INOV-8 – our very first sponsor!
Ladies and Gentlemen, Jakob and Jakob are enormously proud to present our very first sponsor: INOV-8. INOV-8 is one of the world’s leading off-trail running brands, renowned for their world-class products. They cater for triathletes, orienteerers and ultramarathoners alike, their shoes being highly functional and technically advanced and absolutely perfect for our needs and demands.
Both of us ran in INOV-8 Roclite 312 GTX during the Trail du Verdon and had nothing but praise for the shoes. They fit snugly around the heel and had wide toe boxes where there was more than ample room for our (well, my…) wide feet. Apart from the fact that the shoes are very comfortable, they are absolutely awesome in the terrain. The traction when running on wet forest trails is extraordinary and we feel very safe and secure when running in them. A fact further underlined by how I almost sprained my ankle trail running in my regular Asics Nimbus, thinking they had the same grip as my Roclites on wet stones.
INOV-8 have been among the very first to cater to the increasing demand for minimalist running shoes, or “barefoot” shoes. Many of their models have heel-toe drops/differentials of 3 mm or even 0 mm, meaning that there is no difference in height between your heel and the ball of your front foot, giving the runner a more “natural” or “barefoot” gait during running.
INOV-8 will not only sponsor us with shoes for the desert ultramarathon Marathon des Sables, but they will also give us backpacks for the event. The INOV-8 Race Elite 25L is an extremely light backpack, ideally suited for mountain marathons and ultramarathons being run over several days, weighing only 363 grams. The products will be thoroughly tested and commented upon by us on this very site, to give you all an idea of the tough demands we have on the gear we need.
We will be trying out two different types of shoes, both trail shoes, and will later decide which ones to bring along to the Sahara. The Roclite 295 are lighter than the ones we used in France (295 stands for their weight in grams, as for all their shoes), having a 9 mm differential but should be sturdy enough for the extremes in Sahara. The Trailroc 245 is a lighter shoe with even less differential (3 mm) and a slightly different sole, more fitted for loose, rugged and eroded terrain. The latter shoe is not for trail novices, but could prove a bit light for our purposes. We’ll see which shoe suits us better.