Inov8 Race Ultra 290 – REVIEW from trail runner in Taiwan (Eng & 中文)

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I got pair of Inov8 Race Ultra 290 and run already 450 km in various terrains. Let’s see how 290 worked for me in Taiwan.

I love local technical trail and long exploring of wild nature. Taiwan is rainy island and conditions for running are very different from trails in other counties…

中文版在英文版下

I changed many pairs of shoes, some of them really didn’t work on Taiwan trail, and even lifetime of these shoes were just 400 km or I simply gave up run with it, because were so slippery and danger. Most trail running on stones, roots, muddy paths or just wet road, both in steep ascent or descent, change your trail runs to real challenge. Recently I got pair of Inov8 Race Ultra 290 and run already 450 km in various terrains. Let’s see how boots 290 worked for me in Taiwan.
I am writing this article on airport somewhere in China and waiting for plane to my home country – Czech Republic. I wear Race Ultra 290 right now and hope will test them on snow. But let’s look back into 450 km with them.
“Obsessed is just a word the lazy use to describe the dedicated” this was written under top of box with my 44 EUR size of 290. OK, I am obsessed with trail running. Inside of box were two big black boots, why black colour please? The first sight on them was really nothing special, but little blue lines on upper and black/blue/red combination of outsole material (every different orientation and hardness) improved overall looking.
This size fit me well, even I have little flatfoot and have to tight relatively tinny shoelace. Tongue of shoe is big, but comfortable for long runs. Front part of insole is wider, but we can expect it from shoes for long distance. I used to wear to wear my fast Trail Roc 245 and 290 look quite massive and dark.
Every my shoes have holes on outer welt where shoe is bended during running. It is caused by running on local crazy trails. Race Ultra 290 has robust, but flexible welt around shoe and this is very valuable in technical trails and also during wet conditions, when water doesn’t goes inside from down and increase of lifetime of shoes.
My first run was just on riverside and shoes were quite slow, but my feet didn’t have any problem and felt comfortable. I run many times trails shorter then 25km and just once I had problem with contact of shoes with my ankle, just once and don’t know reason, but rest of runs felt very good in. Blood appear only when leech sucked my blood under socks.
First run in heavier raining on technical trail was in Wulai and it was quite good and fun. I was very surprised that shoes didn’t slip on wet stones, wet wooden steps, and even provide good stability and support on muddy trail ascent.
Shoes don’t have any special membrane, which is very important for Taiwan. Expect dry shoes in Taiwan is wrong opinion, wet from outside or just get sweat in hot days make your feet permanently in wet and membrane doesn’t work how we can expect in more dry countries. Kind of permeability of shoes with good choice of socks is important, I prefer thick wool sock for my long runs.
Actually I got this pair of shoes in raining season and I took them even for morning run on road in hills with few kilometres of trail. Shoes had great friction when I run on slippery road up, I remember many moments when I even could properly walk with some classic road shoes on this.
If you plan run mix of road and trails Race Ultra 290 seems as very good choice. There are more trail shoes (no some like some special for off trail). But 290 are also comfortable on road. These shoes began my favourite for my exploring in Taiwan.
Many times I went for very hidden and overgrown trail, or did walk in some stream of river and shoes were most of time very stable. I didn’t run with these shoes more than 35 km, but there were no problem after it. Unfortunately I cannot, but will run 100 in March, say how about on 100km.
But last week run my dream project, which was just 30km long, but on most technical trail which I ever run, maybe even most difficult in Taiwan, it took me nine hours. Shoes had great friction on rocky ridges, this day was no raining, but this area is permanently wet, which was not problem for 290.
Combination with Race Ultra Gaiter is really right for heavy trail. It took me some time, but shoes have two small plugs suitable for hooks of gaiter, which is very smart. Just material of gaiter keeps sticky seeds, which are many in Taiwan. How I said no everything work best in Taiwan.
Are there some negative properties of shoes? How I said there look big and black (or just in purple), but this probably right for discreet Black Horse in this shoe category. Shoelace are tiny and has to be tied twice, otherwise will untie.
In very steep muddy descent doesn’t work run just on heels (and brake), because red part of heel is no grooving enough, and I slip few times.
Shoes are not fast but can rally run long and technical trail. In my size have over 300 grams, but I didn’t feel it during my exploring. Durability of these shoes is very good; even have hole on right welt of shoes, which was caused by difficult rocky trails which I ran. Sole of shoes looks after 450 km without any changing.
I will run with them TransLantau 100 (5800+ m) in March. These shoes are really universal, even universal can means nothing special, but here high grade for stability, friction, durability with enough cushioning. They have 290 grams in size 8, but it is under average for ultra-shoes category. Just color combination is less fashion if you compare with others models from Inov8.

CH 中文 : 

 
Inov-8 Race Ultra 290 實地評測

從我到手這雙Inov-8 Race Ultra 290 長距離越野跑鞋自今我已經跑超過450km 現在就讓我們來看看這雙鞋的表現

我非常喜歡台灣的技術越野越野跑環境,也常常在山林間探索野生大自然,台灣是個多雨的島嶼國家, 越野跑的賽道的條件也自然與其他國家不徑相同……….

以往我經常長更換跑鞋, 部分我試過的越野跑鞋都不太適合台灣的越野環境, 而且部分跑鞋並不耐穿大約都只能使用400km以內, 或者部分越野跑鞋我穿穿幾次就丟棄掉了, 因為大多數這些鞋子無法提供足夠的抓地性這樣對越野跑者來說相當危險, 某些品牌的越野跑鞋遇到石頭路面, 樹根, 泥巴道路, 或只是一般濕滑路面, 不管是在上坡或者是下坡都會讓你不自覺改變自己跑步的方式, 讓越野跑變得更加困難, 直到我最近到手到這雙Inov-8 Race Ultra 290 長距離越野跑鞋, 並在我瘋狂操練超過450km於各種多重路面 就讓我們來看看這雙跑鞋的實地評測結果.

這份評測是我在返回我的故鄉捷克共和國探親的路上, 利用在中國某處機場轉機等待的時間所寫的, 既使如此我現在腳上也正穿著的這雙Race Ultra 290跑鞋並希望他回到我故鄉時評測在雪地的表現也一樣出色, 但先讓我們來看看他在前450km的表現

開箱時44號尺碼的Inov-8 Race Ultra290 鞋盒內斗大的寫著 〃懶人總是用『著魔』兩個字來形容專注的人〃 好吧 在越野跑上我是專注的, 盒子內兩隻又黑又大的鞋子躺在裡面 ,我心裡想著, 拜託! 幹嘛一定要是黑色?對於這雙鞋的第一印象實在不怎麼起眼, 仔細看鞋面的藍色小線條與鞋底黑色藍色紅色相互輝映的組合自少讓這雙鞋看起來沒這麼無趣.

尺寸對我來說剛剛好, 儘管我有一點扁平足, 而相對起來太細的鞋帶 鞋舌有些許肥大, 這是讓長時間跑步更舒服的設計 前腳掌的空間還挺寬的, 所以我能想像長時間穿著因該蠻適合的, 跟我曾經穿過 Inov-8 Trailroc 245 越野跑鞋比較起來Race Ultra 290 看來較粗勇許多.

我以前的每雙鞋子在長期操練下, 鞋側邊彎曲出都很容易爆開, 這是因為在台灣這種嚴峻的山區道路瘋狂的磨耗下所照成的結果 Race Ultra 290 在這部位有經過加強, 這種設計對於山間技術越野跑以及在潮濕的路面顯得非常受用, 當水不會常常從鞋側邊滲入這會大大的增加鞋子的耐用性

我的第一次試跑是在河邊的山徑, 雖然這雙鞋的鞋領口處顯得有些偏低, 但我的腳是乎沒有覺得任何不適而且還挺舒服的, 我常常穿著Race Ultra 290做短於25km的越野訓練, 僅僅只有一次我感覺腳踝處不適, 況且跑完脫下鞋後發現血流如注, 那是因為我襪子裡不知何時跑進了一隻水蛭, 瘋狂的暢飲我的鮮血!!!!不過就這麼一次意外我感覺踝處因不明原因怪怪的, 其餘每次跑步結果都非常棒.

第一次在滂沱大雨中的越野跑在烏來山區, 那一次是個非常好的經驗並且非常有趣, 那一次我被這雙鞋的功能震攝住了, 因為這雙鞋的強大的抓地力在不僅在潮濕的樹幹上或石頭上抓地表現都非常優異外, 還能在上坡泥地道提供很好的底盤穩定性.

雖然鞋面材質沒有搭在任何特殊的防水面料, 但這點卻意外的適合台灣越野氣候 ,如果你想要一雙不會進水的越野跑鞋是個錯誤的迷思, 你不能期待防水的材質在內部會有足夠的透氣排汗性 當你在夏季做這種越野運動時防水材料是反效果的, 這只會讓你的腳更長時間保持潮濕的環境 像Race Ultra 290這種快乾材質的面料加上一雙好襪子才是王道, 當我在做長距離越野跑時我偏好薄羊毛材質的跑襪……

其實我當初是在雨季時拿到這雙鞋的, 因為雨季我會在早晨訓練時先跑幾公里柏油路混合著幾公里山徑野路 Race Ultra 290 的抓地表現在兩種路面都非常出色, 我記得有些路面以前當我穿著傳統公路路跑鞋是無法在上面安然的行走.

假設你想要來個混合道路訓練 Race Ultra 290 會是一個很好的的選擇, 市售許多的越野跑鞋(沒有太多特別為山徑以外的越野跑設計)但Race Ultra 290在一般公路上表現還算稱頭, 這鞋將會變成我未來探索台灣山林道路的最愛

有時候在一些非常隱蔽植被茂密雜草叢生的賽道或行走在河床小溪裡 無論何種地形這雙鞋的表現都非常穩定 以往當我穿著其他越野跑鞋時很少在這種路段跑個35km以上 但這種路段對於Race Ultra 290 來說像拿刀切豆腐一樣容易 三月份我會穿它來跑個100km賽事 到時會再分享這雙鞋在100km的表現

上週我跑了一個我夢寐以求的山徑,雖然只有30km的距離,這是一段非常艱鉅的山徑,是我跑過最高難度,或許這是台越野最困難的路段,我花了9小時完賽, 在高海拔的丘陵岩石上, 雖然沒下雨, 但這些因為氣候這些岩石地面終年保持潮濕 但對於Race Ultra 290 來說卻像是小菜一碟.

這雙鞋還搭載了防沙腳套, 這樣的設計對於艱難的越野賽更是無比的福音 鞋子兩側有個小插槽可以安裝這個腳套, 這是個非常聰明的設計 只是這個腳套的材質是台灣特有植物鬼針草的最愛, 我常常要花時間清理, 我只能說不管怎樣完美的設計針對台灣特殊的環境都有會進步的空間.

或許你會問我這雙鞋有沒有些什麼缺點, 我只能說看起來嫌笨重顏色太暗也太深, 即使另外一個顏色選項紫色都不夠活潑, 但這也許是對於一個新進品牌在規劃商品時深思熟慮打出的安全牌, 其餘的缺點就是鞋帶過於太細, 所以需要打雙結不然容易脫落, 還有在較濕的下坡泥地道路不能只靠腳跟抓地, 因為大底後端的紅色區塊紋路稍顯不足有時會發生打滑的情形.

此雙鞋的設計不是為了短距離的速度而是為了長距離越野跑, 在我所穿著的44號鞋, 單腳重量約莫300g 重, 但我一點都不會感覺重量的存在 除此之外他的耐用性一級棒, 雖然已經開始產生細微裂縫鞋彎曲處, 這也是因為我所跑的都是些難度較高 慘絕人寰的山林岩石道路, 即使我已經穿了超過450km鞋底看起來還像剛開始穿著一樣!

我將會參加三月橫越Translantau100賽事(高低落差超過5,800+公尺) 這雙鞋外觀看起來真的有點太過樸素, 樸素雖可以被解讀為沒什麼特別, 但是讓你無法忽視的是他的高度穩定性, 抓地性, 以及耐用性以及相當足夠的避震性, 這雙鞋重量為290g (以UK8為基準)但已經比市售這種長距離等級的越野跑鞋平均還輕, 只是如果你要比起大多數Inov-8所產的其他鞋款的話配色上面還太嫌單調不夠時尚

Inov-8 Race Ultra 290 會是您探索台灣的最佳夥伴!!

Inov8 Race Ultra 290 are right endurance partner for exploring in Taiwan!

 

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