British brand inov-8 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.
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.
“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.”
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.