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Inov-8 Parkclaw G 280 review

Inov-8 designed these shoes to deliver both on and off-road. But can they perform well on both types of terrain? We find out...

Our rating 
4.2 out of 5 star rating 4.2
£160
Inov-8 Parkclaw G 280 trail running shoe

The Parclaw is designed to take you from tarmac to trail, but does that aim make it the jack of all trades and the master of none?

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Inov-8 Parkclaw G 280 review

Traction

The Parkclaw G 280 does its job well, with its graphene-enhanced 4mm lugs performing in a range of terrain. That includes everything from hard-packed trails to country paths lined with mud.

The only time it started to come a little unstuck was in boggy mud pits, but then there’s not a lot that wouldn’t slip around in that sort of terrain.

They behaved well on pavement, too, though the size of those lugs means we wouldn’t want to spend too long on the hard stuff.

Comfort and ride

Comfort was another high point. The tongue and ankle collar were the most cushioned among our trail shoes group test in issue 413 and there was never any noticeable pressure from the laces.

All of that, plus an 8mm drop and a wide toe box, help provide a really stable ride.

The brand says the use of graphene in the midsole improves energy return and while we wouldn’t necessarily disagree, we’d say we’ve experienced more substantial results in carbon-plated shoes such as the Saucony Endorphin Edge and Hoka Tecton X.

They also didn’t feel quite as quick as those two shoes, but they still felt pacy enough on a few intervals.

Features and weight

A heel tab helps you pull them on, which is handy for T2 if you’re planning to race in them, and the laces felt very secure, though are a little stiff.

At 356g (UK11.5) they’re not particularly light or heavy, but we did have to go half a size up to get an ideal fit.

So are they a good choice for a mix of tarmac and trail? Well, if you’re not planning to spend too much time on the road, we’d have to say yes.

Admittedly, they’d also be a great pick if you’re planning to stick to off-road, too.

Verdict: Comfortable, versatile and stable trail shoes.

Score: 85%

Also consider…

Hoka Speedgoat 5

Not so fussed about your new shoes doing the business on the road? The Hoka Speedgoat 5 is another option that comes highly rated by our test team.

It’s most suited to trails, but can handle short stints on pavement, while we praised it for its balance between responsiveness and plushness.

We also noted just how comfortable the shoe is, while also providing a secure, stable run experience.

Another plus was the use of recycled materials, as well as the choice of colourways, with five for men and four for women.

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See our full review of the Hoka Speedgoat 5 here.