears. The mesh is airier than on the previous version (it takes the form of a net in front), but the shoe uses an inner lining that is less airy. The upper feels cool overall, but it’s something to confirm, especially in the summer when it’s hotter.

Terra Kiger 8 heel Nike trail running shoe

The main change is in the heel: the heel counter uses a rigid part at the base and a softer one near the ankle to combine lockdown and comfort. In this area, trail runners who tested the shoe were pleased with the fit and lockdown of the back of the foot—they didn’t note any heel slippage or discomfort.

The ride

Air Zoom Terra Kiger 8 trail running shoe

The Nike Air Zoom Terra Kiger 8 is still a responsive shoe with a firm ride despite the high stack. This reduces the comfort but has the advantage of making it more fun while running.

The shoe offers good energy return and is comfortable at all paces. However, if we had to pick one use for the Kiger, it would be to go fast on trails.

Some runners note that the shoe is a bit too hard for a forefoot attack, but that’s primarily a matter of preference. In addition, the vast majority of runners have a heel/midfoot attack, even if they do not necessarily realize it!

Nike Air Zoom Terra Kiger 8 test

The Terra Kiger 8 is responsive and secure with its precise foot lockdown and structured platform. Its firm cushioning makes it primarily suitable for short and medium runs. However, it has what it takes for long distances unless you are specifically in the market for plush cushioning!

This trail shoe is relatively light, with a weight of 280 g/9.9 oz for men and 258 g/9.1 oz for women.


Air Zoom Terra Kiger 8 Nike

The Nike Air Zoom Terra Kiger 8 refines the new foundation introduced in 2021 and offers a convincing setup for technical terrain. Protective and responsive, it can tackle the vast majority of trails serenely.

Only its firm cushioning could discourage runners who prioritize comfort above all, but this aspect will seduce the die-hard fans of the collection.

A very good pick for both daily running and competition.


Nike Terra Kiger 8 unboxing

Technical Specs

Pronation typeNeutral
Drop6 mm
Heel height30 mm
Forefoot height24 mm
Lugs4 mm
Weight (men)280 g/9.9 oz
Weight (women)258 g/9.1 oz
FeaturesRock plate
Release year2021




MidsoleNike React, Zoom Air
UpperEngineered Mesh


SpeedSlow, Moderate, Fast
DistanceShort, Mid, Long
WorkoutDaily running

Comparisons – Nike Air Zoom Terra Kiger 8 vs.:

Nike Air Zoom Terra Kiger 7

Same weight, same stack height, same drop, and same technologies: there are frankly few changes from one model to another.

The main improvement is in the upper with a better fitting heel lockdown with their new design. The mesh design is also thinner than before (it almost looks like mesh).

Nike Pegasus Trail 3

Coming soon!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Does the Nike Air Zoom Terra Kiger 8 run true to sise?

It does and the toe box is roomy enough to accommodate wide feet.

Is it a good shoe for an ultramarathon race?

On paper, yes, because its grip is good and its sole is protective. However, the cushioning is a bit firm which may not suit everyone for very long distances.

Kevin Le Gall

Kevin Le Gall

Kevin is the founder and editor of Runner's Lab. He started running in 2015 and completed his first marathon in Rotterdam in 2016. He's also worked for Under Armour from 2016 to 2018 and helped launch their running collection in Europe (in particular the HOVR shoes). In addition, Kevin is a 300-hour certified yoga teacher (Sivananda) and uses this experience to run more mindfully with a focus on well-being over performance.

2 thoughts on “Nike Air Zoom Terra Kiger 8”

  1. Hello,

    which shoes according to you better prevent ankle sprain/rolling in trail – Nike Terra Kiger 8 or Saucony Peregrine 11. Which of them are more suitable for concrete?

    And which of your tested trail shoes also suitable for concrete (at least short sections) have the best ankle support (“anti-rolling”)?

    Thank you very much.

    • Hi JB, both shoes offer a good lockdown. The Peregrine may have a slight edge but it may be a personal thing. They both rather deep lugs so these are not the best pick for concrete.

      I would look at the Brooks Divide or Brooks Catamount if you’re looking for a hybrid shoe.



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