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KEY STATS:

Weight: 300g

Drop: 6mm

Midsole stack: 25mm(heel)/19(forefoot)

Tech: Graphene Grip/G-Fly Midsole

Price: £170

The latest offering in the Inov8 high performance trail running line up, the Trailfly Ultra G300 Max is designed to take you the distance on all terrain. We hooked up Michael Roderick (@mikerod_therunner) and Chloe March (@chlorunsalot) with a pair to take out into the wild and put to the test! Keep reading to check out their thoughts on this unique off road offering from Inov8. 

FIRST IMPRESSIONS

 

Mike: First impressions of this fantastic looking shoe - I was drawn to the colour! As soon as you open the box the striking and bold colours are very distinctive, and the design of the shoe makes it a very attractive running shoe to look at! The Electric Green version is extremely vibrant and pleasing on the eye, also a colour that will not be missed when you’re starting to hit the trails!

inov8 trailfly ultra g300

After taking it out of the box, the shoe despite looking like it may be a heavy trail shoe is surprisingly lightweight. The Graphene foam felt strong and durable and the shoe itself felt firm. The textured upper felt protective but not too rigid so that it would allow for movement on the trails.

 

The reverse of the shoe shows a nice firm supported heel which is wide and will allow good stability when going across different terrains. Again, the feel of the graphene foam in this section of the shoe is very good and supported.

inov8 trailfly ultra g300

Moving onto the grip on the sole of the shoe, I was very impressed to see good deep grooved lugs on the bottom of the shoe. In comparison to other branded shoes that are good across multi terrain that I have also used, these look more versatile and although they feel firm enough to be able to tackle the toughest of terrains, they also have the feeling that they wouldn’t be uncomfortable used on tarmac as well due to the graphene foam support.

This is an exciting looking shoe and with Inov8 already having an exceptional reputation for producing trail shoes, I am really looking forward to giving these a proper test run and see just how good they are!

inov8 trailfly ultra g300

Chloe: For a trail shoe the first thing that I noticed was how light it was but while still feeling durable. The foam and sole of the shoe feel really sturdy with what looks like a lot of grip on the bottom. Initially the foam seems more on the firm side. I really like the texture of the upper, the heel is slightly thicker and more cushioned while the mesh on the forefoot appears thinner and more breathable with added water-resistant fabric around the toes and sides. I really like the purple colour, it’s bold without being too bright.

inov8 trailfly ultra g300

FIT

Mike: Having done a lot of trail running and learning what is required from a shoe to be able to perform across a variety of surfaces, I am feeling confident that these will not disappoint!

The first step into the shoe - I was very impressed with how comfortable the shoe instantly felt. The fit was very good and true to size (size 8.5 in road shoes, same size in these) and the toe box was not too narrow which can sometimes be an issue on trail shoes. There was no issue with lacing, and they felt firm and secure once laced up; no slipping at all. The positioning of the tongue was also comfortable and not digging into the skin so all in all 1st impressions I was extremely impressed.

inov8 trailfly ultra g300

PERFORMANCE

Mike: After taking the shoes for a gentle warm up run, I could immediately feel the difference of the graphene foam to the usually firm support soles on trail shoes. These gave the “bouncy” feel that I can only compare to the similarity in a carbon plated road shoe. The shoe felt very responsive and despite being on uneven ground still had plenty of stability thanks to the wide supported heel. Initially there felt like there was plenty of grip and gave me a lot of confidence going into the race I was about to participate in……A multi-terrain half marathon in the forest, what a perfect way to give these shoes a proper test run!

Not only was I superbly impressed with how the shoe performed across some extremely challenging terrain, but I was lucky enough to come away with the race victory on their maiden voyage winning the half marathon with a time of 1:24:31 which included 1755ft of elevation!

inov8 trailfly ultra g300
inov8 trailfly ultra g300
Right from the starters gun I knew I had a good shoe because they felt fast, lightweight but very firm on the rough fire roads that we tackled to begin. We soon disappeared off the main track into the woods and this was the first real test for the shoes as the terrain underfoot became very boggy, muddy and wet. 

Despite this I was still able to power on and did not lose confidence once in the shoes as they continued to impress me even though ankle deep in mud! Several other runners complained of getting stuck, losing their shoes or falling over in this section. This was not the case with the Invo8’s, I was out in one piece and back onto the gravel roads, caked in mud but still with plenty of grip underfoot. The course continued to throw varying surfaces at me including some steep descents and challenging uphill sections, but the shoes were a match for them all! There were no issues with rubbing and all the way to the end of the race they were just as comfortable as they were at the start despite being new straight out the box which can sometimes be a problem. 

Post-Race / Run – After completing the run, a lot of the initial mud that was stuck to them had fallen off meaning the electric green colouring was still highly visible and there had been no issues with large amounts of mud clinging to the shoe causing additional weight. 

Chloe: During the first few runs the shoe felt very comfortable with minimal adjustments needed. I’ve taken them on my local trails which are in fields, but I need to run on a mile or so off road to get there so having a shoe that performs on both is important for me. On the road the shoe felt great, really grippy on the damp tarmac but also comfortable and you could feel the foam cushioning under foot, unlike some others which you feel the hard impact. The shoe was really supportive off road too on the uneven and muddy surfaces, I didn’t have any stumbles or trips over. I haven’t tested the shoe on any faster run as I like to keep my trail runs on the easier side but overall the shoe feels very supportive and durable both on and off road. 
inov8 trailfly ultra g300
CONCLUSION  

Mike: These shoes did live up to the expectation and if anything surpassed that! Until now I usually run in Salomon or HOKA trail shoes, but this opened my eyes to alternatives and now feel this is going to be my ‘go to’ shoe going forward after being so impressed. 

I would most definitely highly recommend these shoes for anybody looking to get a superb all round trail shoe that will serve well across just about any surface it is thrown at. I would advise runners who maybe have never done much trail running before would still be able to get to grips with these shoes. They are not like some other trail shoes that feel very heavy, these give a ‘road shoe’ like feel which is ideal to make the crossover between disciplines. 

I am already looking forward to taking them on another adventure very soon and have also chosen these as my shoe choice for the upcoming local cross-country league that takes place over the winter! 
inov8 trailfly ultra g300
Chloe: To conclude I really like this shoe over a few I’ve tried recently for an upcoming ultra, especially for the support and cushioning I feel that the shoe gives which is something I’m looking for as my trail runs get longer in training. This shoes also remind me of the Merrell Agility Peak 4’s with the thicker foam on the sole. I feel that is shoe would work well for those who love the trails, it performed well on uneven go round supporting my foot and ankle well but also those who prefer a slightly softer feel to their trail shoes. I’ve found that trails shoes are often very hard underfoot which I dislike so this are ideal with the thicker sole making them a lot more comfortable and enjoyable for both shorter runs and hopefully longer runs. 
inov8 trailfly ultra g300

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Tom Folan

My name's Tom, former professional football freestyler turned long distance runner. As a self-proclaimed running shoe aficionado, I love keeping up with the latest performance innovation and product releases almost as much as I enjoy running in them. With a running specialty retail background, I hope to provide some valuable insight and aid you in finding your next favourite item of running kit!
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