Inov-8 X-Claw 275

7.7
7.7 score
[Editors rating (8.2) + Users rating (6.0)] / 2 = Runnerclick score (7.7)/10

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Editor rating: 8.2 / 10
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Inov-8 X-Claw 275 Review Facts

The Inov-8 X-Claw 275 strives to be the perfect shoe for those runners who are looking to take to the trail but still want the lightweight feeling of a minimal running shoe. It provides all the traction and stability needed for the trail, but opts for a lower profile and svelte silhouette that will appeal to those looking to do more speed work. Building on the success of the Inov-8 X-Talon, this shoe is designed to handle rough terrain and long distances. It’s well-equipped to go the distance on treacherous terrain, but pavement runners may find the rugged exterior to be overkill. If you’re a fan of Inov-8’s other great offerings, you’ll love the X-Claw 275

Editor's Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Super lightweight design
  • Amazing traction for all terrain
  • Water repellent upper
  • Gusseted tongue to keep debris out
Cons
  • Shallow heel cup
  • Not very breathable
Outsole
Outsole

Outsole

The outsole of the Inov-8 X-Claw 275 is truly amazing. The traction provided by the lugs on the bottom of the outsole will provide enough traction for nearly any terrain. Inov-8 uses a combination of different types of rubber to ensure that the shoe is both durable and responsive. All of this combines to make the outsole one the most impressive part of the shoe. The lugs are also designed in a way that allows for dirt and mud to release in order to keep floors clean. Inov-8 has really thought of everything in their design of the outsole for the X-Claw 275.
Midsole
Midsole

Midsole

The midsole relies on EVA rubber and Inov-8’s PureFlow system to provide durability and responsiveness. Runners should have no problem getting across rugged terrain with maximum midfoot support. Rocks and roots will be no match for the supportive midsole cushioning that will keep the foot comfortable and protected. This shoe provides just enough arch support for those used to more structured trail running shoes. But those runners looking for a lighter, more barefoot feel will be pleasantly surprised with the responsiveness offered by the midsole cushioning. This makes the shoe comparable to some of the best trail running shoes you can buy.
Upper
Upper

Upper

The upper portion of the Inov-8 X-Claw 275 is designed to offer maximum protection during the most grueling trail runs. The material used here is treated with a Durable Water Resistant coating that allows for light rain and wet grass to just bead right off. By no means is this a fully waterproof shoe, but this water resistance will certainly come in handy for many runners. Inov-8 has also created a gusseted tongue that helps keep dirt, sand, and debris from entering the shoe and causing discomfort. The upper portion of the shoe is not as breathable as other models. Some runners in warmer climates may feel slightly overheated when wearing the X-Claw 275 for prolonged periods.
Weight
Weight

Weight

The weight of the Inov-8 X-Claw 275 is a mere 9.7 oz. This lightweight design is a welcome addition to trail running shoes. Many trail running shoes have added weight due to rugged outsoles and technology to protect the foot from the elements. Inov-8 has managed to trim down the weight without sacrificing too much in terms of durability or protection. Runners will appreciate the added speed that this lightweight design provides. It'll stack up nicely when comparing it to some of the lightest shoes on the market.
Breathability
Breathability

Breathability

Breathability is hugely important when designing a running shoe. The tricky thing is finding the right balance between making the shoe too breathable and causing the foot to overheat. Inov-8 has added a Durable Water Resistance to the X-Claw 275 and that may have sacrificed some of its breathability. Runners in warmer climates may find their feet overheating in these shoes. On the flip side, these shoes make for a durable running accessory for those in colder, wetter climates. Depending on the typical climate of your runs, this may be a perfectly acceptable tradeoff for you. If you're looking for a slightly more breathable option, you may want to check out the Inov-8 TrailTalon 250
Comfort
Comfort

Comfort

Trail running shoes must be comfortable in order to hold up to the many miles that trail runners put on them. The Inov-8 X-Claw 275 does a great job of protecting the foot and offering a mix of comfort and support. The inner material of the upper is plush and soft to prevent chafing on the foot. The lacing system offers nice support as well. The roomy toe box is particularly great for allowing runners to have a natural stride where their toes are able to properly splay out. The only downside in the comfort department is the narrow heel cup used on this shoe. Some runners may find it to be a little snug in the back end of the shoe. This may cause some people to have to alter their typical choice of size to find a comfortable fit with this shoe.
Style
Style

Style

Style is certainly in the eye of beholder but Inov-8 has been doing some great things with the style and design of their shoes lately. The X-Claw 275 is no exception. It comes in a variety of slick colorways that are eye catching enough without being completely distracting or too loud. The contrast in the black/blue/red color option is particularly lovely. These shoes won’t be out of place in a casual setting or going out for a meal after a run. The low profile design and svelte look of the shoe is a stark contrast to some of the bulkier trail running shoes on the market today.
Durability
Durability

Durability

These shoes are tremendously durable. Trail running shoes need to be designed to take the punishment of all different types of terrain. The mix of rubber found in the outsole shouldn’t break down quickly. The upper material is water resistant and also should hold up very well over many, many miles. Inov-8 designed these shoes to be taken into extreme conditions and they should be ready for most anything. It should be noted that the raised lugs on the bottom of the outsole may wear down over time, especially if running on really rough pavement. These shoes are best suited for soft trail runs, and that’s where they’ll get the most longevity.
Protection
Protection

Protection

Protection is particularly important when you’re designing a rugged trail shoe. The shoe must protect the foot from heel to toe across all different climates and terrains. The midfoot cushioning of the X-Claw 275 is great at providing enough protection for the tender arch of the foot. Small rocks, roots, and pebbles will be no match for the EVA rubber used throughout the bottom of the shoe. The added water protection provided by the Durable Water Resistant coating on the upper is also a wonderful addition. The gusseted tongue on the upper also helps to protect from stray rocks or dirt that may try to penetrate the shoe.
Responsiveness
Responsiveness

Responsiveness

For such a rugged trail running shoe, the X-Claw 275 still remains very responsive. The shoe is lightweight and svelte to make it feel fast on the foot. Runners should have no issue doing speed work with a shoe like this. Inov-8 managed to find the perfect balance between durability and responsiveness with this shoe. It’s easy to be agile and have a real connection with the running surface. The roomy toe box also helps the toes splay out naturally as they should. This feeling only adds to the responsiveness of the shoe, as the toes will be able to grip and feel all aspects of the terrain below them.
Support
Support

Support

The foot will be very well supported when wearing the X-Claw 275. The shoe features a Dynamic Fascia Band technology which goes a long way in keeping the heel stabilized for maximum support. The raised heel also keeps the foot in a natural stride with ample arch support. The gusseted tongue helps to securely support the upper portion of the foot as well. While some may find the laces to be slightly thin and prone to untying, the support is still there. Durable EVA rubber and Inov-8’s PowerFlow technology also ensures that the foot will feel supported across a variety of different terrain.
Terrain
Terrain

Terrain

The shoes are designed for rugged trails and that means they must be prepared for the most common types of terrain. The X-Claw 275 is really best suited for soft, wet trails. But of course, it’s versatile enough to go other places as well. Mud and sand shouldn’t be much of an issue when wearing these shoes. Even the water resistant upper makes them a reasonable choice for running through wet grass, small puddles, and maybe even a shallow stream. When wearing these shoes, runners will feel compelled to adventure to any and all terrains that suit them. Inov-8 has really created an all-terrain shoe with very few compromises in the X-Claw 275.
Price
Price

Price

Serious trail runners tend to look for the best products regardless of the price. Inov-8 is still a relative newcomer in the world of athletic shoes and they aren’t trying to compete on price. Having said that, you often get what you pay for when you’re looking for the latest and greatest technology in the world of trail running. Inov-8 is providing a compelling product that is jam packed with all sorts of technology to keep you comfortable on the trails. Sure, there are sales and discounts to be found on their products, but most trail runners will be greatly pleased with their purchase here regardless of how much they paid.
Traction
Traction

Traction

These shoes have some of the best traction that you’ll find on a pair of trail running shoes. The deep lugs found on the bottom of the outsole will help get through a variety of different terrains. They are arranged in a pattern that mimics the natural contours of the foot. What’s even better is that they are spaced in a way that allows for dirt and debris to fall right out of the lugs once you’ve gotten through them. This will keep things much cleaner and simpler. Runners should have no problem getting through wet grass, mud, or even snow. However, winter runners should take caution when running through icy spots. Even with deep lugs, runners could slip on icy patches every now and again.
Flexibility
Flexibility

Flexibility

Flexibility is super important in trail running shoes. You want to be able to feel the ground you’re running on and be able to grip certain obstacles to get around them. These certainly aren’t the most minimal shoes on the market, but compared to other trail running shoes, they are fairly flexible. Runners should be able to flex their toes upwards and downwards within the roomy toe box. The material used in the upper of the shoe is also very forgiving and flexible for easy on and off. Fortunately, the EVA rubber used throughout the midsole is also very flexible and will help with the connection to the terrain below the foot.
Stability
Stability

Stability

Trail running shoes need to have a certain amount of stability in order to tackle rugged trails. These shoes certainly wouldn’t be considered one of the top stability shoes on the market, but they are going to be stable enough for most trail runners. The shallow heel cup as mentioned before, may be slightly uncomfortable for some and impact the stability of the shoe. On the other hand, the gusseted tongue does a great job of keeping the foot stable. There is just enough midfoot support to keep the foot in a stable, natural stride.
Drop
Drop

Drop

The drop on the Inov-8 X-Claw 275 is 8mm. This is fairly average and common for trail running shoes. Runners who are used to the more minimal 0 drop shoes will certainly notice a difference here. With the added heel height, the foot will be well protected. Some runners may say that this 8mm lift is preferable to the 4 mm or even 0 drop feeling. It’s really a matter of personal preference for each individual runner.
Key Features of the X-Claw 275
Key Features of the X-Claw 275

Key Features of the X-Claw 275


  • Lightweight design

  • Superior traction

  • Good looking color options

  • Protective midsole cushioning

  • Water repellent upper material

  • Dynamic Fascia Band technology

  • Gusseted tongue support

Bottom Line
Bottom Line

Bottom Line

If you’re a trail runner who is looking to log some serious miles in a lightweight shoe, the Inov-8 X-Claw 275 is the shoe for you. It manages to toe the line between lightweight barefoot shoe and durable, rugged, tech-filled workhorse of a trail shoe. There is enough technology in this shoe to justify its price, and runners will not be disappointed when giving it a try.