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inov-8 - Terrafly 313 GTX

posted Mar 1, 2014, 10:44 AM by GoOut Project   [ updated Mar 5, 2014, 12:42 PM ]

For more than 10 years inov-8 has promoted the so-called "Natural Running", a concept that essentially aims at reestablishing the natural movement of the feet during running. Always looking for innovative concepts in all outdoor sports, Go Out Project decided to try the inov-8 Terrafly 313 GTX, Gore-Tex® all-rounder shoes designed for long distance runners.

Technical Description

The Terrafly are designed for running both on trails and on the road in rainy, humid or cold days. The upper is constructed with a synthetic mesh with a Gore-Tex® membrane protecting from rain, snow, mud, and wind. On the sides of the upper a number of rubber inserts, connecting the eyelets of the laces to the sole, help to give more structure to the whole shoe. Toe and heel reinforcements, made ​​of synthetic material, protect against abrasion.

The DFB (Dynamic Fascia Band™) technology uses four very elastic plastic insert in the midsole running from the heel to the toes along the entire sole. The purpose of this system is to deliver a more energetic thrust at each flexion.

The sole has a good tread pattern, comprised of blocks and rods, designed to provide maximum traction on any terrain. The Meta-Flex™ system increases the flexibility of the sole by removing material in a stripe around the metatarsal area, under the toe joints.

Finally, for more safety at night, reflective patches are present on heels and toes.

Weight: 313 g (size UK 8)

Our Test

We tested the Terrafly tirelessly for more than 6 months, running for more than 250 km on the road and off-road
Detail breakdown of the usage during our tests:
  • 45% Trail
  • 35% Road 
  • 20% Off trail
We've also used them for hiking and medium/short approaches carrying heavy backpacks. We've tried them in all weather conditions, but mainly in VERY BAD conditions: rain, snow, cold.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Hey runner, if you wear a Terrafly expecting to experience the same feelings you have when you wear any other trail running shoe, sorry, but you're on the wrong track! If you've never heard about inov-8 and their philosophy in designing shoes for natural running, you may want to read their "guide to transition", or one of our latest tests of inov-8 shoes (Trailroc Test) to fully understand this test.

First Impressions
With a thin sole, minimum difference in thickness between the heel and the toe (only 6mm), a well-wrapping upper, toe and heel protections, and rounded edges of the sole, the Terrafly provide more than adequate protection, while preserving all the benefits of "natural running".

The Terrafly 313 GTX are much more "solid" than most other inov-8 trail running models, but 300g for a pair of Gore-Tex® running shoes can still be considered a featherweight!

Good feeling of protection and damn comfortable! The Terrafly fit superbly. The upper is joint to the tongue and this helps to keep water and debris out, while giving you the feeling of slipping into a kind of sock. The heel is well wrapped in its housing, as well as the central part of the foot, thanks to the good lacing system: this always allows safe and precise movements during running.

The sole is designed by inov-8 specifically for these shoes with a little shallower tread, which clearly suggests the attempt to find a good compromise in terms of performances both on and off road. The grip is good on hard and dry terrains, although the relatively soft sole is not always super precise. Fairly good grip on hard and wet terrains, slightly worse on muddy or soft ground.

Flexibility & Responsiveness
The Terrafly are very soft and flexible shoes, considering the high
level of protection they offer. At each flexure the DFB returns a very strong and pleasant elastic thrust, which amplifies the responsiveness in the boost phase. The Meta-flex in the forefoot area effectively enhances the flexibility by removing material in the metatarsal area, therefore creating a preferential bending line where it is needed. The feeling you get flexing your foot is indeed "natural".

A little more than the bare minimum. Not enough for you? Choose a different pair of shoes!

Weather Protection
The Gore-Tex® membrane keeps your feet dry in any condition: snow and water are never a problem. However, for the longest running sessions in rain, snow, or mud, it can be advisable to wear a pair of gaiters to prevent water or snow from getting inside from the shoe collar.

Whenever a waterproof membrane is used on a footwear, breathability is inevitably compromised. So during more intense running or when the temperature rises, your feet will obviously tend to sweat a little more compared to what you may be used to when running with shoes without a waterproof membrane.

The materials used are of excellent quality. The upper is constructed with a mesh of very strong nylon that doesn't fear branches, roots, or rocks. By the end of our tests, after a good washing, the Terrafly look almost new! The sole, made of a very soft rubber, is the only spot that shows the signs of the mileage: some points are very worn and some cleats are torn. Let's just say that the soft sole of the Terrafly doesn't like very much asphalt and sharp rocks.

Our Verdict

The Terrafly are the right shoes for those who are already experienced with Natural Running and who are looking for a single pair of shoes that they can use for both road and off-road running in those days when the weather is really miserable. They are light, flexible, comfortable, and multi-purpose. Go Out Project really liked them!

+ Great sensitivity
+ Good balance between weight and protection
+ Excellent fit

- Low traction on muddy or soft terrains
- Limited durability of the sole

 Lightness    8/10
 Grip    8/10
 Comfort    9/10
 Breathability    7/10
 Cushioning    7/10
 Stability    8/10
 Versatility    8/10
 Durability  7.5/10
 Total Score  7.8/10