TWO NIKE TRAIL RUNNING STYLES ARE BACK WITH NEW EDITIONS
Trail running season is still on! Brian Metzler reviews the Nike Pegasus Trail 2 with added love for the Nike Terra Kiger 6.
Both these styles feature Nike’s dynamic React foam debuted two years ago in road running shoes. The combination of shock-absorbing cushioning and energy return bounce is ideal for the trails too. Cushy but not mushy, it reacts swiftly in every step, providing a comfortable, lively ride.
Read on to learn about these two dynamic trail shoes for your next outdoor adventure.
NIKE PEGASUS TRAIL 2 REVIEW
The Pegasus Trail was Nike’s original trail running shoe. Although it has come and gone, it was brought back to the forefront in recent years. It’s been greatly improved over the past two editions. The Pegasus Trail 2 replaces last year’s Pegasus 36 Trail but it’s more of an overhaul than an update. It’s a mid-range, do-everything trail shoe for mild to moderate terrain for novice to expert level runners.
This year’s Pegasus Trail has undergone numerous updates that have improved its fit, feel and performance. First and foremost, the shoe now has Nike’s energetic React cushioning foam in the midsole, creating a softer, springier ride. The upper and outsole have also been improved to be more durable and performance-oriented. This makes the Peg Trail 2 adaptable for a wider range of surfaces and weather conditions.
The reinforced upper, semi-firm heel counter and interior neoprene bootie provide locked-down security, holding the foot in place in the heel and saddle while still allowing the toes wiggle and splay.
The upper and tongue are perforated to enhance breathability and drainage. A pull tab off the heel allows for easy-on, easy-off functionality.
The full-coverage durable rubber outsole has low-profile directional lugs inspired by mountain bike tire design, meaning some are designed to aid a runner going uphill and others are designed to provide braking securing while running downhill.
The only drawback to the Pegasus Trail 2 is that it’s slightly heavier (about 2 oz.) than its predecessor, the Pegasus 36 Trail, and some other contemporaries on the market. While the soft, energetic demeanor doesn’t allow it to feel heavy, the extra ounces are definitely noticeable.
FIT, FEEL, RIDE
The Pegasus Trail 2 fits true to size without the typical snugness common to most Nike road running shoes. It has a medium to wide interior from heel to arch to toe, so narrow-footed runners might have to cinch the laces down extra tight. The step-in feel is soft and plush rounded out with a supple and comfortable tongue and heel collar.
The thickly cushioned midsole feels both shock absorbing and lively, soaking up the impact force of hitting the trail and then returning some of that energy in the next stride. The width and reliable traction provide consistent stability and confidence on all kinds of terrain. All in all this serves up a sturdy but springy ride.
WHO IT’S BEST FOR
Trail runners who love a consistently comfortable and springy shoe will really appreciate the new Nike Pegasus Trail 2. It’s ideal for dirt roads, smooth dirt trails and mildly technical routes with rocks and roots. Although it’s not super light, it’s light and flexible enough to be nimble and definitely race worthy for longer distances.
Several key features offer protection against rocks, roots and other trail obstacles. This includes reinforced toe bumpers and sidewalls. There is also a faux gaiter collar that helps keep dirt and debris out of the shoe.
Our wear-testers liked the soft feel and springy ride of this shoe, but we loved the flowy, run-wild vibe that it oozes. It offers an ideal mix of cushion, support, stability, traction and freedom.
NIKE TERRA KIGER 6
If you’re looking for a lighter, more agile trail shoe that’s engineered for more technical terrain, consider the Nike Terra Kiger 6 ($130).
It features both Nike React foam and Zoom Air packets for dynamic cushioning. It also features a flexible, segmented rock plate for protection and a sticky rubber outsole for optimal traction on dry surfaces.
It’s a lightweight shoe (9.3 oz. for men, 8.3 oz. for women) with a lower heel-toe offset (4mm) and a low-to-the-ground feel.