What is the G260 TerraUltra?
inov-8 had been telling everyone on social media for the first 6 months of 2018 that the the first ever running shoes with Graphene were coming and that it was a big deal. According to inov-8, Graphene is mixed into their sticky rubber to give 50% more stretch and so the studs form to the ground better and that he outsole is 50% stronger and is 50% more durable, so once you have got these shoes worn in you should be able to enjoy them for a lot longer.
The upper is Kevalr reinforced too last as long as the outsole, designed to take all the hammering ultra distances on the trails, as there’s no point having a strong outsole with holes in your upper mesh!
The Inov-8 TerraUltra is a zero drop shoe, like the Altra and Topo brand shoes, meaning that it is flat from heel to forefoot. In theory this promotes a more natural running style and and is a favorite for ultra running and ultra trail scenes.
But with the zero drop the Inov-8 TerraUltra brings a lot more grip than Altras and Topos which are fine when the trails are dry or hard packed, but in long distance runs and ultra’s there are often sections that are almost constantly muddy and slippery. The Terraultra G260 is not a specialist mud shoe, it is a trail shoe with a good stud depth that will cope better with mud and greasy terrain than the other shoes.
If you have never used a zero drop shoe then it’s best to gradually build up the time you spend in this type of running shoe, by alternating them with a higher drop shoe initially. But when used to it, a zero drop running shoe makes you much more nimble on the trails and running just feels all the more natural as you move your foot strike to the forefoot, and lean further forward.
The cushioning level feels pretty soft for an inov-8, but that still means it is relatively hard. The initial soft feeling comes from the softer insole, but the stack height, the amount of cushioning, is only 9mm, which compared to an Altra Mountain King which has 19mm it feels relatively hard and the Altra Lone Peak will feel positively ‘squishy’. The TerraUltra definitely feels more responsive as a result so you retain a good feel for the ground.
The Terraultra fits broad in the toe box but has inov-8’s Standard Fit last, but with a more rounded toe box, which is a very positive step forward. This allows your feet to expand and toes have space to wiggle on long, hard runs, as they do in the wide toe boxes of an Altra or a Topo. The TerraUltra range of shoes are super flexible, allowing them to bend naturally with your foot and running style as well as the shape of the terrain, giving good grip.
The shoes feature inov-8's dynamic fascia band, a thin piece of plastic that works together with your foot's planta fascia to give some spring off the toe area. So the nice surprise with this shoe is that it is also an excellent road shoe. The sole pattern roles off the road surface without any loss in energy and feels like a fast road shoe, even though the Kevalr upper is relatively heavy compared to the super light mesh of a modern road racer /trainer. The Graphene grip sole doesn't seem to wear at all on the rad surface.
We are well over 100Kms in our and we are loving them. Feels like we can run forever in them!