I’m a big fan of Inov-8’s shoes so here is my summary of the things that stand out for me in the 2014 range.
This is a new model that has replaced the Road X-Treme 208. It retains the 6mm drop and fusion material in the sole but the main changes are in the upper which is similar in design to the Road X-Treme 178 and 138 with the same overlays.
A brand new model which looks really quite exciting for triathletes and road runners. Built on Inov-8’s ‘natural’ platform It has a 6mm drop, drain holes and a wide opening with toggle laces for fast transitions. I’m toying with the idea of getting into triathlons this year and these would also appeal to me for longer distance road running as they look a bit more substantial than the other models in Inov-8’s road range.
Lighter than the 275, 3mm drop and less overlays on the upper.
The ultra-minimal Bare-X Lite range seems to have been ditched for 2014 and I can only assume that this is due to lack of demand. This is a shame but I would encourage hardcore barefoot-style runners to take a look at the Road-X-Treme 138 which feels very much like an ultra-minimal shoe with just a tiny bit of cushioning (review here!)
This update appears to be just a colour change.
Updated colour and overlays for the upper. Strangely the women’s versions have been left the same. I’ve seen several reports of people having issues with the upper failing around the metatarsal flex-point on both the trailroc 245 and the 235. Whilst there is no obvious additional reinforcement on the new shoes, Iov-8 have used a new mesh material which promises to offer increased durability. These shoes are now available at Wiggle (affiliate) 245 here and 255 here. You can find my review of the new 245 here.
The Baregrip 200 was released in 2010 and was almost one of my favorite-ever shoes but instead, I found them really frustrating. No other shoe on the market provides the same level of grip in such a lightweight and minimal package (it has no midsole) and there were times when I really enjoyed running in them. However there are a couple of big problems, the first of which is that they are a horrible shape. They are built on Inov-8’s performance last which I’ve had no problems with in other models but the bare-grips have an awful pointy toe box which is far too narrow, especially for a shoe that is supposed to promote natural foot-function. The second problem is that the upper tore around the metatarsal flex point on both sides of both shoes after less than 50 miles. Both of these issues were widely reported by other runners and it really surprises me that Inov-8 haven’t rectified them as we are approaching their fourth birthday. I really want to like this shoe but I won’t get another pair until they update it.
I’ve just found out that whilst they aren’t in the Spring / Summer brochure, Inov-8 are updating the baregrip later this year. Let’s hope it addresses some of the problems I experienced with the previous model. Some details here courtesy of anotherfnrunner.com
I don’t have much experience of Inov-8’s functional fitness shoes so I won’t dwell on them too long other than to say that the popular F-lite range seeems to get bigger and bigger and many of the models seem to have undergone colour updates.
Whilst I am generally quite excited about the 2014 range, I was quite disappointed to see that the updates did not include greater utilisation of the ripstop upper material that is found on the Mudclaw 265. I really like the new material on the Mudclaws and I wonder if it could be part of the solution for some of the durability problems in models like the Trailroc, X-Talon 190 and Bare-Grips.
Wiggle already have some of the 2014 range available for purchase. You can find them by clicking on the button below!
What do you think of Inov-8’s New range? Please leave your thoughts below!