inov-8 Parkclaw review by MTD - Elite Runner Elyse Paulson
Travelling a lot at weekends and never being quite sure what terrain I would be faced with whilst running has previously meant that I can take up to four different pairs of trainers away with me, yes that’s excessive. I would face the choice of either taking all four; a trail shoe, a road shoe, a walking boot and a pop around town shoe, or hedge my bets and take a singular chosen pair and make do with the choice probably not being quite right for the conditions. Cue the Parkclaw 275 GTX, my new pair of shoes from inov8 and now the only pair of shoes I take with me when going away at the weekend.
The Parkclaw shoe does well on the road thanks to a standard road shoe heel drop of 8mm making it more comfortable and less aggressive than a trail shoe. I always struggled with taking my Roclite 290’s on the road because of the 4mm drop, it just hurts the calves alot more. The Parkclaws have substantially more cushioning, shock absorption and stability compared to other trail shoes again making them a good substitute to your road shoes and also a more than adequate replacement to your hefty walking boots.
Having tested the Parkclaws in the New Forest, Brecon Beacons, South Downs and Cotswolds I’m yet to find a trail that you can’t attack as if you were wearing traditional trail shoes. They are lighter than my Roclites (275 v 290) and with the GORE-TEX outer (GTX) outer as a bonus my feet have remained dry-ER. Now, I live in Wales, it’s wet here so I would say that the Parkclaws have prevented my feet getting as wet as they would in non GTX shoes, but let’s be honest feet will still get wet when running through anything higher than ankle depth.
The main draw of the Parkclaws is that they are good on every surface making them incredibly versatile. If you’re after a good quality pair of shoes than can handle a little bit of anything and everything then these are wonderful. However I wouldn’t replace my pure road shoes, trail shoes or walking boots to run in Parkclaws all the time, as they don’t feel excellent at anything. Think of the Parkclaws as the Triathletes of the trainer world. Taking the Brownlee brothers as example for the anology, they are the absolute best at what they do, a bit of swimming, cycling and running. Much like the Parkclaws are the best at what they do, a bit of road, walking and trail. However the Brownlee’s would never beat Michael Phelps, Chris Froome or Mo Farah in their respective disciplines. Much like the Parkclaw won’t be replacing my specialist trainers.
The Parkcalws will continue to be my shoe of choice whenever I go away because I know that whatever surface I’m faced with they can handle it and I can just get on and enjoy the running.
Footbed 6mm POWER FOOTBED
Lug Depth 4mm
Midsole Stack Heel 20mm / Forefoot 12mm
Sole Compound TRI-C STICKY
Product Weight 275g / 9.625oz
Run with confidence on paths and trails with our new women's trail running shoe. The PARKCLAW 275 is the perfect shoe for runners wanting to run on paths and trails, or those looking to make a transition from road running to trail running. It performs superbly on both terrains, and features an aggressive outsole for increased grip. The women's PARKCLAW 275 is avaialable in grey and coral as well as purple and black this season.
“Waterproof and ready for anything…we found it really shined on rocky, technical trails. The traction also gave us a solid and reassuring grip…the cushioning both in the midsole and around the heel collar added comfort. Most notable for a Gore-Tex shoe, it’s surprisingly comfortable, lightweight and supple…” - Competitor Running, September 2017
“I would fully recommend these shoes to anyone looking to start trail running, all parkrunners, those who seek that smooth transition between surfaces or any trainer addicts like myself.” - Run 247 review