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Inov-8 Flyroc 310 Trail Runner
Weight: 1lb 4 oz (mens size 9)
Most of us at one point shopped for athletic footwear purely based on how they looked in the store. What looked cool. As we learned more about our feet and our activity, we looked for a shoe or a boot that matched properly. Looks are what first attracted me to the Inov-8 ‘Flyroc 310’ a couple of years ago. The shoe screamed adventure with an aggressive sole and its unique webbing and lacing system. Inov-8’s line of shoes looks like nothing else on the market. A sharp contrast from the typical beefy trail shoe, the Inov-8 line promotes natural foot movement with a minimal yet advanced sole design. It’s this design that actually kept me from purchasing the shoe until now. I knew that I needed to build my foot and leg strength before running in such a shoe. I was accustomed to stomping around in something much more substantial.
The Inov-8 product line rests on top of 8 different outsoles, each with its own intended activity and terrain condition. The Flyroc model and its sole sits about in the middle of extremes between hard compact dirt and mud and snow. Its intended crowd is trail runners and adventure racers. Note, Inov-8 designates other models specifically for “mountain running”.
The Flyroc felt great right out of the box. The shoe’s upper is comprised completely of webbing reinforced with lacing support around the foot. The fit is snug and very comfortable. Once on the trail, I noticed something I didn’t in the store, the shoe’s sole has a bubble-like knuckle that sits just behind the ball of the foot, between the big and middle toe (head of the metatarsal I’m told). I found this to add significant comfort while ascending and descending on hard pack and rocky terrain. This feature also promoted the spreading of the toes and gave me a barefoot like experience. After 15 minutes on the trail, it was if I didn’t have shoes on at all…like I had rubber claws glued directly to my feet. The combination of the flexible sole and outer lugs provided great traction on loose dirt/scree, rock and snow. The ankle channel of this shoe is cut very low so I wouldn’t recommend a low-cut (“no-show”) sock. I found that I picked up more than my fair share of pebbles. Surprisingly, I had no issues with wet feet while running in a light mix of snow and slush. The Flyroc is also available in Gore-Tex.
With its semi sticky rubber sole, well-made upper webbing, and good toe protection, the Flyroc makes for a lightweight all-around adventure shoe. The shoe is light, well made, well-engineered, and priced at or below other trail shoes.
–Guest review by Jeff E. Jeff is a Colorado based trial runner, climber, mountaineer and an all around beer drinking good guy!