Blister Brand Guide: Inov-8 Running Shoe Lineup, 2020

Blister Brand Guide: Running Shoe Lineups

Intro

When considering a new running shoe, there are so many similar-looking shoes on the market being made by so many different companies, it is virtually impossible to (1) know where to begin; (2) quickly figure out which one or two products from a given brand might work well for you; and (3) determine what products from other brands might be the most similar and also worth considering.

So in our new “Blister Brand Guide” series, we provide an overview of the entire product lineup of a brand; highlight how each product stands out from the rest of that brand’s lineup; and help you figure out quickly and easily which shoe might work best for you. 

In our individual product reviews, we go very deep into the details of particular products. With these Brand Guides, the goal is not Depth, but Breadth. Our Brand Guides and full reviews are designed to complement each other — provide a broad overview of entire company lineups, and then also very detailed reviews of individual products. 

See our other running shoe Brand Guides

Inov-8: Brand Background

Inov-8 got their start as a fell running brand in the UK. If you’re not familiar with fell running, or “hill running,” it basically entails off-road (and often off-trail) running straight up and down mountains, usually with a healthy dose of mud, loose rock, and slippery terrain. Inov-8’s original shoes were designed to tackle this gnarly terrain with narrow / precise fits, aggressive outsoles, and minimal designs.

The brand now offers a much wider variety of shoes, from road shoes to cushioned trail shoes to its original mud shoes. Most of these models still show evidence of the brand’s minimal, fell-running history, with lower stack heights, lower heel-to-toe drops, and firmer cushioning than more mainstream US brands such as Hoka and Altra. Inov-8 is one of the few brands that still offers numerous trail shoes with very low stack heights and drops, so if you’re a fan of minimal shoes, Inov-8 may be the brand for you.

Inov-8’s shoe naming system is different from most brands, and can actually be quite informative once you know what to look for. Rather than giving each shoe a random, unique name, Inov-8 shoes are named based on their outsole and weight. For example, the Trailroc 270 uses the brand’s Trailroc outsole, which has a specific lug depth, tread pattern, and rubber compound, and weighs a claimed 270 g per shoe for a US Men’s size 9. The Trailroc 285 has the same outsole pattern but weighs 285 g per shoe; the X-Talon 230 uses an X-Talon outsole and weighs 230 g, and so on. If all those similar names and numbers seem a bit confusing now, don’t worry — they’ll make more sense as you go through the brand guide (we hope).

It’s also worth noting that Inov-8 reports midsole thickness and lug depth separately on their website, while many brands combine midsole thickness and lug depth in their “stack height” measurement. With that in mind, we’re just using the midsole thickness for each shoe’s stack height in this brand guide — many of Inov-8’s trail shoes have extremely deep lugs, so reporting a combination of midsole thickness and lug depth would make many of their shoes seem much more cushioned than they actually are. For example, if we reported the midsole thickness + lug depth for a shoe like the X-Talon 212 V2, it’s stack height would be 21 mm (heel) / 15 mm (forefoot) — when in reality it only has 13 mm of actual cushioning in the heel and 7 mm in the forefoot. We’ll stick with midsole thickness to provide a more direct comparison of how much cushion each shoe in Inov-8’s lineup actually provides.

Inov-8 is still primarily a trail running brand, but they do offer several road shoes. In this brand guide, we’ll separately spell out the features and intended purpose of each shoe in Inov-8’s road and trail lineups. As always, shoes are organized from highest to lowest stack height.

ROAD SHOES

(Most Cushioned to Least Cushioned)

Most Cushion

Blister Brand Guide: Blister breaks down Inov-8's road and trail shoe lineup
The Roadclaw 275 V2 is Inov-8’s most cushioned pure road shoe — it has a lower-profile, more road-specific outsole and slightly more cushioning than the Parkclaw 275. It’s also got a more open mesh material in the upper, which should improve breathability. The outsole has lighter, air-injected “blown rubber” in the forefoot to improve flexibility and shock absorption. It should also hold up a little longer on hard pavement than the stickier rubber used on the Parkclaw, but it won’t provide as good of grip if you do venture off the pavement for a few miles here and there. Like the Parkclaw, this shoe is built on Inov-8’s wider platform to provide a comfortable, roomy fit. If you’re looking for a smooth, fast-feeling pure road shoe, the Roadclaw 275 V2 might fit the bill.

Stack Height

Drop: 0 mm

Stated Weight

MSRP: $130.00
Blister Brand Guide: Blister breaks down Inov-8's road and trail shoe lineup

The Parkclaw 275 is Inov-8’s most cushioned “road-to-trail” shoe. The outsole lugs are larger than most road shoes, but have a flatter profile than most trail shoes to provide a smoother ride on pavement. The midsole uses the brand’s firm PowerFlow+ cushioning, which should provide a faster-feeling but slightly less cushy ride. The woven mesh upper has a few more synthetic overlays than most road shoes to improve durability for mixed road / trail running. The Parkclaw 275 is built on Inov-8’s widest platform (roughly equivalent to a 2E width in the forefoot), making it a solid option for runners with wider feet. If you like mixing things up with both roads and non-technical trails and want a durable, grippy shoe for both surfaces, the Parkclaw 275 could be a good fit.

Stack Height

Drop: 8 mm

Stated Weight

MSRP: $140.00
Blister Brand Guide: Blister breaks down Inov-8's road and trail shoe lineup
The Parkclaw 275 GTX has the same feature set as the Parkclaw 275 with the addition of a waterproof / breathable Gore-Tex upper. Aside from this difference, you can expect the same moderately aggressive outsole, firm cushioning, and wider fit as the original version. If your mixed road / trail runs often include lots of wet, cold weather, this shoe is worth a closer look.

Stack Height

Drop: 8 mm

Stated Weight

MSRP: $150.00
Blister Brand Guide: Blister breaks down and details the entire 2020 Inov-8 running shoe lineup

This version of the Roadclaw has a slightly lower stack height than the Roadclaw 275 along with a more breathable knit upper. Aside from those differences, it features the same two-piece midsole and low-profile outsole lugs as the Roadclaw 275. If you’re looking for an extremely breathable road shoe that’s a bit closer to the ground than the Roadclaw 275, the Roadclaw 275 Knit could be a good option.

Stack Height

Drop: 8 mm

Stated Weight

MSRP: $145.00
Blister Brand Guide: Blister breaks down Inov-8's road and trail shoe lineup
he Parkclaw 240 has the same moderately aggressive, road-to-trail outsole as the Parkclaw 275, but in a lighter package. The PowerFlow+ midsole should provide a firm, fast ride, while the extra overlays on the upper provide additional durability for on- and off-road use. If you like the looks of the Parkclaw 275 but want something a little lighter for road and light trail running, check out the Parkclaw 240. There’s also the Parkclaw 240 Knit, which uses a lighter and more breathable knit upper that’s also treated with an anti-microbial finish, potentially making it better for hot runs.

Stack Height

Drop: 8 mm

Stated Weight

MSRP: $100.00
Blister Brand Guide: Blister breaks down and details the entire 2020 Inov-8 running shoe lineup

The F-Lite 245 has the same stack height, firm cushioning, and versatile tread pattern as the F-Lite G 230, but with a knit upper and wider, roomier fit. The F-Lite 245 is marketed as a lightweight “training shoe” that will perform well both on the road and in the gym. Its extremely low stack height and firm cushioning mean that the F-Lite 245 will probably be best suited to short runs and / or gym workouts — most runners will likely find a higher cushion shoe like the Parkclaw 275 or Roadclaw 275 v2 more comfortable for longer runs. Because of it’s wider fit, the F-Lite 245 could be a good option if you’re intrigued by the F-Lite 230 G but have wide / high volume feet.

Stack Height

Drop: 3 mm

Stated Weight

MSRP: $135.00
Blister Brand Guide: Blister breaks down Inov-8's road and trail shoe lineup
The F-Lite G 230 is an extremely minimal, light, and flexible running and cross-training shoe. It’s got a thin, very firm midsole to maximize efficiency and ground feel and Cordura mesh upper for added durability. It also uses Inov-8’s new graphene-enhanced rubber outsole material, which they claim holds up much longer than their standard rubber compounds. The outsole has low-profile lugs that maximize surface area to improve grip on smooth surfaces. The F-Lite is built on a narrower last to provide a more secure fit, which might make it less comfortable for runners with wider feet. If you want a durable, minimal shoe for shorter road runs and workouts, give the F-Lite G 230 a closer look.

Stack Height

Drop: 3 mm

Stated Weight

MSRP: $125.00

TRAIL SHOES

(Most Cushioned to Least Cushioned)

Blister Brand Guide: Blister breaks down Inov-8's road and trail shoe lineup

As the name implies, the Arctic Talon 275 is designed for snowy and icy conditions. It’s deep 7 mm lugs should provide grip on moderately compacted snow and mud, while 14 tungsten carbide spikes improve traction on hard snow and ice. The Arctic Talon also has a minimal rock plate that lines up with the spikes in the outsole to protect your feet. The upper uses a thicker, tightly woven material similar to the Mudclaw 300. This should be a bit warmer and more durable than a standard mesh upper, but unlike many other winter-specific shoes, it isn’t fully waterproof . The compressed EVA midsole should provide a firm, stable ride on uneven terrain. The Arctic Talon is built on Inov-8’s narrowest last, so it’s probably not the best option for runners with wide feet. While it’s not the most versatile shoe on the market, the Arctic Talon 275 might be a good option for your snowy, icy winter runs.

Stack Height

Drop: 4 mm

Stated Weight

MSRP: $140.00
Blister Brand Guide: Blister breaks down Inov-8's road and trail shoe lineup
The Trailroc 285 is Inov-8’s most cushioned “everyday” trail shoe. It’s got a moderately aggressive outsole that should grip well on hardpacked and / or rocky trails and a full-length rockplate for extra protection. The PowerFlow+ midsole is softer than the compressed EVA used on the Mudclaw or Arctic Talon, but still provides a pretty firm ride. The upper uses a breathable diamond mesh material and has an external plastic heel counter for a more supportive fit. The Trailroc 285 is built on a wider last than the Mudclaw or Artic Talon, but is still narrower than Inov-8’s widest shoes (e.g. the ParkClaw). If you’re looking for a durable, supportive shoe for daily training on rocky, hard-packed trails, the Trailroc 285 might be a good option.

Stack Height

Drop: 8 mm

Stated Weight

MSRP: $150.00
Blister Brand Guide: Blister breaks down and details the entire 2020 Inov-8 running shoe lineup

The Roclite Pro G 400 GTX is the most cushioned, protective shoe in Inov-8’s new line of lightweight hiking boots. It has a firm EVA midsole, moderately aggressive Graphene-Grip outsole, and waterproof / breathable Gore-Tex upper. The Roclite Pro G 400 GTX’s upper also has an extremely thin, flexible ceramic coating to improve durability. While the Roclite Pro G 400 GTX will probably feel somewhat awkward for actual running because of it’s ankle-height heel collar and stiff midsole, it could be a good option if you’re in the market for a lightweight hiking boot.

Stack Height

Drop: 8 mm

Stated Weight

MSRP: $235.00
Blister Brand Guide: Blister breaks down Inov-8's road and trail shoe lineup
The Trailroc G 280 has a very similar construction to the Trailroc 285, but with an ever-so-slightly lower stack height and a reportedly more durable graphene-enhanced outsole. Like the Trailroc 285, it’s got a full-length rockplate and moderately aggressive outsole for protection and grip on hardpacked, rocky trails. The Trailroc G 280 has a more traditional open mesh upper, which may be a bit more breathable than the Trailroc 285 in extremely hot conditions. The moderate-width last should provide a comfortable fit for many runners. If you like the Trailroc 285 but want something with a slightly more minimal upper and even more durable, grippy outsole, the Trailroc G 280 may be the shoe for you.

Stack Height

Drop: 8 mm

Stated Weight

MSRP: $150.00
Blister Brand Guide: Blister breaks down and details the entire 2020 Inov-8 running shoe lineup
Like the previous version of the shoe, the Trailtalon 290 V2 is designed for long runs on variable terrain. It’s got moderately sized 4 mm lugs for traction on loose terrain and a smooth ride on hard-packed trails. The dual-layer PowerFlow midsole is similar to the cushioning found on the Trailroc 285 and should provide a firm ride. The updated “AdapterFit” upper is designed to stretch as the foot swells to maintain a comfortable fit on long runs, while also providing improved breathability relative to the previous version of the shoe. The Trailtalon 290 V2 has a slightly wider fit than the Trailroc, making it a better option for runners with moderately wide feet. If you’re looking for a moderately cushioned, versatile shoe for long runs, the Trailtalon may be a good option.

Stack Height

Drop: 8 mm

Stated Weight

MSRP: $140.00
Blister Brand Guide: Blister breaks down Inov-8's road and trail shoe lineup

While it’s got the exact same stack height as the Roclite G 275, the X-Talon Ultra 260 is a very different shoe. It’s designed to blend the fell-running features of Inov-8’s classic X-Talon shoes with the features of a long-distance trail shoe. It’s got a sticky rubber outsole with aggressive 8 mm lugs that should provide good grip on extremely muddy trails. But it’s also got a wider fit (similar to the Trailtalon 235 and 290) and softer PowerFlow midsole cushioning than Inov-8’s other mud shoes. Though it’s not completely waterproof, the nylon upper does have DWR treatment to repel water. The X-Talon Ultra 260 isn’t nearly as cushioned as most “ultra-distance” shoes out there, but if you want something grippy that’s still not extremely minimal and has a slightly wider fit, this shoe may be a good option.

Stack Height

Drop: 8 mm

Stated Weight

MSRP: $160.00
Blister Brand Guide: Blister breaks down Inov-8's road and trail shoe lineup
The Roclite G 275 has a similar amount of cushioning to the Trailtalon 235 V2, but with a bit more structure and protection for technical terrain. The upper has the same AdapterWeb design found in the Trailtalon 290 V2, which is designed to stretch as the feet swell during long runs to maintain a comfortable fit. Unlike the Trailtalon 235 V2, the Roclite G 275 has a full-length rock plate for added protection on technical terrain. It’s also got a slightly narrower fit, which should help it feel a bit more secure on uneven trails. The graphene-enhanced outsole has more aggressive 6 mm lugs that should provide better grip on loose or muddy terrain than the Trailtalon. If you’re looking for a fairly light, low-to-the-ground shoe that’s still protective enough for technical running, the Roclite G 275 could be a solid option.

Stack Height

Drop: 8 mm

Stated Weight

MSRP: $145.00
Blister Brand Guide: Blister breaks down Inov-8's road and trail shoe lineup
The Roclite 300 has the same outsole pattern, stack height, and drop as the Roclite G 275. The distinguishing characteristics between these two shoes are the uppers and outsole rubber compounds. The Roclite 300’s upper uses a slightly thicker diamond mesh material in place of the open mesh found on the Roclite G 275. The Roclite 300 also has a traditional sticky rubber outsole rather than a graphene-enhanced outsole on the Roclite G 275. Aside from these differences, the Roclite 300 has the same full-length rock plate, fairly aggressive outsole, and PowerFlow midsole cushioning as the Roclite 275 G. If you’re looking for a solid everyday shoe for technical running at a slightly lower price point than the Roclite G 275, this model is worth checking out.

Stack Height

Drop: 8 mm

Stated Weight

MSRP: $110.00
Blister Brand Guide: Blister breaks down Inov-8's road and trail shoe lineup
This version of the Roclite has the same feature set as the Roclite G 275, but with a waterproof / breathable Gore-Tex upper. While this does increase the weight a little, it also increases the shoe’s ability to protect your feet in nasty weather. If you like the looks of the Roclite G 275 or Roclite 300 but want some more protection for cold, wet runs, give this shoe a closer look.

Stack Height

Drop: 8 mm

Stated Weight

MSRP: $150.00
Blister Brand Guide: Blister breaks down Inov-8's road and trail shoe lineup

The Trailroc 270 is designed for faster runs on hardpacked, rocky trails. Like the heavier / more-cushioned versions of the shoe, it’s got a full-length rockplate, moderately aggressive outsole, and PowerFlow+ midsole. The upper is slightly more minimal than the Trailroc 290 or 280, with a diamond mesh material and a few minimal overlays. The Trailroc 270 is a little narrower and more protective than the Trailtalon 235 V2. This should improve performance on especially rocky / uneven terrain, but might make it a little less comfortable for runners with wide feet. If you’re looking for a lighter, lower-drop option for hard, rocky trails, the Trailroc 270 is worth checking out.

Stack Height

Drop: 4 mm

Stated Weight

MSRP: $140.00
Blister Brand Guide: Blister breaks down Inov-8's road and trail shoe lineup
This updated version of the Oroc 280 has the same winter-ready outsole, but with an updated rock plate and softer PowerFlow+ midsole. Along with the added toe bumper, these new features should make the Oroc 280 V3 a bit more protective and comfortable than the original version. With that said, the shoe is still built on Inov-8’s narrowest “precision” last, so it may be a bit tight for runners with wide feet. The Oroc 280 V3 may be a good fit for runners who want a protective, lower stack height winter shoe with slightly softer cushioning than the Arctic Talon 275.

Stack Height

Drop: 6 mm

Stated Weight

MSRP: $140.00
Blister Brand Guide: Blister breaks down Inov-8's road and trail shoe lineup
The X-Talon 212 Classic is Inov-8’s original lightweight fell racing shoe. It has a minimal yet durable upper and aggressive, widely spaced 8 mm lugs. The X-Talon 212’s low stack height and lack of a rock plate give it excellent flexibility and ground feel — but they also make the shoe a bit less protective, so it may not be as good of an option if you run lots of rocky trails. But if you’re looking for a light, flexible mud shoe that still offers a little bit of cushion, the X-Talon 212 Classic is worth a closer look.

Stack Height

Drop: 6 mm

Stated Weight

MSRP: $115.00
Blister Brand Guide: Blister breaks down and details the entire 2020 Inov-8 running shoe lineup

The X-Talon 212 V2 has the same lightweight, low-stack-height construction as the X-Talon 212 classic, but with the addition of a softer “STICKYGRIP” outsole compound. Like The X-Talon 212 Classic, the X-Talon 212 V2 is a fairly minimal shoe — so it probably won’t be as comfortable for longer runs and / or rocky terrain as a shoe like the X-Talon Ultra 260. The STICKYGRIP outsole rubber should improve the shoe’s traction on wet terrain, but might wear down a bit faster than the harder outsole compound found on the X-Talon 212 Classic. If you’re looking for a low stack, minimal mud shoe that provides even better traction on wet, technical terrain, the X-Talon 212 V2 could be a solid option.

Stack Height

Drop: 6 mm

Stated Weight

MSRP: $145.00
Blister Brand Guide: Blister breaks down and details the entire 2020 Inov-8 running shoe lineup

The X-Talon G 235 is built on the same platform as the X-Talon 212 V2 and 212 Classic, but offers slightly more protection for rockier terrain. It has the same thin midsole, aggressive outsole, and durable upper as the X-Talon 212 V2 and 212 Classic, but with a rock plate and graphene-enhanced outsole. The rock plate should make the X-Talon G 235 slightly more protective on rocky trails, and the graphene-enhanced outsole rubber should be a bit more durable than the more traditional rubber compounds used on other X-Talon shoes. Like the X-Talon 212 V2 and Classic, the X-Talon G 235 is build on Inov-8’s narrow “Precision” last, which should feel secure on technical terrain but might be a bit too narrow for runners with especially wide / high-volume feet.

Stack Height

Drop: 6 mm

Stated Weight

MSRP: $185.00
Blister Brand Guide: Blister breaks down and details the entire 2020 Inov-8 running shoe lineup

Inov-8 Describes the new Oroc Ultra 290 as a “long-distance Orienteering shoe.” Orienteering involves navigating between designated points with a map and compass — usually off-trail and on extremely rugged terrian. To that end, the Oroc Ultra 290 has an aggressive, sticky rubber outsole with metal spikes to provide better grip on ice, snow, mud, and rocks. It also has a full-length rock plate and a durable ballistic nylon upper. The Oroc Ultra 290 also has a softer POWERFLOW+ midsole and slightly wider fit (similar to the Trailroc G 280 or Roclite G 290) to provide a more comfortable ride for longer runs and races. Whether or not you’re orienteering, the Oroc Ultra 290 could be a good option for runners who want an aggressive, high-traction shoe for running on snow and ice that has a wider fit than the Oroc 280 V3 or Arctic Talon 275.

Stack Height

Drop: 6 mm

Stated Weight

MSRP: $160.00
Blister Brand Guide: Blister breaks down and details the entire 2020 Inov-8 running shoe lineup

Inov-8 markets the Roclite G 286 GTX as the “worlds lightest GORE-TEX hiking boot” — and it is pretty light for a shoe with an ankle-height heel collar, waterproof / breathable upper, rock plate, and moderately aggressive graphene-enhanced outsole. With that said, the Roclite G 286 GTX does have a fairly low stack height compared to the Roclite Pro G 400 GTX, which might make it a bit less comfortable and protective on technical terrain. But if you’re looking for an extremely lightweight boot for fast hiking and don’t mind a firm, low-cushion shoe, the Roclite G 286 GTX could be a good option.

Stack Height

Drop: 6 mm

Stated Weight

MSRP: $200.00
Blister Brand Guide: Blister breaks down and details the entire 2020 Inov-8 running shoe lineup

The Terraultra G 270 replaces the Terraultra G 260 as Inov-8’s long-distance-specific shoe for more moderate terrain. Like the Terraultra G 260, it’s built on a zero-drop platform. But the Terraultra G 270 offers an extra 3 mm of cushioning relative to the Terraultra G 260. It also uses Inov-8’s new POWERFLOW MAX midsole foam, which Inov-8 claims will provide a more energetic ride. The Terraultra G 270 is built on Inov-8’s widest last, so it could be a good option for runners with wider feet. With that said, it probably won’t feel as stable / protective on technical terrain as a shoe like the Roclite G 290 — especially since the Terraultra G 270 doesn’t have a rock plate. But if you’re looking for a wider, softer, zero-drop shoe for longer days on more moderate terrain, the Terraultra G 270 could be a good fit.

Stack Height

Drop: 0 mm

Stated Weight

MSRP: $160.00
Blister Brand Guide: Blister breaks down Inov-8's road and trail shoe lineup
The Mudclaw 300 is Inov-8’s original solution to running in extremely muddy, slippery, wet conditions. It has an extremely aggressive outsole with 8 mm lugs that are specifically designed to provide maximum grip in deep mud without allowing mud to build up inbetween lugs. The Mudclaw 300 doesn’t have a rock plate, so it will probably feel most at home on soft, muddy terrain without too many rocks. While it’s not built on Inov-8’s narrowest last, this is still a much narrower shoe than the Trailtalon or Roclite. If you’re looking for a low stack height, flexible mud shoe that provides even more traction in sloppy conditions than the X-Talon 212 V2, the Mudclaw 300 is worth a closer look.

Stack Height

Drop: 6 mm

Stated Weight

MSRP: $140.00
Blister Brand Guide: Blister breaks down Inov-8's road and trail shoe lineup
This model is the lowest-to-the-ground shoe in the Roclite line. It’s got the same moderately aggressive outsole with 6 mm lugs, full-length rockplate, and firm PowerFlow midsole as other Roclite models, but with a lower stack height and drop. The outsole also uses graphene-enhanced rubber to improve traction and durability relative to the traditional rubber found on some other Roclite models. It’s slightly narrower and more protective than the Trailtalon 235, though it’s built on a much wider last than the X-Talon or Mudclaw. If you’re looking for a solid all-around shoe that’s protective enough for technical trails but rides closer to the ground, this shoe might be a good fit.

Stack Height

Drop: 4 mm

Stated Weight

MSRP: $125.00
Blister Brand Guide: Blister breaks down and details the entire 2020 Inov-8 running shoe lineup

This shoe is a lighter, lower-drop, lower-stack-height version of the Trailtalon 290 V2. It’s got the same PowerFlow midsole and moderately aggressive, versatile outsole pattern, but a more minimal upper. The lower drop, stack height, and weight should make the shoe feel speedy on faster runs. The updated version of the shoe also features a new external “heel cage,” which is basically just an extra set of more rigid overlays that wrap around the heel. They should make the Trailtalon 235 V2’s fit slightly more secure than the previous version of the shoe. Like the Trailtalon 290 V2, the Trailtalon 235 V2 has a moderately wide fit that should work for most runner’s feet. If you’re looking for a light, fast shoe for variable trails, the Trailtalon 235 V2 is worth checking out.

Stack Height

Drop: 4 mm

Stated Weight

MSRP: $140.00
Blister Brand Guide: Blister breaks down Inov-8's road and trail shoe lineup
The Mudclaw 275 is built for speed and protection in muddy conditions. It’s got a full-length rockplate, sticky rubber outsole, and ExteroFlow midsole similar to the Mudclaw G 260 V2. It’s narrower than the Mudclaw 300, and should fit similarly to the X-Talon 212 Classic. It also should offer a bit more protection on rocky terrain than the Mudclaw 300 thanks to its full-length rock plate. The Mudclaw outsole is even more aggressive than the X-Talon models, so this shoe should provide even more grip than similar shoes in the X-Talon line. The burly outsole and rockplate do add a little extra weight, but they should also make this shoe a better option for extremely technical terrain. If you’re looking for a fairly light, extremely grippy, protective shoe for muddy runs and races, the Mudclaw 275 might be the shoe for you.

Stack Height

Drop: 4 mm

Stated Weight

MSRP: $130.00
Blister Brand Guide: Blister breaks down Inov-8's road and trail shoe lineup
While it has technically been replaced by the Terraultra G 270, the Terraultra G 260 is still widely available as well. It’s specifically designed for long trail races and runs. It’s built on a low cushioned zero-drop platform to promote a natural gait cycle while protecting your feet from trail obstacles. The outsole has multi-directional 4 mm lugs that should grip well on most hard surfaces, while the graphene rubber compound should be more durable than more standard rubber outsoles. The upper also uses Kevlar aramid fiber around the heel to improve durability. The Terraultra G 260 is built on Inov-8’s widest last, making it a good option for runners with wider feet. The wide fit should also improve comfort on especially long runs. The Terraultra is one of the few cushioned zero-drop shoes available outside of the Altra lineup, so if you like the idea but aren’t a fan of Altra’s shoes, this shoe could be a good alternative.

Stack Height

Drop: 0 mm

Stated Weight

MSRP: $150.00
Blister Brand Guide: Blister breaks down Inov-8's road and trail shoe lineup
The Terraultra 260 is basically the Terraultra G 260’s slightly less fancy (and therefore less expensive) twin. It’s got the same zero-drop platform, 17 mm stack height, and moderately aggressive outsole, but with a traditional rubber outsole and mesh upper. It probably won’t hold up quite as long as the Terraultra G 260, but it’s still a good option for runners who want a slightly more affordable zero-drop shoe for their long-distance trail pursuits.

Stack Height

Drop: 0 mm

Stated Weight

MSRP: $130.00
Blister Brand Guide: Blister breaks down and details the entire 2020 Inov-8 running shoe lineup
The X-Talon G 210 is a lightweight race shoe designed for obstacle-course racing and short, fast runs where solid traction is a must. It’s got a minimal mesh upper that’s designed to drain quickly after water crossings. Like the X-Talon 212 Classic, it’s built on Inov-8’s narrowest last to provide a secure fit, which might make it uncomfortable for runners with especially wide feet. The aggressive 8 mm sticky rubber lugs should provide traction on all kinds of soft, loose surfaces. The X-Talon G 210 also features Inov-8’s graphene-enhanced G-Grip outsole compound, which should be more durable and grippy than the standard rubber outsole found on the previous version of the shoe. The X-Talon G 210’s low stack height, lack of rockplate, and narrow fit will probably make this shoe less comfortable for longer runs, but if you’re looking for an extremely light yet grippy race-day shoe, it’s a solid option.

Stack Height

Drop: 3 mm

Stated Weight

MSRP: $160.00
Blister Brand Guide: Blister breaks down and details the entire 2020 Inov-8 running shoe lineup

The Oroc 270 is built for the same rugged, off-trail orienteering settings as the Oroc Ultra 290, but with a feature set that lends itself to shorter, faster efforts. Like the Oroc Ultra 290, the Oroc 270 has a durable ballistic nylon upper and aggressive outsole complete with metal spikes that should improve grip on snow and ice. But the Oroc 270 is built on a narrower precision last, has a firmer midsole, and is much lower to the ground than the Oroc Ultra 290. It does still have a rock plate, but it will likely be less comfortable / protective for longer outings than the Oroc Ultra 290. With that said, the Oroc 270 could be a good option if you’re looking for a narrow, precise shoe for shorter runs and races that might include some ice and snow.

Stack Height

Drop: 3 mm

Stated Weight

MSRP: $160.00
Blister Brand Guide: Blister breaks down and details the entire 2020 Inov-8 running shoe lineup

This version of the Mudclaw has the same extremely aggressive outsole as the Mudclaw 300 and Mudclaw 275, but in an even lighter, more race-oriented package. The graphene-enhanced outsole rubber should hold up longer than the brand’s other mud shoes, while the lower drop and stack height should make the shoe more suitable at faster paces. The ExteroFlow midsole and outsole consist of a layer of compressed EVA foam encased in graphene rubber outsole material, which should improve durability. The Mudclaw G 260 V2 also has a new micro-fiber rand around the outside of the toebox, which Inov-8 claims will improve durability and protection in the forefoot. The diamond mesh upper is a bit more breathable than the canvas-like upper of the Mudclaw 300, but still has plenty of kevlar overlays to improve durability and protection. The Mudclaw G 260 V2 is built on Inov-8’s narrowest precision last, which should improve stability but might not work well for runners with especially wide feet. If you’re looking for a performance-oriented mud and obstacle-course racing shoe, the Mudclaw G 260 V2 is worth checking out.

Stack Height

Drop: 4 mm

Stated Weight

MSRP: $185.00
Blister Brand Guide: Blister breaks down Inov-8's road and trail shoe lineup
As Inov-8’s lightest, lowest-stack-height shoe, the X-Talon 200 is designed for short, fast races on slippery terrain. It’s ballistic nylon upper may be a bit more durable than the X-Talon G 210’s mesh upper, but it probably won’t breath or drain as well. Like the X-Talon G 210, this shoe lacks a rock plate, so it probably won’t be protective enough for most runners on especially rocky terrain. However, it’s built on Inov-8’s second-to-widest last, which should fit similarly to the Trailtalon 235 V2 or 290 V2. This makes it a solid option for runners who want a light, fast mud shoe that can accommodate wider feet and allows a little more room for toe-splay. If you like the looks of the X-Talon 210 but want a wider, more durable shoe for your fast-paced runs on soft ground, this shoe is worth a closer look.

Stack Height

Drop: 3 mm

Stated Weight

MSRP: $120.00
Blister Brand Guide: Blister breaks down and details the entire 2020 Inov-8 running shoe lineup
The new X-Talon 255 is basically a slightly more durable, grippy version of the X-Talon 200. It’s built on the same wider last and features the same low stack height, low drop, and aggressive outsole. But unlike the X-Talon 200, the X-Talon 255 uses Inov-8’s STICKYGRIP outsole rubber to provide better grip on wet rocks and roots. The X-Talon 255 also has a more durable ballistic nylon upper with extra TPU midfoot overlays to improve durability and provide a more secure fit than the X-Talon 200. If your most concerned about maximum grip and durability and don’t mind the extra weight that comes with those features, the X-Talon 255 could be a better option than the X-Talon 200.

Stack Height

Drop: 3 mm

Stated Weight

MSRP: $155.00

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