A little over a year ago, Nike revealed React, a new running shoe foam that it claimed was the lightest, most durable and most responsive available. The spongy upgrade debuted in the Epic React Flyknit (now in its second iteration) and Nike has since baked it into a range of running shoes. Now, with the release of the Terra Kiger 5, React is in a trail running shoe for the first time.
We got a look at the Terra Kiger 5 last July at Outdoor Retailer — it was Nike’s first appearance at the show — and were so impressed that we gave it one of our Editor’s Choice awards. In addition to React, the shoe includes a perforated mesh upper for breathability and draining and toe reinforcement that isn’t too stiff or heavy. There’s also a segmented rock plate in the forefoot to provide extra trail protection without making the shoe too stiff.
Nike’s not as well-known in trail running as it is for road running (or basketball, golf and nearly every other sport), and the Terra Kiger 5 represents a doubling-down of sorts. This season’s collection, which also includes the more-rugged Wildhorse 5 and a line of apparel, is more unified than ever. It makes sense, trail running has been growing in popularity for years, and Nike has the know-how and technology, like React foam, to make an impact in the space.
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