Inov-8 Trailfly G 270 v2 Review (2023): The Best Trail All-Rounder?
Published on: 03/27/2023Sticking with the winning formula of the original Inov 8 Terraultra G 270 turned Trailfly, the brand's new shoe features minimal changes to a brilliant design for all-around trail excellence.
Great on any terrain and for most distances, the Trailfly G 270 v2 is light but cushioned, fun but stable. A brilliant all-around trail shoe with zero drop and improved upper.
Don’t have time to read the full review? Here’s what you need to know.
It’s not easy to improve on perfection. By bringing out a second version of their multi award winning Trailfly G270, Inov-8 set themselves a hard target. Featuring zero drop, a stack height of 22mm and a responsive ride, these new shoes retain some of the best parts of the original G 270 and add some cool improvements.
The new upper includes more stretch and allows better breathability than the previous version. There’s also extra cushioning in the fully gusseted tongue for more comfort during long runs. The grip continues to be impressive, with 4mm rubber lugs enhanced with Inov-8’s famous Graphene grip rubber. And there’s still good padding underfoot coming from the POWERFLOW MAX foam midsole.
Whether hitting your local trails for a regular long run or heading into a Sky race, these shoes are built for anything from daily running to ultra distances. Finally, the v1 was already receiving great reviews from most runners for their durability, and Inov-8 claims to have improved on that, too.
Can the second iteration of the Inov-8 Trailfly G 270 shoes perform even better than its predecessor? Read our detailed review roundup to find out!
Please read our full review of the [shoe name] for more information.
- A great overall trail running shoe
- Durable and grippy outsole
- Comfort and durability despite light weight
- Can accommodate any foot strike style
- Zero drop doesn’t immediately suit all runners
- Relatively high price
Inov-8 Trailfly G 270 v2 Complete Review Analysis
Long time Inov-8 fans will remember when the brand decided to change the name (1) of its successful Inov-8 Terraultra G 270 into Trailfly. The goal was to reflect the focus on speed along with distance running, as well as to align with the other Trailfly Ultra G 300 MAX. Now, there’s a second Trailfly in stores – and it’s hoping to continue the great shoe design that earned Inov-8 multiple awards with the first version.
There’s not a lot that has changed from the original. Since the older version seemed to “get everything right” in terms of grip, cushioning, ground feel and stability, you’d think there shouldn’t be any change, and rightly so. With zero drop and high responsiveness, the Terraultra G 270 was unlike most trail running shoes in that it also featured good enough cushioning for long distances. Moreover, the Graphene grip is unbeatable, especially on wet surfaces or muddy terrain the likes of which you’ll find in the British winter.
In the updated version, we find a slightly improved tongue and upper. Inov-8 also claim that the new mesh is more durable than on the v1. But that’s pretty much it. After all, why tinker with a “magic formula”?
Starting with the outsole, the new Trailfly retains the Graphene grip – a mix of rubber and Inov-8’s own innovation, Graphene. The same rubber dimples from the original version help cling to wet ground. Water dispersion channels help feet stay dry. And there are also flex grooves under the forefoot which help with fast forward motion.
4mm deep lugs were the original standard and they’ve been retained for v2. They help make good progress on mud and grass, without being uncomfortable when you’ve just left your front door and have a bit of road-to-trail terrain ahead.
The Trailfly G270 new version also features a 6mm Boomerang insole which includes TPU beads that compress and re-expand upon running. This will give you more energy return than standard insoles and contributes to the cushioned midsole to make these shoes such a fun ride. It’s also important to note that you can buy new insoles when these are worn out, without having to buy a new shoe. This scores well on the sustainability and affordability scales.
Compared to some of the brand’s other shoes designed for more technical terrain, like the Roclite series, the Trailfly are good for hard packed trail runs and more varied conditions. Finally, the lugs don’t wear out too soon according to most reviewers, making the price quality ratio even more attractive.
Just like its predecessor, the v2 features a great cushion to weight ratio. At just 9.5 oz/270 g in US men’s size 10 and 7.8oz/220 g in women’s size 8, you’ll feel lighter and more comfortable than in most other longer distance trail running shoe models.
The midsole is made up of 12 mm of POWERFLOW MAX foam. This combines with the Boomerang insoles to give good levels of stability and cushioning. It’s not the absolute best protection for ultra distances on the market, but will see you through up to 50-mile races comfortably.
One key feature of the Trailfly G270 v2 is the zero drop, with a stack height of 22 mm. This gives it good ground feel, but most zero drop shoes can be a challenge for your Achilles heel. Those without experience need to wear them in gently.
Foot lockdown (upper)
The upper is where Inov-8 have made changes from the Terraultra G 270 original model. In search of greater comfort for runners, the shoes now feature a new form fitting tongue with extra padding to keep a better grip on the midfoot without hurting the top of the foot.
There are also four overlays on both sides of the shoe, meant to provide better foot lockdown. These also featured on the first version, but they’ve now been moved back further on the upper. As a result, breathability should improve and there should be more stretch and better adjustment to your foot movement patterns.
Additionally, the lacing system gets great reviews, contributing to the distinctive midfoot lockdown of a good trail shoe. Placed over the lightweight mesh material, there are no complaints of hot spots or discomfort, either.
With these improvements, trail runners will find that the upper is also more durable. Inov-8 claim that lab tests show it to outlast the v1 equivalent by 25%. It remains to be seen if this will be proven on the trails.
Most reviewers consider the G270 to fit true to size with good width for the toe box. Given the enhanced flexibility of the upper, athletes with wide feet should find the new version more accessible as well.
The Terraultra G 270 reviews, followed by Trailfly G 270 v1, were unanimous: this trail running shoe gives you a little bit of everything, combining traction with comfort in a protective package. Good cushion levels will see you through varied terrain from rock to soft mud, as will the excellent Graphene enhanced grip.
While the v2 stays true to this legacy, it hasn’t improved on toe-off and speed. Yes, the shoe is bouncy and fun. However, the G 270 v2 hasn’t added a rock plate or any other sources of extra speed.
But, we can’t ask one shoe to do absolutely everything. Heel to toe transitions are smooth enough for the majority of testers. It’s a good option for speed workouts, especially for those transitioning to zero drop shoes. And it can keep a great balance of cushioning, protection, stability, and bounce for longer days out.
The new Trailfly G 270 v2 costs c. $170, which is not on the cheap side, but the durable build will make up for the price in most runners’ opinion. The Graphene outsole rubber seems to not wear out easily. Additionally, the better mesh upper and the option of only replacing the Boomerang insoles when they are worn gives you some extra savings and life in the shoe.
In general, almost no Terraultra G 270 review complained about how long these shoes last. Many runners will rotate them between long run days and racing, and trail running is more forgiving in different climates, so results will vary widely. However, given how light and fun the v2 is, we think it hits a sweet spot between good foot protection, fast movement, and long life.
Athletes who want responsive trail running shoes for all their workouts will be delighted with the Inov-8 Trailfly G270 new version. You may want a slightly lighter shoe for super speedy days. If you’re clawing through thick mud, you may look for bigger lugs. And, if you’re running 100 miles across granite slabs and on hard packed terrain, you may look for something with even more padding underfoot.
However, if you’re a midpack trail runner searching for a great all-around zero drop shoe featuring Graphene to take you across all types of terrain, the new Inov-8 Trailfly G 270 v2 is for you. They don’t call Graphene the world’s toughest grip for nothing: these will deliver stability through mud and grass, but feel comfy enough on rocks and hard terrain. The newly padded tongue and more breathable mesh improve comfort and moisture wicking properties for your feet. And the weight is kept relatively light for a shoe of this performance level. A great “Jack of all trades.”
|Heel height||22 mm|
|Forefoot height||22 mm|
|Weight (men)||270 g/9.5 oz|
|Weight (women)||220 g/7.8 oz|
|Features||Wide feet, Toe bumper|
|Outsole||G-GRIP Graphene rubber|
|Midsole||POWERFLOW MAX, BOOMERANG footbed|
Reference: Inov-8's official site