inov-8 Road-X-Treme 220 running shoes
The inov-8 Road-X-Treme 220 running shoes are aimed at race day runners and weigh just 220g.
My triathlon races have always been done in lightweight inov-8 trainers. Until now the trainers I have used have been super light with a super thin sole. The only problems with these are they wear out quite quickly and when running on anything other than super smooth tarmac you feel every bump and stone.
Perhaps inov-8 have listened to customers, or they have simply updated what they offer, but the inov-8 Road-X-Treme 220 running shoes offer a step up in terms of durability, grippiness and general styling.
- Fusion compound midsole with a 4mm heel-to-toe drop
- The patented Dynamic Fascia Band mimics a “Windlass Effect” to deliver a kick of energy with each step.
- Standard fit
- Close-fitting heel that locks the shoe in position
- Wider toe box to allow toes to splay
- Unisex: UK 4-12, including half sizes.
I have been wearing the trainers for general training runs and I plan to use them through next season’s triathlon races.
Although very light, the construction of the shoes feels quite supportive for a paired down model. I have a narrow foot that is normally an UK8.5. The UK8s fit perfectly. I have found more recently with other inov-8 shoes that they are a bit too wide for me, but not these. They fit brilliantly.
The sole is also fairly thick for a paired down race shoe and the grip, which is created by two areas (where you need them) of mini rubber lugs, is very good. The back area of the shoe is quite smooth so you will find that you slip a bit going down hill if you need to dig in your heels but for general running on undulating trails they are excellent.
Whether running on pavements or off-road I have found the trainers to be easy to wear and natural. If you need a shoe that offers lots of support or you want a high level of cushioning they are not for you but few of the inov-8 shoes do this.
I can’t say I’ve noticed the Windlass Effect of the Dynamic Fascia Band. Maybe I have no real idea of what I am meant to feel or perhaps I am benefiting from the extra “kick” without even realising it but, whatever, I am really not sure if it works or not.
The shoes do feel good for running in, though.
I also like the look and style of the shoe. I’ve had lots of favourable comments. Although looks should not matter and it’s fit and performance that are most important, it is nice to wear a pretty shoe.
The shoes are meant to be unisex fit. I am not sure they would be wide enough for the average man but for women they seem ideal. I wonder why inov-8 do not go to the trouble of making this shoe in a men and women’s fit?
Inov-8 are the masters of creating shoes that are fit for purpose and offer dozens of different styles to suit many different terrains. The inov-8 Road-X-Treme 220 running shoes do pretty much exactly what they say they will on the label.
Prices are around £88 to £95. The price is quite high for a race shoe but hopefully these will last a lot longer than the last pairs of race ready inov-8s. They certainly look like they will.
See inov-8 for details and buy in various stores and on-line.