Inov-8 Race Ultra 290 Review [Men’s]

The Inov-8 Race Ultra 290 trail running shoe has, after 100+ miles, been a solid mid weight performer (in terms of actual weight). Personally, I was coming from a heavier more cushioned shoe and have been enjoying the lighter style of this Inov-8 shoe while not feeling like my feet are getting too battered.

There were a couple of speed bumps in the road, but I quickly figured out what I was doing and how I could make these shoes work well for me and my feet.

inov-8 race ultra 290 black and blue style trail running shoe

So – what were my stumbling points with these shoes?

When I first started wearing them they seemed loose in the toes (they do have a large toebox) but it was to the point that on some technical long downhills I was pulling on the toenails from my foot coming up and then the toes scraping against the front of the shoe when coming down…

Sounds bad, right?

Well, it turns out that I just needed to tighten these up a bit in the middle laces and that really helped secure the shoe better which in turn stopped the issues with the toe box.

Inov-8 race ultra 290 shoes after a hundred or so miles

Once I got the toe issues fixed these should have been great – it’s a testament to how much I liked them that I figured out what I was doing wrong!

I really enjoy the feel I get – I can “feel” the trail and conditions while still having more than enough protection from jagged rocks, roots, and whatever else that is out there.


The Inov-8 Race Ultra 290 has proven itself to be a solid trail running shoe for myself. It’s priced well, at the time of this writing, has several styles to choose from, and most importantly it works well on the trail.


  • Solid construction
  • Lightweight while protecting foot


  • Figuring out toebox room may take a few tries


5 of 5


4 of 5


4 of 5


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