Inov-8 Trailfly Ultra G300 Max Review
When Inov-8 launched the Trailfly Ultra G300 Max I was keen to take a closer look as soon as possible, but with all the hype that came with the shoe, getting hold of pair was not easy. Additionally the price tag is eye watering, £170 in the UK, which is too expensive in my opinion.
Despite the price tag I wanted to see if the graphine technology was as good as Inov-8 make it out to be, so I finally managed to get a pair.
Now I normally run in shoes with a 4mm drop but after my last 100k race my feet were pretty sore so I wanted to try a shoe with more cushioning, and the Trailfly Ultra G300 Max ticked this box with a 6mm drop.
The full details of the shoe are below:
Mid-sole stack height: 19mm/25mm
Size: True to size (I bought a UK10.5)
Toe Box: Good width
The weight of the shoe is pretty heavy however you don't really notice it when they are on and the cushioning is soft but not Hoka soft, it's more of a firm soft.
The graphine technology is meant to boast the follow credentials:
Graphene-Grip rubber outsole which is 50% stronger, 50% more elastic and 50% harder wearing.
The BOOMERANG insole boasts a 40% increase in energy return.
ADAPTERFIT technology in the upper works with your foot to adapt to any swelling or changes in terrain and improve overall comfort. This is particularly for a shoe designed for ultramarathons and longer runs.
The questions is, does it live up to the hype? and my answer to this is partially.
The graphine rubber outsole is grippy, but only on dry surfaces such as tarmac, gravel and rocky trail. These shoes are absolutely no good on muddy runs, which is disappointing when you live in the UK and the weather is unpredictable.
The graphine outsole is however very hard wearing, I have done about 60 miles in the shoes so far and they are showing no signs of wear on the outsole, big tick.
The outsole is also very flexible, there is no stiffness in the shoe at all which is great for longer runs.
The BOOMERANG insole is definitely comfortable but I would question the 40% energy return, I did not feel that benefit on my recent 50 mile ultra.
The ADAPTER fit upper is comfortable over distance but for those of you who like some padding on the tounge of the shoe might want to look elsewhere, this shoe has very little padding in the tounge and I noticed this towards the end of my last race.
I can also testify that despite the shoe being quite comfortable, it does not stop you getting black toenails after an ultra.
The Trailfly Ultra G 300 Max are definitely not your standard Inov-8 shoe, they are change of direction for the brand aimed at runners that would normally go for brands like Hoka, which may not be something celebrated by Inov-8 purists, but one thing unmistakenly true to the brand is the colourway, the bright green is a tradmark of Inov-8 and one I personally like.
If you are fortunate enough to be able to buy a few pairs of trail shoes and have them on rotation, then Trailfly Ultra G300 Max are a great choice for those long days on the dry trails. These shoes will hold up for a lot of miles and I wouldn't be surprised if they are still good well after 500 miles, where some trail shoes would have long warn out by then.
The graphine technology certainly gives Inov-8 a good selling point when it comes to durability and the new 6mm drop means that you are comfortable over ultra distances.
Are they worth the £170 price tag, I'd probably say no, but then I don't think any trail shoes can justify that price tag in my opinion.
If you are a runner that can only afford one pair of trail shoes then I'd probably say you need to look elsewhere, the Trailfly Ultra G300 Max are not an all year round shoe and in the winter months you are going to struggle to stay on your feet on the muddy trails.