Pumped up kicks – inov-8 are filling their new running shoes with nitrogen gas

British brand introduce a whole new element to their latest trail-running shoe

inov-8 Trailfly Ultra G 280
(Image credit: inov-8)

British brand inov-8 (opens in new tab) have today launched a new trail-running shoe that features, for the first time ever, nitrogen gas in the midsole.

The Lake District-based running and sport specialist brand, which turns 20 years old in 2023, is best known for bringing us trail shoes with outsoles made from the toughest substance on the planet - graphene (which is said to be 200 times stronger than steel). 

But now inov-8 have introduced another element to their range - a much lighter one - and they claim it brings ‘trampoline-levels of bounce’ to their technical footwear. 

inov-8 Trailfly Ultra G 280

The new Trailfly Ultra G 280 in Pine Nectar

(Image credit: inov-8)

The nitrogen-infused midsoles will first feature on the new version of the Trailfly Ultra G 280, a shoe that follows in the footsteps of the excellent Trailfly Ultra G 300 Max, considered one of the best trail-running shoes currently available, built tough from the aforementioned graphene outsole to the laces. Now inov-8 want to inject extra spring in the step of runners wearing their shoes.

inov-8 Trailfly Ultra G 280

(Image credit: inov-8)

“The nitrogen foam we’ve created gives an amazingly lighter, softer ride for those runners looking for that,” said Wayne Edy, the founder of inov-8. “Given what our testers said about it, we decided to call the foam Flyspeed.”

“It debuts on our new Trailfly Ultra G 280, which we can’t wait to get on the feet of trail and ultramarathon runners. It has great levels cushioning while at the same time delivering incredible bounce and a feeling of being connected to the trail.”

Trailfly Ultra G 280

(Image credit: inov-8)

According to tests carried out by the brand, the new Flyspeed foam returns 65%-68% of the energy put in, compared to the 45%-48% a more standard foam midsole gives back. 

Feedback from inov-8 athletes who have been trail testing the shoes has been positive. Spanish trail runner Abel Carretero, had this to say: “The comfort is extremely good for long distances and the bounce is so great you feel like you’re flying. It feels a bit like cheating!”

But then, he would say that. We look forward to testing these exciting-looking shoes out very soon, and we’ll give you our independent verdict then. 

Pat Kinsella
Editor T3 Outdoors

Pat Kinsella has been chasing adventures and writing about the outdoors for two decades. In pursuit of stories he’s canoed Canada’s Yukon River, climbed Mont Blanc and Kilimanjaro, skied and mountain biked across the Norwegian Alps, run ultras across the roof of Mauritius and through the hills of the Himalayas, and set short-lived speed records for trail-running Australia’s highest peaks and New Zealand’s nine Great Walks. A former editor of several Australian magazines he’s a longtime contributor to publications including Sidetracked, Outdoor, National Geographic Traveller, Trail Running, The Great Outdoors, Outdoor Fitness and Adventure Travel, and a regular writer for Lonely Planet (for whom he compiled, edited and co-wrote the Atlas of Adventure, a guide to outdoor pursuits around the globe). He’s authored guides to exploring the coastline and countryside of Devon and Dorset, and recently wrote a book about pub walks (opens in new tab). Follow Pat's adventures on Strava (opens in new tab).