Disappointed. I've been running and hiking in Inov-8…
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $60
- Good grip
- Poor quality
I've been running and hiking in Inov-8 for fifteen years. One of the things I liked best was model availability—buy a pair today and if you want another in six months or two years it is still available. This seems to have gone away in the last few years so when the tread on my last pair was too worn I ordered the Trailclaw 250. The price was about half that of a normal trail running shoe and that should have been a warning, but at the time I chalked it up to Amazon's crazy pricing.
Hiking up and down Mount Washington the shoes had great grip and fit well. And thus ends the positive part of this review.
After less than nine miles of hiking I noticed that the toe guard was starting to separate. The protective material around the toe box was pot marked. While the photos aren't great, below for comparison is the Trailclaw 250 (top) with less than twenty miles on it and a 15-year-old pair of Inov-8's (bottom).
The older pair was used for a season of training and trail racing, lawn mowing, water shoes and walks during my lunch break — hundreds of miles.
A little damage to the toe area might be survivable but the design of the insert is unacceptable. I'm not sure if this is a weight savings or a cost savings, but the inserts are too thin, or not stiff enough. With the pull back of each stride the insert slides back a little. After a few miles your toes are hanging off an edge. A little later the insert has curled up and is rubbing on your heal. Both of these are great ways to create blisters.
I replaced the inserts with the ones from the fifteen-year-old pair. The old inserts fit well and do not move when walking or running. The shame is that after fifteen years of Inov-8's I'm a little gun shy about buying another pair.