Nike Air Zoom Terra Kiger 5 Review Facts
The Nike Air Zoom Terra Kiger 5 is the brand’s new and agile addition to the spring’s trail runner’s line-up. This loud-looking trail shoe has a lot going for it, from the great traction it provides to its versatility and durability, making it one of the most expected trail shoes to be released in the spring of 2019.
The revamped outsole of the Nike Air Zoom Terra Kiger 5 now features aggressively lugged anti-abrasion rubber in the forefoot and rearfoot areas, with a diamond-shaped midfoot area which is lug-free and comprised of sticky rubber that is ideal for providing traction on wet surfaces. The lug pattern of the outsole, as well as the materials used in its construction, imply that the brand wanted to make specific dry and wet traction areas and create an outsole pattern that could tackle various terrains with ease. The new lugs are not only more prominent but more directional as well, providing a more reliable grip on the trail. The outsole rubber continues onto the vamp slightly, protecting the toes and reinforcing the upper construction. The ‘bald’ part of the outsole has garnered different impressions, but we’ll talk more about that later on.
Another revamped part of the Nike Air Zoom Terra Kiger 5 is its midsole, which now features a React foam compound, which is dense, firm and stable, yet light, all at the same time. Instead of keeping the Air Zoom unit throughout the midsole, the TK5 now features the famous Nike cushioning solely in the heel, while the forefoot part of the midsole is occupied by a segmented rock plate. The React foam, combined with the Air Zoom unit, create a bouncy and soft experience that offers smooth heel-to-toe transitions. The segmented rock plate in the forefoot has not only increased the overall protection this shoe has to offer, but it also increased the stability and firmness of the entire ride.
The wrap knit upper of the Nike Air Zoom Terra Kiger 5 is seamless and features a woven heel counter that improves the durability of the shoe. The internal straps that connect to the laces and extend almost to the midsole are still there and provide a secure and customizable fit. The lacing system featured TPU overlays for added structure and support, and the shallow toe box of the Terra Kiger 4 has become a bit shallower in this iteration of the trail shoe. The tongue is thin and minimally padded but gives just enough protection so as to prevent the laces from creating uncomfortable pressure points. The collar is of medium height and is moderately padded, somewhat rigid with just a hint of flexibility
. While the upper has room for improvement, most runners are satisfied with it and agree that the Kiger 5’s upper construction is better than its predecessor’s.
The weight of the Nike Air Zoom Terra Kiger 5 is slightly greater than that of the Terra Kiger 4, with the shoe weighting 9.75oz or 276g for the men’s size 10 – 0.25oz increase compared to the TK 4. However, even with this slight increase, the TK 5 manages to weigh as much as some road running shoes, putting them in the lightweight
category when it comes to trail shoes.
The two layers of mesh that make the wrap knit upper provide a breathable interior. The outer, engineered mesh layer, is lightweight and provides great airflow, but is firm and structured at the same time, while the inner, elastic layer is soft, thin and nimble, which minimizes the chances of any blisters forming
, without restricting the ventilation of the shoe.
The general fit of the Nike Air Zoom Terra Kiger 5 is true to size or even a half size smaller than your regular size, depending on the size of your toes. Given a slightly tighter toe box, some runners have experienced a dose of pressure to the toes while running, but the vast majority claimed that even though the toe box isn’t roomy, it’s still accommodating enough to not get in the way of a comfortable run. However, if you have sensitive toenails, keep in mind that the TK 5 might not be the right shoe for you. The higher heel counter, compared to the TK 4, requires some adjusting, but most runners welcomed the more supportive counter. The React foam midsole and the Air Zoom heel unit provide more than enough cushioning for a comfortable
The opinions on the Nike Air Zoom Terra Kiger 5’s design are varied, but a lot of runners were pleased with the general direction the brand has taken the Kiger shoe line. If you’re a fan of the traditional running shoe look, you can always opt for some single color versions, but the most interesting one – and the most controversial one, is the yellow, pink and blue colorway that features white mesh on the upper, which is a questionable choice for a trail shoe. However, a lot of younger runners have liked the refreshing colorway a lot. There is an inscription on the back side of the mesh saying “Engineered to the exact specifications of trail runners. Born to be wild.” All in all, the TK 5 offers a lot of interesting color options, and some classic ones as well, meaning that every trails runner can find one that suits his or her needs.
The overall durability of the Nike Air Zoom Terra Kiger 5 is above average, and you can expect to log over 300 miles in them at least before experiencing significant wear and tear. The React foam is very durable, given its light weight, and the outsole rubber behaves well and doesn’t wear prematurely, although the more technical the trail, the sooner the lugs will start to show the first signs of abrasion. While several runners have attested that the shoe has stayed pretty much the same throughout the first hundred miles, one runner has experienced wear on the forefoot part of the outsole as soon as 30 miles, but he himself said that he prefers running on rough, rocky trails
, so this account can’t be taken as an average user experience. The upper and midsole are extremely durable and won’t become an issue even after the 300-mile mark. All in all, for a performance-oriented trail shoe, the durability department is more than good.
There aren’t any definitive comparisons between the TK4 and TK 5, but it seems like the latter offers more underfoot protection than the previous version. The protective toe bumper is thin and somewhat flexible, offering satisfactory protection from rocks, roots, and branches that might impact your toes along the way. The forefoot segmented rock plate is a welcome addition that adds some firmness to the underfoot cushioning, providing protection from the sharp objects on the trail.
The combination of the dense React foam, the Air Zoom
unit and the rock plate in the forefoot create a bouncy and springy ride that is reminiscent of some road racing shoes. The responsiveness of the Nike Air Zoom Terra Kiger 5 is one of the best seen in a trail shoe, so much so that this shoe is bound to inspire you to go faster and develop speed even if that wasn’t your primary goal. The Air Zoom unit in the heel provides snappy energy-return from the first moment your foot touches the ground, and that energy is easily transferred forward, where the combination of the firm rock plate and a dense midsole propel the foot forward using the Air Zoom-generated energy.
This neutral trail running shoe is made for people who do not require additional arch support, which makes it ideal for runners with normal, medium-high and high arches. The higher collar is designed to offer additional support to the Achilles tendon, which a number of runners have appreciated. The lacing system allows for a snug and secure fit of the shoe, providing sufficient lateral support on the trail.
The combination of the lugged, robust outsole, dense midsole, and a mesh upper gives you a lot of opportunities to choose your desired trail without worrying too much if this shoe is fit to tackle it. The Nike Air Zoom Terra Kiger 5 is great for medium-length runs on rocky, technical terrains, although the shoe would need to have more cushioning if you’re planning to spend the entire day on a demanding trail. However, the shoe offers more than enough protection on shorter runs, regardless of the terrain. The shoe performed well on loose terrain
, as well as muddy and snowy trails, which is a definitive improvement compared to the TK 4.
While there are a few things to take into consideration before purchasing the Nike Air Zoom Terra Kiger 5, the newly released trail shoe is a worthy update to the Terra Kiger 4 and for those of you who’d like to invest in an all-around trail shoe that will give you good grip, lightweight protection and longevity, giving upwards of a C-note should be an affordable price.
The overall consensus of the runners who have taken the Terra Kiger 5 on different trails is that the shoe offers great traction in various conditions. Be it dry, loose or hard-packed dirt, technical trails, descents, mud, wet and dry rock, and even ice, the traction of the TK 5 is good across the board. The only objection people have to the outsole design is that the bald part of the outsole is too big, and some would even prefer a continuous lugged tread pattern for even better grip. That being said, even with the midfoot sticky rubber, the shoe performs well and provides great traction on almost any terrain.
The mesh upper, especially the inner layer of the upper, is extremely flexible and adapts well to the shape and movements of your foot. The forefoot rock plate does add to the firmness of the outsole and slightly lowered flexibility, but that doesn’t stop the TK 5 from offering just enough bend to accommodate a smooth and unrestricted gait cycle
The overall stability of the shoe is excellent, which is largely due to the wide and protruded sole design that sticks out underneath the shoe box and provides a wide and stable platform that prevents any possible twisting and turning of the foot. Additionally, the collar is more padded and with a narrower entry compared to the TK 4, which resulted in a more stable rearfoot. The only real matter of contention in the shoe’s design is whether the heel counter adds to the stability of the Nike Air Zoom Terra Kiger 5 or makes it more unstable. While a lot of runners enjoyed the higher and stiffer heel counter, others have said that they would much prefer it to be more flexible and stretchy, so as to adapt to the heel. This issue boils down to your running technique, so it’s up for you to decide whether this heel counter design is up your alley. The forefoot and midfoot stability
are great, and the lacing system provides security and prevents your foot from moving inside the shoe box and sliding forward, making your stride more confident.
With the heel stack height of 20mm and the forefoot stack height of 16mm, the heel-to-toe differential of the Nike Air Zoom Terra Kiger 5 is 4mm. This low-drop
is ideal for midfoot strikers but can accommodate almost any type of runner, provided they have enough time to adjust to this type of drop. The Air Zoom unit in the heel will provide just enough cushioning for the heel strikers, so transitioning from an 8mm-drop shoe won’t be such a shock.
● Robust, lugged outsole with diamond-shaped lug-free midfoot area
● React foam midsole with an Air Zoom heel unit
● Segmented rock plate
● Wrap knit upper
● Comfortable, despite the shallow toe box
● Good design
● Satisfactory underfoot protection
● Affordable price
● Great midsole and upper durability, good outsole durability
● All-around trail shoe suitable for various terrains
● 4mm natural drop
● Excellent stability
● Fantastic responsiveness
The Nike Air Zoom Terra Kiger 5 is a versatile, quality-made trail running shoe that is a worthy update to the Kiger 4
. The cushioning, durability, and protection that this shoe offers are all great and the responsiveness is comparable even to the racing shoe category. This performance-oriented shoe will perform well on a variety of surfaces and in various weather conditions, making it exceptionally interesting for people who’d like to have one trail shoe for numerous adventures.