I got a new pair of Inov-8 trail shoes for my birthday last month and I am super excited to review it! Since starting OCR, I've only heard good things about the brand and have been on the lookout for a pair for myself. However unlike Reebok and New Balance, Inov-8 aren't sold everywhere except at Key Performance outlets.
My first pair of Inov-8 is the roclite™ 280 in black and pink.
According to the brand website: The roclite™ 280 is a great value all round off-road training shoe. This highly cushioned and lightweight model offers excellent levels of upper durability and protection. Featuring inov-8's on-the-shoe gaiter pockets, so the inov-8 race ultra™ gaiter can be attached and all debris kept at bay.
So after a month of testing it at bootcamp, on the trail and at a few Spartan training sessions, here's my verdict.
Due to its standard sizing that allows it to be a unisex design, it is suited for men and women with wide feet. That was one point in my corner. I opted for a size 7.5, my usual running shoe size but it seemed a tad too long in length but width-wise, it was perfect. Oh well, nothing a thicker pair of socks can't fix.
If anything, the thicker socks also helped to cushion the impact in the toe box as the front tend to be a bit hard but otherwise, it does its job well to keep out stones and debris and to protect my toes especially when trail running.
The entire body of the shoe was well cushioned and slipping my feet into it was as though I was putting on a glove. The pegs in the soles held up against a bit of rock-climbing and wall-climbs, giving me that much needed grip on a vertical surface to push off on. But it completely fairs in an obstacle course challenge or race where the terrain varies between muddy, hard, wet and everything in between remains to be seen. I certainly look forward to trying it out in my first Spartan Race Beast for this year in September in Melbourne as I am sure the cushioning will go a long way.
The 280 in its name isn't just the model. It's also the weight of the shoes in grams and it obviously stands by its claim of being lightweight. When on the course for a long time, every gram counts.
At just RM450 (I think), this is one of the better trail shoes I've tried out in the market and hopefully it will stand the trial and abuse of the many obstacle courses I've signed up for this year. Hmmmm, maybe I should get a spare....
The Inov-8 roclite™ 280 is available at Key Performance Gardens and Mont Kiara. For more information on it, go to this link.
This shoes are freaking magic on the mud and on the obstacles. The lugs just grips and digs into any surface whether it is tarmac, cement, mud or trail. At the Mud Mile at Tough Mudder, while everybody was slipping and sliding up the slope, I felt like Jesus walking on water with these shoes.
The drainage was good too. Despite the numerous dips in the freezing lake at Spartan Race Beast in Melbourne, my shoes dried up really fast and I don't feel like I was waddling about with wet feet. I suddenly understand why Inov shoes are considered a league of their own in OCR.