Best for Mud & Grip
1Inov-8 MudClaw 300
Whether you’re doing a Tough Mudder or running over Munros, the Mudclaw offers unmatchable grip with an aggressive studded outsole. It features a durable water repellent synthetic upper, and a ‘precision fit’ meaning minimal internal movement, along with a 6mm drop. If you need a shoe to handle the toughest off trail conditions and adventure style events, then this will claw its way to the finish line.
Ideal & Lightweight for Off Road Racing
2Inov-8 Talon 212
This is by far the most popular off road shoe in the Inov-8 range. The Talon is available in two widths – ‘Precision’ if you want that closer narrow fit and ‘Standard’ if you need the extra width. It has Talon like grip and is extremely flexible which means it’s very responsive. This is the shoe of choice for many a world champion for ‘Off Road’ events. Choose this shoe if speed is what you’re after!
Great for Long Distance Trails
3Inov-8 Race Ultra 270 & 290
With Ultra running being the new Marathon (it’s grown 170% over the last 6 years), then the choice has never been better if you need a shoe to eat up those miles! Inov-8’s Race Ultra range gives you the option of an 8mm drop on the 290 & a 4mm drop on the 270. If you prefer that little extra cushioning, go for the 290 or if you want a slightly lighter/faster shoe then the 270 would be the choice.
All-rounder with ‘Feel’
4Inov-8 TerraClaw 250 & 220
The brand new TerraClaw is ideal for most trail/off road runs. It’s bold and bright, has won multiple awards & are both packed with new features & technology, such as the ‘X Lock’ welded overlay that helps keep the foot in place and gives the shoe a distinct look. The shoe gives great ‘Feel’ for the ground you’re running on and lets you adjust foot placement immediately. The sole offers fantastic grip without being too aggressive underfoot.
5The North Face Ultra Cardiac
From the moment you put the Ultra Cardiac on, you are conscious of the comfort, from the luxurious feel of the lined tongue to the cushioning underfoot. They also have a Vibram sole which is another indication of not scrimping on the design of a shoe that you’ll want to wear all day long! It’s great on most terrain from hardpack trail, even with loose stones the grip is impressive and it copes well for the occasional run on the road as well.
Protection & Grip
6Salomon Sense 3 Ultra SG
With its clean lines and bold red colour, this is a shoe you want on your feet. It’s sock like fit and tremendous protection around the toes means the Sense Ultra SG will stand up to the most punishing conditions. Its aggressive tread on the outsole and the rock plate in the mid sole continue to protect the feet from a multitude of surfaces. It features a 4mm drop and gives an incredibly stable ride.
About the author.
When he's not running Ellis Brigham's Aviemore store, Martin Bell is running the trails. Since taking up running a few weeks after he turned 40 he has become seriously addicted, completing increasingly longer distance ultra races. Catch up with his latest adventures on his blog The Determined Runner.