It is very exciting to see a new model from inov-8 that is aimed at the multi-sport participant. The inov-8 Tri-X-Treme range will be available in South Africa towards the end of February and they will be a brand new, designed from the ground up, addition to the range.
In South Africa inov-8 is a household name in triathlon and duathlon, having used a team of top triathletes to introduce the brand in 2010. Strangely, inov-8 never had a specific triathlon shoe and the athletes used the F-Lite and later the Road-X ranges to great effect, both locally and internationally.
inov-8 have always prided themselves on creating footwear for the committed athlete and there can be no more committed than a multi-sport athlete. Commonly, even recreational participants, will log multiple sessions a day and upwards of 20-hours a week in the pursuit of their goals. Exactly the kind of athlete who inov-8 want wearing their shoes.
I have been testing the new inov-8 Tri-X-Treme range in training and I am very impressed. I have always used the Road-X 233 for my longer runs and the Road-X-Lite 155 for racing and speedwork up to a half marathon and have been very happy with both their performance and longevity. I have in fact, only ever changed shoes for the new colour, long before the shoe actually needed replacing.
I have been doing all my longer training runs in the new inov-8 Tri-X-Treme 275. Apart from looking really good, this shoe has become my go-to shoe for endurance and recovery runs. The new 8mm heel-to-toe drop, injected EVA midsole feels a lot more cushioned than the Road-X. It provides quite a plush, comfortable ride which will surprise many who expect a minimal shoe to be hard. The shoe also has a completely seamless inner, so perfect for going sockless.
The inov-8 Tri-X-Treme range have sticky rubber pads, strategically placed on the outsole, at the high wear areas, which give the expected grip that you get from all inov-8 shoes and I believe I will get at least 1200km out of these if I was to cover that much distance before the new colour comes out!
All inov-8 Tri-X-Treme models come with full-length drainage channels in the midsole which are fantastic for triathlon and road races where you may be pouring water over your body, which inevitably runs down into your shoes. I have also found this a great advantage in a wet and humid, Durban Spring.
In fact, my first run, out of the box, in the inov-8 Tri-X-Treme 225 was in the rain at a local 15km road race and, even without socks, my feet were unmarked and the shoes were light and held no water.
The inov-8 Tri-X-Treme comes with all the inov-8 technology ‘bells and whistles’, like the Dynamic Fascia Band in the midsole and the Terradapter in the heel, but they also have additional features like a bungee-style lace (they come with standard laces in the box) and a clever lace-lock type system. These, combined with a large shoe opening and loops on the heel and tongue, will make transitions a quick and easy affair.