Words by: Ben Mounsey and Nicky Spinks
With revolutionary graphene-enhanced rubber and fearsome 8mm studs to deliver the world's toughest grip over soft and wet ground, could inov-8's Mudclaw G 260 be their best fell running shoe yet?
Experienced fell runners Ben Mounsey and Nick Spinks put this high-tech shoe through it's paces.
Initial Thoughts About The Shoe
The new G-Series Mudclaw is like a weapon of mass destruction! The upper is bombproof (Kevlar I believe) and the grip is the most aggressive I’ve ever seen. G for Graphene, G for Ground-breaking, G for Game changer!
The fit was very comfortable from the beginning. I wore it for two runs of 6 miles then did the Three Peaks Fell Race in the shoes and they were great. The toe box feels bigger and gives more room for the toes meaning I’ve had less black and bruised toenails.
- Durable lightweight upper: super-tough, breathable mesh with Kevlar overlays for increased durability.
- 4mm drop (8.5mm heel/4.5mm forefoot) promotes the best natural form for the athlete with largest range of motion in the ankle joint.
- Soft ground traction: 8mm studs claw through mud and also stick to wet, rocky terrain.
- 260g (single shoe size 8).
- Extra propulsion: new EXTEROFLOW midsole absorbs, stores and then releases energy to propel you through the gait cycle.
- Next-generation META-PLATE – a lightweight flexible rock plate that aligns with the foot's metatarsals for underfoot protection.
- World's toughest grip: Utilising the world's strongest material, graphene-enhanced rubber is 50% stronger, 50% more elastic and 50% harder wearing.
How Did It Perform?
This shoe wraps around the foot like a piece of armour. The thick, outer material gives ample support and protection, without the need for a protective rand or toe bumper.
I loved these shoes from the moment I put them on. My feet felt suitably protected when running thanks to both the Kevlar uppers and graphine tred.
Without doubt, this is inov-8’s best grip to date. A combination of sticky rubber and graphene means this shoe lasts longer than previous models, without compromise. The aggressive lugs are like razor sharp teeth that claw through mud and offer unbelievable traction on every type of terrain – particularly thick mud.
The grip has been brilliant. I’m not the most confident descender yet these shoes have given me courage to try descending steeper and steeper ground on all different types of terrain.
This shoe is built to last and this is immediately apparent. My feet feel safe and secure in the strong, robust and well-built upper.
Very good. I suffer from weak ankles and these shoes have given me confidence that I won’t turn an ankle when wearing them.
I wore this shoe for a 10 mile run straight out of the box. I didn’t feel the need to ‘break them in’ like other models. For a tough, durable shoe, it also provides ultimate comfort for my feet.
For mudclaws, it is impressive how comfy they are. I was so pleasantly surprised to find that my feet did not get trashed wearing them for hours on end.
Of course this shoe is not as lightweight as a racing shoe such as the inov-8 210. However, it doesn’t feel heavy and is much lighter than it looks. This is a shoe that I would both train AND race in.
I am not an advocate of less weight is best. Usually I opt for the heavier shoes hoping that I get more cushioning. They felt like the right weight for the job, light enough but with plenty of cushioning.
What can I say? Arguably, the best looking inov-8 shoe to date. The design is both striking and unique. VERY aesthetically pleasing!
I often opt for trail running shoes that don't match the clothes that I’m wearing. The bright colour combined with the aggressive black grip really make these shoes stand out!
The major feature of this shoe is the grip and it gives me absolute confidence whilst running over all surfaces. I also really like the design of the front of the shoe (around the toes) – where the upper is directly glued to the sole. The result of which feels much more comfortable when descending at pace.
Ideal for fell running on extreme trails with muddy or slippery conditions!
This is a true fell running shoe!
I have also worn the shoe for very long days out in the mountains and on ultra races where the terrain is technical. These shoes are so comfy, they would be ideal for races where the distances are long but the terrain demands more grip than a trail shoe.
Overall, a great addition to the inov-8 range. I absolutely love the shoes. The grip, the comfort and the durability – what more can you ask for in a fell shoe?