Inov-8 Road-X 255 Review
Inov-8 has long been a staple of the trail running community. Without making a huge splash, they’ve been analyzing and assessing natural biomechanics since before you were born. Okay not quite, but since 2003 – and we’ve all been awaiting their foray into road running shoes (announced WITH a splash in October of 2010) eagerly. I actually was so jazzed to test these shoes that when I received them (from AGR founder Kevin Fonger – the man, the myth, the legend), I actually had my wife drive home and ran in them back to my house – a distance of approximately 9 miles. Which was a huge mistake, because these are real deal minimalist shoes. I’m a big proponent of the minimalist movement, I’ve blasted my story all over the web, and the bottom line is that I should’ve known better. I ran a lot of treadmill over the winter, and my knees just weren’t ready for the pavement quite yet. Still, knee pain and all, you couldn’t get the huge grin off my face as I coasted up to my house.
These shoes are chock full of tech, with lightweight materials, innov8tive outsole (sorry, couldn’t resist) and flat laces. You may not be fast, but you can’t help but feel fast. They literally feel light as a feather, and look cool to boot. Inov-8 has always had a very successful design team in the past, and this pair of shoes is no exception. The lacing style is nice as well, with interior gussets instead of exterior. Sure, they were a pain to lace up the first time, but they locked in my forefoot throughout the entire run – I ran them right out of the box, and didn’t stop to adjust them once. I think possibly the coolest feature about them, though, is the shape of the shoe. Inov8 shaped each shoe to fit the natural curve of your foot. Without having an actual last custom shaped for your foot, this is about as close as the average consumer is going to get.
Inov-8 released several shoes in this lineup; the spectrum runs the gamut from extremely minimalist to minimalist “starter” shoes. The 255 is the entry level minimalist shoe, but make no mistake – if you are running in regular shoes, take these one step at a time (pun completely intended.). Build up a base in them, just as you would for any running event. Be sure to not only check out the shoe, but read Inov-8’s philosophy on barefoot running and biomechanics – it’s done well, and has cool flash animations for all you running geeks out there. Yes, this is Mr. Pot, calling the Mr. Kettle black. For more information, please visit Inov-8.com