Inov-8 is far from being an obscure trail running shoes brand: it has a devoted fan base and its shoes are renowned for their sticky grip and aggressive lug-design. The company's latest running shoes, the Inov-8 TRAILFLY ULTRA G 300 MAX, goes a step further and introduces the "world’s first-ever running shoes to utilise a Graphene-enhanced foam", in collaboration with 'Graphene experts' at The University of Manchester, UK.
Inov-8 is no stranger to using Graphene in its shoes: it first used Graphene in 2018 when launching GRAPHENE-GRIP rubber on the outsoles of its running, hiking and fitness shoes. But the TRAILFLY ULTRA G 300 MAX is the first one to use the 'world's strongest material' in the midsole itself.
What is Graphene? According to Wikipedia (opens in new tab) – the only source everyone is using on the internet – "Graphene is an allotrope of carbon consisting of a single layer of atoms arranged in a two-dimensional honeycomb lattice." As inov-8 explains, "as well as being 200 times stronger than steel, Graphene is also the world’s thinnest material and boasts astonishing flexibility."
Inov-8 TRAILFLY ULTRA G 300 MAX: price and release date
The inov-8 TRAILFLY ULTRA G 300 MAX is available to pre-order now at inov-8 (opens in new tab) ahead of going on sale on 8 April 2021. It’s priced at £170 / $190 / €195.
Inov-8 TRAILFLY ULTRA G 300 MAX: features
The Graphene-enhanced rubber outsole of the inov-8 TRAILFLY ULTRA G 300 MAX has 35 'multi-directional' 4mm deep lugs and vertical grooves cut into the rubber to "allow the foot’s metatarsal bones to move more independently". It's also said to be "50% stronger, 50% more elastic and 50% harder wearing" than non-Graphene rubber outsoles.
The main attraction is Graphene-enhanced G-FLY cushioned foam which is more resistant to wear but retains its thickness and "optimum levels of energy return" for longer. Inov-8 claims that the new foam "gives 25% more energy return" than industry-standard EVA foam. Another bold claim from inov-8 is that "athletes testing the foam said it was still performing well after 1,200 km – which is double the industry standard". 'Performing well' can mean different to different people, however.
The BOOMERANG insole features "hundreds of expanded TPU beads that compress and spring back for 40% more energy return" than standard insoles. It also promises to retain its 6mm thickness and optimum performance level for longer, while wicking away moisture.
the upper features the ADAPTER-FIT technology that delivers a supportive fit that "adjusts to the natural movements and swelling of the foot when running long distances". The lightweight, breathable air mesh materials add breathability without compromising on durability. The shoes have a wide toe-box (grade 5 on inov-8's 1-5 fit scale) and "lightweight racer" tongue, while a double-layered toe guard increases protection against rocky terrain. The tongue is also gusseted to keep debris out of the shoe.
Key specs of the inov-8 TRAILFLY ULTRA G 300 MAX:
- Weight: 300g
- Drop: 6mm (heel to forefoot differential)
- Full stack height (midsole & outsole): 30mm heel / 24mm forefoot
- Midsole stack height (midsole only): 25mm heel / 19mm forefoot
Inov-8 TRAILFLY ULTRA G 300 MAX: image gallery
Read our Inov-8 Roclite G 345 GTX hiking boot review or, if you are looking for minimalist workout shoes, the Inov-8 BARE-XF 210 V3 review. Even more inov-8 hiking boots reviews can be found here: Inov-8 Roclite Pro G 400 review and Inov-8 Roclite 315 GTX review. For your reading pleasure.