- Comfortable w/ great lockdown
- Absorbs impact well
- Great traction
- Better for trail running
- Not ideal for road running
- On the expensive side
- Feet heat up a little in GTX model
We wouldn’t recommend the ParkClaw 275 strictly for road running but they are awesome for trail running.
The ParkClaw 275 are neutral shoes designed for both road running and trail running. In our eyes, they are kind of sandwiched in between the TrailRoc series [see on Amazon] and the RoadClaw series [see on Amazon] from Inov-8.
It’s important to note that there are two different versions of the shoe. There’s the base ParkClaw 275 model, which has an MSRP of $130 and then there’s the GTX version, which is the model we have and that retails for an extra $20. Basically, the GTX version incorporates GORE-TEX, which essentially makes the shoes waterproof.
For the GTX version, the GORE-TEX material is actually bonded directly onto the upper rather than using a separate bootie, which is nice. I believe Inov-8 is actually the first company to use this type of technology in the trail running world. And overall, I like the upper a lot – it’s comfortable, decently flexible and pretty lightweight. However, I did notice that my feet heated up a little bit while I was running so breathability is not the best. It is a waterproof shoe after all though, so I’m not shocked. I imagine the base model is a little better in this regard since it doesn’t incorporate the GORE-TEX material.
What About Lockdown?
Lockdown is solid with the ParkClaw 275. I don’t know what it is about Inov-8 shoes but I just love the whole setup. I use their All Train 215s in the gym pretty much everyday mainly because I just really like the fit, the lockdown and the lacing/tongue system. And the ParkClaws are just as good. No issues whatsoever with heel slippage or my mid-foot sliding around.
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For the midsole, Inov-8 uses a two-piece system. It’s what they call their PowerFlow+ technology. Overall, I like it but it’s a little on the firm side. It does a good job with impact absorption but I just didn’t get much energy return. I was hoping for a little more there.
Just looking at the outsole, you can definitely tell the ParkClaw 275s were designed with trails in mind more so than roads. They incorporate 4mm lugs, which result in great traction. I took them out on a trail behind my house with some pretty uneven, mixed terrain and I even took them up some pretty steep hills with lots of rocks and I had no issues. The lugs do a great job of stabilizing your feet even with slippery, uneven surfaces.
Real quick – other things you may want to know, the ParkClaws fit true to size, they have an 8mm drop and they only weigh ~9.6 ounces so pretty lightweight overall.
There’s a lot to like about these shoes. They’re comfortable, they fit great, they have solid lockdown and the traction is top notch. But with that said, I view them more as trail running shoes and not road running shoes. They’re okay if you only have a little pavement mixed in your run but I just felt they are a little too firm and the lugs are a little harsh on the road. On trail though, they perform quite well. I always felt protected and I actually thought they didn’t inhibit my agility or lateral movement too much when running over rocks or turning corners. Overall, big fan of these for moderate trail running.