Nike Zoom Wildhorse 2
I don’t like Nike. I’ve never owned a pair of their running shoes and had no intentions on buying them, ever. When I began coming back from knee surgery, my typical array of shoes just weren’t cutting it. My gait had changed, my stride length had changed, and shoes that I had STACKS of sitting in my room, no longer felt comfortable and some were even causing pain. My IT band was flaring up (unrelated to shoes), and I was just having a hard time getting out the door knowing that each run was going to hurt. I spent hours just looking at the running shoe store website trying to figure out what might make my legs more comfortable. Then I saw the Nike Zoom Wildhorse 2s. Why the F not? I needed something new, just to get over a mental barrier. I hated purchasing them, I hated seeing the large swoosh on the shoe box, and I actually felt a bit embarrassed the first time I wore them in public. But how did they pan out?
9.3oz for size 9
Heel 22mm, Toe 18mm
Sizing: True to size for me. Grabbed a 10.5 (half size up) for normal swell and fit perfectly with a thumbs width of gap.
Described as a low profile shoe with a lightweight seamless upper, the description matches the product. It’s a really good looking shoe and though I hate to admit it, the quality is really top notch and I was very impressed with the build.
There’s a “Zoom Air Unit” in the midsole. I thought the cushioning in this shoe was that perfect middle ground of being able to feel the trail while having enough cushioning to keep your feet happy for 20-30 miles. More efficient runners could easily extend this out to 50 milers and be very happy.
The upper fits like a glove. I want the shoe to feel like an extension of my foot and simply forget I’m even wearing them and that’s what the Wildhorse 2 did.
Traction. Rocks, roots and trail are no problem in this. There’s enough traction and protection for the trails in the Northeast, which means it’s more than enough for anywhere else. I hate when reviewers criticize a shoe like this for not “gripping on wet rock” or “snow or mud.” General purpose trail shoes are not meant to grip in extreme conditions, that’s why there are plenty of “extreme” grip shoes on the market.
Toebox: Wider than most shoes, but more narrow compared to say the Altra line.
Only one and it’s not a problem with the shoe per say. Nike introduced the Wildhorse 2 and the Terra Kiger 2 and they’re very similar. If trail shoes were ranked on a scale from 1-10 and a something like Vibrams were at 1 and a shoe like the Brooks Cascadia was at 10, the Wildhorse and Kiger are proably a 5 and a 6. Perfect middle ground, they’re great shoes. But they’re right next to each other to the point where there’s not a LOT to differentiate them. (There are of course differences, just hear me out) I would like to see either a third trail shoe from Nike closer to the 4 (a really stripped down trail that is basically a Lunar Racer with a bit of traction) or something closer to the 7. (the Wildhorse with a couple more mm of cushion, a rockplate and a toe bumper).
I’ve run in the the Pearl Izumi N1 and N2 trail shoes, Salomon Sense, Mantras, Ultras, Speedcross; La Sportiva Vertical Ks and Helios; and more and if I had to pick one shoe to put on my feet right now and wear for a trail run and race, I’d pick the Nike Wildhorse 2. It’s a fantastic shoe that I hate to admit to loving.