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Photo credit: www.inov-8.com

Inov-8 Race Ultra gaiters review

14-Mar-16

Last updated: 16-Aug-18

By Fiona Outdoors

Inov-8 Race Ultra Gaiters

Made by one of the leading brands in off-road running footwear, the inov-8 gaiters offer a “lightweight and water-resistant gaiter that keeps debris out of the shoe”.

Features

  • Fit: Compress close to the ankle, providing the ultimate barrier against debris seeking to enter the shoe.
  • Stretch: Unrestricted running movement delivered through the gaiter's stretchy fabric.
  • Locks on: On-the-shoe attachment clips ensure the most secure of fits (this is only for certain Inov-8 race ultra shoes, including the Roclite 295, 280 and X-talon 212.) For other footwear there’s an underfoot cord fastener to secure the gaiters.
  • Speedy change: Just three attachment points - all on the shoe - make it quick and easy to put on / remove.
  • Water resistant: The DWR coating reduces the amount of water entering via the top of the shoe.
  • Cost: Around £20.

Photo credit: Fiona Russell.

Pros: What’s good about the Inov-8 Race Ultra gaiters

The gaiters are lightweight and made from a soft fabric. You need to remember to pull them on over your foot before putting on your trainers.

They fit well around the ankle and shoe and you can buy them in different sizes, eg small is for UK 5.5 to 7 shoes.

The front securing point attaches over the laces of the shoe to give a taut fit.

There are different ways to secure the side and back of the gaiters depending on what shoes you own/wear.

If you have the specific inov-8 Race Ultra shoes, the side attachments points go straight on to special clips. This is a great idea.

If you are wearing other shoes you use a thin cord to go under the shoe, rather like a stirrup. (But… See below.)

The gaiters are flexible and do not rub the ankle while running. I hardly noticed I was wearing them.

They also keep out the debris and the damp. The gaiters kept the shoe and foot dry even when running for miles through snow and wet.

Debris was not in evidence either so the gaiters did a good job of keeping bits and pieces of dirt, mud, and general muck out.

The gaiters have a reflective logo, which is a nice added extra for night running.

The gaiters can be washed in the machine at 40C. I presume they can be “re-waterproofed” with wash-in products.

Photo credit: Fiona Russell.

 

Cons: What’s not so good about the Inov-8 Race Ultra gaiters

If you don’t own the compatible inov-8 shoes with the attachment points of gaiters you need to fasten the gaiters under the base of the shoe. As I found out, this is not a great system. During just one five-mile off-road run one of the cords broke.

The cord is thin and isn’t in the right position to fit the base of the shoe where the instep rises a little. If the cord could fit between the heel and the forefoot at a slightly raised point they might last longer although I doubt it.

The gaiters still stay in place without the cord but on long runs they will eventually ride up if they are not secured at the side.

The fabric is treated with DWR to make it water repellent. This will wear out after a while and you will need to re-waterproof with a wash-in product.

Photo credit: Fiona Russell.

Conclusion

The fit is good and the gaiters are easy to wear but if you do not have the compatible inov-8 Race Ultra shoes for attachment points the under-shoe cord alternative is hopeless. The gaiters do a good job of keeping out the damp and debris.

Score  
Design 9/10* or 2/10**
Features 7/10
Performance 8/10*
Value 7/10* or 1/10**
Total 7.75/10* or 4.5/10**


* if you have the right Inov-8 shoes / ** if not

Overall: If you have inov-8 shoes 8/10 if not 4/10.

Other gaiters you may want to consider:

Gore Running Wear X-Running shoe gaiter
Raidlight Stop Run gaiters
Salomon Trail Gaiters High

About the writer: Fiona is a keen runner, preferring off-road and hilly to flat and road. She lives in Scotland where the weather is fickle so needs to be prepared for all conditions.

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Review Inov-8 Race Ultra gaiters review

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