Select BITR Apparel On Sale. Shop Now
Trail • April 19, 2023

Inov-8 TrailFly G 270 V2 Review: Come for the Graphene, Stay for the Lockdown

inov 8 trailfly g 270 v2 cover

What You Need To Know


9.5 oz. (270 g) for a US M9

Stack Height / Drop

22 mm in heel, 22 mm in forefoot (0 mm drop)

Best For

Minimalist, zero drop days

Key Features

More durable upper, 4 mm graphene rubber lugs, PowerFlow Max midsole

On The Run
Lightweight underfoot Excellent grip Not big on protection


The Intro

TAYLOR: 2020 was quite the year, eh? For me, kicked off with a new baby, followed by a global pandemic nine days later. Remember the days of lockdowns inside your home? Wiping down groceries? Trying to teach Kindergarteners on Zoom? Not to mention the lasting effects in the following years…

One of the few things that kept me sane was hitting the trails (no surprise there). My family and I are fortunate to live in a place where trail access is literally down the street, so bopping off to get some anxiety-free doses of fresh air and dirt was easy.

During the latter half of that year, one of the shoes I picked up most often was the Inov-8 TerraUltra G 270. For that time (I can’t believe I’m talking about 2020 as if it was a century ago), it was a stellar shoe for life in the wild. It was the first time Inov-8’s Graphene Grip Outsole, light and bouncy Powerflow Max midsole compound, and wider foot-shaped last had been put together. Since the other zero-drop offerings of the time were starting to feel stale, it proved a very welcome addition to the trail lineup. Inov-8 even won our BIG award for the best overall trail shoe in 2020.

Finally, three years later, a follow-up version has arrived. The biggest change to the original formula is actually the name. TerraUltra is out, TrailFly is in. Say hello to the TrailFly G 270 v2. This is a typical second version update with incremental changes to the fit and slightly different materials in the upper, and that’s about it.

With a full three years since the TrailFly’s debut, it begs the question of if this is still a great shoe, or was it really just great for its time?

ALEX: This was my first time running in an Inov-8 shoe. After reading rave reviews about the original TrailFly, the expectations were high. Lucky for me, it seems as though Inov-8 didn’t make too many significant updates, so I got to experience all of the good things that were carried over from V1.

Overall I was super impressed with the design and construction of the TrailFly G 270 V2. While it won’t be my go-to trainer for the long stuff, it definitely secured its place in my lineup. With one of the grippiest and well-performing outsoles I have experienced and a responsive, bouncy midsole, this is perfect for uptempo mid-distance days.

inov 8 trailfly g 270 v2 side

The Good

TAYLOR: Inov-8’s TrailFly G 270 v2 is kind of like a trifle. As you go through the layers from the top down, the shoe gets better and better. As a whole, it creates a rather tasty, albeit niche, experience.

On one hand, this is a solid update. Minimal, but solid. One of our few complaints on the original was about the upper feeling a little like a cereal box at first. Thankfully, there’s no such break-in period needed for the TrailFly G 270 v2. The new engineered mesh and reconfigured overlays are quite a bit softer all around, which has the benefits of both comfort and a very secure fit from your first mile in the shoe. I didn’t have qualms with the security in v1, but this is already better all the way around.

While the fit itself is generous for an Inov-8 shoe (the widest fit they offer), it’s not far off from the Altra Mont Blanc and Brooks Catamount 2, which have a little room but nothing crazy. The upper materials on the Trailfly G 270 v2 will allow for a little more flex with sizing than the first version. Overall, lockdown from the midfoot through the heel is very good. I had zero issues with my foot slipping or sliding on rougher terrain. I would have zero qualms about running hard in technical terrain (save for the slim 22 mm underfoot stack). It would equate to the road flats of old but for the trails.

The most revolutionary piece of the original TrailFly was the PowerFlow Max midsole. It’s a blend of EVA and TPU that is actually lightweight, responsive, and durable. I’ll admit that I was disappointed that the Trailfly G 270 v2 did not get AT LEAST a couple more millimeters of this foam; however, I was reminded pretty quickly how endearing the underfoot feel was — even at a slim 22 mm. There’s no plate in the mix for protection (though there is a small shank), so you get a modestly protective ride and a good amount of natural ground feel. It’s one of the feels that makes you more in tune with the trail, and that is rarely a bad thing.

Perhaps, what deserves the most credit for comfort is the Boomerang insole. It says something about performance if a shoe company offers insoles apart from the shoes. I’ve had many runners suggest using the insoles in other branded trail shoes to add comfort and performance. Such counseling saved my relationship with The North Face’s Summit Vectiv Pro and has enhanced others. Yes, they’re that good. The insoles are made of a bunch of TPU foam beads fused together to create up to 40% greater energy return as compared to other insoles. In the case of the TrailFly G 270 v2, the insole helps dampen some of the ground feel you have. Rarely did I feel any of the jagged terrain poke through.

To cap it off, Graphene Grip continues as one of, if not the best, blends of extreme grip and durability. It makes sense as graphene is infused into the rubber. Inov-8 claims it’s the strongest and thinnest material available. I’m no chemist, but I’d believe it. This is one of the few shoes that the outsole may last longer than the rest of the shoe… by far.

As a package, the TrailFly G 270 v2 is one that can approach just about any condition and terrain.

ALEX: The TrailFly G 270 V2 is a lot less shoe than I’m used to running in. The 22 mm stack and zero-drop platform give it a more minimal, natural-feeling ride. Inov-8’s PowerFlow Max midsole is responsive and has a surprisingly bouncy feel. I like it, I love it, I just need some more of it (about 10mm, to be precise). The midsole material and lower stack height also allow for more ground feel, which is not a high priority for me, but I know some of you are into it.

The G-Grip outsole is made of a graphene-enhanced rubber that provides amazing traction and is highly durable. All you need to know is that this outsole is one of the best out there; the material and added texture made me feel confident on wet, half-frozen trails.

The TrailFly G 270 V2 didn’t necessarily elicit strong emotions one way or another for me. It feels stable, durable, and practical; there is nothing flashy, edgy, or high-tech on this one. The midfoot is secure, and the forefoot is nice and roomy, while the heel and tongue are well-designed to stay in place and also out of the way, resulting in a secure, comfortable fit.

Shop Inov-8 TrailFly G 270 V2 - Men Shop Inov-8 TrailFly G 270 - Women

inov 8 trailfly g 270 v2 toe

The Bad

TAYLOR: On the other hand, the TrailFly G 270 v2 is a little bit of a bore. It looks the same. It feels pretty much the same. I mean, yeah, it is a better all-around package. It’s just a few years late. To be honest, with shoes like the Topo Athletic Pursuit or Altra Mont Blanc in a similar price range, the Inov-8 TrailFly G 270 v2 is less appealing. I’m not saying it’s an inferior shoe. It’s just different and not as outstanding as before.

The TrailFly G 270 V2’s 22 mm of protection is not ideal (for most) on any terrain. In true soft-ground conditions, this might be enough for a day-to-day runner. In the Rocky Mountains, I’m having a hard time reaching for the shoe over some others that have only a few more millimeters of stack. One would need to be searching for a minimalistic feel to get full satisfaction out of this one. A couple of hours in this shoe would be a lot for feet that aren’t used to minimal protection.

ALEX: With a 22 mm stack height, the TrailFly is on the minimal side of cushioning and protection and about 10 mm short of what I prefer for my long runs and races. The Adapter-Flex groove increases agility over uneven terrain, but this flexibility also allows my foot to twist and flex more than I prefer over technical, uneven terrain. Ultimately, I need more underfoot protection than this one offers.

Shop Inov-8 TrailFly G 270 V2 - Men Shop Inov-8 TrailFly G 270 - Women

inov 8 trailfly g 270 v2 lugs

Inov-8 TrailFly G 270 V2 Conclusion

TAYLOR: It isn’t 2020 anymore. A lot has happened in the running industry in terms of tech since then. That doesn’t invalidate Inov-8’s award-winning TrailFly G 270 or its update. The second version is improved through upper adjustments; it’s just not as exciting compared to what’s going on around the industry.

Again, it doesn’t mean this shoe is inferior because performance is not lost. In the zero-drop minimalist category, this is one of the best because of its light package, secure, comfortable fit, and incredible grip. The Inov-8 TrailFly G 270 V2 could be an incredibly versatile shoe if you’re okay with minimal underfoot protection.

ALEX: The TrailFly G 270 V2 is a versatile, durable shoe that has earned a place in my training lineup. For me, this one fits perfectly into the mid-distance category, up to two hours.

You can pick up the Inov-8 TrailFly G 270 V2 for $170 at Running Warehouse (featuring free 2-day shipping and 90-day returns) using the buttons below.

Shop The Shoe


Shop Inov-8 TrailFly G 270 V2 Men
Shop Inov-8 TrailFly G 270 V2 Women

Want to learn more about how our review process works? Check out this guide.

inov 8 trailfly g 270 v2 on foot

Have something to say? Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Taylor Bodin
Lead Trail Reviewer
  • Strava
  • Instagram

Taylor Bodin is a trail and ultra runner living in Estes Park, Colo., with his wife and daughters. Trail running is pretty much the only hobby he can manage right now and loves it. Every so often, he will pop off a race or FKT attempt because competition is pure and the original motivator for him getting into running anyways. When not running, Taylor is a 1st grade teacher, running coach (track & field, Cross Country, and Trail/Ultra athletes), and volunteers at his church.

All-time favorite shoes: Hoka Tecton X, Speedland SL:PDX, Merrell MTL Long Sky 2.

More from Taylor
Shoe Size


Fav. Distance


  • 27:03

  • 13:40

  • 7:42

  • 4:34

Alex Elizabeth
Lead Trail Reviewer
  • Instagram

Alex is a trail and ultra runner from the upper midwest who loves Minnesota’s long winters and logging miles on the rooty, rocky, steep trails of Lake Superior’s North Shore. She was the first female to set a supported FKT on the 310 mile Superior Hiking Trail (SHT) and enjoys multi-day events and races, especially if they involve snow and -20 degree temps. 

All-time favorite shoes: Hoka Speedgoat Evo, Hoka Tecton X, Altra Timp.

More from Alex
Shoe Size


Fav. Distance


  • 94:35

    200 Mile
  • 29:45 

    100 Mile
  • 15:10

  • 13:42

    50 Mile
Previous Post
Next Post
Previous Post
Read Article salomon s lab pulsar 2 sg cover
Next Post
Read Article saucony guide 16 cover