New to Inov-8’s spring lineup is an updated version of their award-winning TrailFly G270 trail shoe. This second version is designed to take on long distances with all of the bones virtually the same as the original, while adding some welcome updates to improve durability and comfort.
The most notable improvements are in the redesign of the upper, which blends structure and flexibility. A more lightweight mesh has replaced the old version, and the new material boasts 25% greater durability than that of the original with laboratory testing. Overlays have been altered slightly and positioned farther back on the shoe to allow a little more stretch and movement in the forefoot. Fit is true to size and on the more generous side widthwise. The TrailFly G270 V2 scales in at a 5 (the widest rating) on Inov-8’s width scale, but we found the toe box strikes a balance between roomy enough to accommodate a wide foot without feeling overly sloppy on a narrower foot. The more rigid lower part of the heel box molds around the foot to keep it secure, while the top section of the heel box is more flexible.
Another improvement is a more fitted tongue, which has cutouts to prevent rubbing around the front of the ankle. Light padding protects the top of the foot and keeps laces from cutting in and stretchy fabric integrates the tongue with the rest of the shoe. This allows some expansion with foot swelling while also keeping out debris.
The rest of the shoe was kept in pretty similar fashion to the original model. Powerflow Max Foam midsole combined with the Boomerang insole makes for a Goldilocks “just-right” combination. The Boomerang insole features squishy TPU beads that help with absorption, while the snappy midsole adds springiness. We found this combination made the shoe comfortable enough for road-to-trail routes right from the front door. There is also a slight rocker shape to the midsole, which makes for a smooth glide from heel strike to toe-off on each step. Cushioning holds up well over longer distances, especially for those who lean toward a minimalist shoe. Runners who tend to want more maximal support may be left wanting when it comes to cushion, especially for runs longer than 50k. As this shoe was designed with speed in mind, it feels on-the-money with its balance between being lightweight with just enough cushion.
Add the impressive outsole with Graphene-reinforced 4mm lugs, and this shoe is ready to tackle anything. We put it to the test in winter conditions from powdery snow to slush and slick ice, and the grip was pretty remarkable. Lugs are well dispersed from heel to toe, and what Inov-8 touts as the “world’s toughest grip” did have us confidently ascending as well as bombing downhill. The only sign of wear we noticed on the lugs is at the back of the shoe where the heel strikes, but it’s minimal at most. One drawback is the shoe picked up a good amount of mud on a sticky wet run but was easily shed once we landed on a more solid surface.
With the updates to durability and fit, the TrailFly G270 V2 is likely to be a favorite of runners looking for strong cushioning and performance in a low-profile design. We will certainly be keeping it in the rotation for the upcoming spring training and racing season.
The Inov-8 TrailFly G270 V2 is now available at www.inov-8.com.
Specs and Features:
- Weight: 9.5 oz
- Heel to toe drop: 0mm
- Stack Height: 22mm
- Uppers: Lightweight mesh
- Midsole: Powerflow Max Foam
- Outsole: G-Grip Graphene Rubber with 4 mm lugs
- MSRP: $170