Our Review of the Inov-8 Mudclaw 300CL:
If you want grip, the new Inov-8 Mudclaw 300CL is the shoe for you. Slightly lighter than its predecessor the Mudclaw 333, the Mudclaw 300 retains all its extreme off-road capability in a more durable package and an improved fit.
I have been wearing the Inov-8 Mudclaw 300 over the summer for my fell training, and I have enjoyed a feeling of absolute security in them meaning that I have been able to forget about the terrain and simply enjoy running fast across it. I have the upmost confidence that regardless of the terrain underfoot each landing is going to be solid and secure. When I first took the Inov-8 Mudclaw 300’s out of the box the thing I noticed was the grip, it just looked like it was going to do the job and I don’t think I have had any slips or slides in them, even on the steepest descents or hardest cambers. The grip also sheds mud well, which is vital as collecting mud not only adds weight to the shoe that then has to be carried but also turns a previously grippy sole into essentially a racing flat! Interestingly, you wouldn’t expect such an aggressive outsole to be comfortable on the road, but when I have had to hit the tarmac within runs, the Inov-8 Mudclaw 300 has been remarkably comfortable and I would have no problem running quite some distance on the road in them as is sometimes required in races or training. With regards to rock, I have found very few shoes are fully secure on rock, especially wet rock but the sticky runner compound on the Inov-8 Mudclaw 300 certainly seem to be as secure as anything I have ever tried.
I generally choice relatively minimalist shoes, but I have enjoyed the support that the Inov-8 Mudclaw 300’s have provided. The Inov-8 Mudclaw 300 are still relatively light (300g UK 8), but they are not as minimal as some of Inov-8’s offerings, they have the Inov-8 2 arrow midsole and a 6mm differential meaning they have a slightly more substantial feeling, but in a good way, they certainly don’t feel cumbersome or intrusive, in fact the fit is so good that I generally don’t notice I’m wearing them. They just offer a bit more protection than say the Inov-8 X-Talon 190’s that I would usually choose for racing. The Inov-8 Mudclaw 300 are still responsive and flexible, ensuring you retain a connection with the ground and you can certainly still ‘feel’ the ground under your feet. This makes the Inov-8 Mudclaw 300 ideal for longer days in the hills or for individuals who require a bit more support
The fit of the Inov-8 Mudclaw 300 is described by Inov-8 as a ‘Performance fit’ which ensures that the foot is held securely in the shoe to prevent unwanted movement and certainly the shoe is snug and comfortable. The shoe feels like an extension of the foot and I haven’t had any problems with hot spots or irritation. The uppers hold your foot well and also appear to be very durable, offering protection against rocks and debris. Overall the Inov-8 Mudclaw 300 seem to be very robust, I have logged a lot of miles this summer in mine over peaty, muddy, stony terrain and they show very little sign of wear.
I have recently started cross-country training and the Inov-8 Mudclaw 300 has been my shoe of choice for sessions on muddy fields. I have been amazed by the grip. Even when cornering muddy turns at full speed I have not had a slip or even felt one coming. They really are the grippiest shoes I have ever worn. For people who don’t want to wear spikes for cross-country races the Inov-8 Mudclaw 300 is an ideal alternative.
The Inov-8 Mudclaw 300, in my opinion, offers the best grip for off-road terrain currently available. It is an ideal shoe for training or racing offering a secure, supportive feel while retaining Inov-8’s usual responsive, fast feel.
Specifications - Inov-8 Mudclaw 300CL:
- WEIGHT (UK8): 300G / 10.5OZ
- FIT: PRECISION
- UPPER: SYNTHETIC, TPU
- LINING: MESH
- FOOTBED: 6MM
- SHOC-ZONE: 2
- DIFFERENTIAL: 6MM
- SOLE: MUDCLAW
- COMPOUND: STICKY