Nike Terra Kiger 6 Performance Review
Nike’s been carpet-bombing the shoe scene in 2020, and the Nike Trail line is no exception. One of three shoes to target American and foreign soil (along with the Wildhorse 6 and Pegasus Trail), the Nike Terra Kiger 6 picks up where the last one left off, continuing a trend of this race-day ready, fast and strapped trail rocket.
Truth be told, not much has changed since the Terra Kiger 5. It still has that full-length React midsole (stack height 27 mm in heel, 23 mm in toe), with a Zoom Air unit in the heel. There’s a segmented rock plate in the forefoot, but the outsole remains unchanged– multi-directional lugs with a “sticky” pad in the midfoot.
We always hate when companies break a shoe from one version to the next. So is the consistency of the Terra Kiger 6 good? Yes… and no.
Just ask Matt Kucharski, our very own Kiger King, who had to write this review with one hand on account of this shoe (he’s a monster!!!). For more on how that came to be, keep reading.
MATT: Let’s just all admit that Nike has been killing it with their trail shoe colorways the past two seasons. This aura/mint design on the first wave of the 2020 models may be my favorite to date.
Just like its sibling the Wildhorse, it’s a head-turner.
For starters, and just like the Wildhorse, I love the React foam midsole. Once again bringing the material us Nike fan bois fell in love with on the roads in 2018 and applying it to the trails.
The upper and lace/tongue combo just seems to work here without issues. Sometimes it’s the stuff you don’t have to think or worry about that brings value. Tongue never bunches or slips, and the laces lock in just right without needing use of the very top set of holes.
Coming in at 9.3 oz. for a US M9.0, these shoes feel even lighter when on the move. Even when navigating some muddy terrain, these did not feel clunky or slow out of turns; it’s definitely the feel of a trail “race” shoe.
ROBBE: Not much has changed on this shoe from last year’s version. In fact, the midsole/outsole is the exact same, and the upper is only slightly tweaked. I mean, seriously you can read my review of the Terra Kiger 5 from last year and it will be the exact same. If you don’t do that, I can just give you another quick rundown.
I still love this shoe in a lot of ways. It’s a burner on the trails. The upper is super snug (I compared it to a soccer cleat fit last year), and the tongue has little pads on top that allows you to really cinch things down without feeling it.
After taking this out on some rolling dirt trails in Pennsylvania (somehow found a place that wasn’t a pile of rocks), I still enjoyed the same lightweight and fast sensation from last year’s model. For those who like to feel the trail, you can’t get much better than this. Point being– if you liked the Terra Kiger 5, you’ll like the Kiger 6.
And yes, of course it looks badass.Shop Terra Kiger 6
MATT: Ok, so this may get personal here, but if I hadn’t logged into Nike’s website to check some specs on the shoe and saw the tagline for the Kiger, I may have held back on my review a bit. But here you go:
“The Nike Zoom Terra Kiger 6 is a lightweight trail running shoe designed to conquer wet, rocky trails.”
Let’s break that sentence down.
My third run in the Kigers was during a light rain and on a 6-mile single-track loop I know well.
All was well until I reached a rocky stream crossing, took one step onto a rock and went down faster than Mr. Glass on the receiving end of a Stone Cold stunner.
Instantly heard a snap in my wrist and knew that 1) I was going to the hospital, and 2) I had my first negative bullet for this review. (FWIW I wrote this review with one hand, please respect the grind).
So am I bitter now that I am typing this left-handed with a non-functional right hand with two broken bones in my arm? Yup.
I did some asking around and this is not an isolated issue, nor is it new to the Kiger 6. Nike’s trail tread material combined with the lug pattern on these shoes are just downright dangerous in wet conditions.
On top of that, to call out its performance in wet, rocky conditions as a highlight is downright laughable.
So despite its good looks and performance in dry conditions, it will take me awhile to get over this incident and trust the Kiger again.
ROBBE: I actually agree with Matt, and I felt pretty bad that I forgot to warn him about the questionable grip, or lack thereof. The outsole wasn’t great last year and it’s still pretty terrible this year. For some reason, in last year’s review, I said I didn’t have a huge problem with it. But as I wore it more throughout the year I definitely noticed more issues on wet surfaces and I honestly should have updated my review. Sorry if anyone took my previous advice, reviewing is an imperfect art form.
And yes, while any outsole has a tough time on wet rocks or logs, the Kiger is especially subpar. Like Matt said, to put it in the tagline of the shoe is highly questionable.Shop Terra Kiger 6
ROBBE: I’m gonna finish the review for Matt since I’m pretty sure he’s knee-deep in mezcal and painkillers at the moment. Is this a good shoe? Yes, especially if you’re a Nike fan and looking for something to really race out there on the trails. I wore the Kiger 5 for the last 15 miles of a 50-miler last summer and had it cruising even when I was in the high-forties.
But beware of slippery surfaces– we want you to stay handsome, not handless.
You can pick up the Nike Terra Kiger 6 for $130 (actually on sale now for $105) at Running Warehouse (featuring free 2-day shipping and 90-day returns) by using the shop link below.Shop Terra Kiger 6
Have something to say? Leave a Comment
I was considering these but the wet traction has put me off, as I’ll be running in wet conditions, mainly grass often, Which brand or type of trail runners would you say has the best traction on wet surfaces? Specifically wet grass. Thanks, ben
I bought a pair in summer 2020 (UK based). Felt grippy on the shop floor and were fine for the hills in the dry, but I could hardly stay on my feet in muddier autumn and winter conditions. Avoid unless you are only going to use these in fine underfoot conditions.
I recently bought the Kiger 6 on discount and ran in it now during a running week full of snow – even for a 30k run on Saturday. The shoe fits very well on my foot (which is not an easy thing to find for me). I just wanted to know whether you could recommend any road shoe from Nike which is “similar” to the Kiger in terms of drop/fit etc. Thank you!
Best wishes from Germany! 🙂