The Nike Terra Kiger 4 is the next in line of the Nike trail series. This shoe is built low to the ground and is meant to push the limits on your tempo as you run.
Although it is a lower profile and is truly meant for a trail race, these shoes can comfortably log longer miles in one go — I took them 16 without any foot issues.
The overall feel was quite enjoyable, and I would like to continue wearing them. However, after about 75-80 miles, the upper started to tear away from the sole unit. This is something on which to keep an eye.
Nike Terra Kiger 4 General Info
The Nike Terra Kiger, along with the Wildhorse, represents the top of the line trail offerings from the brand. The Terra Kiger is considered the flagship and is designed to be the “road runner of trails.”
With its low profile design, the Terra Kiger is ready to push the limits on your trail pace. This shoe will go up against the likes of the Brooks Cascadia and PureGrit and the New Balance Leadville.
When I received these shoes I thought they looked awesome. A black with bright green, pink and yellow? Come on, that’s awesome! I love a little flash, and these delivered. However, the color wasn’t so flashy as to be obnoxious.
Then on my first run, I was surprised by just how much cushion and bounce the sole unit provided on the trails. It was quite pleasant.
Nike Terra Kiger 4 Sole Unit
This sole unit is where the Terra Kigers shine. Although it feels low profile, the sole offers lots of cushion under foot.
Coming in at 24mm on the heel and 20mm on the forefoot, the 4mm offset is geared more towards experienced trail runners.
The ride is cushioned but firm under the forefoot. The transition during your foot strike is seamless and the design of the cushion propels you into your next stride.
The outsole has aggressive lugs and is designed with a firm grip on most surfaces. These shoes excelled on the wet, muddy and rocky terrain on which I mostly ran.
Nike Terra Kiger 4 Upper Info
A seamless upper with the Nike Flymesh technology. The Terra Kiger offers a great feel and ample ventilation. The shoe lets lots of air in, but doesn’t let in the dirt. However, with breathability comes water.
The upper does not keep any water out; whether that is from a stream, from dew on the grass, or from rain. But that mesh technology quickly lets the water back out. So unless it is continually wet, or a cold day, you should be fine.
The shoe uses Flywire lacing to lock your midfoot, and yet move with you as you take on all the different terrains you may want to see.
With an upper designed to be narrow on the heel and midfoot while splaying out nicely into a roomy toe box, this shoe is a pleasure to wear.
Truly, the only downfall for this shoe was that after 75-80 miles, the outside portion of the upper close to my right heel started to pull away from the sole unit.
I know I put these shoes through some hard testing — with long and short runs, tempos, hills, and varying terrains — but there is no reason an upper should be pulling away or having holes start forming after less than 100 miles.
Especially for a trail shoe, where you need to have a sturdy and dependable shoe.
Nike Terra Kiger 4 Conclusions
In the end, this is a great trail shoe. The overall experience of running in these was very positive. The cushioning held up well on longer runs and shorter quick paced runs.
The upper molded to my feet and kept me comfortable. Truly the only negative was the hole in the upper.
I am concerned about this hole. I wonder if it is the shoe itself, something poking a hole through or a defect on just this pair. I’d love to hear from other Terra Kiger runners and see if anyone else experienced this same thing.
Until then, I am keeping them in the trail rotation along with the Skechers GOtrail Ultra 4s (for ultra cushion).
When you boil things down, you have to come back to the issue with the tear in the upper. I don’t know if it was just my shoe, if it was created by branches I didn’t see or sharp rocks on my runs, maybe it was a faulty pair. But the fact remains that my test shoes had a tear through the upper before I was finished testing. Although the shoe deserves at least a 4-star rating in almost every way, with the issue of a tear on the upper in less than 100 miles we can’t give the shoe more than a 3-star rating at this time.
We purchased a pair of Nike Terra Kiger 4 at runningwarehouse with our own money. This did not influence the outcome of the review, written after running more than 50 miles in them.