Inov-8 Retail Retreat
Nick and I travelled up to Staveley in the Lake District recently to visit Inov-8 HQ. We were invited to their 'retail retreat' and so joined retailers from across the country to learn a bit more about the company and their products.
Between sessions of training and discussion about Inov-8 shoes and apparel were taken out on the fells. We took part in 2 runs over the 2 day visit to test out 2 very different shoes. First was a steep and muddy run from Ambleside to our accommodation in Grasmere and this perfectly suited the X-Talon 230s which we were given to test out. You could really trust the grip and your foot would stay exactly where you put it even on some muddy, steep and technical descents. The quality of the grip you get from Inov-8 shoes is something they are well known for and they're clearly keen to stay at the forefront of Grip with their new Sticky Grip rubber outsoles which feature on these shoes.
We were issued with a pair of Roclite 290s for the second run which was on a flatter multi-terrain route. The Roclites were comfortable on the flat and hard surfaces but also provided enough grip when the terrain got a bit more slippery and rough. The more generous width, meta-shank rock plate and rubber toe caps mean you're comfortable and protected running on a variety of surfaces even when running longer distances.
We had a great time and learnt a lot about Inov-8 and their products. The top 5 things that will stick with us were:
1. They are a small company which is proud of its roots in the Lake District.
2. Graphene soles are going to appear across the range in the not too distant future.
3. Inov-8 want to do things their own way but are keen to learn, discuss and get feedback from runners.
4. They have some great running packs coming which are designed by their new designer who previously designed motorbike racing gear and went to UTMB to study exactly how people used their race vests.
5. Exteroception is not a made up word but means 'sensitivity to stimuli originating outside the body' and is a concept Inov-8 are very keen to incorporate into their products.
Many thanks to everyone at Inov-8 HQ for hosting us.
Check out our Inov-8 range here.
- Adam Holder