Inov-8 TerraUltra G260 with Graphene Review | 1 – Introduction | In Stock at NorthernRunner.com
Inov-8 Terraultra G260 Review | 1 – Intro – Where Does It Fit In?
As Inov-8 have been telling everyone on social media for weeks now, these are the first ever running shoes with Graphene in them. The Graphene is mixed into the sticky rubber to give 50% more stretch so the studs mould to the ground better. The outsole is 50% stronger so grips won’t break and 50% more durable, so once you have got these shoes bedded in you can enjoy them for longer. Coupled with that is a tough upper, designed to take all the hammer the trails can throw at it! In theory then, the upper will last as long as the outsoles, as there’s no point having a strong outsole with a hole in your upper and a toe poking out! All this sounds great, but what does the Terraultra offer the trail runner that other shoes don’t?
“..currently there isn’t a shoe that offers a great amount of grip with some comfort and cushioning.”
Firstly the Inov-8 Terraultra is zero drop or flat from heel to forefoot. This is to promote a more natural running style and is designed to compete with Altra and Topo, who are both selling lots of shoes into the US Ultra (and other) scenes. For the UK conditions the Inov-8 Terraultra brings grip. The Altras and the Topos are fine when the trails are dry or hard packed but a lot of UK terrain and therefore Ultra’s have sections that are almost constantly muddy and currently there isn’t a shoe that offers a great amount of grip with some comfort and cushioning. Don’t get me wrong the Terraultra is not an all-out mud shoe, where Inov-8 have the Mudclaw. It is a trail shoe but with a good stud depth that will cope better with mud than the other shoes.
The cushioning level is pretty soft for Inov-8 but if you are used to, say, an Altra Lone Peak or found it too ‘squishy’ then it’s going to be a bit firmer and a bit more responsive. The initial soft feeling comes from a softer insole. The midsole underneath is much firmer and responsive though so you retain a good feel for the ground.
The fit of the Terraultra is broad. The shoes are made on Inov-8’s Standard Fit last but with a more rounded toe box, which is a very positive step forward. This means your feet can expand under heat and toes have space to wiggle like they do in an Altra or a Topo shoe.
The TerraUltra is nice and flexible, allowing them to bend and shape around the terrain you’re tackling to give good grip and allow your feet to function inside the shoes. Compared to a heavy chunk of cushioning attempting to do the work for you, where essentially you’re a passenger! As you would expect, the shoes still have a dynamic fascia band in them. This is a thin piece of plastic that works together to spring with your planta fascia to give your foot some spring. So, the Terraultra still has that very familiar Inov-8 feel.
If you aren’t used to running in zero drop shoes then it’s best to gradually build up the time you spend in this type of running shoe. Alternate them with your normal shoes for a while. A zero drop running shoe makes you much more nimble on the trails and takes away a lot of the bad habits that runners adopt as they strive to get there faster. Things like over striding and leaning forward at the waste all feel very unnatural in a zero drop shoe so take some time to get used to them.
In part 2 we will be doing a full 100+ mile off-road review of these shoes!
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