Inov-8 Race Ultra 290

8.0
8.0 score
[Editors rating (8.0) + Users rating (8.0)] / 2 = Runnerclick score (8.0)/10

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If there are less than 10 user reviews for the product in total, the weight of user reviews is decreased from 50% to 25% to make sure that new products are not rated too high.
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Editor rating: 8.0 / 10
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Inov-8 Race Ultra 290 Review Facts
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The Inov-8 Race Ultra 290 Trail Running Shoe comes in a variety of color combinations for men and women. It is a comfortable shoe that’s ideal for trail running and jogging. These shoes are one of the top running shoes in the market. They are extremely comfortable, with breathable mesh on the upper and a rubber sole that can grip to any terrain.

Editor's Pros & Cons
Pros
  • The toe box is roomy, so there won’t be any strain on your toes from them being contained tightly in the shoe.
  • The tread on the sole of the sneaker is ideal for most terrains, just not mud.
  • They are durable and will last a long time
  • Low lugs on the sole provide balance and traction.
Cons
  • Standard fit adapts to a wide foot so that it could be too small for some.
  • Some customers might have to go up a half a size for a better fit.
Outsole
Outsole

Outsole

The outer rubber sole is durable and will grip to the ground on most terrains, especially trails, which is exactly what runners need. The trail sneaker is told to have a waterproof membrane, but, according to most runners who have used the sneaker, this statement is not correct. Some customers have left complaints that mud had soaked through the sneaker, thus not living up to being waterproof. Most reviews comment that the sneaker has an excellent grip and is perfect for trails.
Upper
Upper

Upper

Some people comment that because the mesh doesn’t have holes in it, they like it because dirt and debris won’t get in their shoes from the trail. It’s ideal to come home after a good run with clean socks.
Midsole
Midsole

Midsole

The comfortable injected meta-shank midsole is durable and doesn’t wear or flake. Some reviews stated that the midsole was too thin, and not cushiony enough. The midsole is said to be flexible but stable enough to keep a good balance and durability.
Weight
Weight

Weight

The weight of the Inov-8 Race Ultra Running Shoe is 280g (around 0.6 lbs. or 9 ounces). This is a pretty average weight of a running shoe, which is usually anywhere from five to ten ounces.
Breathability
Breathability

Breathability

The mesh upper provides great breathability, even without the holes most running shoes have. Runners love the upper mesh because without holes no debris gets in, but it is still breathable – the perfect combination.
Comfort
Comfort

Comfort

All of the reviews seem to mention the word “comfort” or “comfortable.” The fit is stated to be snug but not so tight that it’s painful. The mesh upper is so comfortable it is practically another sock, and the inner sole is soft and cushiony.
Style
Style

Style

The logo is on the outside of the shoe, making a trendy and stylish design. They come in neon and primary colors that blend nicely and could fit anyone's sense of style. The fashionable lace system blends with the pattern on the side of the sneaker and matches the color combination.
Durability
Durability

Durability

The durability of the shoe is excellent. The rubber sole won’t flake, and the mesh won’t rip or tear. This is a running shoe that will last through years of trails and pavement.
Protection
Protection

Protection

Protection is the strong suit of the product. The waterproof sneakers have no holes in the mesh, protecting your feet and socks from dirt, pebbles, and anything else that might otherwise make its way into your sneaker. The sole is thick and will keep any moisture on the ground from traveling up into the sneaker.
Responsiveness
Responsiveness

Responsiveness

The shoe is told to have a bounce when your foot hits the ground, giving energy back and soaking up yours instead of most sneakers which feel dead and all your energy is going into the ground. Runners say that when they are using the Inov-8 Race Ultra running sneaker they have a minimal strain, therefore running the longest they have been able to. This is also a major strong suit.
Support
Support

Support

According to people who have used the sneaker, it has minimal arch support which means that it could cause strain on people with flat feet, but this issue can be easily solved with a shoe insole with a high arch. Most of the problems with support in this shoe are around the midfoot area; people left complaints about their feet sliding when stepping on rocks, and it wasn’t as snug of a fit.
Terrain
Terrain

Terrain

There are many deep ridges inside the sneaker, which poke out even more in the heel area. This design is excellent since most people lose balance when running on less technical things like rocks and logs. The bottom of the shoe is stiff, so it does take a while to break into it, but it is helpful for more aggressive terrains. That seems to be the only problem, but it’s very minor when you see it’s for better traction.
Price
Price

Price

The Inov-8 Race Ultra 290 Running Shoe runs from 30-130 dollars on Amazon, but the most average price is 130. This is a competitive price for the high quality of the shoe.
Shock Absorption
Shock Absorption

Shock Absorption

The shock absorption is all in the midsole where there is a thin layer of meta-shank meant to consume the energy your foot releases into the ground and convert it into some other type of energy, such as heat. Unfortunately, it is told to be very stiff, and the midsole is extremely thin, so there isn’t much cushioning which isn’t ideal for runs, but the stiffness is perfect for trails.
Drop
Drop

Drop

The drop of a sneaker is sometimes considered the length of a “ramp” from heel to toe, how much in ascends. This sneaker has a 10mm drop, which isn’t enough to make your heel hit the ground first, which is ideal when running.
Size
Size

Size

The sneaker has a very snug fit; the only issues seem to be in the midfoot area of the sneaker, where runners who have used the shoe complain their feet would slip around inside the shoe instead of being snug like the rest of their feet. Other than that little mistake, everything is told to be comfortable and snug.
Speed
Speed

Speed

Runners that use this sneaker love it because they claim there isn’t much strain on their feet, letting them run for long distances without pain. If the drop were a little bigger, it would be absolutely perfect. However, that issue can be easily fixed with a sole insert with a high arch or ramp.
Stability
Stability

Stability

The sneaker is pretty stiff, and there’s a lot of traction on the sole which is ideal for stability. The upper and sole aren’t that different in weight, meaning there won’t be any imbalances. The shoe is great for really intense terrains with the amount of traction in the rubber sole.
Flexibility
Flexibility

Flexibility

Flexibility is where the sneaker lacks in quality. Reviewers that used the sneaker on tracks liked the stiffness in the shoe, whereas runners on more technical terrains like roads did not because it was so stiff. They felt like there was a strain and took a long time to break into, where people that run trails like how they could grip onto big rocks because it was stiff.
Traction
Traction

Traction

Some tractions on the sole of these sneakers are amazing. The lugs on the sole are thick and wide towards the toes and get longer for the heels, which is optimal for balance. The outer lugs are wider and thinner, while the middle ones are thicker. The lugs on the end of the heel are long and thick, and the rest of the heel is like the remainder of the sneaker. This part of the sneaker is perfect for any type of running, anywhere.
Key Features
Key Features

Key Features

• Comfortable mesh upper that keeps debris out of your shoes

• Multiple colors combinations and styles

• GORE-TEX waterproof membrane

• Gaiter attachment option

• X-Static XT2 technology

• Removable foam footbed

• Injected EVA midsole
Bottom Line
Bottom Line

Bottom Line

The Inov-8 Race Ultra 290 Running Shoe is ideal for most terrains and has an excellent tread. It comes in many colors which can suit your personal style, with the logo that blends with the pattern. It has incredible balance and fits comfortably.