Estimated read time: 4 minutes.
- Price: $160
- Trail Shoe
- Zero Drop Shoe
- Weighs 9.5 oz. (270 g)
- The new midsole foam and TPU-based insole are softer, more flexible, more responsive.
- The Graphene Grip outsole is lighter and more flexible than last year’s version.
- The wider toe box and adaptable mesh top provide a more comfortable fit for long-distance running.
This review will look at a pretty dang fun shoe from Inov-8, the Terraultra G 270.
Inov-8 is back with this new update to the Terraultra G 260. G 260 was a pretty good trail runner. It was a no-nonsense trail beast that brought you lower to the ground, gave you plenty of flexibility, lots of ground feel, and was as durable as all Inov-8’s shoes. So here comes the Terraultra G 270, and I want to point out that the 270 refers to the average weight in grams.
Terraultra G 270 Feature
The Terraultra G 270 supposedly improves upon many of the qualities that made the G 260s stand out as a shoe from Inov-8. The Inov-8 Terraultra G 270 is a low-stack super flexible shoe that many who desire a simple, durable trail option will love. The G 270 has a new outsole recipe with graphene grip rubber and a power flow Max midsole with higher energy return; this is supposed to enhance underfoot comfort. A new boomerang insole that also increases energy return for greater cushioning, a new adapter fit tech in the upper that adjusted the natural movements and swelling of the foot during long runs.
But does this innovation of these marketing buzzwords contribute to a better shoe than the G 260?
Ground Feel of Terraultra G 270
The amount of ground feels you got made the G 260s such a standout shoe for many trail runners. There’s not a lot of protection underfoot but what you get in its place is just that natural tactile feel where your foot feels instantly connected to the ground on all of the surfaces that you’re running across.
The shoe indeed excels when the ground under the foot is softer. So either after a trail run in the rain or if you’re running in mud or softer grass, that sort of thing when the ground underfoot isn’t super-aggressive; that’s when I begin to love that ground feeling without it being a minimal shoe where your foot starts to fatigue prematurely. You can still get some pretty good miles in the shoe, and your foot won’t feel the pain and discomfort associated with more minimal footwear durability.
Terraultra G 270 Durability
Again, Inov-8 seems to knock this out of the park with every shoe we’ve reviewed from them, and durability is not going to be an issue with these shoes.
Everything is holding up really well with the welded overlays, the mesh upper, and the graphene outsole. There are no seam issues whatsoever. The shoe will continue to hold up with everything you throw at it, and that’s always been the case with Inov-8; here with the Terra Ultra G 270 is the same thing.
The Flexibility of G 270
The flexibility with this shoe is carried over from the previous version. In correlation with the overall ground feel, there isn’t a lot of midsole pack here, and there isn’t a lot of an outsole, so what you do get an exchange as this wonderful flexibility no matter which way your foot lands or any of the surfaces that you’re running on. The shoe will naturally adapt with your foot along the ground, and it’s a cool sensation.
This shoe carries a lot of what was great about the G 260 right into the new version. It does change some of the more minor things, new materials in the upper, additional midsole change, and the graphene recipe. These changes are so minor you’re not going to feel that much difference at all.
The graphene grip that they’ve touted in the shoe for the last couple of generations and the various versions from Inov-8 still do not deliver the amount of grip that I have come to anticipate. Based on all the marketing and everything like that, specifically in wet environments like wet wood or wet rocks. The lugs work as lugs operate, and the new drainage grooves add a bit of additional texture to the lugs themselves.
That’s all well and good, but I still found myself slipping on wet roots and wet rocks and more than I’m experiencing in other trail shoes, and that was a big surprise and essentially tiresome because they definitely market the graphene is being this incredible new material.
$ 160 is a lot to pay for a shoe, and of course, you pay for the new materials that Inov-8 uses and the durability you will get.
And finally, the looks, this will be polarizing because to me, it just looks like a ninja turtle costume for your foot. It’s bright green with green and black, so you certainly will be recognized with this pair of shoes on. But you know that beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
The Terra Ultra G 270 excels when running on softer surfaces and has a lot of ground feel, making it great for trail runners who enjoy feeling connected to the earth – but are tired of minimal shoes that wear out too quickly. Durability should not be an issue as everything holds up well in these shoes, and there are no seam issues. G 270 shows a little more midsole before you hit the outsole and at a weight of 9.5 oz. (270 grams) for a men’s 9.5.
$160 is a lot to pay for a pair of shoes, so you’re paying for high-quality materials and durability through the use of graphene in the outsole. The outsole does not go up to full coverage with graphene. It doesn’t provide the extra grip that I would have expected from this new material. Overall, a good upgrade from the G 260, with solid durability and flexibility.
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