Intended for long-distance runs and ultra races, the Inov-8 Terraultra G270 is a zero-drop, low-stack trail shoe.
- Updated upper for better flex
- New lacing system
- Revamped outsole design and composition
- Redesigned midsole
- Updated insole
- Added weight of 10 grams
The upper looks totally reconstructed, but it has a similar feel and look, so it’s barely noticeable. The Adaptorfit upper also allows the foot to flex and adjusts well when your foot swells over long runs.
The major overhaul on the upper is the welded overlay. It is softer and more flexible. It actually feels more rubberish than mesh, which is comparable to the G260.
Since I have the G260 in my trail shoe lineup, I can say that this is really a great upgrade. It really felt fairly inflexible and was one of my gripes on the past version.
The toe also has a welded overlay that keeps moisture out. Inov-8 claims that the new overlay is also much more durable and protective.
Another thing that I loved about the new upper is its breathability. Plus, the hidden gaiter attachment point was a really nice touch.
On the downside, the upper felt a bit tight over the flex point during the first run. It felt like the seam where the tongue is sewn on was too pronounced. But, this went away after logging in a few miles.
It is fully gusseted. It has lost some weight; all the padding from the previous iteration has been stripped.
Since I am not a big fan of tongue padding, I really like this update.
A much better lacing system. The round laces on the 260 just didn’t work. They always came loose. They didn’t help in locking down the foot in place either.
It may be a simple update but it is a much-needed one.
The heel cup is deep, which is also something that I loved about the G260s, and this has not changed. It is firm but not stiff. I experienced no heel slip, which is another reason why I wore the G260 so much before.
However, this is no heel pull loop like its predecessor.
The Powerflow Max Midsole is a welcomed update. In this iteration, there’s more cushion, and 3mm more stack.
Contrary to the G260, the G270 is a much more fitting option for ultra-distance running. In the G260, my feet were knackered after 12-15 miles on sharp, rocky terrain.
This shoe is not a max-cushioned model, so some may disagree. But, Damien Hall set an FKT in this at 268 miles, so there’s little proof they can go far.
It is more responsive and it feels springy, especially for a low-stack, zero-drop shoe. The brand also claims that it has 20% more energy return. Although I didn’t necessarily feel this, I can say that it does feel snappier than the 260s.
Another claim from Inov-8 is that it’s more durable, and should retain its shape and performance twice as long. A bold claim!
Another good thing about the midsole is that it’s flexible. It may have gotten stiff underfoot, but I’d still categorize it as flexible.
There’s also a new insole. Not a lot of brands pay much attention to the insoles, so I’d commend Inov-8 for paying attention to this detail. The Boomerang insole consists of tiny beads of foam that generates 40% more energy return than past insoles.
Despite its updated midsole, the shoe didn’t necessarily do away with the ground feel, which I still like to have a bit of on shorter efforts.
I still don’t know what Graphene is or what Inov-8 means by “world’s toughest grip.” Tough doesn’t necessarily describe grip. Grip is either sticky, grippy, or the outsole rubber can be tough and durable, but a tough grip just doesn’t make sense.
But, I’ll let them call it whatever they want because it works! A huge gripe of mine with the G260 is that it wasn’t grippy. Not really sure what they did this time, but on this one, problem solved—grip is outstanding.
The shoe also has more distinct flex grooves, and they removed some of the outsole from the midfoot.
On the one hand, the lug patterns are still the same. They’re 4-mm deep and now have micro bumps. This is probably where the grip is coming from.
I have a wide foot and there’s plenty of volume in the Terraultra G270 after breaking in. Just a quick note: Inov-8 does not do widths. Instead, they have a fit scale of 1-5; 5 being the widest cut, and the shoe I got has a fit scale of 5.
In my experience with Inov-8 shoes, they tend to run narrow. So, this is a plus for me. However, if you have a truly wide foot, this may not be wide enough.
As far as fit goes, this shoe has a fantastic lockdown! No slips nor movement inside the shoe even when coming down some steep terrain. Not to mention, the toe box also has plenty of room.
It doesn’t have a super padded upper, not a ton of stack underfoot, no drop, and lots of flex. It may sound like I’m describing a minimalist shoe, but this one is really comfortable, responsive, and supportive. I absolutely love this shoe!
With my past Inov-8 shoes, sturdiness has been more miss than hit, for me. However, this one seems to be holding up well. There’s no delamination on the upper like I had after just one or two runs on the G260.
Overall, it’s a better version of the last model, which I liked. This is a great mountain running shoe that I’ll be taking up to altitude over and over!
Thank you for Inov-8 for improving the G260 and it’s few flaws.
In the Terraultra G 270, Inov-8 has managed to produce a shoe targeted at ultra-runners that brings comfort and confidence to a run of almost any length and duration.
They upgraded the midsole that offers a perfect balance of cushioning and responsiveness, while the graphene-enriched outsole has been designed for enhanced grip. All of this is achieved without losing the feel of the ground beneath the foot.
Throughout the run, the foot is held comfortably and securely within a breathable yet durable upper. Whether running long or short, fast or slow, I have really enjoyed running in the Terraultra G 270, which has become my new favourite fell running shoe.
- Exceptional comfort
- Cushioning and responsiveness
- Breathable upper
- Fantastic grip
- Short tongue
The Terraultra G 270 replaces the G260 launched by Inov-8 in 2019. This was their first shoe designed specifically for Ultra-distance running and was an excellent “first go.”
You can read my review of the Terraultra G 260 here.
The Terraultra G 270 takes all of the Inov-8s previous learning and makes it a better shoe in pretty well every way. At first glance, the Terraultra G 270 is an evolution of the G 260.
A closer inspection and many running miles lead me to believe that it is an entirely different shoe that shares a name with the previous version of the TerraUltra.
The aspects I disliked about the G 260 have been addressed whilst the good stuff just got better as Inov-8 has produced a near-perfect off-road shoe.
The Terraultra G 270 looks great, and I particularly liked the “stealth mode” all-black color scheme that I’d chosen, which included just a couple of the bright green highlights that signify Inov-8’s graphene range.
As with all Inov-8 shoes, it looks and feels rugged and well-built. In contrast to other shoes from this company, however, the midsole foam looks very similar to the type of EVA foam you’d expect to see in a road shoe.
This hints at a big selling point for this shoe; a cushioning level is not generally found in a shoe with an Inov-8 badge.
The shoe is listed at 270g, consistent with the name. My UK 13/US14 comes in at 360g. This is interesting compared to my TerraUltra 260 billed as a lighter shoe but came in at 382g in my size.
Needless to say, I was pretty happy to find that a shoe I’d expected to be at least 10g heavier than its predecessor weighed in over 20g lighter! Most importantly, the shoe felt light and well-balanced.
I loved the look and feel of this shoe and couldn’t wait to put it on and head off-road. My first session in the shoe would be on a summer evening in the mountains of Snowdonia, where I’d put it through its paces as the sun began to set on the Eilio ridge.
First though, a few more details about the construction of this shoe.
My UK size 13 fit just right, holding the foot well at the midfoot and heel, with just enough room for the toes to move around a little at the front.
There’s not quite as much volume in the shoe as the Terraultra 260, but for me, the feel was improved as it allowed for less foot movement in tight turns and on fast, technical sections.
This is not to say that the Terraultra G 270 should be confused with one of Inov-8’s snug fell running shoes, such as the Roclite or Trailroc shoe. It comes in as a “5” in Inov8’s width guide (the widest shoe), compared to a “3” in these other two shoes.
As with its predecessor, while the forefoot enjoys extra room, the foot is safely locked in at the midfoot and the heel, preventing the foot from moving forward and the toes from hitting the front of the shoe on even the steepest descent.
The laces provided with the Terraultra G 270 are a vast improvement on the round, spongy laces, which I never found quite held the knot well in the G 260. This time, Inov-8 has gone for flat laces that tie well and last!
The only issue I found with lacing the shoe is that the tongue is rather short. I had a similar issue with the Parkclaw 240.
This makes it very difficult to use a lace-lock style of lacing as the higher lace across the top of the foot will often sit right at the top of the tongue and could slip between the tongue and the sock, leading to some discomfort.
One thought is that it is possible that the same tongue is used for a range of sizes and that it is sufficiently long for smaller sizes, but just it may fall short for those of us with larger feet?
The Terraultra G 270 utilises a light, breathable mesh throughout the upper. This is enhanced with cushioning around the ankle and heel at the shoe’s rear, while various overlays provide structure and function in specific areas of the shoe.
The green insole can be seen through the upper mesh, which indicates how breathable this shoe is.
Of equal importance, the mesh ensures quick drainage. Just a few strides after being submerged in a stream, or even just a deep puddle, the shoe is completely empty of water.
The front of the shoe has a vastly improved toe-cap formed from a rubberized overlay used to create the lace. This flows into the Met-cradle used by Inov-8 to secure the mid-foot in place.
Five overlaid “bands” join the base of the upper to the lace section. This design has been tried and tested by Inov-8 over the years and never fails to hold the foot in place once the laces are tied.
A final section of overlay forms a band that runs around the heel cup to prevent any slippage. This band also incorporates a gaiter attachment. The heel cup is fairly flexible to maximise comfort over long distances.
As mentioned above, there is cushioning around the ankle and heel to ensure a comfortable fit. The cushioning has been removed from the tongue held to the shoe with an elasticated fabric that prevents debris from entering the shoe.
The lightweight tongue fits the foot snugly and enhances the locked-in feel once the shoe is laced up.
In comparison, I found that the upper of the Terraultra G 270 provides a much more comfortable fit from the first stride and throughout any run than its predecessor.
Whilst it is certainly great to find a more comfortable upper, in my mind, it is the midsole of this shoe that sets it apart.
My greatest concern with the Terraultra G 260 was the lack of cushioning in a shoe designed for running long. In my review, I described the shoe as having “shock absorption” rather than cushioning.
I went on to comment that “whilst this lack of cushioning may not be an issue with the elite and front-of-the-field runners, there will be many mid-field and back-of-the-pack runners who find that they would prefer a more cushioned shoe as the miles and the hours build up during an ultra-race.”
I was delighted to find that in this particular area, the Terraultra G 270 had delivered everything I had hoped to have found in the G 260.
Inov-8 claims that “New Powerflow Max foam and new BOOMERANG insole significantly increase energy return by 20% and 40% respectively versus the previous model, giving a bouncy feel with every stride.
The Powerflow Max foam is a huge improvement over the Exteroflow foam used in the G 260. In addition to this, the depth of the midsole has also increased from 8mm to 12mm.
This increases 1/3 in the volume of foam underfoot, whilst the shoe retains a Zero drop from heel to toe.
These improvements can be felt from the moment that you take your first stride in the Terraultra G 270 and are exceptionally welcome a few hours into your run.
As the “G” is the name suggests, the outsole of the Terraultra G 270 is formed from graphene-enhanced rubber cleats.
The cleats retain their 4mm depth but are far more aggressive in profile and positioning, reminding me of a slightly more pronounced Roclite outsole than the G 260.
Wider channels beneath the forefoot allow for excellent flexibility and dispersal of water. Multi-directional, dimpled lugs located across the entire shoe deliver excellent grip.
Small cleats can even be found right at the front of the shoe. Often overlooked by other manufacturers, this prevents the rear foot from slipping away at final toe-off when ascending wet or muddy terrain.
The midsole is partially exposed below the midfoot to enhance cushioning. However, it is interesting to see that even this exposed Powerflow Max foam is sculpted into complementary cleats to maximise grip wherever possible.
The rear of the outsole is every bit as aggressive as the rest of the shoe.
The graphene-enhanced rubber claims to be “50% stronger, 50% more elastic, and 50% more hardwearing” than similar rubber compounds.
Whilst some of the photos in this review were taken when new; the remainder was taken after just over 100 miles of wear on mixed terrain. What is evident from the outsole is that the dimples can still be seen on the lugs forming the outsole.
After 100 miles, the upper looks just as it feels - comfortable and moulded to my foot, with no sign of wear to any part of the shoe.
It is always difficult to accurately predict durability with any shoe, let alone a fell-running shoe. At this point, I will say that this feels as if it will be the most durable off-road shoe that I have ever run in.
As mentioned above, I have run just over 100 miles in this shoe. Most of this has been in the mountains of Snowdonia during particularly wet autumn. It has also been worn for 20+ mile mixed terrain runs on the coast of Anglesey to prepare for an ultra-marathon.
All in all, I’m pretty sure that I’ve put this shoe through its paces and can give a reasoned verdict on its performance.
As the name suggests, the Terraultra G 270 is designed for long-distance. In developing this shoe, however, my opinion is that Inov-8 has produced an incredible off-road shoe for almost any occasion.
First things first: this shoe will certainly do a great job for those long events for which it is designed. The cushioning provided by the Powerflow Max midsole absorbs and returns energy to reduce fatigue and keep you moving even as you begin to tire.
Every footfall is cushioned and is followed by an easy, comfortable transition before you are propelled into the next stride. I found this to be especially noticeable during long runs on grassland where often it can feel as if the energy is absorbed into the ground beneath your feet during every footstrike.
After wearing this shoe for most off-road runs, I took the G 260 out for a run last week and was astounded at just how dull and flat it felt compared to this new Terraultra G 270.
My first run with the Terraultra G 270 was on a loop around the Eilio ridge of Snowdonia with a couple of friends. I tied up the laces and didn’t need to touch them again until it was time to take them off to drive home afterward.
We set off from Llanberis on the largely wet, grassy ascent of Moel Eilio. I was really impressed by the grip and didn’t once feel the foot slip from beneath me.
As we headed along the ridge on the way to the Maesgym path, I managed to throw myself down the descents with a degree of confidence that I don’t often have and was rewarded by Strava with ½ dozen PRs from this one run – almost all from descent segments!
In subsequent weeks, I tested the shoe on a range of terrains and in at least 3 runs of over 3 hours in length.
One dark early-morning a couple of weeks ago, I set off with a friend in howling wind and driving rain to begin a double-ascent of Snowdon. Ascending the Miner’s track by the light of head torches, I was confident in every step as the Terraultra G 270 did not slip once.
The outsole stuck to every surface, from wet rock to light scree. As we began to descend from the summit, the darkness began to fade and was replaced by a thick mist, which made the first section’s technical descent a little tricky.
Again, the shoe’s grip and secure hold helped ensure that I didn’t put a foot wrong. There was no foot movement in the shoe, yet the shoe itself flexed with the terrain beneath the foot to maximise grip.
The cushioned midsole kept me light on my feet (a tough ask for a runner topping out at over 90kg once water and supplies are carried!) and prevented fatigue.
Crossing over to ascend the Llanberis path by way of Maesgym, we took this one steadily. Reaching the summit again, we were now almost 3 hours into the run, and while there was more than a hint of tiredness, my feet still felt remarkably comfortable in the Terraultra G 270.
This was just as well; the final descent by the Pyg track was a little more technical, including a lot of wet rock. We both seemed to be invigorated by the prospect of getting back to the car, and this turned out to be a fairly fast descent.
By now, I was completely confident in the grip provided by the shoe and simply had to concentrate on placing my foot in the right place with no concern over slippage as I landed and took off again.
Just last week, I was able to put the shoe through its paces on a faster run. Taking the last opportunity for a final blast in the mountains ahead of Wales’ “firebreak lockdown,” three of us ran a few laps of Llyn Idwal.
A technical trail with little elevation, and with each lap just over 2km, the pace was much akin to that which I’d expect in a fell race. This is where I previously felt that the G 260 was out of its depth.
This Terraultra G 270 was again in its element, even at a faster pace. There was no foot movement in the shoe, and I had absolute confidence in the outsole’s grip over the wet, rocky paths.
The cushioning and energy return delivered from the midsole made it easy to keep the pace up, bouncing from one stride into another.
The bottom line is that I loved this shoe. After my first few runs in the Terraultra G 270, I have rarely wanted to take out another shoe for off-road runs.
The only exception to date has been where I knew that the entire run was likely to be extremely muddy, and the Mudclaw was the obvious choice.
Other than that, the Terraultra G 270 will certainly replace my previous all-terrain favourite, the Roclites, as the grip and cushioning are superior.
In the Terraultra G 270, Inov-8 has not simply improved on the previous version of the shoe. In my own opinion, they have developed a near-perfect all-around fell running shoe!
Whether running long or short, fast or slow, I loved the comfort of the upper, the cushioning and responsiveness of the midsole, and the incredible grip of the graphene-infused outsole.
For this reason, I have awarded this shoe the highest score I have given to any off-road shoe.
Inov-8 Terraultra G 270: Your ultimate trail shoe just got even better
Launched as a refined version of the award-winning Terra Ultra G 260, the new Terraultra G 270 ensures a bouncier and more comfortable ride. Equipped with the brand’s up-to-date technologies, this running shoe aims to make a big difference in performance.
Combining a revolutionary outsole technology with a high-energy return midsole, the Inov-8 Terraultra G 270 is a hardwearing trail shoe suited for the following activities:
- ultra-distance racing on uneven and rocky terrains
- running on mountains and technical trails
Inov-8 Terraultra G 270 vs 260
Inov-8 has managed to make significant improvements to its Terraultra G 270. These upgrades aim to deliver more grip and cushioning compared to the Terra Ultra G 260. Here are some changes incorporated in the Terraultra G 270:
- The Graphene-Grip rubber outsole is now more durable and elastic than ever.
- The enhanced 4mm deep cleats deliver better flexibility and stronger traction on both wet and dry ground.
- A more cushioned midsole foam is utilized to deliver plush comfort and better energy return
- With a 33% increase in stack height, the shoe offers added underfoot protection and cushioning.