Shoes & Gear

Inov-8 Terrafly 277

Inov-8 Terrafly 277

I have been running in the Terrafly 277’s made by Inov-8 for the last few weeks and because of the unique nature of the Arizona landscape I have been able to try out a number of different surfaces to really get a good feeling of the shoe. While I’m not a true trail runner through and through I do enjoy getting out on the trails for hill repeats and also to work on my downhill running. I have tried a number of different trail shoes in my time but I often find myself going back to the same thought that they feel clunky, big, and really aren’t that responsive on the rocks. So when I saw the Terrafly 277’s come in I was intrigued to give them a try and see how they handled a wide array of running surfaces. As I said I don’t run primarily on trails but I do switch between pavement, smooth sandy trails, gravel roads, and mix in some extreme rocky trails. Most of my workouts are done on the combination of road and canal which is a crushed granite surface. While you can wear regular running shoes on this surface they have never really been my favorite so I am always looking for that great cross surface shoe.

My first reaction to checking out the shoes was how light they felt compared to some of my other trail shoes and at just 9.8 oz they really intrigued me. I’ve had more than my fair share of toe issues with my previous trail shoes so I was happy when I put this shoe on and really noticed the extended toe box giving my toes more room to move around. The shoe felt snug in the forefoot but not too snug and the mesh lining really makes the shoes feel breathable. The downfall with the mesh liner is that it does let lots of dirt into the shoes but that is a fair exchange for a breathable shoe. This is a huge feature to have here in the Arizona desert where the next 100 days I will run in 100-115 degree heat. The foot bed can be completely removed if you prefer insoles in your shoes but I felt they provided plenty of padding with the injected EVA midsole. Inov-8 has a shock number on all of their shoes which tells you how much padding is associated with them and this particular model is 2 out of 5. This number gives you an idea of how much you should expect to feel as you traverse over different trail surfaces. Here in Arizona our trails are extremely rocky and it is often nicer to have a shoe with a thicker padding but because of the metaflex in the shoe and the rubber tracking on the bottom of the sole I found myself jumping from rock to rock without feeling too much on the bottoms of my feet. I can see this bottom wearing down quicker if you only ran only extremely rocky terrain but if you’re running on a semi groomed trail such as what San Diego 100 is ran on it is absolutely perfect.

Inov-8 Terrafly 277 soleOne week ago I had the chance to pace my husband Jay for the San Diego 100 through the Cleveland National Forest and on the PCT Trail and these shoes made running on this terrain a breeze. While the California trails do have plenty of technical sections the areas I encountered were moderately rocky, some sand, and lots of loose gravel. The loose gravel seemed to be a struggle for my husband’s lugs as they hit the rocks but the rubber patterned bottom of the Terrafly’s seemed to really grab a hold and keep me from slipping around. I am by no means a climber but just having a shoe that felt lighter and more flexible really eased my mind as we made our way up 4000 vertical feet while I was pacing him. At the very end of my pacing duty (mile 72) we came across a pretty deep and cold water crossing which made me nervous since I had no other trail shoes with me but these dried out instantly. The water seemed to run right through the mesh sides and the wind quickly dried the shoes out. Most shoes have a tendency to pick up mud on the bottom of their shoes in an area like this but the bottoms really prevented any soil build up and the shoes were good to go if I needed to keep running.

For the last week I have been switching between canal and road with the Terrafly’s and I have really found a comfort level with them and think they are an excellent cross surface shoe. Coming in right around $100 I feel is a fair price for this model and I think they are a great choice for anyone looking for a lightweight trail shoe, a minimalist shoe that can perform well on both roads and trail. Since my local trails are unlike most trails in terms of rocks I feel these are a great fit for trail runners across the country. I would expect to get 500 miles between smoother trails and road surfaces and 300-400 miles on Arizona rocks.

Inov-8 Terrafly 277 Specification Chart

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This post was written by:

- who has written 1 posts on Trail Running Club.

Traci is an avid trail runner, hiker and road runner.

Traci's running includes:
• Having paced and crewed over 20 trail ultras
• Completing 8 races from January - June 2012, including a recent 18 minute PR at Ojai to Ocean Marathon
• Traci's immediate goal is to run a Boston Qualifying time at the 2012 CIM Marathon

Traci studied dietetics at Eastern Michigan University before transferring to Northern Arizona University to complete here degree in Business Management.

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