Ellis Brigham Aviemore store manager and trail running expert Martin Bell was fortunate enough to get his feet in a pair of the Terraclaw 250 - the brand new addition to the Inov-8 range.
Let's start from the bottom. The sole of the Terraclaw 250 resembles a toned-down Talon (one of the most aggressive muddy trail running shoes on the market), still offering great grip on a multitude of surfaces. If it's out-and-out mud you're running on, then the Talon or Mudclaw would still be the choice shoe, but if you're looking for a more versatile shoe, then this could be for you.
For me I find that if my run surface varies drastically enough then the soles on some pairs with shallower teeth can get clogged up a little quickly, but this isn't the case with the Terraclaw. I've found that the lugs on the sole are far enough apart to shed mud effectively, but they aren't so aggressive as to become uncomfortable on harder-packed surfaces.
The harder density of the rubber used on the soles of the TerraClaw offers feedback and instant response - you know what you're running on and can adjust how you're running if needed.
I've used them on wet and dry rock, hardpack trail and wet boggy muddy surfaces. They coped brilliantly in all of them, but if I were to be going through purely steeper wet and boggy ground, then I'd consider something with a more aggressive outsole.
The upper is very light and breathable with a little extra protection over the toe box. They dry out quickly and are really easy to clean afterwards with a hose pipe.
There are two models coming out – The TerraClaw 250 that has an 8mm drop and the Terraclaw 220 that has a 4mm drop. They are both a 'standard' fit which offers a little extra room in the toe box. Size wise, my 250's are spot on.
Some features both models share are:
- Equal grip, as they both use the same outsole.
- Meta Flex - this offers great 'feel' from the shoe.
- Dual C – The two colours on the sole unit are different densities meaning you get increased grip and protection in the areas you need it. This also means there is no need for a rock plate.
- Ray Wrap Lacing System – which 'aligns with the foot's first metatarsal to provide a close, secure and comfortable fit', at least that's the official Inov-8 quote. All I can say is I've been wearing them for 80 odd miles and have found them to be extremely comfortable, so I suppose they know what they're on about!
- X Lock – again it's meant to keep the foot in place and it seems to work for me.
Between the two models with differing drops, the Terraclaws should appeal to a lot of runners.
All in all, it's a great shoe with great underfoot feel and go-anywhere versatility. I had been looking forward to these being released and I'm even more impressed than I thought I was going to be!
Tempted? Find the Terraclaw 250 here.