This is my first pair of inov-8’s, guys! I’ve always wanted to try them but at the same time was sorta under the impression that they were for OCR types and Crossfitters (same diff, I know). WELL. I was wrong. I’m wrong all the time, it’s fine.
Simply put, the inov-8 Terraultra G260 V2 is in my top trail shoes of 2019. Let’s find out why!
There are so many things to love about this shoe, but let’s start with the outsole, because it’s really what makes the Terraultra G260 stand out. The G in G260 denotes the presence of Graphene in the outsole rubber. What’s Graphene, you ask?
Wikipedia tells me it’s a single-atom layer of graphite; 100 times stronger than steel in proportion to its thickness. Basically, the outsole of the G260 would hold up to some serious nuclear fallout, is my understanding.
It is also the grippiest shoe I’ve ever run in; the combination of 4 mm lugs enhanced with Graphene-infused rubber is magic. I wish I’d had these when I ran the Escarpment Trail Race back in July, because these are far superior to the Hoka EVO Jawz in just about every way (except weight). And I’m not just saying that because the EVO Jawz stained my feet blue for two weeks.
In addition to the crazy secure grip, there are Meta-Flex grooves in the outsole, and they articulate really well, providing a smooth toe-off.
The midsole employs a lot of fancy things– from inov-8’s TPU/EVA foam called ExteroFlow to something called a Dynamic Fascia Band– but it feels mostly unremarkable. It is more cushioned than I assume most inov-8s are, based on what I’ve seen. The cushioning is sufficient for longer efforts, but the responsiveness and superior ground feel make this a great race-day choice, too.
The upper is made of a synthetic mesh with Kevlar overlays in areas prone to wear; the toe cap appears to be an extension of the Kevlar overlay and doesn’t otherwise offer a whole lot of protection. The upper doesn’t absorb much water and is relatively breathable as well.
Aside from the durable, grippy outsole, I think my favorite part of the inov-8 Terraultra G260 is the fit. When I reviewed the Topo MT-3, I noted that they were a good choice for those who like zero drop shoes but have fit issues with Altras. The G260– dare I say it –fits even better than the Topo MT-3. From heel to toe box, it is just fantastic.Shop inov-8 Terraultra G260
Okay, while the fit is great, the step-in (and overall) comfort isn’t perfect. When I first put these on, the only thing I could think was that the inside feels almost… unfinished? Nothing ever bothered me while running in them, though, so this is a minor gripe.
The laces are also kind of weird. They’re round and very smooth; I thought for sure when I double knotted them that they would untie themselves in a matter of seconds, but they didn’t. I still stopped to tighten the knots every so often, just in case. I’m actually kind of annoyed that they stay tied because they really shouldn’t.
The G260 is a unisex shoe, so I can tell you that they weigh in at 9.8 ounces for a men’s size 9. Mine are a men’s 7 so my best guess is they’re a tad under 9 ounces? The atomic weight of carbon is 12.011 though I’m not entirely sure how that factors in.
If you’re looking for an all-around great, long-lasting trail shoe with traction that is superior to almost any shoe out there, I really don’t think you can go wrong with the inov-8 Terraultra G260 V2. Get yourself a pair at Running Warehouse using the shop link below.Shop inov-8 Terraultra G260