inov-8 MUDCLAW G260 Review

The name says it all, MUDCLAW, if you are looking for a shoe to handle soft, deep and slippery mud, then look no further. The inov-8 MUDCLAW G260 is for you…

BUT, before we go into what makes the MUDCLAW great, let’s have some perspective. This shoe needs perspective.

I often like to compare choosing a run shoe to cars. Going on a long drive with many hours and miles, you will no doubt want something a little more plush, relaxed and comfortable – a family car. Going off-road with mixed terrain, then maybe a 4×4. If going for spin on a summer’s day, feeling the wind in your air and the need for some speed and feel; maybe a sports car? And if you are going to go as fast as possible, want to stick to the ground and comprise comfort for speed and grip, then a Formula 1 is for you.

The inov-8 MUDCLAW G260 is a Formula 1 of run shoes.

If you are looking for a jack of all trades – the Mudclaw is not for you!

If you are looking for comfort for hours and hours – the Mudclaw is not for you!

If you are looking for insane grip in sloppy mud with an almost barefoot feel for the ground – the Mudclaw is for you!

The Mudclaw is a stripped back Formula 1 shoe for trails, fells and OCR racing. Running in the shoe reminds me of the early inov-8 posters showing a shoe tread on a foot.

inov-8 advert that really echoes the feel of the Mudclaw

The 8mm Graphene lugs are akin to football boots and hark back to what elevated inov-8 to a world-stage many years ago. Grip, grip and more grip. There is currently no other shoe on the market that has soft-ground grip that compares with the Mudclaw G260. One shoe comes close, the iRock3 by VJ Sport, but even the 6mm Butyl of the VJ does not claw and grip like the G260.

The Graphene outsole (renowned sticky rubber infused with Graphene) is now reaching many of the shoes in the inov-8 line-up and the recent success of the Terraultra G270 (here) has really turned heads. The G260 takes that Graphene and adds it to crazy lugs. So, is the grip between the G270 and the G260 comparable? Yes and no. The G270 grips incredibly on dry and wet trail, on rocks (wet or dry) but is compromised in mud as the lugs are only 4mm. With the G260, the grip in mud is incredible but with less overall contact points, the grip on wet rock is not as secure as the G270.

Quite simply, the G260 is for mud and lots of it!

When running off-road, particularly in mud, feel for the ground is important and inov-8 know this, they have therefore reduced the cushioning in the G260 to a mere 4.5mm at the front and 8.5mm at the rear. It’s almost like running barefoot. The principal is, the mud and soft-ground provides the cushioning and any additional cushioning would only compromise feel and responsiveness.

The 4mm drop, 6mm footbed and minimal Meta-Plate is ideal and in-keeping for the Mudclaw’s intentions; low to the ground and increased feel for the ground.

The upper has been reworked and like the Terraultra G270, it has a super-strong materials give high levels of durability and breathability which is proving to be a real plus with considerably less wear and tear over previous inov-8 uppers. The upper is also extremely breathable and this has an added bonus for water drainage.

As the name suggests, the weight is 260g in a UK8, so, they are super-lightweight.

Like many inov-8 shoes, the rear of the shoe has gaiter attachment points on either side to help keep out or reduce debris entering the shoes.

The fit is ‘1’ on the inov-8 scale and that quite simply means precision – no surprise for a Formula 1 shoe.

IN USE

I keep referring to a Formula 1 car and this is really important when explaining how the shoe feels. To drive a F1, you would have it toed out of the pit lane and then you would drive on the circuit. The Mudclaw is no different, you really want to put this shoe on at the trail head and run immediately off-road and in mud.

It’s hard for me to go directly to trail unless I drive there, so, even for a ‘normal’ run I will have a minimum of 1-mile of road or path. You can really feel that the shoe has little to no cushioning. It’s bearable for short distances but you really do need to keep to a minimum.

When in mud, the shoe is wonderfully at home. It grips when other shoes would not, you have a feel for the ground without compromise and the foot-hold is excellent from the lacing configuration. 

The upper is robust for the conditions and gladly drains water quickly. The overlays add structure and help hold the foot in place.

The Mudclaw is a narrow shoe and particularly narrower at the heal. Back to the Formula 1 scenario; this is a race shoe and as such some comfort is compromised. Think of a Ballerina, they would not walk around in ballet shoes, but when they perform they need a very specific shoe. The Mudclaw is the same.

Sizing leaves me with a question mark. I have been testing inov-8 for years and I am always a UK9.5. The Mudclaw feels a little too long for me in ‘my’ size but having said that, I have used them… Despite the narrow fit, I used a very thin Merino liner sock with a thicker Merino sock over the top to make some compensation. It has worked for me but I would recommend trying normal size and maybe a half-size smaller to be sure.

Back to the upper. The flex point (Meta-Flex with inov-8) in the propulsive phase is always a problem area in many shoes and in the Mudclaw the upper flexes differently, no doubt due to the material used.

At times it can feel as though there is a little too much fabric and this may cause a weakness at the bend point? With over 100km in the shoes, there is no wear showing. I will do a long-term update after 400km.

Heel box is minimal and it holds as one would expect but there is little cushioning comfort. Toe bumper is great and offers excellent protection.

The outsole is the hero of the shoe and the 8mm lugs are quite simply the best I have tried or used in mud. Give or take, there are 40 +/- lugs designed to claw into the ground and provide purchase on what normally would not be possible. This applies for soft-grass too. Despite the same Graphene as the G260, I found the hold on wet rock not quite as assured as the Terraultra G260. I put this down to less contact points. But then again, I need to clarify, this shoe is for mud!

IN SUMMARY

The Mudclaw is a shoe to be considered in addition to other shoes that you already own. It’s not a shoe that you can use for day-to-day running, it’s not even a shoe that you can use for trail runs. This shoe is for mud and mud alone. Yes, it can take a little hard-trail, yes it can take some rocks, wet or dry, and yes, you can run a little road to get to muddy trail but all times, you need to keep this to a minimum. It’s narrow, has a precision fit, offers a great feel for the ground and return gives you speed and grip.

If you want a shoe that does the above but has more comfort and has more flexibility then you need to look at X-Talon 260 which has a wider fit (4,) considerably more cushioning (6/16mm,) 8mm drop and still 8mm lugs.

It’s a shoe for mud…

Specs:

  • Fit 1
  • Drop 4mm
  • Footbed 6mm
  • Lug 8mm
  • 4.5mm front / 8.5mm rear
  • Graphene Grip
  • Meta-Plate Shank
  • RRP £140

To clarify, the shoes were provided to test, as are all the shoes that I review. But this is not a paid review.

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Tom Owens is back…

Salomon International athlete, Tom Owens is back… this weekend Tom raced in Tenerife at the K42 Canaries Anaga Marathon and took out the win!

Tom Owens Trofeo Kima 2012 ©iancorless.com

Tom Owens Trofeo Kima 2012 ©iancorless.com

Tom had an incredible season in 2012 racing and placing at a very high level in the Skyrunning World Series. He was one of the few runners to give Kilian Jornet a race. You can read my interview with him HERE.

Tom and his followers had looked forward to 2013. We all expected an improvement and a move up a notch to another level. However, disaster struck and Tom has been out of racing for much of ’13’ and several months ago had an operation.

In his recovery Tom took to cycling but stuck to his ‘off-road’ roots and participated in cyclocross racing to maintain his fitness.

Tom Owens Trofeo Kima 2012 ©iancorless.com

Tom Owens Trofeo Kima 2012 ©iancorless.com

Tom’s participation in the K42 Anaga Marathon on the lagoon side of the island may very well be a relatively low-key return to racing, however, a victory is a victory and it’s a great sign that Tom will be back in 2014. To gain victory, he did have to beat some strong competition from Raul Camara (NB), Pablo Villa (Scott), Yeray Duran and Raul Burgos.

By 33km, Tom had a commanding lead and victory was almost guaranteed from second placed runner and 2012 victor, Raul Camara.

  1. Tom Owens in 4:11:26
  2. Raul Camara 4:15:58
  3. David Joseph Lutzardo 4:23:34

In the ladies race, Buff athlete Emma Rocca was victorious in 4:55:07

Race website: http://www.k42anagamarathon.com

K42 series : http://www.k42series.com

Episode 47 – Bowman, Abdelnoor, Hill, Forsberg

Ep47 iancorless.com

Episode 47 of Talk Ultra and we speak with Dylan Bowman, after placing 5th at Western States, Dylan was looking forward to tackling UTMB, however, things didn’t go quite to plan. Lakeland 50 winner, Ben Abdelnoor talks about training and fell running and we catch up with Tessa Hill who has just had a very succesful season on the Skyrunning circuit. Emelie Forsberg talks Diagonale des Fous in Smiles and Miles, Marc Laithwaite talks winter in Talk Training. We have the News, a Blog, Up and Coming races and Speedgoat talks golf…

Himalayan Trail – Philippe Gatta and Anna – https://iancorless.org/2013/10/29/great-himalayan-trail-philippe-anna-gatta/

00:13:42 NEWS

Diagonale des Fous (Reunion)

Men:

Francois D’Haene 22:58

Freddy Thevenin 25:40:16

Pascal Blanc 25:47:18

 Ladies:

Nathalie Mauclair 28:45:32

Emelie Forsberg 31:29:05

Christine Benard 34:19:40 

Javelina Jundred

Men:

Hal Koerner 14:56:53

Catlow Shipek 15:59:58

Joe Grant 16:50:10

 Ladies:

Rhonda Claridge 18:34

Emz Eliason 20:58:55

Erin Churchill 22:56:21

La Course des Templiers

Men 1 Thomas Lorblanchet 6h43min04
2 Xavier Thévenard 6h47min46
3 Michel Lanne 6h48min34

Ladies 1 Nuria Picas Albets (ESP) 7h57min49
2 Malika Coutant (FRA 8h19min19
3 Aurélia Truel (FRA 8h21min47

Ceasers Camp 100-miles only 10 finishers

Stuart Wilkie 21:42

Mick Barnes 22:31

David Rowe 22:48 

OMM

Elite

  1. Nick Barrable and Gustav Bergman 9:21:12
  2. Steve Birkinshaw and Kim Collinson 9:29:11
  3. Sander Vaher and Timo Sild 9:35:45

Mixed -Jasmin Paris and Konrad Rawlik 11:40:00

Female – Heather Dawe and Andrea Priestley 14:43:27

Full resultshttp://www.theomm.com/events/omm2013/

00:38:50 15 MINS of FAME – Tessa Hill

01:00:00 BLOGS

‘And somehow I reached the finish line of my first 100 miler. I don´t have enough words to describe the feelings. It was bigger than all my races I have done before. This was just something greater.’

http://emelieforsberg.com

01:03:55 Interview – BEN ABDELNOOR

01:24:28 TALK TRAINING – with Marc Laithwaite

01:48:12 INTERVIEW

This week’s interview is with Dylan Bowman. Dylan has not been running ultras for too long, however, he has impressed right from the start. Earlier this year he placed 5th at Western States and was in Europe and ready to run UTMB but unfortunately he picked up an injury while training. 

02:30:54 MELTZER MOMENT 

GOOD

BAD

UGLY

02:37:40 SMILESandMILES with Emelie Forsbergsmilesandmiles@yahoo.com

03:02:36 RACES

Argentina

The North Face® Endurance Challenge Argentina – 50 km | 50 kilometers | November 09, 2013 | website

The North Face® Endurance Challenge Argentina – 80 km | 80 kilometers | November 09, 2013 | website

 

Australia

New South Wales

Carcoar Cup Ultra Marathon | 60 kilometers | November 03, 2013 | website

Great North Walk 100 km | 100 kilometers | November 09, 2013 | website

Great North Walk 100 Miles | 100 miles | November 09, 2013 | website

Queensland

Run to Paradise Ultra Marathon | 74 kilometers | November 03, 2013 | website

 

France

Aveyron

Trail des Hospitaliers | 75 kilometers | November 03, 2013 | website

Marne

SPARNATRAIL classique | 55 kilometers | November 10, 2013 | website

 

Germany

Bavaria

Chiemsee-Ultramarathon November | 108 kilometers | November 09, 2013 | website

Lower Saxony

KILL 50 | 50 miles | November 09, 2013 | website

North Rhine-Westphalia

Bottroper Herbstwaldlauf – 50 km | 50 kilometers | November 10, 2013 | website

 

Hong-Kong

Salomon LT 70 | 70 kilometers | November 09, 2013 | website

 

India

Bangalore Ultra Marathon – 100 km | 100 kilometers | November 09, 2013 | website

Bangalore Ultra Marathon – 50 km | 50 kilometers | November 09, 2013 | website

Bangalore Ultra Marathon – 75 km | 75 kilometers | November 09, 2013 | website

 

Italy

Tuscany

Eroica Running Ultramaratona | 65 kilometers | November 03, 2013 | website

 

Morocco

Trans 333 | 333 kilometers | November 15, 2013 | website

 

Namibia

100 km of Namib Desert | 100 kilometers | November 09, 2013 | website

Desert Ultra | 250 kilometers | November 15, 2013 | website

 

Nepal

Everest Trail Race | 160 kilometers | November 03, 2013 | website

NEPAL Action Asia 3 day ultra 100km | 100 kilometers | November 01, 2013 | website

Nepal Action Asia Ultra 3 day marathon 60k | 60 kilometers | November 01, 2013 | website

 

New Zealand

Steelformers Around the Mountain | 100 miles | November 09, 2013 | website

Taranaki Steelformers 100 mile Around the mountain Solo | 100 miles | November 08, 2013 | website

Taranaki Steelformers 150 km Around the mountain Running and Walking Relay | 150 kilometers | November 09, 2013 | website

The Taniwha – 60 km | 60 kilometers | November 09, 2013 | website

 

United Kingdom

Northamptonshire

XNRG Druid Challenge 2013 | 84 miles | November 08, 2013 | website

 

Uruguay

ULTRA Maratón Altas Cumbres Serranas 100K Ultra | 100 kilometers | November 02, 2013 | website

ULTRA Maratón Altas Cumbres Serranas 60K Ultra | 60 kilometers | November 02, 2013 | website

 

USA

Alabama

Pinhoti 100 | 100 miles | November 02, 2013 | website

California

Almaden Hills 50K Run | 50 kilometers | November 02, 2013 | website

Chino Hills Spring Trail Series 50K | 50 kilometers | November 09, 2013 | website

CTR Lake Chabot Train Run 50 km (Nov) | 50 kilometers | November 09, 2013 | website

Folsom Lake Trail Run – Fall 50K | 50 kilometers | November 02, 2013 | website

San Lorenzo River Trail Run 50 km | 50 kilometers | November 09, 2013 | website

Two Cities Ultra Marathon | 50 kilometers | November 03, 2013 | website

Georgia

Georgia Sky to Summit 50k | 50 kilometers | November 09, 2013 | website

Idaho

NorthWest Nazarene University 100 Mile Run & Relay | 100 miles | November 08, 2013 | website

Illinois

Chicago Lakefront 50K | 50 kilometers | November 02, 2013 | website

Indiana

Owen Putnam State Forest 50K | 50 kilometers | November 02, 2013 | website

Owen Putnam State Forest 50 Miles | 50 miles | November 02, 2013 | website

Maryland

Rosaryville Veteran’s Day 50k | 50 kilometers | November 09, 2013 | website

Massachusetts

Stone Cat 50 Mile | 50 miles | November 02, 2013 | website

Missouri

Ozark Trail 100 Mile Endurance Run | 100 miles | November 02, 2013 | website

Nevada

Bootlegger 50K | 50 kilometers | November 09, 2013 | website

Coyote Springs 100K Trail Run | 100 kilometers | November 02, 2013 | website

Coyote Springs 100M Trail Run | 100 miles | November 02, 2013 | website

Coyote Springs 50K Trail Run | 50 kilometers | November 02, 2013 | website

Coyote Springs 50M Trail Run | 50 miles | November 02, 2013 | website

Ragnar Relay Las Vegas | 195 miles | November 08, 2013 | website

New Jersey

NJ Trail Series One Day – 50K | 50 kilometers | November 09, 2013 | website

New York

Mendon 50K Trail Run | 50 kilometers | November 02, 2013 | website

Oklahoma

Turkey & Taturs 50K Trail Race | 50 kilometers | November 03, 2013 | website

Tennessee

Nashville Ultra Marathon 50 K Race | 50 kilometers | November 02, 2013 | website

Nashville Ultra Marathon 50 Mile Race | 50 miles | November 02, 2013 | website

Nashville Ultra Marathon 60 K Race | 60 kilometers | November 02, 2013 | website

Nashville Ultra Marathon 70 K Race | 70 kilometers | November 02, 2013 | website

Upchuck 50K Trail Running Race | 50 kilometers | November 09, 2013 | website

Virginia

Mountain Masochist Trail Run | 50 miles | November 02, 2013 | website

Washington

First Call Veterans Day 50K | 50 kilometers | November 09, 2013 | website

 

03:05:23 CLOSE

03:09:40

LINKS:

http://traffic.libsyn.com/talkultra/Episode_47_-_Bowman_Abdelnoor_Hill_Forsberg.mp3 

Website – talkultra.com