The Inov-8 Mudclaw review
Alex – Chiropractor at Skelian in Cheltenham reviews the Inov-8 Mudclaw trail running shoe.
When I’m not working, one way I like to spend my spare time is by exercising. One of my favourite ways to keep fit, is to go trail running. I’m “fairly new” to the game of trail running having only really been trail running for the past 3 or so years. In this short space of time, I have run in many different conditions on a variety of challenging surfaces. So, I thought it was about time I bought myself a “serious” pair of trail shoes. One of the main reasons for doing so is mud, or more specifically running up or downhill in very slippery muddy conditions. I found my previous footwear not up to the task, either not having enough grip or having grip that would clog up and therefore ironically give me no grip at all.
Before we get to the shoes, let’s talk about Inov8 themselves as a shoe manufacturer. Founded in 2003 and forged in the fells of the Lake District in northern England, Inov-8 is a clothing and equipment company that specialises in outdoor sports and activates. They pride themselves as being “a world leader in grip” and work closely with The University of Manchester to provide a new material called graphene, which is used in their Inov-8 products. Graphene is an isolated material from graphite, which was made possible by two scientists from Manchester University in 2010, since then have been awarded a Nobel Prize for Physics. Sounds very impressive but what is graphene? Graphene is a carbon sheet that is one atom thick, but two hundred times stronger than steel as is the lightest and most conductive material on earth and is almost completely impermeable. The material is also extremely flexible. With all of that information, it sounds like a perfect material to be used in hard wearing clothing and equipment.
The shoe, the Inov-8 Mudclaw G 260
Like I stated earlier in the review, the main motivation for buying the Mudclaw G 260 was for grip whilst running. My previous trail shoes had served me well enough, but when you are running up a steep muddy hill in driving rain and gale-force winds, you want to be able to complete the job as efficiently as possible and not keep sliding back down the hill or slipping over. I was very excited when my shoes arrived in the post. Some of my trail running friends who perform some intimidating mileage on a regular basis had also purchased a pair of Mudclaws of their own and were raving about them.
Fresh out the box, the first impression is that you should be able to find them in the dark. Bright green is a striking colour that should hopefully help you be seen whilst our running. Only thing is, it made me think I best perform well if I am wearing these shoes, feeling like I need to live up to the status these shoes hold with other trail runners. When I initially tried the shoes on they reminded me a bit wearing moulded boots when I used to play rugby, although I would say the shoes are more comfortable than my old rugby boots.
My first run was great, the shoes needed no breaking in. Right out of the gate the shoes were comfortable even for a hilly 5k run. I usually expect a bit of rubbing around the back of the heel but they felt great the whole way round. Typically as well, when I had my first chance to go running in them… it had been pretty dry for the past few days so the dirt tracks and grass were pretty firm. Despite this the shoes felt light, I felt in contact with the ground and there was no let up on grip. Whilst running uphill, it made me feel like I was running in my old track spikes again, just giving me that little bit extra grip. This could have been totally in my head but in a nutshell, they felt great from a comfort and performance point of view. It was not until a few weeks later until we had some rain, I could really try them out. In the wet and the mud, what can I say these shoes are impressive. I felt like I was running with four-wheel drive. Whilst before I would have felt apprehensive going downhill in slippery conditions, the Mudclaw filled me with confidence. Whilst running up a slippery track, again the shoe did not fail me. In fact, I spent the time looking for the worst conditions to run through. I almost felt like a kid again, trying to jump into all the muddy puddles I got distracted and ended up running further than planned, not wanting to go home, despite the weather. I am yet to test the shoe in snow, if I do, I might wear some “thicker socks” as the shoes are quite thin. But the lightness, durability and toughness of the shoe is the whole point of the Mudclaw. I’ve tried to be as critical as possible to give you and honest review of the shoe but it is hard not to sing it’s praises, it is exactly what I am looking for in an off roading shoe.
I give the Mudclaw G 260 – 5 stars
|Intended Use||Soft and Muddy|
|Midsole Stack||Heel 8.5mm / Forefoot 4.5mm|
|Sole Compound||GRAPHENE GRIP|
|Product Weight||260g / 9.17oz|