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      News

      FLY LONG-HAUL: TERRAULTRA G 270 BECOMES TRAILFLY G 270

      FLY LONG-HAUL: TERRAULTRA G 270 BECOMES TRAILFLY G 270

      To stronger align our ultra running footwear range we have decided to change the name of the TERRAULTRA G 270. As of March 1st, 2022, it will be called the TRAILFLY G 270.

      The multi award-winning shoe remains the same throughout its entire design, except for the name.

      To celebrate, we’re launching the TRAILFLY G 270 in three brand new colourways – blue/nectar, pine/mint and red/burgundy/orange.

      Changing the name allows us to create one, easy-to-understand TRAILFLY franchise. It will contain our two ultra running shoes that are designed specifically for hard-packed trails – the TRAILFLY G 270 and TRAILFLY ULTRA G 300 MAX.

      And while they will now share the TRAILFLY name, the 270 and 300 will continue to offer trail runners two very different long-distance options.

      TRAILFLY G 270 – For speed-focused long runs, with an optimally cushioned foam and snappy, responsive ride.

      TRAILFLY ULTRA G 300 MAX – For endurance-focused long runs, with a deep cushioned foam and propulsive ride.

      Both shoes feature our pioneering G-GRIP rubber outsoles for the world’s toughest traction. The 300 also boasts our latest innovations – G-FLY foam for longer-lasting energy return and a clever ADAPTER-FLEX groove that enhances underfoot agility.

      The rubber and foam are both enhanced with Graphene, the world’s strongest material, and one which following its discovery led scientists at The University of Manchester to win the Nobel Prize in Physics. We worked with the same university to develop both these world-first technologies.

      The TERRAULTRA G 270 was launched in July 2020. Weeks later they were on the feet of ultra runner Damian Hall to set a then record time for the 268-mile Pennine Way trail along the backbone of England. The shoe went on to win four ‘Trail Running Shoe of the Year’ awards in 2020 – two from the UK (Runner’s World & Women’s Running) and two from the US (Believe In The Run and Road Trail Run).

      The TRAILFLY ULTRA G 300 MAX was launched in March last year. It too has won many awards, for 2021, including ‘Trail Running Shoe of the Year’ from Runner’s World UK and ‘Innovation of the Year’ from Trail Running.

      Other differences between the two shoes include a bigger drop (heel to toe differential) and greater stack height in the 300 to give more underfoot comfort. The 270 is lighter at 270g (vs 300g), while both have our widest toe box offering, 4mm deep outsole lugs and a spring-loaded BOOMERANG footbed. The 270’s cushioned foam is our bouncy POWERFLOW MAX.

      Remaining shoes bearing the name TERRAULTRA G 270 will continue to be on sale for a short time while stocks last.

      MAKING OF THE TRAILFLY ULTRA G 300 MAX

      MAKING OF THE TRAILFLY ULTRA G 300 MAX

      DESIGNER'S INSIGHT INTO THE MAKING OF THE TRAILFLY ULTRA G 300 MAX

       

      Launched in March 2021, the TRAILFLY™ ULTRA G 300 is the world’s first running shoe to use a Graphene-enhanced foam, called G-FLY™. It delivers 25% greater energy return that lasts for longer. This helps runners maintain a faster speed over greater distances, aids their feet in feeling fresher for longer, and prolongs the life of their footwear. 

      Not only that, the TRAILFLY ULTRA G 300 MAX is also the first deeply cushioned trail shoe that, thanks to new ADAPTER-FLEX™ technology, adapts and reacts to uneven terrain. The clever 10mm underfoot groove frees up the midsole and works in harmony with the foot, so runners feel connected to the trail.

      The making of this game-changing shoe was a huge team effort that involved leading footwear industry veteran Doug Sheridan and Graphene experts at The University of Manchester. Our Senior Footwear Designer Luke McConnie was part of the team and gives us the full lowdown on how we did it.

       

      sketch

       

      When did you start designing the TRAILFLY ULTRA G 300 MAX and what was the objective?

      It actually began life several years ago through our discussions with athlete ambassadors, retail partners and the running community. We recognised that there was a growing trend towards highly stacked cushioned shoes, especially when used over longer distances and ultramarathons. It would have been all too easy to bring to market another maximal cushioned shoe, so our mindset and objective was all about how we innovate in this area by staying true to our DNA and pioneering a new way forward.

       

      What key learnings did you take into the design process?

      Through our research, we learnt that whilst highly cushioned shoes can be effective on smooth surfaces, that doesn’t often translate when used on uneven off-road terrain. This is because most cushioned shoes provide a smooth comfortable ride at the expense of being agile and retaining that close-to the-ground feel. On that basis, there was a great opportunity to develop a product that not only provided comfort over long distances but could also allow the foot to perform naturally by adapting, reacting and gripping to the terrain like no other.

       

      It’s our first max cushioned shoe. How does the design retain our original DNA of light, fast, natural?

      The product retains a lot of our DNA through our patent-pending ADAPTER-FLEX technology. This allows the midsole to move symbiotically with the foot’s midtarsal joint, by decoupling the heel from the forefoot, thus promoting increased mobility and adaptability over uneven terrain. This is combined with longitudinal grooves in the forefoot, which work in tandem with the foot’s metatarsals. They allow the toes to move more independently, aiding grip and a close-to-the-ground feel. 

       

      sketch of Trailfly

       

      Where or whom did you take inspiration from for the design?

      Inspiration usually comes from many different places. Nature, for example, is often a constant source of wonder. In the case of the TRAILFLY ULTRA G 300 MAX, the hexagonal shapes on the midsole were inspired by Graphene’s molecular honeycomb structure, which can only be seen when viewed under a microscope. 

       

      Talk to us more about the G-FLY Graphene foam, how does it benefit the ultra runner?

      Part of the benefit of Graphene in the midsole is its ability to enhance the partnering polymers within the foam. Not only does this enhance energy return and cushioning but it also increases the longevity of the midsole so it retains its performance characteristics for far longer.

       

      The outsole is different to any other shoe. What’s the thinking behind that design?

      The outsole is defined in part by the design of the midsole. For example, the 4mm deep Graphene-Grip™ cleats are orientated around the longitudinal grooves and the rubber is split between the forefoot and heel to accommodate the ADAPTER-FLEX groove. We meticulously shaped and positioned all the multi-directional cleats (there are 35 on each shoe) to improve both propulsion at the front and braking at the rear. We also drew upon the already very capable TERRAULTRA G 270 cleat which also has the properties of the Graphene-enhanced rubber and evolved that design to the next level.

       

      sketch of Trailfly

       

       

      The upper – how do you balance making the shoe look appealing while at the same time ensuring the ultimate in performance and durability?

      Functionality defines much of the characteristics of the product. Once the performance features are set in place, we have the framework to start defining the shoes aesthetics and fleshing out the overall look of the product. This can be an exciting part of the process because it’s an opportunity for the designer to bring to life their vision of the product.

       

      What are the key differences in this design vs the TERRAULTRA G 270, ensuring both have an integral part in an ultra-runners shoe arsenal?

      The main differences between the two shoes are determined by the midsole stack height and heel to toe differential. The much-loved TERRAULTRA G 270 features a zero drop with a midsole-only stack height of 12mm at both heel and forefoot. The TRAILFLY ULTRA G 300 MAX has a 6mm drop and offers more cushioning with midsole-only stack heights of 25mm in the heel and 19mm in the forefoot. When coupled with the outsole, this makes the full stack heights for the new shoe to be 30mm in the heel and 24 mm in the forefoot.

       

      sketch of Trailfly

       

      How much did the design change over the period you were working on it?

      The design changed several times throughout the process, which can often be the case. We encountered many twists and turns along the way. With every iteration there was something new to learn and something new to improve, and through this process we kept pushing the boundaries. The end result is an ultra running shoe truly unique to the market place and something we are all immensely proud of. 

      A week in the Hex River Mountains

      Hex River Mountains by @mountainbarista

       

      By Cornelius van Niekerk (@mountainbarista)

      Huge, rugged and remote. That is how I would describe the Hex. Spreading out between Worcester and De Doorns these mountains form the second highest range in the Western Cape and offer a high level of exploration to those that venture into their depths.

      After looking over countless contour lines on our maps myself and Henko headed for the mountains with the goal of exploring as many wild peaks as possible.

      In such a harsh environment you must ensure you are protected from the sun, cold and wind. Inov8 Base Elite Long Sleeve ticks all the boxes. It is super light, offers protection from the cold wind, while being highly breathable. Since we would be hiking with heavy packs, and working hard this turned out to be an incredible piece of gear.

      Day one; we walked up to Milner Vlakte and set up camp. After a relaxing cup of coffee we decided to head up to Milner Peak. A spectacular summit moment with mist and clouds playing around us as we gazed down the huge drop of the amphitheatre.

      After good night’s rest we started out our traverse. First summiting Milner Ridge Peak then the Shale Peaks and soon after Buffelshoekpiek standing at 2059m.

      We had been moving over loose rocky terrain with the sun blazing down on us but at the same time a chilly wind blew over the ridge, (there was still snow lying in shaded areas). Having a breathable long sleeve made all the difference. I could move comfortably without being burnt by the sun and at the same time I did not have the icy wind directly on my skin. This is exactly what the Base Elite is made for.

      Day three involved summiting the impressive Sentinel Peak and Mount Brodie. Sitting on the Sentinel with a cup of coffee in hand will always remain one of my fondest memories of this trip. At sunrise the next day we headed out for the traverse from Perry Refuge to Pells Hut. Along the way taking a detour to summit Sybasberg and a little bit of reception. Only to receive weather warnings of high winds in two days’ time. Thus we decided on one big day to round off the trip.

      We made it to Waaihoek summit for sunrise and low clouds. What a sight. Peaks bathed in golden light, valleys hidden by the white mist. Amazing. But the day ahead was still long. Dropping down we headed for the impressive Mosterthoek Twins. Interesting route finding and some bushy scrambling soon followed. Lunch was enjoyed on the South Summit and then we scrambled to the North Summit. What followed after that was the longest descent I have done.. 1600m of it in fact and over loose rocks. It is a bit like walking on big marbles which are hidden under dry grass on a steep slope… Finally we made it to Michells Pass.

      Going for so long in one go meant that any gear or apparel that is not well designed quickly show their flaws. I can say with full confidence that the Base Elite performed outstanding. I always felt super comfortable and never once experienced any irritation while wearing it. Which I did for the full 5 days.

      A couple of other plus points was that it is odour resistant and dries very quickly after washing it out. Furthermore I really liked that my one is red and makes you highly visible in the case of emergency. Plus it looks very cool in photos. It is now a indispensable part of my gear whether I go for a scramble on Table Mountain or for a multi-day venture into remote mountains.

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

      inov-8 tech talk - what do all the technologies mean?

      inov-8 grip

      We put together a short description of the main tech in order to make navigating our products easier to understand. Enjoy the tech geek session!

      In alphabetical order:

      ADAPTERFIT: Built around the natural anatomic structure of the foot, the next generation met-cradle adapts to the natural movement and swelling of the foot on longer runs.

      Arrow System: inov-8 launched the Arrow System to make navigating the range easy. As a rule 1 Arrow shoes have a 4mm heel to toe drop. 2 Arrow shoes have a 8mm drop. Can you name some exceptions? ;)

      Cleat Depth: inov-8 was born in the fells of the Lake District in England. Running in the Soft and Muddy conditions that the fells are famous for require cleats to grip to the muddy terrain. We pride ourselves on grip so we realise that each application requires a different cleat depth for optimal performance.

      DFB (Dynamic Facia Band): Delivers a kick of energy with every step.

       

       

      Gaiter Attachment Point: Many models in the range feature an easy way of connecting our All Terrain Gaiter to the shoes.

       

       

      G-Grip: (Graphene Grip) in 2018 we launched the first ever shoes using Graphene delivering the world's toughest grip. G-Series shoes are 50% stronger, 50% more elastic and 50% harder wearing than standard outer soles. 2021 sees the launch of G-Fly (Graphene infused midsole foam) for longer lasting and more comfortable cushioning.

       

      META-FLEX: A groove in the forefoot provides the forefoot flexibility needed to spring forward with speed and power. 

      META-PLATE: TPU rock plate gives underfoot protection and delivers a kick of energy with each step. Depending on what terrain the shoes are designed for it determines what type of META-PLATE is used.

       Outsole Rubber: Grip is not something runners think about until a foot slips and we bite the dirt. We at inov-8 pride ourselves in making the most grippy shoes for the application. see G-Grip.

      Sustainability: We live by our philosophy of an athletes’ interaction with the environment is the single most important factor when designing products. Longer lasting materials and products mean less environmental impact. By using recycled materials we reduce our impact. By supporting sustainable lifestyles we can all do our part. To read more follow this link

      Weight: We use the average weight of a size range of that model in the name. Obviously weight will vary with different sized shoes.

      Width Scale: Every foot is shaped differently. Also different applications require different width shoes. inov-8 uses a Width Scale of 1 (narrow) to 5 (wide) to differentiate.

       

      How to choose the perfect inov-8 shoe

      How to choose the perfect inov-8 shoe

      We always recommend that you visit a reputable running specialist. They will be able to assess your foot shape, gait and many other factors and to let you try on a few different options. (Please email hello@inov8sa.co.za if you need help locating a specialist near you.)

      Secondly we suggest that you go with the most comfortable shoe for you considering the terrain that you want to explore. If all your friends wear model X but it does not suit your foot (or your intended purpose) then you should consider something else.

      Once you have considered the above then the below info will  help you navigate the inov-8 range.

      Trail Shoes:

      inov-8 models are specifically engineered for different applications and terrain. 

      ROCLITE classic, multi-terrain weapon. Great on rocky and technical trails, good META-PLATE underfoot protection. A firm favourite for trail runners and walkers for on and off trail use. Also available in the Gore-Tex waterproof hiking boot options. Graphene sole unit. 3/5 (medium) width, Drop: 1 arrow (4mm) or 2 arrow (8mm) Highly recommended for: Multi-Terrain 

      TRAILROC™ is designed for hard and rocky ground and long distances. The highest level of META-PLATE underfoot protection and graphene grip combines to make a shoe ideal for our tough conditions. 3/5 (medium) width, Drop: 2 arrow (8mm)  Highly recommended for: Hard and Rocky 

      TRAILTALON™ delivers perfect fit and comfort. Next generation ADAPTERFIT™ technology sees the fit of the shoe adapt as the foot swells on longer distance runs. Dynamic Fascia Band assists in the natural motion of your foot. 4/5 (wide) width, Drop: 2 arrow (8mm) or 1 arrow (4mm) Highly recommended for: Path and Trails

      TERRAULTRA™ High levels of shock absorption without compromising ground feel. Perfect balance between superior comfort and flexible responsiveness. Zero drop, wide toe box, Graphene grip sole unit make this the ultra distance shoe of choice. 5/5 (wide) width, Zero drop, Graphene sole unit, Dynamic Fascia Band. Highly recommended for: Path and Trails

      X-TALON™ is the birthplace of the brand. Super technical lightweight shoes for those that require the highest level of performance. Equally at home on technical terrain and boggy fells. 2/5 (precision) width, Graphene Grip, one piece upper, 2 arrow (8mm) drop, META-PLATE Highly recommended for: Soft and Muddy

      Fitness:

      F-LITE™ the first specifically designed fitness shoe introduced in 2009 in the F-lite 195. It is reintroduced with a Graphene sole in the F-LITE G 230. We range the 245 and 235 models. Lightweight, versatile, grippy and breathable. Perfect for gym use. 3 - 5/5 (medium to wide) width, 1 arrow (3/4mm drop)

      BARE-XF  super lightweight, close to the ground design. Perfect for a wide range of functional movements, bare-foot walking/running, yoga and more. 4/5 (wide) width, Zero drop, ROPE-TEC