Inov-8 Race Ultra 290 Review

Inov-8 just came out with a shoe designed specifically for ultras! They are interesting in that they incorporate many Inov-8 features, while at the same time dabbling in traditional shoe features.

These shoes are quite good-looking (not that looks should matter). They are very comfortable! I must say, they felt quite a bit like the Gel Kayanos that I regularly train in (I know many Inov-8 wearers probably just cringed).


These have a nice wide toebox, which is a great Inov-8 feature that many shoes, especially trail shoes, lack.


The shoes have a 26mm heel and a 17mm forefoot – a 9mm drop. This is pretty unusual for an Inov-8 pair of shoes and it may throw off some of their longstanding wearers. With that being said, it may draw in others who like the feel of a more traditional shoe.

My biggest issue with the shoe is the weight. The men’s size 10 was 11.6 ounces on my scale. Not only that, when I put them on, they feel 100% like a trainer, not a racer. Now, I understand that this shoe is designed for ultras. Nevertheless, I really think these were on the heavy side. In fact, after a creek crossing or a muddy stretch, I think these would feel a bit clunky. With that being said, they feel very well-made and I think they would definitely hold up to the rigors of just about any ultra!

I also think these shoes would make a kick-ass training shoe. In fact, these would make the perfect trainer for use on trails and/or roads.


These shoes have the classic Inov-8 tread – it’s awesome! They also have an on-shoe attachment system for a debris gaiter.

These shoes generally retail for $130 to $140. They are available at Running Warehouse, Zappos and Amazon (you can access these sites by clicking the pictures in this post).


– good looking
– good quality
– nice tread
– traditional heel/toe drop
– debris gaiter compatible

– weight

Check out this additional review by Niandi Carmont.

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16 Responses to Inov-8 Race Ultra 290 Review

  1. atwinthing33 says:

    I found an ultra in august but it is on a .33 loop and that sounds awful. I want one that is in the woods…also,I need a light weight trail shoe…the ones you reviewed sounded like they would not work for me since they are so heavy…any ideas?

  2. it even just looks like a hefty shoe!

  3. Hollie says:

    They look pretty interesting but they look so much bulkier than the typical innov-8 shoe.

  4. Sorry, but isn´t the point it SHOULD be somewhat bulkier? Considering it´s made for Ultra-races/ longer runs…? 😉

  5. Pingback: Salomon Sense Mantra 3 Review | Must Love Jogs

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