It seems like the Inov-8 Mudclaw has been around for a long, long time and it has remained unchanged. What’s not to like – a grippy, precise, classic fell running shoe for wet and muddy conditions. Why change the format?
Well, the Mudclaw 275 is finally here and with comes a new design, a new sole unit and a new upper. Don’t panic though, Inov-8 has not messed around with the fundamentals very much but the shoe looks and feels quite different from the classic design of previous versions.
When you think about it, for the Mudclaw, it’s all about the grip. If you do a lot of trail running (especially in wetter climes) it’s likely you’ll have use for the Inov-8 Mudclaw in your arsenal of trail shoes. It’s not an all-rounder, not even a subtle shoe, it’s designed for maximum traction ‘off road’ and that’s what it does best. In this respect the Mudclaw 275 remains the same shoe as previous versions – it’s all about grip - stability on loose surfaces and it’s clear that Inov-8 have worked hard to keep an aggressive, grip-focused sole unit as the core proposition for the shoe.
Keeping the same 4mm heel to toe drop, the Mudclaw 275 is relatively low and surprisingly cushioned – it has a 6mm of cushioning running through the midsole – a nod to the harder surfaces (and odd bit of tarmac) the shoe might encounter. With moderate cushioning the shoe is designed to retain the ‘feel’ of the classic mudclaw – being low, precise and giving a good proprioceptive feel for the ground.
The lugs are 8mm in depth and Inov-8 has worked hard on optimising the design for grip. The Mudclaw 275 uses the ‘stickygrip’ compound and having used this compound on other Inov-8 shoes (and having got plenty of positive feedback from customers) we can thoroughly recommend the grip it gives on difficult surfaces (like wet rock) and wet, loose mud.
In terms of the upper, the new Mudclaw 275 comes in a ‘stealthy’ all black colour and features a free-draining mesh with overlay, padded tongue and heel. Inov-8’s take on a shoe for wet and muddy conditions is to keep it light and easy to dry (rather than some new shoes in this class going for tough, rugged materials with tighter weaves to keep the water out of the shoe).
We think Inov-8’s taken a very pragmatic approach to the new mudclaw – it’s not radical but well-updated and it's not trying to change a winning formula. You can take a look at the new Inov-8 Mudclaw 275 on the website here.