It was only when I pulled my Mudclaw out for a wet and muddy trail run this morning that I realised I had not yet reviewed these shoes properly. A clear oversight given they are one of my go to pairs of shoes for trail running. Anyway, given that they have had so much use (now in their second winter season), it is with confidence that I can provide an honest and positive Mudclaw 275 review.

A Shoe for the Wet Season

Until recently, I haven’t had much call for my Mudclaws, at least not since earlier on in the year. I have spent some time training for a road marathon and haven’t been off road as much as I would like. We also don’t seem to have as much rain as we normally might – until now! Instead, I have found that my Roclite 290 shoes have served me well and I haven’t had to contend with too much mud…

It was only when I was out on my long run on Boxing Day that I wished I had worn the trusted Mudclaw and not my Roclite. You see, these shoes need to be worn when it is muddy, not just wet. If you wear them when the rain is only just starting to make an appearance and the ground is relatively dry, you may find them a little slippery.

Makes Light Work of Thick Mud

Where the Mudclaw 275 shines is when it is really muddy. Then they are absolutely the shoes you want. The 8mm cleats on the outsole deliver a decent grip, especially when descending. It doesn’t seem to matter how thick the mud is, the Mudclaw handle it well. Even in the muddiest of conditions, the space in between the lugs mean that the mud clears away efficiently. These shoes will also provide great grip on harder surfaces too and can effectively handle a change in terrain, in part thanks to the sticky rubber sole which handles abrasion well.

Dealing with water

Running along the Bristol tow path alongside the Avonmouth river this morning, there were a great many puddles to contend with. Having run straight through the middle of several puddles, my feet were well and truly submersed in water. Despite this, it didn’t take long for the water to disperse.

Thankfully the drainage on the Mudclaw 275 is great thanks to the shoe’s breathable upper. The shoe does claim to not absorb water however, you will get wet feet (how can you not when running through deep puddles?) but while the water does get through, it doesn’t stay in the shoe.

The gusseted tongue also prevents debris from entering the shoe. When compared to my Roclite, this is a major advantage – especially when running on wet, gravelly paths. The shoe is also designed to attach gaitors to help deal with even the muddiest of runs.

Running on Flat Paths or Roads

While this shoe isn’t designed for roads, there was a fair amount of her track and road in my latest run. Usually I would prefer the Roclite for road sections but the Inov-8 Mudclaw 275 deals well with fast running over flat terrain. It’s not going to achieve speeds you can achieve in your road shoes but I did manage some decent speed (mostly running to keep up with the speedy boys).

Comfort

The heel fits snugly and comfortably and the toe box, while designed to fit snugly, I found wide enough for my feet which often need a wider shoe (despite being graded a 1 by Inov-8). During the first couple of runs, when the shoes were just out of the box, I felt that they pinched on one side but this was soon rectified by loosening them off a bit and running them in. I find that they are flexible and agile and allow me to move freely over most types of terrain. they handle both hard and soft ground and can effectively deal with going from muddy, soft ground to hard dry ground.

Colour

Unlike many brands of shoes, there aren’t lots of colours to choose from or a different colour for men and women – there is just one colour in the Mudclaw 275 model and that is red. Saying that, if you are wearing them in the right conditions, you won’t really notice the colour as they will be covered in mud.

inov-8 mud claw 275

Fresh out of the box

Pros

  • 8mm cleats on the outsole deal effectively with soft mud of any thickness
  • Designed to help you move fast and react quickly to obstacles or changes in terrain
  • Met-Cradle technology locks down the mid-foot for a stable hold
  • Close fitting toe box for minimal internal movement
  • Breathable, non-water absorbing upper to keep the foot drier

Cons

  • It’s not uncommon for twigs to get stuck in the spaces in between the cleats
  • They aren’t suitable for wider feet, graded a 1 by Inov-8 (5 being ideal for wider feet)
  • Not as effective in non-muddy conditions – they are designed for mud.

I could sit here and give you all the technical spiel for this Mudclaw 275 review but you can read this on the product pages. Overall, what I find is these shoes are my go to for muddy runs. I feel safe and secure in them, like I am going to stay upright and not go sliding around all over the place. Having worn them for more than 200 miles of off road running now, I am confident in my recommendation. In fact, I am just considering buying another pair but I am not sure if I need to. They still seem to have plenty more wear in them yet.

While our Mudclaw 275 review is designed to help you make a more informed decision, if you want to check them out, visit the links for both mens’ shoes and womens’ shoes and discover more for yourself.