As #5keveryday passes the 35-mile mark, it's time to give my first review of the Inov8 shoes I've been wearing for every step of this endeavor. First, an update on my streak so far, and then let's check out my mileage on each of the models below.
So far, I've recorded perfectly consistent results that are somewhat boring. While 11 runs of the same loop may seem mind-numbingly ho-hum, my goal is to settle into a groove with easy efforts daily for at least a month before I worry about getting too creative. The neighborhood loop I'm using right now is all on roads but once I start mixing in more of the awesome trails around my house in the northern Phoenix foothills the mileage will jump up and even out for the TrailTalon 235, ParkClaw 275, RocLite 290, and RocLite 275.
Mileage & Quick Feedback
- TerraUltra G 260: (3) runs, 9.4 miles
- Soft, light, and comfortable without being “squishy”. For a 160# guy, the foam actually feels a little stiff for the first mile before giving you that “go ahead and run all day” feeling.
- Fit Scale: 4
- F-Lite 230: (3) runs, 9.5 miles
- Road racing flats! Light, nimble, neutral, flexible, and fast as hell!
- Fit Scale: 2
- TrailTalon 235: (1) run, 3.2 miles
- Roomy, light, soft, and I sincerely can't tell this is a trail shoe whether I'm running on sidewalks, trails, or walking around all day. I find these equally as comfortable as my all-around favorites… see ParkClaw 275 below.
- Fit Scale: 4
- ParkClaw 275: (30-50 miles before #5keveryday kicked off, but none over the past 11 days)
- I love these shoes for everything, and they will absolutely be the ones I wear out first. Comfortable and light with soft foam, the ParkClaw 275 is usually the first shoe I grab when I'm running out the door and have more miles than any of the shoes above, considering I've had them about 3 months longer.
- Fit Scale: 5
- RoadClaw 275: (3) runs, 9.6 miles
- Everything I love about the ParkClaw 275 with a road sole – I really dig these as well. The ParkClaw is a tiny bit softer due to the lugs vs. outsole, and I like the laces on the PC better (see “Laces” below)
- Fit Scale: 5
- RocLite 290: (6 miles prior to #5keveryday, none in the last 11 days)
- The RL 290 feels a tiny bit narrower than the RocLite 272, even though they are both listed as a 3 on Inov8's Fit Scale. Weighing in at half an ounce heavier than the RL 275, I feel these are an all-around shoe for a racer who favors a tight-fitting shoe with good grip from medium-sized lugs. They are versatile and comfortable, but when the RL 275's are right next to them on the shelf it's a tough decision which ones to grab.
- Fit Scale: 3
- RocLite 275: (1) run, 3.1 miles
- The RL 275 is a bit narrower than the TrailTalon 235 and nearly an ounce and a half heavier and feels more like a fast OCR shoe for moderately-rough conditions. While I have a set of MudClaw 260 (not pictured) for really muddy racing, I'd pick the RocLite 290 for rough conditions with little mud and the RockLite 275 for all-around conditions that require a little bit more loose-surface traction.
- Fit Scale: 3
Inv8's Innovative Fit Scale
“We have graded the fit of all our shoes from 1 to 5 to make it easy for you to find the perfect fitting shoe. All our shoes are designed with Met-Cradle technology to lock down the mid-foot for a stable hold. Where they differ is in the toe box. Grade 1 represents our closest, most precise fit. At the other end of the scale, Grade 5 has the widest fitting toe box.
We have meticulously studied the foot and its function during the gait cycle and also the interaction between the foot and the terrain. We have used this knowledge to develop our fitting scale. For technical footwear, a good fit is essential to enhance your performance.
The lower the number on our scale, the narrower the fit, which ensures minimal internal movement of the foot when running fast on technical terrain. Shoes with the higher numbers on our scale will suit athletes with a wider foot and those wanting that extra comfort in the toe box. This wider toe box allows the toes to splay for increased stability when lifting heavy weights. It’s also perfect for longer runs and races when toes begin to swell.
As a rough guide, Grade 1 represents an industry B fit, while Grade 5 equates to a 2E fit in the forefoot.”
Brett's Nitpicks So Far: Laces
If something works, stick with it… right? This thinking does not apply to Inov8's laces – the only thing I can guess is that they own a shoelace factory and want to test every model possible out! The flat “linguine” laces on the ParkClaw 275 are perfect so I have no clue why they'd use a fat squishy tube on the RoadClaw 275 when hotspots won't be an issue due to the relatively substantial tongue. I'm at a loss why the laces are so short on the F-Lite 230, I can barely get 2 loops unless I really crank those thin little laces down. It's easy to pick on the laces of a few models when the performance has been great all around!
- Maintain the Streak: Run at least 1 continuous mile every day April 1, 2019 to April 1, 2020
- Crush the Mileage: Average at least 3.1 miles every day for 365 days = 1131.5 total miles/year
- Rules: MUST maintain at least 21.7 miles/week (12:01 am Monday to 11:59 pm Sunday)
- Shoes: Inov8 was kind enough to provide me about 2800 miles worth of shoes across multiple categories: Trail, Road, Hybrid (light trail or road) and Ultra. These are the shoes that I'll be wearing for my #5keveryday runs for testing, comparing, and reviewing.
- Socks: In order to keep the results consistent, I'm going to be exclusively wearing Mudgear 1/4 Trail and No-Show Running Socks.
- Sunglasses: On my face will be Goodr shades, because they are the lightest/bestest/non-slippiest sunglasses in the world
- I'll also be testing & reviewing some great gear from Runderwear, ViewSport, Yancy Camp's new Trail Toes, Bear Grylls send over some cool tech gear as well, new flavors from Tailwind Endurance, and much, much more along the way.
Follow along with my progress daily(ish) on facebook.com/brettstewart or via hashtag #5keveryday. Each week I'll post an update on the progress and review the shoe models as I rotate through each Inov8 model daily on road & trail. I'm looking forward to the challenge and the body transformation this level of consistency will bring along with it.
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