Inov-8 turned a decade old this year, and to celebrate, founder Wayne Edy takes a look back at the first 10 years of the company and the inspiration behind their footwear.
It’s interesting to see that over the years, Inov-8 sticks true to their original design philosophies, allowing the company to carve out its spot in the running marketplace and find success as a niche brand. Since the beginning, Inov-8 footwear has been about allowing the foot to control the shoe and not the other way around, while also providing a strong emphasis on lightweight performance and confidence-inspiring grip on a variety of surfaces, traits that we still see in their shoes to this day.
Be sure to check out our selection of Inov-8 footwear and accessories for men and women.
Inov8 was making minimalist trail shoes before it was hip to be minimal. A UK company, Inov8 (pronounced: innovate) was founded on the principle of providing trail shoes that would be engineered to work in extreme conditions. Unhappy with the unstable, high-off-the-ground trail shoes that were available in the market, Inov8 set out to provide trail shoes that were close to the ground and thus inherently stable. Furthermore, trail shoes needed to be able to provide excellent traction and shed mud. Think about the damp landscape of Great Britain seen in the movie Braveheart, and you get a good idea of the conditions that Inov8 sought to conquer with its first trail shoe.
The first shoe produced by Inov8, was the Mudroc 290. This award wining shoe is known as the original Fell Racer. Fell racing involves racing from here to there, without a course, and undoubtedly over some hills (fell is a word used to describe a hilly landscape in parts of England). As such, Inov8 trail shoes were originally designed to provide supreme traction on steep climbs and descents, while also being able to shed mud. Inov8 now has a full spectrum of trail shoes designed to tackle a variety of terrain, ranging from hard packed ground, to loose covered trail and soft, mushy fields.