| 2018 | 08 | 30 | Inov8 Race Ultra 270 |

The Inov8 Race Ultra 270's. 

Pair of off road trainers by the swimming pool in the sun

Having completed an ultra-marathon, run a number of halfs, not quite completed an ultra and been hitting the road consistently for over 8 years I feel qualified to speak as someone who knows which trainers work.

I've worked my way down from a high 12mm drop (I KNOW) to zero, and then dabbled around in between.

the why::
I originally bought these shoes in anticipation of running Rat Race's 'The Wall' - a 69 mile ultramarathon run across tarmac, trail and off-road. It is so tough to find shoes which can handle these varying terrains, all whilst the runner themself is slowly losing form and strength.

Pair of purple and grey trainers at an angle in the sun

the what::
Specifically designed for high mileage runners, these trainers can handle trail and tarmac.

The 4mm drop is ideal for forefoot runners, but provides enough cushioning for fatigue during the later stages of a run. It's generated by a 17mm height at the heel and 13mm at the toe.

They're standard fit, with a slight allowance in the toe box for any during race swelling. I remember when I purchased them I was sceptical of the claims about the flatter outsole with better grip to help again when you get fatigued and to increase stability.

It's also designed with really hard wearing rubber on the outsole to ensure it can handle the tougher off road runs.

Close up of off road trainers

the how::
These shoes took the longest of any shoe I've ever worn to break in.

In fact, they took so long I hated them. My feet would blister, my ankles would ache and my outer foot (the bit which was meant to be getting extra stability) would feel fatigued.

Pair of trainers in the sun

I read some articles online about 'how' to adapt to certain shoe types and I was so confused. I was doing the same I had done for every other pair of shoes I'd owned, but something wasn't clicking.

I realise now looking back it's because I was coming from my X-talon 212's, the dreamiest off road shoes - but essentially polar opposites to the Race Ultra's - oh and recovering from a dislocated metatarsal. So nothing was going to feel great. I was also giving them no more than 3 miles each run, not really sufficient time to see them in action.

They just had completely different rock-plates, the fit allowed for a lot more lateral movement across the forefoot and these were designed to be shoes rather than lightweight racing grips.

With that in mind, I went for a 13 mile slog. Initially it was uncomfortable and unfamiliar but as the miles crept up my feet felt great. There were no blisters to speak of and I'd actually managed to hit a fairly decent time. I was also enjoying the additional space and padding in the shoe, something the X-talon 212's toughen you against.

From that day on. They were my absolute favourites. Once I realised what they were actually there to do, they became my go to shoes.

I've worn them on the road, off the road, on trails, through obstacle races, in the gym, on long walks, up 'mountains', on the beach, in the snow - I'm running out of terrain types here but I think you get the picture.

Side on view of Trainers in the sun

Another thing I noticed, the low heel cap. This gives just enough support but doesn't push up into the back of the ankle and give that horrible chafing.

I'm really sad because these shoes are going to need retiring soon.

Whilst the sole has held up the whole time, I can feel the support is failing on me. I'll be looking at the Trailroc 270's as replacements. We'll see.

Close up of Inov8 logo