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Staff Review – Inov-8 RoadClaw

Inov-8 have cemented a solid reputation in the field of off-road running. The Road Claw 275 is their first offering aimed at road runners and The Running Works’ store manager David was the first member of the team to give them a try.

When I heard that Inov-8 (a brand famous for trail, fell and mountain running shoes) was releasing a road shoe, I was a bit sceptical as to where they had pitched this shoe in the market.

Danny from Inov-8 told me the Road Claw 275 was designed to rival the highly cushioned neutral favourites, such as the Asics GEL-Nimbus, Brooks Glycerin and Nike Zoom Vomero (the latter two shoes I have worn and loved in combination for the best part of a decade). The category of top-level cushioned, neutral shoes, pretty much look and do exactly what they say on the tin: maximum cushioning for mile munching. It is also a category of shoe you run in knowing that more often than not, maximum cushioning will mean a bit of extra weight (not a problem for those of us pushing 88kg’s).

My ‘out-of-the-box’ impression of the Road Claw was how light it felt; at only 289g (men’s UK9.5) it is a full 31g lighter than the Nike Vomero and Brooks Glycerin.  It looks a bit sleeker than other comparable shoes on the market and in hand it is certainly more flexible than models I’ve used, which is really evident when I run.

If they were big enough we think he’d live in them…

The Road Claw feels really responsive whilst giving ample impact absorption for a forefoot striker like myself. What I really love about the Road Claw is the fact that it retains a lot of the traits that have made Inov-8 so popular over the past 13 years. The grip is sensational; it dealt with wet cobbles better than any shoe I have ever used. The shoe also feels really well constructed and durable without ever affecting the quality of the ride, which felt as good through mile 420 as it did through mile 1.

For Inov-8, releasing the Road Claw was an exercise in expanding the brand to be truly all terrain and for me, this shoe delivers.

For those looking for something different to the normal list of top end cushioned shoes, give it a go.

Note from the Ed – David was lucky to be given a pair of the shoes to trial by the team at Inov-8. His review was written after 420 miles. The Inov-8 Road Claw 275 at The Running Works is available for men and women at The Running Works.