First, I’d like to thank both Inov8 and Running Free for the opportunity to rest these shoes. I have been on another company’s shoe for almost five years, and although happy with the performance – was really intrigued with these – even before the opportunity presented itself to try them.
The solution most shoe companies offer to ‘off-road’ pursuits is the same one car manufactures use – Bigger, more robust and more durable and hence inefficient. To the contrary, Inov8 shoes are built upon the idea that the foot should be allowed to do what it does and it should be about efficiency. This shoe fits the ‘Bill’ perfectly. (That’s me!)
Take note though – these shoes are not for someone who is just hitting the trails for first-time fun. The strange way they ‘work’ is really best for a runner looking for a serious high performance trail shoe for racing.
In terms of grip, the shoe does incredibly well in most any trail condition. Once you run a muddy trail with these you will never want to run in an SUV like trail shoe again. They do well on hardpack as well. The technology worked into the lower heel than anything else I’ve worn makes them great shoes for climbing all those ridges of the Horseshoe Valley trails. They remind me a bit of my Scott MC mountain bike – fast, light, and technologically superior!
Although the shoes do not offer a ton of support, the shoes’ low profile keeps the foot feeling like it is always on a balance. However, if high cut shoes bother your ankles; you may want to pass. The only other not-so-great feature is the lacing system. Having a secure system like Salomon would make these shoes ‘roc’.
The verdict is in. I’m hooked on my Flyrocs!