Provided you get on with the zero-drop design, the Inov-8 Trailfly G 270 V2 is a versatile trail-running shoe that handles pretty much anything you throw at it.
- Grip on soft and hard ground
- More durable upper
- Flexible ride
- Not as cushioned as rivals
- Zero-drop design won’t suit everyone
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The original Inov-8 Trailfly G 270 delighted trail runners of all types with the versatile ride and grip on soft and hard ground that it provided. So Inov-8 has opted to update nothing but the upper on the second version of the shoe to make it more durable and comfortable.
It’s one of the best trail-running shoes available whatever off-road plans you have, though some may prefer a more cushioned option for long runs on harder ground.
Inov-8 Trailfly G 270 V2 Review: Price And Availability
The Inov-8 Trailfly G 270 V2 launched in February 2023 and costs $170 in the US and £150 in the UK. It’s expensive for a trail shoe, though cheaper than the new breed of carbon plate running shoe for the trails.
Design And Fit
Inov-8’s updates to this version of the G 270 focus on making the upper more comfortable and durable. A new mesh material lasts 25% longer than that of the original shoe, and the tongue has more cushioning to hug the foot.
The overlays on the shoe also have been moved further back to allow for increased stretch and room in the forefoot. In general, Inov-8’s shoes tend to have a narrow fit, though the Trailfly G 270 is one of the widest shoes in its range. It fitted me well in my normal running shoe size, though I have a narrow foot and have always got on well with the fit of Inov-8 shoes.
The insole, midsole and outsole of the shoe are the same as on the original Trailfly G 270. The 6mm BOOMERANG insole is made from TPU and provides cushioning and bounce, with the long-lasting POWERFLOW MAX foam midsole being stable and comfortable. This zero-drop shoe has a stack height of 22mm between the heel and forefoot, and weighs 9.9oz/281g in my UK size 9.
There are 4mm multi-directional lugs on the outsole, which have dimples on them to grip better on wet surfaces. The outsole is made from graphene-enhanced rubber to increase durability, and the grooves on the forefoot provide flexibility on uneven ground.
How I Tested This Shoe
I’ve run around 30 miles (50km) in the Inov-8 Trailfly G 270 V2, using it on runs at a range of paces on a variety of terrains, including muddy grass, forest paths, canal towpaths, and the road to and from the trails. I didn’t test the original G 270, but have tested many Inov-8 shoes, including the Inov-8 Trailfly Ultra G 280.
At a time when many of the trail shoes I’m testing are moving towards the big stacks of cushioning seen on road shoes—and even sticking carbon plates in those midsoles—the Inov-8 Trailfly G 270 V2 feels refreshingly minimal.
The midsole provides protection but allows you to feel the trails beneath your feet, and the flexible, low-drop design molds against uneven ground to provide reliable grip. Aside from when running in deep mud, when I’d have preferred to be in shoes with longer lugs like Inov-8s X-Talon range, the Trailfly G 270 V2 gripped well on all terrains. It’s light for a shoe with such a substantial outsole and I enjoyed picking up the pace in it, especially on narrow or tricky trails where it feels more nimble than higher-stack, wider trail shoes.
When you hit firmer trails for long stretches of running it’s not as cushioned as a shoe like The North Face Summit Vectiv Pro, and doesn’t provide the extra pop you get from the plate in that. The Trailfly makes up for that by being more agile when you are on hills and uneven ground.
As a zero-drop shoe, it places more strain on my calf muscles during long periods on flatter trails, but the forefoot rocker shape reduces that strain—and when you’re on less groomed trails, the platform is stable and the 0mm drop is less noticeable.
Is The Inov-8 Trailfly G 270 V2 Worth It?
The Inov-8 Trailfly G 270 V2 is a versatile, durable shoe that will serve a lot of trail runners well, especially those spending a lot of time on soft and hard ground, and regularly flying up and down hills. It’s an excellent shoe and, though expensive, its durability means you’ll get value for money.
If you mainly stick to trails that are more tame—and stay at relaxed paces on your runs—then I’d suggest a more cushioned trail shoe, such as the Hoka Speedgoat 5, since the Inov-8 has a firmer feel when you spend long periods on hard, flat ground.
The Trailfly G 270 V2 is also a great trail-racing option for events where you will encounter a lot of hills and a variety of terrains. The best carbon plate running shoes for the trails like the Saucony Endorphin Edge and Hoka Tecton X deliver extra propulsion on harder, flatter trails, but the Trailfly is more nimble and feels faster on narrow trails and tricky descents.
Nick Harris-Fry is a journalist who has been covering health and fitness since 2015. Nick is an avid runner, covering 70-110km a week, which gives him ample opportunity to test a wide range of running shoes and running gear. He is also the chief tester for fitness trackers and running watches, treadmills and exercise bikes, and workout headphones.