Nike is practically synonymous with running shoes. Most of the world’s top athletes are sponsored by Nike, and they swear by their exceptional pair. Whether you’re looking for top-tier performance, utmost comfort, or merely some fantastic looking kicks – you’re probably looking for a couple of Nikes.
Other than their superb reputation around the sports and athlete world, Nike shoes have found their way into the homes of hobby trail runners as well. Nike products top-of-the-line trail running shoes, and they make them in huge quantities.
There are so many series, specific models, and special editions of trail running shoes by Nike that crowning the best one would be practically impossible, and that’s why we’ve decided to highlight the top twelve instead.
However, before we get to our top picks for Nike trail running shoes, we’ll go over Nike as a whole, give you some key pointers on what you should look for in superb running shoes, and decipher what turns a piece of footwear into an irreplaceable tool for trail running.
Nike Has Been a Reliable Sports Brand for More Than Half a Century
To say that Nike is an industry giant would be an understatement. Nike is one of the world’s most popular footwear and sportswear manufacturers, and its story begins way back in 1964, in Oregon. The first shoes made by Nike wear Nike Cortez, beautifully designed and made by renowned cobbler Bill Bowerman.
Believe it or not, this model still exists in Nike’s current lineup, and that’s not likely going to change anytime soon.
The original Cortez was a fantastic running shoe that didn’t merely kickstart Nikes – it defined a company that would go on to change the world of sportswear forever. For over half a century, Nike has been serving the people by offering superb soles at affordable prices.
Nike footwear is generally regarded as some of the best globally, with their exceptional quality standards being near legend. Their current lineup of running shoes is affordable, fits all the requirements that a right running shoe should, and is perhaps the best contender for your next running shoe of choice.
Things to Keep in Mind When Choosing Best Nike Trail Running Shoes
You can’t just buy any pair of shoes and call them a running shoe, can you? Of course not – that’s why Nike trail running shoes aren’t just any pair of running shoes – they’re the pair of running shoes. Nevertheless, a good run shouldn’t be a piece of footwear at all – it should be an extension of your limbs that aids you in your task to accomplish your run.
That’s why an excellent running shoe needs to fill a couple of presets and requirements to be considered a worthy contender for your next running shoe. While the twelve of our top picks below all fit these metrics, we’ve decided to outline them for you so you can make a wise, informed, and most of all, proper choice when it comes to your next pair of Nike trail running shoes.
The tread is one of the essential parts of a good trail running shoe. Running on a trail isn’t like running on the street or the track – it’s gritty, real, and raw. That’s why the tread on your trail running shoes should be different from any other pair.
The tread on trail running shoes should be flexible enough to remain as comfortable as possible but as pronounced enough to bite the track you’re running on. It should allow you to float on the trail rather than will enable you to tread on it.
Look, leather might be the most undisturbed possible material for your suede shoes, but it doesn’t cut it when it comes to trail running. Trail running shoes suffer perhaps the most notable abuse a piece of footwear can go through apart from being thrown headfirst into the shredder.
A good pair of Nike trail running shoes should be made up of high-end fabrics that can withstand a lot of use and abuse but remain as comfortable as possible even after a long run. The fabric should also be breathable, so your feet won’t be boiling as you run.
The material won’t only define your running shoes’ durability and endurance – it will also determine the comfort, which is another crucial aspect.
Your Nike trail running shoes should fit you, and you specifically. They need to fit like a glove if you want them to do their job correctly, and with the selection of modes and sizes, we’re sure that you’ll find the right pair for you.
Getting the right fit is detrimental to your trail running, as ill-fitting shoes enhance your chance of injury while running, experiencing discomfort, and having an unpleasant experience as a whole. If you’re unsure what shoe size you’re looking for, find the measurements on Nike’s website and make sure that everything fits like a glass slipper.
The sole will be a defining aspect of the comfort, sure, but the outsole is what makes the shoe that much better. The lug size will impact your running significantly, so you need to make sure that you’ve got the right size for the right kind of trail.
Trails are different, and that’s what makes them beautiful. If you’re running on a soft trail such as light soil and mud, you’ll want big and bulky lugs. However, if you’re running on a rock or any hard surface, a small lug is the way to go.
When it comes to weight, your Nike trail running shoe should be as light as possible. Light means agile, and agile means fast. If your running shoe is on the heavier side, it could significantly impact the comfort and performance of your shoe mid-run, which could compromise a whole lot of other things.
Best Nike Trail Running Models:
We’re nearly there – the top twelve list is upon us. However, before we get into the list, we’ll have to note that picking just twelve out of Nike’s amazingly huge arsenal of footwear was a technicolor nightmare. With so many features, materials, and shoes to choose from, finding the top picks was a constant battle of thought, comparison, and testing.
Luckily, after a long while, we’ve made our choice. Here are twelve of the best Nike trail running shoes on the market.
Nike Air Zoom Terra Kiger 5
Nike Air Zoom Terra Kiger 5 is one of Nike’s flagship trail running models, and it’s plain and clear to see why. This pair of kicks isn’t just one of the best trail running shoes out there – it’s fantastic looking as well. Not everyone is into flashy, decal ridden, over-the-top running shoes, and these are the solution for those people.
If you’re looking for an ergonomic, comfortable, lightweight running shoe that screams style, you’re looking for this pair of kicks. Don’t let their slick, laid back looks fool you, as these are specially designed for any kind of trail, and they’re built to last.
Nike Air Zoom Wildhorse 5
Some people don’t dig flashy – others do. If you’re into crazy colors, you’ll be into the Nike Air Zoom Wildhorse 5. It comes in three different color pallets, two of which are a fusion of colors, and the last one is a slick black.
Outside of their eye-catching aesthetics, these shoes are as light as air, and their tread is pronounced ever so much that they grip onto anything you put them on without being overly bulky. Rocky trails and mud runs are a cakewalk if you’re walking in these Nike Air Zoom Wildhorse 5’s.
Nike Air Zoom Wildhorse 6
If you thought that the Air Zoom Wildhorse 5 was something, you’d adore the Air Zoom Wildhorse 6. This pair of kicks takes everything that made the Wildhorse 5 a fantastic option and kicks it up a notch. The flashy looks are dialed down a bit, but they’ll still catch some looks when you’re ripping the trail apart.
The Wildhorse 6 has an outstanding improved outsole, so you can use them on virtually any type of surface and get an equally comfortable grip, as well as cushioned enough that you’ll enjoy the ride.
Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 36 Trail GTX
Pegasus – come on. If you’re comparing running shoes with a mythical, galloping horse, you might as well choose the Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 36 GTX. These kicks are absolutely stunning, sturdy, and robust enough that they’re equipped to rip any surface area to shreds while still being as soft and adaptive as a memory foam pillow.
They’re superb in almost every sense of the word. These shoes are built for bursts of energy, and while not purposefully designed for long runs, they work as well for them.
Nike Air Zoom Terra Kiger 6
You thought the Wildhorse 5s were stylish.? Well, the Air Zoom Terra Kiger 6’s are a classy looking pair of running shoes that are snug, comfy, and durable. Unlike most models, these come equipped with a woven heel, meaning they’ll always be the best fit possible, so you never grow tired on your runs.
They also come with a segmented rock plate in the forefoot, which protects your feet on the run without taking anything from the flexibility – it’s both safe and fast, the best of both worlds!
Nike Wild Trail
If you’re a wild child, you’ll love the Wild Trail Nike trail running shoes. These shoes are built for those conquerors who aren’t scared of terrain, mountain peak, or weather conditions. They’re sturdy, built to last, and damn near indestructible.
That doesn’t show one bit when you’re wearing the shoes, though. When you’re wearing them, it’s like you’re strolling on a bed of rose petals, velvet, and feathers, and that’s due to their superb fitment and outstanding cushioning.
Nike Dual Fusion Trail 2
The Nike Dual Fusion Trail 2 is a pair of slick-looking and sleek kicks. They’re ideal for running on long trails, and their mesh design ensures utmost breathability and comfort. The lugs on these shoes are pretty small, making them ideal for running on relatively hard surfaces.
While not providing a substantial amount of grip or traction on softer surfaces, these shoes excel in their flexibility and weight.
These shoes have high-end rubber soles and breathable material, which is astonishing considering their weight of 12oz, which is about the same as three pairs of socks.
Nike Air Zoom Wildhorse 3
These are the most subtle kicks on the market. Just like most Air Zooms, the Wildhorse 3’s are a fantastic blend of looks and comfort while equipped to tear through just about any environment. They have a bullet-proof outsole and a fantastic stack height that provides the utmost feel of the terrain.
This stack height lets you know what you’re running on, but not in a way that makes them uncomfortable.
It also has a fantastic dual mesh design that ensures that the durability of these kicks is superb. Another important thing to note is the lacing, which allows your foot to become one with the shoe without feeling too tight.
Nike Air Zoom Terra Kiger 3
We’ve covered several Terra Kigers on this list, but this one is a bit different. It’s slick, sexy, and superb in almost every way. They’re amazingly comfortable, built for running on trails, and their durability is astonishing.
The shoes have a rigid, rough-looking exterior, which is the opposite of their actual comfort and support. They fit like a dream due to their interior design, and the low profile only adds to their aesthetic. The Terra Kiger 3 shoes have an environmentally preferred rubber, which is nice to the environment and adds to the shoe’s flexibility as a whole.
Additionally, these runners have sticky lugs in the middle, making them ideal for traversing all kinds of terrain.
Nike Air Zoom Wildhorse 3 GTX
We’ve talked about Wildhorse before in this article, and these kicks are pretty much the same but with one crucial difference. While the regular Wildhorse 3s come with a dual mesh design that excels in durability, the Wildhorse 3 GTX comes with Gore-Tex, which is a waterproof, breathable fabric, making these shoes resistant to just about anything you throw at them.
Like the other Wildhorse 3, the GTX variant is equally comfortable and supportive but comes in a different design.
While wondering which one of the two should find its place on the list, we’ve conducted that both are too good to pass up on.
If you’re a passionate trail runner or if you’re getting into the hobby, a good, sturdy pair of running shoes is going to transform your experience by a considerable margin. Why go with good when you can go with the best, and the best are Nike trail running shoes.
In this article, we’ve given you our top twelve picks, and each of these shoes is for different people. Each person will require their specific shoe that fits their particular style, but we’re sure that most people can find that one of these twelve is the perfect fit for them.