Inov-8 Mudclaw 300
When last seen, these shoes had covered a mere 100 miles and, although putting in an impressive performance, for what’s supposed to be a training workhorse or distance racer, how they stood up to some longterm abuse was always going to be the acid test.
I promised a review when the 300’s hit 300 miles but, I’ve been doing a little more running than writing, and they’ve now logged well over 450 miles and they’ve continued to impress. They’ve shown none of the problems that have plagued some models of Inov-8’s in the past, including there immediate predecessors the Mudclaw 333’s.
As you can see from the pics, I’ve had to replace the laces on the right shoe but, with daily dunkings in acidic peat bogs, that’s no big deal. Wear and splitting in the previously troublesome toe joint areas of the uppers is zero and the heel cups, although showing some wearing through, are still perfectly serviceable. The only minor area of concern is that the lowers are slightly coming away at the toes but it’s a long way off terminal.
Despite having the softer stickier sole compound, the studs are standing up. Yes, they’re certainly flattened and are less claw like than when new, but they’re still gripping plenty well enough and the return to the sticky black soles from the deadly slippery grey endurance soles was the right move. With about a quarter mile of road at the start and end of my regular runs, they haven’t been spared some miles on the tarmac.
If you look at this death photo of my old 333’s after about 300 miles, the difference is staggering and, considering that the 300’s are a lighter, more flexible and more responsive shoe, the improved robustness and durability of the 300’s is even more impressive.
Fell runners do tend to be on the miserly side and there’s no denying that £90 is a fairly big spend for a pair of fell shoes. However I’m confident I’ll get another 200 miles out of these at least and I think that represents excellent miles for your money. You certainly can get cheaper long distance fell shoes, such as the current darlings of the FRA Forum, More Mile Cheviots, but, from a performance point of view, there’s no comparison. I want my training workhorses to last but I also want them to feel light, flexible and enhance my running style. With the 300’s Inov-8 have certainly delivered this and I’m looking forward to plenty more boggy miles in them.
|Inov8 Mudclaw 300 Fell Running Shoe|
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