Ahh, the Terra Kiger, a trail running shoe that needs no introductions… but I’m going to give it one anyway. The Terra Kiger 6 is the most minimal trail running shoe from the Nike Trail running range, it boasts the lowest drop from heel-to-toe, it’s the only shoe that still uses air zoom units in the heel section of the midsole, and it’s the lightest option. There are also many other differentiators that I’m going to go over in detail throughout this Nike Terra Kiger 6 review.
In this review, I also the key features that I love (and a couple that could be improved), how well they perform on the trails while running, how they compare with the other two Nike Trail running shoes available, whether they’re worth buying (and where to buy them), and finally a review summary complete with pros, cons and a final score out of 10. Let’s get to it!
Nike Terra Kiger 6 Review: Table of Contents
- Terra Kiger 6 Fit, Features, and Key Specs
- Terra Kiger 6 performance review
- Terra Kiger 6 VS. Wildhorse 6 VS. Pegasus Trail 2
- Are they worth buying?
- Nike Terra Kiger 6 Review Summary
- Video Review (Coming Soon)
- Photo Gallery
Nike Pegasus Trail 2 Fit, Features, and Key Specs.
General fit and comfort
As always, let’s start with the important question of how the Terra Kiger 6 fit – I can confirm that they fit true-to-size and consistently with other Nike running shoes that I have tested and reviewed here on trailandkale.com. They are also consistent in size with other brands including On Running, Adidas, and much of the Salomon trail running range. If you usually run in a brand I haven’t listed here, please drop a comment down below with the brand you use and if I’m familiar with them I’ll let you know how they fit relative to them too.
From the moment I laced up the Nike Terra Kiger 6 on, I could tell it was going to be a comfortable shoe to run with. The fit is excellent with the exception of a subtle amount of tightness coming from the mid-section upper – that is, the area where the laces are. This I believe is coming from the tongue which I feel could be designed a little better. The small issue I have with the tongue is that there are segmented padded sections which you can feel on the top of your foot, I do eventually forget about this after running a few miles in them, but it’s something I always feel as I put the shoes on.
The Terra Kiger 6 really doesn’t appear to have many updates from the Terra Kiger 5, so if you enjoy the feel of them, then you should also enjoy running with these too. The midsole still feels minimal and the shoe has the same 4mm drop as before too. If you’re a fast and light trail runner who loves to truly feel the trail beneath them at the cost of a little extra cushioning and comfort then these are the shoes for you. They remind me a lot of Salomon’s hugely popular S-Lab Sense trail running shoes, but at $130 the Terra Kiger 6 is much more reasonably priced.
The Terra Kiger 6 definitely has the hardest ride our of the three major Nike Trail running shoes right now, but with this minimal cushioning comes control – and this control is what so many die-hard trail runners love when navigating technical trails, myself included. This is a high-performance trail running shoe for those who enjoy racing hard over all-mountain terrain for distances of up to a trail marathon.
The Terra Kiger also feel very neutral in their support type, with no feelings of having too much arch support, or not enough for that matter – they feel great underfoot for the runner with average shaped foot arches.
The toe box and shoe in general, both feel medium/narrow in width, and they have a very similar width-feel to the Salomon S-Lab sense mentioned above.
Terra Kiger 6 Key Design Features
1. Upper Mesh construction
The upper mesh is breathable, with laser-cut holes above the toe box, on both sidewalls and also the edge of the tongue. This breathability allows air and water to flow through the shoe as conditions change while out on the trails.
2. Tongue and Internal Sock
The tongue is really my only gripe with these shoes, and to be fair, it’s a pretty small gripe! As mentioned above, the tongue has padded square sections that are embossed/extruded from the thin tongue material. Nike should have just padded the tongue all the way along.
The tongue also joins to the internal sidewalls of the shoes to form an internal sock – this ‘sock’ hugs your feet nicely and this construction reduces the chance of developing any hot spots or blisters as there are less internal seems. Many trail running shoes now use this same internal sock design for securing the foot in place and to help stop blisters caused by chaffing.
4. Finger Loop at the rear
I find finger loops really useful for slipping on running shoes, and although Nike failed with the new horizontal loop on the Pegasus Trail 2 and the Wildhorse 6 because it was near impossible to get your finger through the loop – I can confirm the Terra Kiger 6 loop works properly as intended. The new horizontal finger loop looks nice too.
5. Toe Cap Protection
There’s not much toe protection from accidental rock stubs going on in the Terra Kiger 6. The only reinforced section is where the orange rubber outsole wraps up in front of the toes, and unfortunately, that doesn’t wrap around to the front edges of the toe box. Be aware if you have a tendency to kick rocks by accident when you’re tired and nearing the end of your long run/race.
6. Nike Zoom Air Units in the Heels + React Cushioned Midsole
From what I can tell, the midsole in the Terra Kiger 5 shares the same construction as the Terra Kiger 5. I like the feel of the combination of React foam midsoles and Zoom Air units in the heels which provide some extra cushioning and also keep the weight down. I think the TK6 could be improved with a touch more cushioning underfoot but at the same time I do really enjoy having a lower center of gravity, and a tighter trail-feel.
7. Rugged Outsole Grip
The Terra Kiger outsoles feature a high-abrasion rubber in the heels and softer, stickier rubber in the forefoot for a blend of traction and durability in the places where you need it. It’s a great outsole but I would feel like I had more confidence running on technical wet trails if the tread extended the whole sole rather than leaving the center region void of deep lugs.
Terra Kiger 6 Key Specifications
The Nike Terra Kiger 6 weighs 10.8oz (306g) for a size US (M) 9 (that’s per shoe) making it lightweight but certainly not the lightest trails shoe out there. To give you a comparison, last season’s Pegasus 36 Trail weighs 9.1oz, but the weight of the Terra Kiger 6 is the same as last season’s Terra Kiger 5 – so if you already love that shoe, you won’t be disappointed with the new version.
The Terra Kiger 6 has a 4mm drop from heel to toe which feels great when running on the trails. I feel in total control and my form is always better when running in low drop shoes because of how it encourages a proper footfall towards the forefoot, rather than the heel.
3. Support Type
There’s moderate cushioning in the midsole and a neural footbed. So if you have average arches and feet then these should be perfect for you.
4. Shoe Width
The Terra Kiger 6 fits true-to-size relative to other Nike running shoes I have used, and the style of fit in the toe box and upper is a medium/narrow width.
Nike Terra Kiger 6 trail performance review
The Terra Kiger 6 is a very high-performance trail racing shoe for those who run pretty much any type of terrain, making it a very versatile workhorse. The 4mm drop makes the TK6 feel super responsive and it’s nice to feel more connected to the trails underfoot due to the low drop and shallower/less cushioned midsole. This reduced cushioning of course comes at a price for ultrarunners and potentially marathon runners who are running for extended periods of time.
If you’re not used to running with minimal shoes, then you will definitely notice how shoes like these affect the biomechanics of your running form. A low drop really does encourage a more natural ‘barefoot-style’ running stance, and with it, far less running related issues (once you have got used to running in them that is!). If you would like to learn to run barefoot (or at least with shoes that have a small drop but still protect your feet) have a read of my Barefoot Running ‘How-to Guide’.
I like the way the design of the Terra Kiger 6 secures your feet within the shoes, as it contributes to the amount of control you have while running challenging trails. Out of all the new Nike Trail running shoes this season, the heel lockdown is by far the best on the Terra Kiger 6.
Watch my YouTube video below to have a glimpse of my first impressions after my first run in them, plus how they performed while trail running – To ensure you never miss future videos from us, please consider subscribing to our YouTube channel.
Terra Kiger 6 VS. Wildhorse 6 VS. Pegasus Trail 2
I’ll keep this short because I’m going to be updating my Nike Trail Running Shoes Compared post very soon, which will go into much more detail on the matter.
If you asked me which shoes I personally would prefer to trail run with, I would tell you the Nike Terra Kiger 6 – because most of the trails I am running at the moment are forest trails with mixed buffed desert sand sections – I’m currently living/running in Bend, Oregon by the way.
I still run with the Pegasus 36 Trail a lot as well though, and have stocked up on multiple pairs just in case they get discontinued by Nike – (MESSAGE TO NIKE: Please don’t, you made something very special there! :)). The Terra Kiger 6 is the lightest (albeit marginally) trail shoes in the latest Nike Trail lineup, the most minimal, and race-worthy, and personally I feel they have the best control and trail-feel too.
Are they worth buying?
Yes, these shoes are most certainly worth buying if you’re a serious trail runner who enjoys running with more minimal low-drop trail racing shoes. You’re going to enjoy feeling the trail underfoot and will likely improve your running form and fancy footwork on technical trail sections because of it.
See below to get the best price for the Terra Kiger 6 at our favorite merchants:
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ARE YOU NEW TO TRAIL RUNNING? — Have a read of our Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Trail Running – it will get you up to speed on all things trail running! 🙂
Nike Terra Kiger 6 Review Summary
Nike Terra Kiger 6 Video Review – (Coming soon to our YouTube Channel)
Nike Terra Kiger 6 Photo Gallery
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