Gear Review: Inov-8 TerraUltra G 270
Brand Ambassador and Endurance Athlete Dougal Allan reviewed the latest Inov-8 TerraUltra G 270 shoes.
Inov8 have always been the masters of designing and engineering terrain-specific footwear. The level of specificity and how they are able to create a shoe that is uniquely designed for a specific surface/environment is something I think sets them apart from other trail running shoes brands on the market. But one thing I feel may have been missing within the diversity of specialist shoes, was a model that had more of a broad application to a range of trail surfaces and running contexts. Cue the TERRAULTRA G 270, an evolution of the predecessor the 260.
To me this shoe ticks the ‘big 3’ boxes when it comes to trail running in a general sense: grip, cushioning/protection and responsiveness/stability. The now world renowned Graphene-Grip (G-Grip) makes a noticeable difference to the way the shoe sticks to the surface beneath and the reassurance and efficiency that flows on from this. While it wouldn’t be my first choice shoe for really technical surfaces, it is a definite all rounder and works really well across the board. The 12mm midsole stack offers a really nice balance of cushioning and foot protection without a compromise on stability and responsiveness underfoot. In other words, the shoe keeps the foot healthy and happy while still giving a nice ‘bouncy’ feel en route, while allowing a ‘close to the ground’ feel which generates stability as a result.
My only critique would be that Inov8 have stuck with the 0mm heel drop with this latest model. To me one of the biggest overload risks to long distance runners is repetitive based issues that arise in the calf/soleus and achilles tissues. As a coach I tend to recommend most of my long distance runners look to include some heel stack to help mitigate the risk of added stress through this area. Unless you have a truly efficient running gait that doesn’t break down under fatigue you can simply add heel inserts (6mm) to these shoes and provide an instant fix for the cost of around $5 (available at your physio, podiatrist, chemist etc).
If you want a trail shoe that will go anywhere with you and soak up the training and racing miles, I would pop the TERRAULTRA G270 high on the list and give them a try. I am sure it will tick the boxes.
Photo credit: Finlay Woods