Friday, 22 May 2015

Over 3500km on my Inov-8 road shoes

Two years and seven months ago I got a pair of Inov-8 Road-X 255 shoes.

Back then, in November 2012, I wrote this after my first run in them:
"I settled on the Inov-8 Road-X 255. I had my eye on trying the 238 too, which I did. I found the fit to be a bit of a toe squeezer and I didn't like either the foot-in-feel nor how it felt under my foot. The 255 and I were born to be together. I've had one run in them - last night - and we felt right at home with each other."
31-months later I've still been running in THE SAME PAIR of shoes. Sure, for trail and orienteering I'm in trail shoes, but for everything else I've been running my Inov-8s and the only reason I want to replace them is that they're old and ugly and the heel cup is worn (and has been for months).

There are so many new shoes in divine colours and I feel like new and funky. Aside from this my old shoes are probably good for many more months.

My Inov-8 Road-X 255 bought in November 2012
Depending on what is happening, I run between 25km to 55km per week. Around 40km is usually my style.

Although I usually keep a training log, I had a gap of a couple of months (twice) where I wasn't with it. Some distance is done in trail shoes, like for orienteering and off-road runs.

But, if I conservatively go with 30km/week... that's 120km/month... that's 3,720 kilometres!

I ran in these shoes to second for my friend at Washie last year. I did about 70km that night in these shoes; the longest single stretch. They've done a few half marathons and the rest local runs ranging from 5km to 25km.

Wanting new pretty and colourful shoes, I turned to the Inov-8 website to see what they had going.

Lo-and-behold I found my same-same shoes going for a steal.

For a little new and different I decided to try the women's version of this same shoe (Road-X 238 - despite what I wrote more than two years ago they're a good fit now - go figure) and fortunately - this being old stock with random sizes - I found a colourway in my size. Click-click. Only R495. Unresistible!

With different upper fabric used, I'd presume that this women's model is a year or two newer than my old men's version of the same thing.

And then I saw another model, the men's Inov-8 Road-X 233, which is described as a "long distance racing flat". They had a more boring colourway of the same shoe for R695, but they didn't have my size. So I got this more funky pair for only R895. Click-click. Added to my shopping basket.

Gotta love old stock!

With shoes going for R1,500/pair these days it is scary to try a new shoe and for such a good price I was prepared to give these a try having had such a good track record with my first pair. I have no problem buying old models.

I ordered on Tuesday night and got delivery on Thursday morning. Fabulous!

I've still got a cough so I've spent the week walking instead of running. Both pairs have had a session each and I like.

I have been super happy with my Inov-8s. Being quite flat and without much cushioning they're definitely not for every runner. But this is exactly why they've lasted so long and so well. I've never had as much mileage on a pair of road shoes.

Here's a picture of the soles of my old and new shoes - same type of sole (Road-X)
Old shoe below. Used and some wear spots... But we're talking over 3,500km of tar!
Close up of the forefoot part of the sole. Old sole on the left. And you can still see patterns on the sole and the letters 'FLEX'. I'm a forefoot striker so this is even more impressive.
I know of some guys from Bedfordview Running Club who would squeeze out 2,000km from their running shoes (these guys run >100km/wk). I thought that was a lot as I'd never got close to that from cushioned running shoes. I've so totally exceeded this with my Inov-8s and I'm chuffed.

Looking on the international Inov-8 website it looks like the brand has discontinued their road shoes as they only offer off-road and fitness shoes.

With two pairs in hand, here's hoping that I get another happy 8,000km of road running from them.


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