Review: inov-8 TERRAULTRA G 260 running shoe
Running apparel brand inov-8 claim to have created a “revolutionary world-first in sports footwear”. The British company has teamed up with the University of Manchester to become the first company to incorporate graphene into running and fitness shoes.
Graphene is very strong, lightweight and flexible.
Laboratory tests show that the graphene rubber, used in the sole of the inov-8 G collection, is stronger, stretchier and more resistant to wear.
Inov-8 also claim the G collection has “the world’s toughest grip”, while being lightweight and durable and ideal for running long distances.
- Unisex fit
- Weight: 260g per shoe
- Drop: 0mm
- Lug depth: 4mm
- Durable upper including Kevlar (commonly used in bulletproof vests)
- Price: £140
What’s good about inov-8 TERRAULTRA G 260 shoe?
The G collection has utilised the graphene to form a new hard-wearing rubber compound that promises longer lasting and more durable sole. I can’t confirm if this is true or not because I have not tested the shoe for the required number of miles but I can tell the rubber is strong and durable.
Lab tests confirm the durability of the sole and I have not read a single review that disputes this.
The sole feels and looks extremely durable. This is great news because many trail shoes wear out too quickly.
Another advantage of graphene is that it is grippy. The shoe has been designed for harder trails and as a result it has broad and flat lugs.
I tried the shoe on many different surfaces including dry rock, wet rock, muddy trails, dusty paths and dry and wet grass. The grip was great to excellent. It actually feels sort of sticky, but in a good way.
I had lost confidence running downhill in many other shoe brands but the Terraultra G shoe has given me a lot of that back.
Although the graphene is tough and stiff, deep grooves across along the sole of the shoe make it feel more flexible. This gives a natural style of running, with a good “feel” of the ground.
There is minimal cushioning and zero drop. If you like the experience of a harder and closer contact with the ground, you’ll like this shoe.
The sole reminds me of inov-8 shoes from years ago, but in a good way. My first pair of inov-8s had minimal cushioning and great grip.
The upper is also much more durable looking than many recent versions of the inov-8 trail shoe. A strong fabric cage, woven with Kevlar for added durability, offers extra protection from the debris and roughness of trail running.
There is extra durability designed into the toe-cap to protect your foot from rocks and stones as you run.
The shape of the forefoot is square and roomy. Many runners – all except those with a very narrow foot – will like this design. There is enough room for toes and feet to swell if you are out on the trail in hot weather or for an extended duration.
Although the shoe is sold in only one colour (so far?) the bright green offers high visibility. I rather like it because it’s so different and vibrant.
The price is a little high but I think it reflects the fact that inov-8 have been involved in this new product creation and design. The shoe is £20 more than the same model without graphene.
What’s not so good about inov-8 TerraUltra G 260 shoe
If you like a shoe with cushioning this one is not for you. It’s a much more natural-feel shoe. I found the heel cup depth and forefoot to be of larger volume than normal.
I used to love inov-8 for the fit. The original shoes more than a decade ago were a lovely neat fit for my narrow foot. However, they seem to have got wider and roomier as the years have gone by. Many people will welcome this, but not me.
I asked my husband to try the shoe, too. He has the same length of foot as me but it’s wide and chunkier. He liked the roomier forefoot area but he also found, like me that the heel cup area was quite deep.
I must have low ankle bones on my left foot because the top edge of the heel area of the shoe occasionally knocked against it. My husband said it didn’t knock his ankle bone so it must just be my shape of foot.
Anyway, I suggest you try on the shoe before buying.
The shoe is a unisex fit. If you are female with a narrow foot this might not suit you. Hopefully as inov-8 produce more shoes in this collection they will introduce a female fit – and also more colours!