220 Triathlon


£165 Are nitrogen-powered trail shoes the future?

- RS

Inov-8 says the TrailFly is a ‘trail and ultra running shoe with nitrogen-infused foam for a bouncy, cushioned ride’. The use of nitrogen in the midsole is designed to deliver a propulsive, energyeffi­cient ride, but we didn’t find this promise translated to the trail as much as some carbon-plated trail shoes we’ve reviewed (see issue 412). While the midsole didn’t prove as bouncy as expected, it did prove comfortabl­e, with a reasonable amount of cushioning ensuring it’s not a harsh ride, even on stretches of pavement.

The TrailFlys weighed in at 365g per shoe (UK11) on our scales, which would put them as one of the heavier shoes in last month’s group test. In motion they felt neither particular­ly heavy nor light and, despite a chunky base, they were relatively nimble. That wide sole unit, which is ‘enhanced’ with graphene for greater durability, helps deliver a stable ride, and our feet felt firmly planted on the ground with every step.

A wide toe box allows plenty of room for toes to splay out, further enhancing stability, while the support around the ankle and from the knitted upper is good, too. Traction is another area this shoe excels in, with the TrailFly offering grip and reassuranc­e in all but the boggiest of mud baths.

Despite not being the lightest or quickest, we found the reliable traction, stability and comfort made for a brilliant all-round trail shoe, and one that we’ll happily be reaching for week after week. inov-8.com

88 %

VERDICT Not as propulsive as advertised, but a stable, reliable shoe that we love

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