Monday, 23 June 2014

Inov8 300 - destroyed

This is what they looked like originally...
My original review is here....

Well. They've done 630km, and their last race was Jura, a race which tends to trash shoes that are even at the beginning of their life. I suspected they even in the state they were in at the beginning of the race, they might end up very broken indeed by the end of it. I then used them as my chosen footwear for guiding a group across the first 2 legs of the welsh 3000's.

I've not really spared these shoes in life. They've been battered across all kinds of terrain from the bogs of the peak to gritstone in the rhinogs, scrambling in the Lakes and North Snowdonia. They have raced, they have trained, and they have definitely been used. A lot.

I think they first got used at the FRA relays in October last year, so that's 9 months of use.
To be honest, even with the drubbing they've got, the uppers are still in pretty good nick, it is only really the soles that have suffered.
And now...
From the beginning, the rubber has been super grippy on pretty much everything (except wet rock... but nothing is), and I was a little concerned that the soft studs would end up being ripped off on any kind of rock that I ran across.

To be honest, I was pleasantly surprised when they stood up to the rigours of Wales and various other tests. But it wasn't until a month ago that I started to see the studs beginning to rip from the bottom of the sole unit. Jura was going to be the final test - and it tested them.
Studs are now either worn down, or as close to being shredded off as they can be without actually falling off. I suspect that the next decent run is going to shear off about 7 or 8 studs.
Still, they have been of good service.

Shredded grip on the outside of the shoe

Bits of the upper are a little worse for wear from Jura...
The centre studs are no more

One minor alteration that I made was the changing of the laces. I had a pair of Baregrips a while back, trashed them, but retained the laces. They are way better at actually tightening up around the foot, as the yellow laces supplied with the 300s are exceptionally stiff, and I find that once laced up, I have to run about 2km in them, they go baggy and I have to relace them to be race tight.

Relaced with Baregrip laces
Contouring in them never really got better (as in more comfortable... the grip was steady as ever) as they are cut a little high around the ankles, and the toe box appears to be quite a lot larger than other inov8s I have used before, so I can use big socks in them should the occasion demand. (like in winter)

To be honest, they've gone about the same distance as my X-talon 212's had when they got retired from "active service". (I still use them as flats for morning runs when it's not going to be muddy).
You can clearly see a dual compound type thing going on with the studs

So it would seem that Inov8s appear to have a life span of about 5-600km (thats 3-400 miles in old money). Somewhere around 22p a mile, if you want to be really cost analysis-y about it.
22p for amazing grip in the wet and mud, with good grip on dry rock, and passable grip on wet rock (ie. not entirely ice skate like- but at least better than some others I have come across), that's really pretty good when you consider the abuse they have gone through.
These shoes have done some decent races, and some good long runs... they'll now be put out to pasture, mainly being dry hill rep shoes.

I have another pair waiting in the wings - got them cheap from someone who no longer runs, so I look forward to breaking them as well.
Still good studs on the inside of the left shoe. I evidently don't use that bit of shoe as much as other bits. 


    Size 7 still available. I just ordered the eights.

  2. Hi, excellent review. Could you tell me how these shoes' sizings compare to normal running shoes please? I will be purchasing some mudclaw 300s in the near future but there are no stockist near me to try them on in! I am normally a size 10 uk in running shoes (brooks). Should this be the same in the innov8s?

  3. Hey Adam, I reckon they are pretty true to size. Or they are at my end of the spectrum (7)

  4. Interesting perception that nothing grips on wet rock. To be honest the only shoes I have which do are 5.10 Canyoneer which I've used to descend waterfalls and navigate sea rocks when coasteering. I wonder how much it's down to the rubber and how much down to the lug pattern. If it's mainly the rubber then strikes me the manufacturers could learn a thing or two from those !

  5. Alex... perhaps I should have been more specific. Nothing that grips on wetrock grips on grass, and vice versa. I suspect you *could* make a fellshoe with one of the rubbers from 5.10, but it would basically destroy itself in 1 or 2 runs.
    There is a constant battle between grippiness of shoes and longevity of the grip. (it is a combination of rubber and lug pattern... the Salomon Fellraisers I had were crap on grass even though they had a good lug pattern). Equally, there is no way I'd go fell running in a pair of canyoneers... good on rock, terrible in bog.