Nike Air Zoom Terra Kiger 8 Review Analysis (Updated 2024)
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)
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.
- 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
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
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!
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!
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.
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)
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!
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.
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 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!
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.
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.
|280 g/9.9 oz
|258 g/9.1 oz
|Nike React, Zoom Air
|Slow, Moderate, Fast
|Short, Mid, Long
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
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
It does and the toe box is roomy enough to accommodate wide feet.
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.