I was looking for a pair of shoes which would perform well on roads as well as on grass and trails; specifically to tackle the mixed terrain courses of the Men's Health Survival of the Fittest race series.
Enter the Inov-8 Terraclaws...
I only bought and received the shoes about a week before the first race, but they required very little time to break in; and felt comfortable more or less immediately. The first thing I noticed was how light they were, and as a result I felt quick and nimble while wearing them.
Despite only having them for a few days, I was confident enough with them to wear for the first race. They performed excellently, and were quickly proving themselves to be a wise purchase.
Several of the SOTF races (and most OCRs for that matter) feature running through or being submerged in water, so drainage is an important factor to consider with your footwear. The Inov-8 Terraclaws drain fairly well, and are very comfortable to run in again only a few minutes after being fully submerged.
The grip of the Terraclaws is excellent for it's purpose, i.e. gentle trails and not too muddy. Definitely a big step up from road shoes, offering a reassuring grip on the obstacles, wet surfaces, and off-road sections. The treads and lugs possibly aren't aggressive or big enough for them to offer the same level of grip in really thick mud, though they do perform well on the gentle trails that feature in the SOTF races.
If you're wanting shoes for really muddy races, then I would advise looking at something with more aggressive treads.
The Terraclaws fit true to size and are really comfortable. I have pretty wide feet but the toe box of the Terraclaws more than accommodates them.
The heel to toe drop is not that small, nowhere near minimal anyway. I went for the Terraclaws 250, which have a drop of 8mm, and offer a bit more support than the 210 version. The 210 version also has a bit of a strange looking diagonal lacing system, which also pushed me towards getting the 250.
In general, I would say they are pretty durable. I've worn them for 5-6 races now, as well as many long training runs, and no visible signs of wear and tear. After about 100km, the sole towards the heel is possibly starting to wear down a bit, but this is possibly due to many miles on the road and my running style (or lack thereof!).
Certain Inov-8 models are sometimes renowned for shrinking after several races of getting wet or being cleaned after. I've not had any issues with the Terraclaws in this regard, though I'm always careful to clean with cold water and allow to dry naturally stuffed with newspaper.
The Inov-8 Terraclaw 250s are perfect for mixed terrain training or races (like the Survival of the Fittest series). They offer fantastic comfort and grip off-road (on gentle trails and mud) as well as on tarmac (I actually had a 5km PB wearing them during a road race).
Where to Buy
The Inov8 Terraclaws should be available to buy from most sports or running retailers, as well as on Amazon: