• Discontinued
  • Terrain


    Shoes best for road, track and light gravel. See the best road shoes.


    Shoes best for trail, off road, mountains and other unstable surfaces. See the best trail shoes.

    Good to know

    As long as you stick to the road or path, and if you want just one running shoe, buy a road running shoe.

  • Arch support
    Arch support

    Neutral / cushion / high arch

    Shoes for runners who do not need any additional arch support (Around 50% of runners). Best for people with normal, high or medium high arches. See the best neutral shoes.

    Stability / overpronation / normal arch

    Shoes for runners who need mild to moderate arch support (Around 45% of runners). Best for runners with a low arch. See the best stability shoes.

    Motion control / severe overpronation / flat feet

    Shoes for runners who needs a lot of arch support. Best for runners with flat feet. See the best motion control shoes.

    Good to know

    - Rule of thumb: If in doubt, buy neutral shoes to avoid injuries.
    - More about arch support in this video.
    - Find your arch type by following steps from this video.

  • Use

    Daily running

    Cushioned shoes for your daily easy running. Great comfort. See best shoes for daily running.


    Lightweight shoes good for races, interval training, tempo runs and fartlek. Here are the best competition running shoes.

    Good to know

    If you want just one pair of shoes, buy a shoe for daily running.

  • Price
  • Weight
    Men: 10.2oz
    Women: 9.3oz
  • Heel to toe drop
    Heel to toe drop
    Men: 8mm
    Women: 8mm

    The height difference from the heel to the forefoot, also known as heel drop, toe spring, heel to toe spring or simply drop.

    There are many opinions about what a good heel drop is. We do not recommend any in particular. Lean more in this video.

  • Heel height
    Heel height
    Men: 28mm
    Women: 28mm
  • Forefoot height
    Forefoot height
    Men: 20mm
    Women: 20mm
  • Width
    Men: normal
    Women: normal
  • Release date
    Release date
  • Special editions
    Special editions
Show more facts


We spent 7.2 hours reading reviews from experts and users. In summary, this is what runners think:

5 reasons to buy

  • A soft mesh and some synthetic materials make a comfortable and breathable upper unit based on the remarks of several runners.
  • Most reviewers appreciated the attachment tabs on the upper for gaiters, which offer more protection against dirt and other debris.
  • Runners generally welcomed the anti-microbial treatment given to the Ultra 290 because it keeps the interior environment healthy.
  • The Meta-Shank Generation III delivers flexibility and impact protection for the forefoot area.
  • Sticky rubber in the outsole area ensures durable protection and traction that’s needed for racing, according to a few testers.

4 reasons not to buy

  • Some runners felt that the Race Ultra 290 was a bit narrow in the forefoot area.
  • Others weren’t impressed by the mid-sole, which to them was mostly stiff in the mid foot and heel areas.
  • It has an expensive price.
  • A few thought that it was a bit too heavy for their feet.

Bottom line

The Race Ultra 290 from Inov-8 is a great addition to the shoe collection of many runners. It offers moderate stability, durable components and responsive performance for everyday training.


Expert Reviews

Experts are runners, who post reviews at youtube, directly at RunRepeat or at their own websites. Each expert is categorized from level 1 to level 5 based on expertise. See stats on expert reviews and how we calculate scores here.

Are you an expert? Apply to contribute here.

88 / 100 based on 14 expert reviews

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Updates to Inov-8 Race Ultra 290

  • The Inov-8 Race Ultra Race 290 features a durable and reliable outsole through the Tri-Endurance compound. It delivers reliable grip on tough terrain and durability on high wear areas.
  • The shoe also comes with Meta-Shank III Trail-Roc shank that is designed to provide added underfoot protection and flexibility for a more comfortable, responsive ride.

Inov-8 Race Ultra 290 size and fit

The Race Ultra 290 is in standard running shoe length. It provides great and comfortable fit, accommodating foot with normal measurements. Invo-8 is offering this shoe in standard D and B widths for men’s and women’s version respectively.


The outsole comes with a 4-mm deep outsole lugs that are designed to deliver reliable grip while running on the trail. It also features the Tri-Endurance compound that gives durability to the high-wear areas. In the middle section of the entire outsole features a black and medium density compound which also comes with uphill and downhill lugs.


A light polymer Meta-Shank along the midsole aligns with the bones of the foot, encouraging natural foot movement while protection runners on tough terrains. The midsole also has a single density injected EVA that delivers reliable cushioning. It comes with the Meta-Shank III Trail-Roc shank. This is known as a five-finger polymer that aligns with each metatarsal. This helps to retain underfoot impact protection and flexibility.


The upper of the Race Ultra 290 features a soft mesh that mixes breathability with keeping the dirt out fairly well on dusty and dry trails. For enhanced protection from sideways incursions with rocks and brush, it also has the reinforced toe bumper that extends into a rand. It wraps entirely around the shoe, which can be very useful in many runs.

It has two attachment points for the Inov-8 gaiter lie flush in the rand on the adjacent and medial aspects of the shoe which is convenient if the runner has the gaiter.

A padded, not-so-thick tongue is gusseted three quarters of the way back which keeps rock and dirt out without creating pressuring or discomfort.