Shoe preview: inov8 Road-X 255
This is not a test. Well not as such anyway, more of a taster. We received the new inov8 Road-x 255 yesterday, and thought we’d get out there quick for a test run. So like the true testers we are, we strapped ‘em on and did a swift 9km this morning…
We were also sent the Road-X 233‘s too, but as the blurb states you need to graduate through this minimalistic new range.
Why are we talking about road shoes on here anyway? We it’s probably because inov8 have their heritage in the fell and mountain scene, and push boundaries, so it’s a relevant product to some of our readers.
The range of Road-X shoes were heralded across the Pond by our good buddies iRunFar.com some 4 months back, but a fair few months of hush have been ended with what appears to be the arrival of sample product – as we couldn’t find any retailers yet with stock.
A catalogue accompanies these snazzy minimalist shoes and the opening straplines grab the readers attention making the transition to Natural Running and take your shoes off and run. Of course that is the analogy that inov8 portray and have been for sometime, and have actually thought this whole communication through. Because as you turn the pages you actually discover that they are taking the natural running stages one by one, and not encouraging the runner to go from a 30mm rise cushioned behemoth trainer to virtually nothing in one movement.
They have a very handy chevron or arrow system, which starts at three (9mm) and goes down to zero (0mm) on the Bare-X lite 150, and the idea (in laymens terms) is that you graduate in stages, from heel striking to forefoot striking – because you no longer have the highly raised heel of the shoe to impede your foot-strike. Thus reducing impact and injury propensity. Least I think that is the philosophy!
The sole of the Road-X is also interesting. As when I set out this morning in the drizzle, it was with some trepidation. You see the rubber sole is virtually slick on the 255’s, so with a fair few steep bits of ‘glass-like’ tarmac on my run I took it a little gingerly. I needn’t have worried though, as the Endurance rubber compound was safe as houses, and left me fully confident as I went hard in the last 3-4 km.
Anyway I have done but one 9k run in these shoes, and the initial feeling was of a comfortable, light shoe, with a precise feel. Other than that I cant tell you much more right now, as you know we like to test shoes a little longer before giving a review. However, my initial reaction is one of a very promising range of shoes. Prices and further details to follow.