The Inov-8 Race Ultra 290 is the shoe created by british brand to gain some market share in the increasingly popular segment of ultra trails. Most of Inov-8's models feature "precision fit" which is great for short distances and runners with narrow feet, but there is a rising demand for wider toe boxes specially for those running long distances and Inov-8 names it "standard fit". Besides more room for feet and increased typical 6 to 8 mm drop, the Race Ultra 290 provides more cushioning and more versatile outsole than other Inov-8 models.
Upper from Race Ultra 290 is based on synthetic and breathable mesh with reinforced toe bumper to protect against external elements like rocks and brush. Kind of fused ribs embrace forefoot ending in lacing holes for a more secure and stable fit. Although Race Ultra 290 is gaiter-ready in case extra protection is needed, well padded tongue is not fully gusseted so there is a chance debris and/or dust go inside. There is no pocket to store lace excess to avoid snagging.
Race Ultra 290 features 2 arrows in Inov-8's ShockZone system which means a perfect blend of responsiveness and underfoot protection mixing injected EVA foam with multi-finger polymer (Meta-Shank™ III) for smooth transition and enhanced flexibility. Outsole promotes durability over grip (just 4.5 mm lugs) where design is similar to Saucony Peregrine 5 one. It is made of multiple rubbers (Tri-C™) with different endurance levels depending on the area. Multi directional stud pattern provides enough traction on non-technical terrains.