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Inov-8 Trailfly Performance Review

Inov-8 Trailfly

We’ve rated previous Inov-8 shoes quite highly so we were immediately interested when we heard the Inov-8 Trailfly was getting a large update. With the Inov-8 Trailfly’s target use case being “training runs on hard/rocky ground” it was a perfect shoe for our Utah-based tester Sam Lohse to take on the rocky and mountainous trails outside Salt Lake City. Let’s see what he thought.

Inov-8 Trailfly

Release Date: March 2024

Price: $150

Weight: 9.9 oz. (average across all sizes)

Drop: 6mm

Sizing: True to size (wide version available)

Buy Men's at Inov-8 Buy Women's at Inov-8
  • Rundown: The Inov-8 Trailfly receives a makeover, introducing a new fit and performance features to make this shoe a better option for many adventures.


The Inov-8 Trailfly features solid midsole cushioning. All Inov-8 models have been updated with a “foot-shaped fit” to better fit the natural contours of our feet. I found the shoe to provide ample toe room and a comfy footbed, which is dubbed as the Boomerang Footbed and is made up of TPU beads to provide bounce and comfort. Underfoot, runners are protected by a META-SHANK rockplate, flexible enough to still feel soft, but protect your feet over rocky ground and long miles. Below the rockplate, INOV8 adds a new Powerflow Pro foam.

The Trailfly midsole takes a few runs to break in but softens up and does deliver on the springy feel that Inov-8 touts. It’s not a super-fast foam but does provide some comfort and cushion. I think the Boomerang footbed also assists here, adding an extra 6mm of padding between your foot and the ground. The midsole is 18mm at its thickest and 12mm towards the forefoot. It’s an honest midsole that will provide some nice comfort, day-in-day-out as a trainer.

I probably wouldn’t race in this shoe, as it’s not responsive enough to provide zip at shorter distances and doesn’t feel hefty enough for extra-long distances. However, for anyone looking for a lower-profile shoe that provides ample cushioning, this could be a good option.

Inov-8 Trailfly lateral view


The upper construction is a lightweight, breathable piece of mesh that I found pretty soft and comfortable. The Inov-8 Trailfly does drain water fairly well for those in wet climates. Around the mesh are several overlays to give the upper some shape and hold, including Inov-8’s meta-cradle strips to connect the midfoot with the heel and provide more lock-in. 

I did have to use the lock-in lace eyelets to avoid heel slippage, but once I did that, I found my heel more secure. Like I mentioned above, the shoe does take some breaking in. My 7th or 8th run felt much better from a comfort standpoint. On my first couple of wears, I found the tongue of the shoe barely wrapped around the top of my foot. I do have a very high arch and instep, so this could be a problem specific to me. I didn’t feel the upper was deep enough, which made for a weird running experience. That has improved upon wear, however, and sizing up half a size may have helped.

I’m not sure if it’s the footbed or the roomy upper, but I’ve found some slippage at the forefoot when running down steep terrain. I experienced something similar in the Craft Pure Trail, and, honestly, I’m not quite sure the causation as the two models are structured quite differently. Overall comfort on this shoe has been a bit of an issue for me.

Inov-8 Trailfly outsole traction


I find the outsole of the Inov-8 Trailfly to be its best quality, and no, Inov-8 did not use a Vibram base, despite my preference for the brand’s best-in-class outsoles. The Inov-8 Trailfly consists of a 4mm lug pattern made up of Graphene-infused rubber. The rubber compound is sticky and durable, so it should last you a while (or as long as the midsole holds up). The pattern is multi-directional, providing some uphill pull on the forefoot and braking power towards the back. Inov-8 have also identified high-wear areas of the outsole and put beefier lugs in those spots to avoid quick breakdown.

I took the Inov-8 Trailfly through snow, mud, and dry trails, finding that the outsole performed well in all three. Despite what I’ve read in other reviews, I thought the rubber shed mud fairly well, which I can appreciate for longer days through varied conditions.

Inov-8 Trailfly upper


The cons for me in this shoe really come down to the fit. I’ve done some research and found that sizing can be tricky and inconsistent for Inov-8. I found the shoe to have trouble fitting my taller arch, and slippage around the forefoot made for an unstable ride down steep terrain. I’d make sure to try the shoe on at home or in-store before purchasing.

Inov-8 Trailfly red grey lateral view

Is the Inov-8 Trailfly wide foot friendly?

The roomy toe box on the Trailfly is great for the natural contour. It does get somewhat thin in the midfoot though, so it’s good for those with a wide forefoot. There’s also a wide version available for both men and women on Inov-8’s website so you can go even wider if needed. 

Is the Inov-8 Trailfly worth $150?

$150 seems like a fair price for any trail shoe that should last 300-400 miles.

Inov-8 Trailfly nice and dirty

Inov-8 Trailfly Summary

The Inov-8 Trailfly has the makings of a consistent and durable trail shoe. It won’t blow your mind, but at a $150 price point, it’s not supposed to. The Trailfly shines in grip and durability, with enough of a midsole to keep you comfortable on training days. It’s soft and bouncy, but not speedy, making it a nice option for your longer, slower distance runs. Make sure your fit is dialed to ensure a comfortable ride, and ease into the technical terrain.

How does the Author Run?

Sam Lohse (age 28, 6’0″, 170 lbs): Runs daily, sometimes morning/night doubles, with one rest day a week (typically). Hangs right around 40-50 miles a week in general unless in race-specific training. Races distances from 50K to 100 miles, almost always on the trails. 


While Inov-8 did send a pair of the Inov-8 Trailfly to facilitate this review, they had no involvement in this review, didn’t receive an advance look at it, and have not attempted to influence it.

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