Inov-8 Mudclaw 300 Trail Running Shoes after 2500 km

I run, but I’m not a runner. I wear running shoes, but I know almost nothing about them. In 2017 having decided to walk the alarmingly long Scottish National Trail, I decided I’d better do ‘this Couch To 5k nonsense’ and ‘get fit’. To my total surprise it has changed my life. Four years on from being unable to run for a bus I’m now stumbling and blundering about 4.5 km three times a week. I never quite got up to the full five!

Living in the countryside, the terrain over which I’d have to ‘run’ was a concern: stony heath with frequent multiple deep puddles, woodland with slippery muddy slopes and what passes in Norfolk for a ‘steep hill’. Having idly considered the matter for at least several minutes and, more to the point, found a half-price sale, I bought some of these funky shoes. They’ve been brilliant!

Thirteen-and-a-half kilometres a week, most weeks of the year, in all weathers, for nearly four years. I reckon that’s about 2500 km. I have to admit though that now the poor things are looking a bit sad…

Inov-8 Mudclaws are remarkable things; essentially they’re a hybrid between the lightweight plimsolls of my youth (think Dunlop Green Flash) and football boots. They weigh virtually nothing and the soles are lavishly studded for grip on slippery mud, as the name implies. As someone who tends to trip over my own feet I immediately felt very secure in them. Even after 2500 km there’s an impressive amount of tread remaining. However for some reason the sole has come away at the front, but only on the right foot; I’ve repaired it a couple of times with Gorilla Glue which works pretty well on running shoes but now it’s too far gone to be safe. The left shoe is fine with no sign of sole detachment at all, which is a little frustrating.

Someone who knows about running could probably diagnose a problem with my gait from the way they’ve settled unevenly…

The laces are virtually immortal, by the way. When I bought some fancy Salomon trail shoes with silly skinny laces one of those failed after just a couple of hundred miles. The insides of the heels are also impressively intact. Usually all my trail shoes wear out inside here…

One annoying design fault was a decorative embossed pattern along the lower sides which achieved absolutely nothing other than introducing weakness…

Wouldn’t it be great if as a conscientious manufacturer always wanting to improve their products Inov-8 had spotted this problem and fixed it in their next generation shoe. Oh, wait…..

They have done! The silly embossing has gone away. And, yes, thanks to another half-price sale my new replacement shoes are (ta-daah…) Inov-8 Mudclaw 300’s. Although sadly in a rather distressing colour, as the nice red ones weren’t in the sale. Ah well, Mudclaws and soon to be mudcoloured. Here’s to another 2500 km, if I last that long!

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