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Inov8 Mudclaw 300 Review For Fell, Mud and Obstacle Racing
A Beast of a Running Shoe for When the Terrain Bites Back?
There’s something deeply satisfying about getting dirty and the rise of the mud run and obstacle racing events have got runners thinking hard about the right shoes for such events. Inov8’s Mudclaw 300 is a serious performance fell shoe which promises to offer exceptionally good grip in the mud- But is it a good shoe choice for muddy obstacle course race events and the harshness of fell racing?
12 mm Claws to Drive You Through The Mud
Inov8 Mudclaw 300 Grip
One look at the Mudclaw’s aggressively lugged sole tells you that these shoes are designed for when conditions underfoot are at their worst and in use the perform admirably in such conditions. The grip makes the softest, squelchy mud that would send a regular trail running shoe skating, seem insignificant.
On dry trails the mudclaw feels less at home with the lugs noticeably flexing under acceleration and sapping vital energy that should be propelling you forwards as I found recently at a pretty dry round of the 2014 UK Spartan Race series in Cambridge where my choice of shoe as the Mudclaws held me back somewhat in terms of trail grip and outright speed in contrast to the previous weekend’s fun in the mud at the Pippinford Park, London Sprint and Super events.
The Mudclaw is a specific shoe for when you need a certain kind of grip. They're most at home in the muddy fell racing events found in Northern England where they originate and are renowned as being a workhorse of a shoe for when you need grip and conditions are particularly soft underfoot.
The key attribute to the amazing grip on the Mudclaw 300's are their deep 12 mm studs which are about as deep as I've seen on any shoe and allow the runner the maximum possible control in the mud.
If you end up using the shoes on dry roads and hard-packed trails you will notice a degree of flex coming from the huge lugs which are made of a relatively soft rubber. If you stand on concrete you're actually able to do very small heal clicks like Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz as a result of that flex.
Mudclaw's In Their Natural Environment
Inov8 Mudclaw 300 Styling
Yes they are that yellow. I think many of the professional pics of the shoes have involved photographers toning down the yellow colour. It's like the designers were brainstorming ideas and came up with the styling points of bananas, sunshine and the 90's rave scene with the psychedelic smiley face saying "Accceeeeeddd".
In honesty I love their colour. They get the attention for being a brash, bruiser of a shoe. There's no need be subtlety in knee deep mud as your trying to race through a boggy trench but you know that when you've hosed them down back in the race village they'll still be smiling at you. The bright colours add a feelgood factor to a shoe which I don't think I would feel the same about if they were on the boring side.
Fit and Comfort
The Mudclaw 300 features a one piece upper construction. There is a plushness to the internal padding that you wouldn't usually expect from a relatively light shoe which has continued despite multiple power washes and events spent caked in mud from start to finish.
They feature a wider fit and certainly wider lacing section than many other shoes in the Inov8 range. Foot hold is nowhere near to the precision fit offered by the more performance orientated X-Talon 212 but it's more than adequate when combined with the additional robustness of the MUdclaw 300.
Two arrows to the rear at the heal showcase that this shoe features a 6mm differential between heal and toe.
What we think of the Inov8 Mudclaw 300
Unrivaled grip in soft mud
Ideal for beginners to barefoot running as well as anyone up to elite
A workhorse of a shoe that will last the distance
Doesn't just need to be saved for raceday
Feelgood colour-scheme but yellow isn't everyones cup of tea
Drainage isn't best for OCR events when compared to competition