Sunday, February 19, 2023

Inov-8 Trailfly G 270 V2 Multi Tester Review: Goldilocks!

Article by Dom Layfield and Renee Krusemark

Inov-8 Trailfly G270 v2 ($170)


Dom:  The original Terraultra G 270 (subsequently renamed to Trailfly G 270 to avoid trademark infringement) was a huge hit with RTR testers (RTR Review).  At the end of 2020, we voted it “Trail Shoe of the Year”.

What made the G270 so great?  It’s hard to pin down,  but mostly, this was a shoe that got almost everything right:  Excellent grip, excellent cushion, excellent fit, excellent ground feel, excellent stability, excellent durability, excellent weight, and a nice bouncy, energetic feel.

In some ways, this leaves Inov-8 in a difficult position.  How do you update a classic without ruining the magic?  They decided to err on the side of caution, and change very little.  The most notable upgrade is a slightly longer and more padded tongue.  The other is a rearrangement of the upper overlays, shifting them rearwards and away from the toe crease, making the forefoot feel more spacious.


  • Still a fantastic shoe in almost every way.  Across the board excellence: Dom/Renee


  • Wider forefoot could be a negative for some: Dom

  • Exposed midsole occasionally allows rock penetration in forefoot: Dom

  • Cost: Renee


Sample Weights: US M10 9.7 oz / 275 g  women’s US8 7.80 oz / 220 g 

Full Stack Height: men’s 22 mm heel / 22mm forefoot 

£150 | $170 | €175.  Available now.

First Impressions, Fit and Upper

Dom:  The Terraultra G 270 now called Trailfly G 270 is an old friend, and I have logged many miles in this shoe.  It’s light enough to race, but comfortable and durable enough to use as a daily trail shoe.   If you’re not already familiar with the shoe, its key features are basically: zero drop, with ~22 mm of stack height, and graphene-enhanced outsole.   

If you are familiar with this original G 270, you’ll be pleased to hear that v2 is virtually identical.  

The only notable changes are (1) more padding and slightly more length in the tongue, and (2) overlays shifted away from the forefoot, allowing more stretch around the toe crease.  The former is an unambiguous improvement.  

As I have a wide forefoot, the latter change is a win from my perspective, but I don’t know that everyone will see it that way.  Narrow-footed runners may feel that the more spacious forefoot feels less secure.   Then there are a couple of minor changes: Inov-8 have tweaked the upper mesh fabric to make it “25% more durable”.  At this point, I’ll have to take their word for it.  Subjectively, the fabric feels very similar to 270 v1.   Lastly, Inov-8 have removed the side anchor points for gaiters from the heel area.   Weight is completely unchanged, as is the running experience.

Renee: The original Trailfly G 270 was my favorite overall shoe of 2020 (road or trail), and it remains one of my favorite overall trail shoes, especially for fast paces and for its  nimble ground feel. The updated version changes very little from the first version aside from updates/improvements to the upper. Runners who enjoyed the first version will be happy. My women’s size 8 is lighter than the previous version, at 220g (both shoes) compared to 225/230g in the first version. 

Renee: For sizing, true-to-size should be fine for most runners. Runner’s between half sizes could go with the half size down if they enjoy a tight fit. Like the first version, the upper of the G 270 will “adapt” to the foot after some miles. The width is a “5” on Inov-8’s width scale, and the shoe has plenty of room/width/volume in the toe box. 

The midfoot and heel security are fantastic. Runners with narrow feet shouldn’t let the “5” width be a deterrent. The tongue is thin, but offers more padding than the first version. I had some issues with the tongue bunching and digging into my ankle on the first version (although not a big deal). The minor changes in padding are an improvement. The overlays across the midfoot on both sides help with security.

[Left: v1, Right: v2]

Renee: As compared to the first version, the overlays are farther back toward the midfoot than the forefoot, the heel overlay is gone, and the upper no longer includes gaiter attachment/slits on the heel. 

The upper summary: comfortable yet secure, making it a good choice for training miles and race days, especially for runners who like minimal uppers.

[Left: v2, Right: v1]

Renee: I thought the upper on the first version felt stiff across the forefoot after running through mud and rain. During testing, I ran through snow and lots of mud. Whatever changes are made here are enough to keep the upper a bit more flexible. Inov-8 states the upper is “proven to be 25% more durable” thanks to a “new lightweight mesh material." While long-term durability is yet to be determined, the change in bumper and overlays prevent, I think, the creasing across the forefoot that you’ll notice in my photo of v1 versus v2. The mesh itself seems to be the same thickness but less rigid after getting wet.


Dom: No changes here.  Personally, I was a little disappointed that Inov-8 didn’t opt to use the new “nitrogen-infused”, “FlySpeed” foam that they introduced in the TrailFly Ultra G 280.  I felt this bouncy foam was a high point of an otherwise underwhelming shoe.  However, given the huge success of the G 270 v1, I can see that Inov-8 would be nervous to introduce changes without a clear mandate.  The 12 mm of “PowerFlow Max” midsole foam in the G 270 v1 and v2 remains an excellent choice.  While not exactly springy and energetic, it does however provide nice cushion, great ground feel and stability.   I’ve worn the G 270 v1 in a couple of 100 km races and personally found myself wanting just a little more cushion.   But for daily running and races up to, say, 50 miles, the G 270 is right on the money for me.

It’s also worth noting that the 270 v2 retains Inov-8’s outstanding “boomerang” footbed.  Made with eTPU beads embedded in the footbed foam, this can make a relatively lifeless shoe feel bouncy and energetic.  These footbeds are genuinely fantastic: they provide extra cushioning, don’t absorb water when wet, and retain their shape and resilience over many hundreds (thousands?) of miles.   I’ve had great success in moving them from the G 270 to other shoes, changing the character of other shoes for the better.

Renee: The midsole/underfoot is unchanged from the first version. The midsole stack is 12mm of POWERFLOW MAX. With a 6mm Boomerang footbed (i.e. insole) and the outsole, the total stack is 22mm. 

I think in terms of cushion, the G 270 runs like a 22mm stack shoe, which should be plenty for some runners to tackle long distances. I find the midsole to be enough for long runs. Depending on terrain, the G 270 is enough for me to handle a 50k but as it’s so light and responsive, it’s a great choice for short, fast runs too. The midsole is meant to have a “fast-feel bounce and energy return.” I totally agree. Underfoot, the G 270 is the most fun trail shoe I’ve ever worn. 


Dom:  Outsole remains identical to v1, which again seems like a good decision.  Traction from the “graphene-enhanced” outsole rubber and lug pattern is excellent.   My own experience has been that while this outsole is really good, it is arguably overhyped, and doesn’t appear to be class-leading in grip or durability.   When doing side-by-side friction tests against Vibram MegaGrip, the Vibram rubber definitely grips better on wet, slick rock.

Dom:  Although rock protection is generally solid, on rare occasions, I have noticed that the point of a rock can hit right on one of the “meta-flex” gaps in the outsole.  So every once in a while you can experience a surprising jab in the forefoot.  I say this with the caveat that this is a top-flight, well-rounded shoe, so this is a minor nitpick.

Renee: The outsole is unchanged from the first version, i.e. same Graphene Grip, 4mm lugs with “rubber dimples” to help with wet surfaces. The flex grooves under the forefoot is a great feature, and coupled with the fun midsole, the shoe has a fast turnover. I ran through snow and mud on dirt and gravel terrain. The shoe is so nimble and light that running through thick mud is a lot easier than the 4mm lug depth suggests, and overall mud sheds fairly quickly. 


Dom:  As discussed above, the only changes in v2 are to the upper, and unsurprisingly, the experience of running in v2 is identical to v1.  When running with v1 on one foot and v2 on the other, I couldn’t tell the difference.   As with the outgoing shoe, the ride is perfectly in the sweet spot for most runners, with a lovely balance of protection vs ground feel, and cushion vs stability.   

Renee: The ride is fun. The G 270 is still the most fun trail I have right now. The shoe is lightweight and runs lighter than its weight suggests thanks to the zero drop and excellent ground feel. I’d need a slight drop and more stack height for long/ultra runs on flat terrain, but otherwise the G 270 is good for me for basically any run. For those who don’t like low drop and low stack height trail shoes, I think the G 270 is still a good option for speed days or shorter distances. 

Conclusions and Recommendations

Dom:  The outgoing G 270 v1 was a stellar shoe that delighted just about everyone who tried it.  For version 2, Inov-8 have wisely (and cautiously) kept changes to a minimum.  A longer, more padded tongue is a clear upgrade.  Removal of the forefoot overlays makes the forefoot a little more accommodating, which – as a wide-footed runner – I personally appreciated, but it does make me wonder if narrow-footed people will see this a regression. 

The shoe remains zero-drop, which is not for everyone: a minority of runners have never managed to adapt their gait to this shoe.  But for 99% of people, the Trailfly G 270 v2 remains an outstanding choice.  

No single shoe can be perfect for all uses, but the G 270 exemplifies the ‘Goldilocks’ philosophy: for most people, most of the time, this one shoe will make you happy.  It finds a near-perfect compromise between protection and ground-feel, between cushion and stability.  Grip is excellent.  Durability is excellent.   And perhaps most surprisingly, the G 270 manages to nail these compromises without feeling bland and forgettable.  It remains a fun, engaging and distinctive ride.

Renee: The G 270 is my favorite trail shoe. I know not all runners like a zero drop shoe, but for those who enjoy lightweight, low drop shoes with excellent ground feel, there is no topping the ride of the G 270. 

At $170, it’s a bit pricey especially for runners who may also need a higher stack shoe for long runs. For me, it’s worth the cost. I still wear my first version three years later and I think I underscored the value in my initial review for RTR. You won’t go wrong if you buy the first version at a discount, although I think the minor changes to the upper make the new version slightly better. 

Renee’s Score: 9.9/10 (-.10 cost)



Index to all RTR reviews: HERE

Inov-8 Trailfly G 270 v1 (RTR Review)

Renee: We have comparisons throughout the review. Overall, it’s the same great shoe with slight improvements to the upper. 

Inov-8 PARKCLAW G 280 (RTR Review)

Renee: The PARKCLAW G 280 is an 8mm drop road-to-trail shoe with 99 lugs on the outsole. I wish I could say the PC G 280 is an 8mm drop version of the G 270, but that’s not the case. The midsole and forefoot flex are still great, but the shoe is heavier and has a shallow/short toebox. The PARKCLAW runs at least one half size shorter than the G 270. 

Hoka Torrent 2 and 3 (RTR Review)

Renee: I haven’t run in Torrent 3. The Torrent 2 is one of my favorite trail shoes and is the least “Hoka” Hoka shoe. The Torrent is much cheaper and with its low (not zero) drop, many runners might find it more reasonable. The ride of the G 270 is much faster and more fun, and its upper is far more comfortable and secure. Despite the cost, the G 270 is my choice between the two. I wear a women’s 7.5 in the Torrent as compared to a women’s size 8 in the G 270. 

Saucony Peregrine 13 (RTR Review)

Renee: Another great trail shoe. The Peregrine 13 offers more cushion underfoot and with a 4mm drop, it’s probably a more approachable shoe for those who don’t like zero drop shoes. The G 270 is a lighter shoe and runs much faster. For the price and usage, the Peregrine 13 is the better choice for a daily trainer although, for speed and racing, I’d choose the G 270. Sizing is similar with the G 270 having a more secure upper and a roomier toebox. 

Saucony Endorphin Edge (RTR Review)

Renee: The Edge is a more cushioned shoe and because of its Carbitex carbon plate, the Edge provides speed for short or ultra distances. For me, the Edge works better on dry or rolling terrain. The upper security and ground feel are better in the G 270 so for anything technical, I’d choose the G 270. I raced a muddy/rocky 50k with the Edge and found it to be too much underfoot and not the best for wet/sloppy conditions. Sizing is similar; the upper of the Edge has more volume. 

VJ Spark (RTR Review)

Renee: The VJ Spark has a more aggressive outsole for soft/muddy terrain. The shoe is fast, but lacks the underfoot comfort of the G 270. The toebox ran a bit short in the Spark for mid or long distances (for me). Still a great shoe though. I’d only choose the Spark if running soft ground downhill for a short distance. Sizing is similar, although the Spark runs shorter with a shallow toebox. 

The Inov-8 Trailfly G 270 V2 is available at our partners below

Running Warehouse US


RoadTrailRun may receive a commission on purchases at the stores linked in this article. 
Your purchases help support RoadTrailRun and are much appreciated. Thanks!

Tester Profiles

Dom 51, trains and competes mainly on trails in Southern California.  In 2017 he was 14th at Western States 100 and in 2018 finished 50th at UTMB and 32nd at the 2018 Los Angeles marathon in a time of 2:46.  In 2019, his only notable finish was at the multi-day Dragon’s Back race in the UK.  In 2022 Dom finished 4th in the Angeles Crest 100 and was 10th in his age group at UTMB.

Renee is a former U. S.Marine journalist, which is when her enjoyment of running and writing started. She isn’t that awesome of a runner, but she tries really hard. Most of her weekly 50-60 miles take place on rural country roads in Nebraska, meaning mud, gravel, dirt, hills, and the occasional field. She has PR’s of 1:30:59 for the half marathon and 3:26:45 for the marathon.

Samples were provided at no charge for review purposes. RoadTrail Run has affiliate partnerships and may earn commission on products purchased via shopping links in this article. These partnerships do not influence our editorial content. The opinions herein are entirely the authors'.

Find all RoadTrailRun reviews at our index page HERE 
Google "roadtrailrun Shoe Name" and you can be quite sure to find just about any run shoe over the last 10 years

Comments and Questions Welcome Below!
Please let us know mileage, paces, race distances, and current preferred shoes

Men's & Women's SHOP HERE
FREE 2 Day Shipping EASY No Sweat Returns

EUROPE Men's & Women's SHOP HERE

Europe only: use RTR code RTR5ALL for 5% off all products, even sale products 


Men's and Women's SHOP HERE
  • 10% Savings Every Day*  5% Back in Rewards Cash
  • Test Run Shoes 90 Days Worry Free
  • Crazy Fast, FREE Shipping

Men's & Women's SHOP HERE

Men's & Women's  SHOP HERE

Men's & Women's  SHOP HERE

Men's & Women's SHOP HERE
Use RTR code RTRTOP4 for 5% off all products, even sale products

Men's & Women's  SHOP HERE

Men's & Women's SHOP HERE
FREE Shipping on most orders over $40

Men's & Women's SHOP HERE

Men's & Women's SHOP HERE

Men's and Women's SHOP HERE


Enjoyed this post? Never miss out on future posts by Following RoadTrailRun News Feed

Please Like and Follow RoadTrailRun
Facebook:  Instagram: @roadtrailrun
Twitter: @RoadTrailRun You Tube: @RoadTrailRun


Anonymous said...

How does it compare with the alone Peak 7?

Anonymous said...

Nice to hear if Micke can compare to Topo Runventure 4