The Parkclaw 275 is inov-8’s latest addition to their trail running line-up and has been built to perform on both roads and trails. This hybrid shoe takes advantage of inov-8’s impressive R&D program, utilising new materials and the latest design features.
Customer Service Manager (and keen trail runner) Ollie put the Parkclaws through their paces on one of his weekend runs...
Initial thoughts about the shoe
Out of the box the comfort is fantastic. The fit is slightly wider than a regular trail shoe, putting comfort ahead of responsiveness. However for those considering moving from a ‘regular’ running shoe, that has more cushioning, these will feel speedy and connect your feet to the ground.
- Lightweight and durable uppers
- Reinforced toe box protects against debris
- 6mm footbed has a fast wicking, quick-drying surface fabric
- 2 Arrow Shoc-Zone with an 8mm heel-forefoot differential
- External heel counter
- Dynamic Fascia Band mimics 'Windlass Effect' to give a kick of energy with each step
- PowerFlow+ midsole delivers exceptional shock absorption and energy return
- Parkclaw sole with Tri-C rubber for all-round performance
- Aggressive stud configuration gives increased grip
- 275g (single shoe size 8)
A multi-compound sole with varied lug shapes and patterns delivers excellent grip on roads, paths and trails.
The PowerFlow+ midsole improves both shock absorption and energy return for runners. In the heel area of the shoe, the midsole absorbs up to 10% more shock than a traditional midsole, reducing the chance of stress injuries. Up in the front of the shoe and under the ball of your foot, the midsole returns up to 25% more energy, reducing fatigue and lengthening your stride.
Lightweight and Durable Uppers
A large rand protects against stones and debris while durable uppers can contend with the rigours of rugged trails.
External Heel Counter
This extra support cradles the heel holding it in place. Delivering this extra hold aids foot stability and helps a fatigued runner maintain a better gait.
How did it score?
Foot Protection: 5/10
The rubber on the sole is quite soft, so it absorbs general gravel, stones etc. However, it doesn’t have a shank like some of the more trail running focused inov-8s, so a sharp rock isn’t going to be comfortable. The toe box is reinforced though - so debris and little knocks whilst you’re out on the trail are minimised.
The traction is great on gravel, hard pack trail and tarmac, but running on softer ground will be a bit slippy.
The shape of the shoe provides a stable and comfortable ride which it does really well. There is support under your arch to take pressure off your feet and the sole unit is perfectly balanced so you don’t have to think about what your feet are doing.
These are some of the comfiest trainers I’ve worn. Straight out the box they feel comfortable and easy to wear for hours. The heel is supportive, the tongue is soft and padded and the wider toe box allows the feet to splay.
At 275g this shoe is one of the lighter ones in the inov-8 range and considering how comfortable it is, it’s a real achievement. On your feet, it feels light and during a long run these saving a few extra grams makes all the difference.
Sensitivity / Trail Feel: 6/10
Comfort is put ahead of sensitivity in these shoes, so they aren’t quite as reactive as a Trailroc or others in the range.
The materials are soft, light and comfortable, everything that you’d want in a shoe. And the laces are fantastic!
I think the shoe looks great, it has a sporty profile but still that outdoors feel.
Pros and Cons
- A great first trail shoe
- The shoe might struggle if you go somewhere more muddy and adventurous
I think this is a great shoe, especially for those that are looking to run mixed terrain (gravel and tarmac) but also as a training shoe for the more advanced runner when getting to the hills isn’t an option.