For the last 12 months I've been running on the road and trail in Nike Free 5.0s. The Frees are the most comfortable running shoes I've ever worn, but on trails the sole of the shoe gets small pebbles stuck in it, tends to get chewed up pretty quickly and does not have sufficient grip.
However, inertia plays a large role in my buying decisions and I've continued to run in the Frees. That is until I noticed my running mates, Chris aka "Shoe Geek", Dax, Cameron, and James, among others wearing the Nike Zoom Wildhorse on trail runs. When Chris informed me that I could get the Wildhorse on Finishline.com for $49.99, the cheap bastard in me overcame the inertia and asked my wife, shopper extraordinaire, to get me two pairs. My wife first googled "Finishline coupon" and found a coupon online that saved me another $10 bucks.
|Pink & Blue all the way through|
|16.7 miles of trail later|
I first ran 7 miles of trails, with 1300' of elevation gain, in the Wildhorse fresh out of the box. I had a raw area of skin on my left foot from a blister, but it did not bother me at all during the run - no break-in period required. These shoes are comfortable, not quite as comfortable as the Frees, but almost.
My next run was 9.7 miles of trails, with 1800' of elevation gain. On this run, I really appreciated the grip these shoes offer. Compared to the Frees, these shoes are beefy. No more feeling sharp rocks through the soles or half-running/sliding down a loose trail. At the same time, that extra 1.1oz must add a little more padding, especially at the heel. My feet definitely felt less beat up after my runs.
Until I find something better, I have to give the Wildhorse a 5 out of 5. Lightweight, comfortable and grippy. What else do you need in a trail shoe?
Second ThoughtsFast forward a few hundred miles. The sole of the Wildhorse, like the Tiger, are substandard. They begin to wear away the minute you start running in them. At the same time, I have reevaluated my take on the Wildhorse. The Kiger is much more comfortable and fits my foot snugly. Whereas when running downhill in the Wildhorse, my big toes tend to rub against the toebox. This does not happen in the Kiger. Upshot, I give the Wildhorse a 3 out of 5 and I would not buy the Wildhorse again.
San Elijo Hills Running Club