Review: INOV-8 Trailfly Ultra G 280 Women’s Running Shoe

An energetic and bouncy trail shoe with stand-out grip

Feature type Review

Read time 5 mins

Published Sep 27, 2023

Author Bronte Dufour

Bronte Dufour Always on the go and often following the sunshine, BASE’s Collective Community Lead Bronte is a full time van-lifer, board and water sports enthusiast and crucially, a PG tips guzzler.

OUR VERDICT

An energetic and bouncy trail shoe with stand-out grip.

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Weight 280g
Features Nitrogen-infused FLYSPEED foam midsole for spring and flex, Graphene-enhanced outsole for a super sticky tread, Knitted upper for breathability

Pros

  • Graphene enhanced sole offers dynamic grip for all terrains
  • Lively yet sturdy reaction to the ground
  • Chassis design allows the forefront and heel to move independently offering pure control
  • Subtle yet bright colourway options

Cons

  • Very spacious interior might leave some slimmer feet with slippage inside

WHAT I’M LOOKING FOR

Having just left the UK to go travelling in my van, I’ve only very recently swapped the pavement for trails, so I’m looking for a shoe that gives me the confidence to tackle these new terrains. Speaking of, my new running conditions here in Spain are often dry, dusty and uneven so real traction underfoot is a must. With temperatures reaching the high 40 degrees, breathability and extra wiggle and stretch room are also on my hit list.

FIRST IMPRESSIONS

Full disclosure, I have never tried any Inov-8 product before, but after hearing the buzz around their trail running shoes, I definitely wanted to get my hands on a pair. Aesthetically, I really like the blue colourway, it’s fun and bright, without being too glary. On initial pick-up, yes, they felt pretty lightweight but it was the smaller details that really stuck out to me: the toe bumper, flexible knitted upper, and the mega grip pattern underneath.

it was the smaller details that really stuck out to me: the toe bumper, flexible knitted upper, and the mega grip pattern underneath

THE TEST

With an abundance of coastal and inland trails and paths, I knew the El Estrecho Natural Park in Tarifa would be the perfect testing ground for these shoes. I tracked down a trail not far from my van park-up, it looked pretty dry and hard-packed with exposed roots and rocks dotted around – definitely a change to the flat pavements of Leicestershire. I was quite keen to try out the grip and breathability in these harsh conditions, but I did think I would have to retest these shoes after a rainstorm just to see how the grip compared… turns out a wet weather front was on my doorstep anyway!

WHO ARE THESE SHOES FOR?

Inov-8 states this shoe is for all abilities and all distances up to ultramarathoners. Although I’m not yet ready to tackle an ultramarathon, I would definitely trust this shoe to take me on any distance and on any terrain. Perfect for beginners who are learning the ropes with ground changes, yet easily capable of going long distances on more gnarly routes for advanced runners. Wide footed runners, this one is definitely for you.

WHAT STANDS OUT?

Interior comfort

Straight out the box these shoes adapted to my feet with no rubbing, which is a huge plus for anyone who wants to just get stuck into their running.

Straight out the box these shoes adapted to my feet with no rubbing

FlySpeed foam

It feels bouncy and responsive whilst offering stability to your foot.

Mesh/knitted upper

This allows for great airflow, keeping your feet feeling cool when on the go.

Toe box

Compared to the rest of the shoe, the underneath of this part felt relatively thin underfoot. I did have some feeling when running over harsh rocks and tree roots, but nothing major.

VALUE FOR MONEY

Retailing at £145.00, this shoe is nearing the top end of the price range, but from my experience they are worth every penny. Truly adaptable to a variety of terrains, they offer flexibility, control and the right amount of bounce underfoot.

BASE BOTTOM LINE

These shoes hit the sweet spot between grip, comfort and feel. I’d definitely recommend them to all abilities and all terrain runners with very little to complain about. Out of the box these shoes felt uber-comfortable and put an immediate spring in my step. As a newbie to trail running, these shoes allow me to feel in control yet are responsive to the ground underneath me, with no slips or twists. The knitted mesh upper is not only smooth looking, but also offers real airflow for runners in hot conditions, or with sweaty feet! These TrailFly Ultra’s are award-winning for a reason.

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