Inov-8 Launches New Race Ultra 270 Shoe
British running shoe specialist Inov-8 has a new model in its range in the shape of the Race Ultra 270, a lightweight off-road shoe aimed at long-distance runners and intended as a faster, lighter alternative to the Race Ultra 290 which was launched last year.
We're big fans of the 290 - it featured in our Gear of the Year 2014 selection - for its combination of lightness, underfoot cushioning, decent grip and amendable fit and find it works well as a 'door to trail' shoe, but the new shoe has been sharpened up to give a racier performance.
Whereas the 290 has an 8mm heel to to drop, the 270 halves that figure to just 4mm. The idea, says Inov-8, is to bring the athlete 'closer to the terrain' giving better feel and stability but without sacrificing the cushioning you need for long-distance racing on off-road terrain.
The outsole is flatter too giving a 'more stable ride' particularly when fatigued and as with the 290, the shoe features Inov-8's signature multi-finger polymer Meta-Shank aligned with each individual metatarsal, an outsole using a combination of sticky and high abrasion rubber cleats and an attachment system to allow the use of the separately available Race Ultra Gaiter to keep grit and dust out of the shoe.
The fit is Inov-8's 'standard' variant to give room for distance-swollen feet - same as the 270 - and last but not least, as the name suggests, the new shoe is some 20 grammes lighter.
'Perfect shoe for racing ultras'
International ultra runner Brendan Davies, who finished top-8 in both the Western States 100 and Ultra-Trail Mt Fuji last year, has been involved in the testing and development of the Race Ultra 270.
It is, he says, "the perfect shoe for racing long distances over trails. With the 4mm drop I still have a great feel of the ground underneath my feet but with superb comfort too."
“The grip is ideal for running long ultras. It really is a great all-rounder, offering superb traction on technical trails, both in dry and wet conditions. I also use it in training when a lot of my running is on fire trails. I’ve found the Race Ultra 270 really comfortable when running big miles in training."
the Inov-8 Race Ultra 270 is available now priced at £110 - the 290 also continues in the range - in men's and women's versions with a choice of two colours in each. Full details at www.inov-8.com.