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Nike Trail Running Shoes Compared in 2021: Which Are Best?

The Nike Trail running shoes collection has been evolving fast, especially over the last couple of years, with the Pegasus 36 Trail joining the ranks in 2019 and now that same Pegasus line being totally revamped and re-introduced with the name Pegasus Trail 2.

There are now 4 different Nike trail running shoes to choose from (I’m not ready to let the Pegasus 36 Trail go just yet), and this comparison list is designed to help you find the right one for you based on the quick link questions below.

All these Nike Trail running shoes offer Neutral support and weight is based on a size US (M) 10 shoe. Use the quick links below to jump to a Nike Trail running shoe. This list is updated when new Nike Trail shoes are released.

Which Nike Trail running shoes:

Nike Terra Kiger 6

Nike Terra Kiger 6 review 4mm drop trail and kale web wm 1
Weight: 291g / 10.26ozDrop: 4mmPrice: $130

The Nike Terra Kiger 6 is a lightweight trail running shoe for fast trail runs and racing. Nike has updated the outsole in this latest edition, for improved performance on wet terrain and variable trail conditions. 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.

The mesh upper is flexible, breathable, and supportive with a snug lacing system that gives you a much needed comfortable and supportive fit for rocky and technical trail sections.

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FULL REVIEW: Nike Terra Kiger 6 Review

Find the Best Price for the Nike Terra Kiger 6 below:

Nike Wildhorse 6

Nike Wildhorse 6 which nike trail running shoes are best trail and kale web wm 1
Weight: 323g / 11.39ozDrop: 8mmPrice: $130

The Nike Wildhorse 6 is the ‘Nike Trail’ trail running shoe that will suit many trail runners of beginner to intermediate experience, it has a mid-range drop from heel-to-toe, good cushioning underfoot, and it really feels like this particular Nike Trail running shoe has been designed for hitting the trails hard, like a work-horse.

Although not the most breathable of the Nike Trail range, they will keep feet warm wild running in cooler temperatures. Like the other Nike Trail running shoes, the Wildhorse 6 also has a rock plate to help protect your feet from sharp rocks and provides a comfortable feeling mid-range drop of 8mm from heel to toe.

The Wildhorse 6 are a great workhorse shoe that will tackle many different terrains but just be cautious of the more technical trails and the faux gaiter doesn’t support your ankles and give as solid a ‘heel-lock’ as the Terra Kiger 6, for example.

FULL REVIEW: Nike Wildhorse 6 Review

Find the Best Price for the Nike Wildhorse 6 below:

Nike Pegasus Trail 2

Nike Pegasus Trail 2 Review trail and kale web wm 16
Weight: 333g / 11.75ozDrop: 10mmPrice: $130

The Nike Pegasus Trail 2 is a high-performance trail running shoe for those running light, or buffed non-technical trails. The 10mm drop feels high when compared to the 10mm of the Pegasus 36 Trail – and this forces a more forward-leaning stance which is typical of a running shoe for runners who want to run fast.

The Pegasus Trail 2 is well suited to running fast downhill and they also pack a punch while running uphill due to the aggressive tread on the outsole and that super-cushioned React foam in the midsole. There’s no danger of feeling spiky rocks underfoot either because of this same protective midsole.

The faux gaiter on the rear does an okay job of keeping some dirt and debris out of the shoes but it lacks in heel/ankle support on technical trails. It’s construction also allows for a little heel slip unless the shoe laces are tightened more than you may like. I say more than you may like because the tongue is thin and lacks protection from the lace tension on the top of your feet.

FULL REVIEW: Nike Pegasus Trail 2 Review

Find the Best Price for the Nike Pegasus Trail 2 below:

Nike Pegasus 36 Trail

Nike Pegasus 36 Trail which nike trail running shoes are best trail and kale web wm 1 1
Weight: 291g / 10.28ozDrop: 10mmPrice: $130

The Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 36 Trail is a high-performance trail running shoe that’s so comfortable it runs like a road running shoe. The Pegasus 36 Trail is the best road/trail hybrid, or a door-to-trail running shoe as it performs very well on both surfaces. Contributing to the comfort is the cushioned Air Zoom midsole that provides plenty of protection from sharp rocks and long runs. The Pegasus 36 Trail is also lightweight, breathable, responsive, and grippy.

The Pegasus 36 Trail is my top choice for ultramarathons due to the weight/performance ratio. Pablo Villa Gonzalez won the extremely technical UTMB TDS 2019 (145km with 9100m positive gain) wearing the Pegasus 36 Trail. I ran the UTMB OCC in them in 2019 which saw me running for 10.5 hours, after which my feet still felt great.

I love the stretchy flywire cables in the lacing system – having this extra layer of ‘stretch’ means that your feet will stay comfortable when they expand or contract due to body/environmental temperature fluctuations – great job Nike! This is something the other two shoes don’t have. The others don’t have the curved achilles heel support either. I particularly enjoy this feature as It allows for some over-striding when running fast downhills, without agitating my achilles. This in conjunction with its high-performance that has allowed me to gain PR’s all over the place so far this summer makes the Pegasus 36 Trail still my favorite/best Nike Trail running shoes right now. It has also taken the crown on my Best Trail Running Shoes Ultimate Buyers Guide.

FULL REVIEW: Nike Pegasus 36 Trail Review

Find the Best Price for the Nike Pegasus 36 Trail below – It’s worth snapping up a pair incase Nike decides to discontinue them:


  1. Hi Alistair! This is such a timely post as I have been eyeing up a Nike trail shoe for some time. I have one question though as I have found zero info on this but what is the width of the toe box in each model? I have struggled with the Pegasus in the past being too narrow so wondered how these stacked up? Thanks!

    • Hi Hayley,

      So glad this post helps! 🙂 The toe box for the ‘Pegasus 36 Trail’ has been widened specifically to help with toe splay on the trails, so it should fit better than the standard road Pegasus shoes.


  2. Would you actually reccoment the Kiger 5 for ultramarathons? Does it compare with the Salomon S/lab ultra?

    • Hey Luke,
      Sorry for the really slow response here! The Terra Kiger 5 has a less cushioned ride out of all the Nike Trail shoes. I recommend the Pegasus 36 Trail for Ultras.

    • Hey Pat,

      This really depends on whether you’re ok with a trail running shoe that may have less ankle support than a traditional hiking boot. Personally if I were to go with any of these Nike Trail shoes for the PCT, I would go for the Nike Pegasus 36 Trail (or the Gore-tex waterproof version) – They’re both reviewed on the site. The comfort that you’ll get with the Peg 36 Trail over that distance will be much more than the other two shoes.

      Also, take a look at our lightweight waterproof hiking boots buyer’s guide (depending on when you’re doing the trail, a waterproof boot/shoe may be a good idea)incase the traditional boot is a better option:

  3. Hi Alastair, thanks so much for this handy comparison! I ordered the Pegasus Trails, then a friend said “Oh, you should have gone for the Terra Kigers because you’ll always be twisting your ankles with the high stack on the Pegs’ sole. What do you think?

    • Hey Ross,

      The Pegasus Trails are awesome trail running shoes and you shouldn’t have any issues with rolling your ankles as the heel support is very good. The drop is 10mm but truly feels more like 6mm. As a comparison, the Terra Kiger’s are 4mm.


  4. Can you please help. Need the best trail shoe for 100km but have only owned Nike and happy with nike. If you say another brand what do I look for?

  5. I see that the Pegasus Trail 37 is on store shelves. Had you had a chance to try them out yet? I’m curious what you think of them compared to the 36. I am new to trail and am looking to make my first tril shoe purchase. I have a long history with Pegasus as a road running shoe. I have a wide foot which makes the right fit a bit challenging though. Yesterday I brought home the Kiger, the Trail 2 and the Trail 37 all to try around the house to see which is most comfortable. Honestly for me, the Trail 2 is very narrow in the toe box. Anyway, just wondering what your thoughts are on the Peg Trail 37. Thanks for the reviews!

    • Please disregard my comment regarding a Peg Trail 37 shoe! I misspoke and obviously don’t know what I’m talking about. What I brought home IS the Trail 36. I got confused with the latest Peg running shoe which IS the 37. My mistake. Sorry!

        • I’m honestly leaning toward the Trail 36. Being new to the trail scene, I’m wondering how important you think a toe guard of some sort is (like on the Trail 2)?
          So far, the Trail 2 is a bit constricting around the widest part of my foot. I have plenty of length at the toe so really can’t size up. Right now the Kiger and the Trail 36 are fitting the best.

        • Thanks! I’ll check that out along with many other interesting and informative posts I’m finding 🙂
          I would say the trails I’ve been on are considered moderate in technicality. There are lots of tree roots to look out for and some to navigate over by walking along with a fair amount of elevation gain and loss. Heavily forested. I took a fall a few weeks ago catching my toe on one of those sneaker roots. Took me down hard and landed on a bigger root at my upper thigh/hip. No real damage to skin or bone, just a gigantic bruise. Hurt like hell at the time, of course, but I was able to finish my run (it was an out and back and this happened just before the turn around point!). As a result, I’m being even more aware of picking up my feet to clear those roots!

        • Oh no, thats so annoying, especially as you were at the furthest point from where you started! Hope you heal up soon – and keep enjoying those trails, I love forested routes! 🙂

  6. Alastair, sorry to keep bugging you but I have one more question. I’m wondering what makes the Trail 36 a “trail” shoe? Like I mentioned, I have been a loyal Peg fan for road running for years and the Trail 36 looks and feels a lot like my traditional running shoe. So, what makes it different? It’s hard to find a comparison between the two but I guess I just want to know I’m getting a true trail shoe and not just buying into a label. Does that make sense?

    • Hey Steffanie,
      No worries at all! 🙂 So the difference between the road version and the Peg 36 Trail is that the outsole is more rugged and durable, with better grip on trail surfaces. The upper materials also have more durability in areas where you need it, for example you can see there’s a rubberised front bumper and a stiffer material around the heels which helps lock feet in place when running on trails (reduces the chances of lateral ankle roll) – something that’s not considered as important on road surfaces.

      I personally love the Peg 36 Trial because it feels like a road shoe yet performs excellently as a trail running shoe. You can’t go wrong choosing the peg 36 trail for trail running, it’s still my favorite trail shoe for a reason. 🙂 If you haven’t read it already, my full review goes into more detail on them:

      • Thank you, Alastair! I really appreciate your honesty and quick responses to my questions. I did read your other review. I love how comfortable the Peg 36 Trail is… so much like my beloved Peg running shoe (which is probably why I had my doubts for it being a “real” trail shoe). I have a feeling they will win out. The Trail 2 is just too right around my forefoot and feels very long and stiff. The other one still in contention is the Terra Kiger. Planning to try them both on my treadmill tomorrow. Can’t go outside… Oregon is on fire and the air quality is awful! Not to mention my favorite park for trails is closed due to the fire danger 🙁

    • Hey Jack, I’d say the Wildhorse 6 or Terra Kiger 6 will give you the best ride for those trail situations. TK is more minimal but a great shoe while the Wildhorse 6 has more cushioning underfoot – so the choice there would be how much of a minimal ride you’re happy with. The lugs seem ever so slightly deeper on the WH6.

  7. I have the Peg 36 trail and love them (on my fourth pair!) – thanks for all the feedback Steffanie & Alastair as I was wondering if I should stick with them for my first ultra / trail race as I currently use them primarily on the road and in limited trail capacity. Positive thoughts to you both re: the fires all the way from VA.

    • Hey Sarah! So glad you’re enjoying the Peg 36 Trails – and thanks for thinking of us both and the current fire situation. The air quality is much better where I am right now thank goodness! 🙂

  8. (Also posted in Wildhorse review, but thought it might be helpful to others in this column.)
    I can really relate to your comment about the new ridge of extra padding at the heel not being a plus for the shoe! I had the shoe mailed to me from Nike and the Wildhorse was the most comfortable of the three I received (Trail 2, Terra Kiger 6 and the Wildhorse 6–still waiting for the Peg 36 Trail to arrive). Yes, very comfortable if only I could rip out that extra heel padding! So disappointed that Nike chose to design the heel that way. I went through a few years of intense heel pain if ANY shoe pressed on that Achilles heel area. I had to wear all backless shoes for quite a while and only boots (that didn’t “grab” my heel) in the winter. Not due to running, but a drug that I was on inflamed the Achilles area of my heel! Have not had that problem for several years now, but trying on those shoes brought that pain back immediately so they are going back!! So sad because they are so good looking and fit perfectly in all other areas of my foot! Rejected the Terra Kigers because there is not nearly enough padding in the forefoot for me and the Trail 2s had the same heel problem and were weirdly tight near the toes. I have two pairs of regular Pegasus 37 runners and one pair of regular Peg 36s that are heavenly, so I’m thinking that the Peg 36 Trails might be perfect! They are hard to find! I took a 6 (Women’s) in the regular Pegs so not sure if that translates into a 6 in the 36 Trail, so ordered both 6 and 6.5. Not crazy about what was available—Echo Pink (to use in the dirt??!) and also found Khaki/Blue which might be much better! Can’t wait to find out if those will work! Thanks for all of your information on the trail shoes—very helpful!!

    • You’re very welcome – I’m glad you’ve found all the information useful 🙂

      p.s. by the sound of everything you mentioned, you’re going to love the Peg 36 trail! Enjoy! 🙂


  9. Hey Alistair, I’ve been leaning towards the peg 36 trail for a while and particularly because they’re on sale at the moment. The trails I run are mostly through soft sandy dunes and some hard compact dirt. I’m also looking at the Salomon Sense Ride 3s. Have you tried those and if so how would they compare? Also would you recommend a lower drop for sandy conditions?

    • Hi Gene – where are you based? It sounds dreamy with the dunes! 🙂

      Yes I think a lower drop shoe would be especially good for sandy conditions, and perhaps a shoe with a wide outsole to help distribute your weight and reduce the effect of sinking into the sand – this should help you ‘float’ on top while running. I haven’t run in the Sense Ride 3 but my experience with the original shoe is that it is quite similar to the Peg 36 Trail but don’t take my word on that as it was a long time ago. I always recommend going for the Peg 36 Trail right now, they’re my current favorite trail shoes. You may need gaiters with them for your sandy runs though.


  10. Hey Alistair, great post and really helped me in my choice of next shoe. I run in the UK on wet muddy trails, have also had issues with rolling my ankle, but i do like a cushioned shoe. Should i go for the Terra Kiger? What do you think? I run Nike road salomon speedcross trail.

    • Hey David, glad I could help! The Terra Kiger is a great shoe but it does have a bit more of a minimal feel than the Speedcross, which I personally like but if you’re planning long distances you may want a bit more cushioning, like in the Wildhorse for example.

  11. Alistair, this is a great and really useful comparison. I currently have P36trail and love everything about them except there is too much room in the toe box. I have a narrow foot. Any recommendations of which would be more narrow?
    Any experience with the Juniper trail? Looks like the Wild Trail from a few years ago that fit me well.

    • Thanks Mike, glad it helped you out! I’d say the Terra Kiger feels the most narrow of all of them. I don’t have any experience with the Juniper Trail, unfortunately!



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Hey, I'm Alastair. I started Trail & Kale to share the mental & physical benefits that trail running and nature had given me. This site now inspires hundreds of thousands of people all over the world to trail run, hike, adventure more, and live a healthy plant-based lifestyle. It's also a place to learn how to chase your dreams, untether from convention and live more self-sustainably.

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