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Nike Wildhorse 7 Review | Great Trail Running Shoe for Technical Terrain?

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The Nike Wildhorse 7 is the seventh model in the Nike Wildhorse trail running shoe lineup. I’ve enjoyed testing and training in most of my Nike road running shoes, so I was super excited to try the Nike Wildhorse 7 and take them out on my favorite trails. The Wildhorse 7 is marketed for tackling rough and technical trails and its design seems to coincide perfectly with Nike’s proposed description.

In the Nike Wildhorse 7, you get a durable rubber on the outsole and a reinforced upper that will allow you to handle rugged trails with obstacles that may cause high degrees of abrasion, which is something the Nike Peg Trail 3 lacks. Multidirectional lugs are built-in for traction on steep ascents and descents to keep you secure on your running surface.

There’s also a gaiter collar that wraps and hugs the ankle to keep unwanted debris out, which I personally like a lot, and there’s also a segmented rock plate to protect the foot running over jagged terrain. The Nike Wildhorse 7 Trail Running Shoe impressed me across the board with only a few characteristics that I did not like.

In this Nike Wildhorse 7 Trail Running Shoe review, I am going to cover all of the essential details that you need to know to contextualize if this trail running shoe is the right fit for you.

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Who Should Invest In the Nike Wildhorse 7?

Both trail runners and hikers will enjoy the performance of the Wildhorse 7 Trail Shoe while on technical terrain. The design of this particular shoe is intended to be used on rugged and abrasive trails. If this is what you plan on running or hiking, then I think the Nike Wildhorse 7 is going to be a great shoe for you.

This would not be my go-to shoe for easy flat runs or if you enjoy a cushioned ride. The Wildhorse 7 does have great responsiveness, but I did not find it to be a plush shoe. Another surface I would not even consider using this shoe is on the road. During my testing, I ran across some sections of concrete but I did not do a dedicated road run in them. The makeup of the Wildhorse 7 did not support my abbreviated exposure to using these on the road, so I didn’t bother testing them there.

nike wildhorse 7 trail review

As for conditions, I used this model on both dry and wet trail runs. It performed outstandingly well in dry conditions and moderately well in wet conditions. Wet conditions such as light snow and rain were not an issue. I did notice a bit of slipping in the mud and the lug design seems to be built more specifically for dry traction.

There are specific types of shoes on the market that are designed to handle ice, usually with a built-in traction outsole system, so performance on ice would not go great in this model.

Nike Wildhorse 7


nike wildhorse 7

Best For

  • Semi-Technical Trail Runs
  • Technical Trail Runs On Dry Terrain
  • Hiking
  • Mixed and Wet Conditions

Falls Short

  • For Running On Flats
  • For Long Runs and Road Runs

Nike Wildhorse 7 Pros

Throughout my training and testing, I have found multiple aspects to like and enjoy about the Nike Wildhorse 7 trail running shoe.

  1. Durable and Tough Construction
  2. Traction Over a Variety of Conditions
  3. Built-In Ankle Gaiter

The first pro about the Nike Wildhorse 7 is how durable and rugged the construction is. The Wildhorse 7 is marketed to take on tough, extreme, rugged, rocky, and high abrasion terrain. After testing this current model, I could not agree more with Nike’s vision and construction of this shoe. It does seem like they have put together a shoe that’s tough and should last for the long haul.

nike wildhorse 7 upper

With high abrasion rubber on the outsole and durable mesh, the upper keeps the foot cool while working hard. There’s a segmented rock plate in the midsole, along with a time-tested durable foam midsole. There is even a protective skin at the front of the toe box for added protection against abrasion. The Nike Wildhorse 7 does seem to have strategic protection where you need it most when tackling tough trails.

In my opinion, this is the shoe for you if you need high durability and are willing to sacrifice a bit of cushioning. I am very much looking forward to testing this over many more miles and even some technical hiking in the summer. I’ll be sure to update this review in the future to document future experiences in this model.

nike wildhorse 7 outsole traction

The next pro of the Nike Wildhorse 7 is its traction over different conditions. Dry, somewhat wet, muddy, or snow, the Wildhorse 7 handled most everything that I threw in its path. I loved the performance of the multidirectional traction lugs across most varying surfaces. The semi-aggressive lugs give a great grip on dry and loose surfaces.

It was awesome how well placed the traction lugs were placed on the outsole, even going as far as the outer edge of the heel. Anything dry, whether it be loose, solid, or steep, the Wildhorse 7 is going to be a great performer.

As for varied conditions, what I consider to be wet, mud, and snow/ice. The Wildhorse 7 did a pretty darn good job. Over a solid wet and snowy trail, I did not find myself slipping around at all. When the trail turned a bit looser in mud or snow I did find my foot slipping a bit. But packed snow and mud, the Wildhorse 7 kept me secure and snug.

nike wildhorse 7 gaiter for debris

The only other small area I found a lack of traction was over wet slick surfaces such as exposed creek bedrocks. This is not a major issue and is usually avoidable, but worth noting.

The last aspect to like about the Wildhorse 7 is the ankle gaiter collar. A very unique and comfortable mesh gaiter that encompasses the upper portion of the ankle. Helping to keep debris out of the shoe and supply a small amount of support. This would not take the place of an additional trail running ankle gaiter for waterproofing. But it performed well for its intended design and did its job to keep dirt out of the shoe on technical terrain.

Nike Wildhorse 7 Cons

Overall, I loved this shoe for my trail runs and only found one thing about the Nike Wildhorse 7 Trail Running Shoe that I did not love.

  1. Comfort On Long Runs

This only con can be combated with the explanation that this shoe is intended for a rugged trail. Shoes in this category are not intended to have the comfort of shoes meant to be used on easy to moderate trails. I find that explanation to be wrong. I have tried many shoes that had much more comfort and similar features to classify them as rugged technical trail shoes.

nike wildhorse 7 nike react foam midsole

Nike even states that their Nike React Foam offers a soft and smooth ride. The rest of their claim describes that this React Foam will add a spring to your step, which I fully agree with, but again, not for longer bouts. The Wildhorse 7 had great responsiveness and was an awesome shoe for shorter technical trail runs. It just won’t be my go-to for long runs where I like a bit more comfort.


To cover the Wildhorse 7 Trail Running Shoe performance, I am going to discuss how this shoe performs in a variety of settings to help you contextualize if this is the right trail running shoe for your needs.

nike wildhorse 7 performance overview for different trails

Nike Wildhorse 7 for Light Trail Runs and Road Runs

The Nike Wildhorse 7 would not be my go-to for road running. Clearly, it has a design for technical trail running and does not perform at its best on the road. There are shoes with less aggressive lugs and more cushioning that I would much prefer to run on the road with.

For light trail running, the Nike Wildhorse 7 does pretty well. Some shoes come to mind that I would select before the Wildhorse 7 for what I consider to be a light trail. But I was not disappointed with the performance of this shoe when running on a light trail.

nike wildhorse 7 nike for light trail runs

It has a design for technical trails, so clearly it will handle all the terrain on light trails. Comfort over distance is the only reason I would likely select another shoe for light trail runs.

Nike Wildhorse 7 for Semi-Technical and Difficult Terrain

This shoe was built for this category, down to every detail of the construction. High abrasion rubber on the outsole, durable mesh upper, a segmented rock plate in the midsole, durable foam midsole, protective skin at the front of the toe box, ankle gaiter, and fairly aggressive lugs.

Running steep dry terrain was made much easier while wearing this shoe. I felt comfortable bombing a hill in this shoe, with no slipping or instability at all. I have nothing but good things to speak about when discussing the performance of the Nike Wildhorse 7 on dry technical terrain.

nike wildhorse 7 nike for technical trail runs

Varied weather conditions were handled great with this shoe. Rain, snow, and mud for the most part were not a problem. As discussed above, I did find that loose snow and mud were a bit of a problem. This is likely a product of the lug depth. There is a reason microspikes and shoes specifically for mud running exist. The Wildhorse 7 is best for highly technical dry terrain and lighter varied weather conditions.

Nike Wildhorse 7 for Walking, Hiking, and Daily Wear

When I test a shoe, I will usually wear it as my everyday shoe for a couple of weeks to get a feel for how comfortable it is walking around. This model was comfortable to walk in but similar to the road running discussion, it does not have the cushion I like.

It is an intentional design to give the runner more spring and energy back with each contact, which I enjoy on the technical trail. But I like a bit of cushioning when walking around and for daily wear.

nike wildhorse 7 nike for walking and hiking

This model is an awesome shoe for hiking. Comfort while hiking over long distances is desirable but you want your shoe to have a great outsole and be durable. If you are hiking at your local open space and it is considered to be a walk, not a hike, then you might go with a more cushioned shoe.

But if you are hiking and tackling terrain considered moderate and above, then I think you will like this shoe. It has enough comfort and a bomber design to be a great hiking shoe.

Nike Wildhorse 7 Sizing

Most runners will be fine going true to size in the Nike Wildhorse 7. It has a neutral width and a slightly larger toe box, which I enjoy. The pull tab in the back makes it easy to slip on. As always though, if you want a true fit for your foot, head into your local running shop to get properly fitted.

  • Nike Wildhorse 7 Thoughts: For a normal or slightly wider foot width, you will be fine with true to size. If you like a narrower toe box, I think you will be just fine with this model too.

nike wildhorse 7 sizing and fit

If you have additional questions about the Nike Wildhorse 7’s sizing and fit, drop a comment below and I will help accordingly.

Nike Wildhorse 7 Vs Nike Pegasus Trail 3

Nike does a fairly good job at differentiating their trail running shoes for different tasks. They do this by creating different core trail running shoe lines that will be better suited for certain styles of terrain.

If you’ve been wondering about the Nike Wildhorse 7 vs the Nike Pegasus Trail 3, then it should be fairly easy to assess which model to go with based on the context of your trail running shoe needs. For anyone that wants a trail running shoe for more technical trails and hikes, then the Nike Wildhorse 7 will be your best bet.

nike wildhorse 7 vs pegasus trail 3
Nike Wildhorse 7

As mentioned above, this model features a plethora of construction features designed to promote your grip on trails and it has an upper construction designed to be highly abrasion-resistant.

The Nike Pegasus Trail 3 is a much more casual trail running shoe and can actually work for lighter road runs, too. That being said, this model will be best for someone tackling light trails and easy technical terrains in dry climates. The lugs on this model are only 3.3mm deep, so you won’t get the most traction on technical terrain with the Pegasus Trail 3.

nike pegasus trail 3 for walking
Nike Pegasus Trail 3

Due to its thicker and more plush midsole, the Pegasus Trail 3 is also a great daily wear model for anyone that likes to slip on their shoes for errands, walking the dogs, or working outside.

Construction Details

Overall, I like the construction of the Nike Wildhorse 7. You can tell that a lot of thought was put into making this a technical trail shoe that’s meant to last many miles and perform well.

Below are some of the biggest construction callouts that I think contribute to this shoe’s performance.

  • Heel-to-Toe Drop: 8mm
  • Weight: 11.28 oz (size 11)
  • Removable Insole: Yes
  • Lug Depth: n/a
  • Upper: Mesh
  • Midsole: React Foam
  • Outsole: Rubber
  • Closure: Lace
  • Heel Loop: Yes
  • Rock Plate: Yes
  • Gaiter Ankle Collar
  • Multidirectional Traction Lugs
  • Dynamic Fit System
  • Protective Skins At Toe Box

If you have additional questions on the Nike Wildhorse 7’s construction, drop a comment below or reach out to me personally.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Can you hike in the Nike Wildhorse 7?

The Nike Wildhorse 7 is a solid trail running shoe that can be used for hikes. This model is best for technical hikes and the multidirectional lugs provide adequate traction on a variety of surfaces you'll encounter while hiking.

Are the Nike Wildhorse 7 good for running?

The Nike Wildhorse 7 features Nike React Foam through its midsole and does a fairly good job tackling shorter to mid-range technical trail runs. This will not be the best trail running shoe for tackling long easy trails or road runs.

Takeaway Thoughts

Over the course of my testing in the Nike Wildhorse 7, I found multiple aspects to like. It has a stylish design, performs extremely well for its purpose, and can be used for different tasks. The Wildhorse 7 is best used for highly technical dry terrain and lighter varied weather conditions.

If you have additional questions on the Nike Wildhorse 7, drop a comment below or reach out to me personally via Instagram (@will_quillman).

Will Quillman

Will Quillman

Will Quillman is a Strength and Conditioning Coach at The United States Air Force Academy. He works with the NCAA Division I FCS football program and teaches physical education courses, including basic cadet physical development and rock climbing. He holds a Masters Degree in Sports Medicine with an Emphasis in Strength and Conditioning from The University of Colorado Springs (UCCS). He loves outdoor gear and apparel. Training outdoors is one of Will's many passions and devotes hours every single day training for the activities he loves. Will knows that in the backcountry, gear and apparel can make or break a great experience.

4 thoughts on “Nike Wildhorse 7 Review | Great Trail Running Shoe for Technical Terrain?”

  1. I find it challenging to figure out which size to purchase – particularly when considering precious year’s models. If I wear a size 10 (fit perfectly – wouldn’t want any smaller or larger) in Pegasus Trail 4 Goretex, what size Wildhorse 7 would you recommend? Does goretex fit smaller? My brain hurts! Thanks

    1. I think going for a 10 would be a safe call, tbh! GORETEX models can fit a little snugger at times due to their upper but not to warrant sizing anything differently in most cases, IMO.

  2. Hello there: I have a question I’m unable to reply myself.
    These shoes have at the top an additional lace (hole) for shoelaces. I’m used to tie my laces in the usual away (using the last two holes to create such a lace). In this case, it results redundant to me and really don’t know how can I get a benefit from it. In fact, I cannot find information about its construction (for example, if those top hole/ laces turn below the heels to give more grip to feet, IDK) or maybe it’s not a very good idea to use them as a normal hole because maybe they’re just sewed or something…
    Thanks in advance!!

    1. Hey! That top eyelet is for lace-locking if you need that feature. I have an article on the site discussing heel slip and lace-locking. IMO, if you don’t find your shoes experiencing heel slip or needing additional security, then I wouldn’t worry about it/use it!

      Let me know if that answers your question.

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