Ten years can be a long time, especially in the world of outdoor brands. Back in 2003 Zimbabwe-born, Wayne Edy, a consultant in the outdoor industry came up with the concept of a shoe built for off-road running.
On June 11th 2003 the first Inov8 shoe came onto the market. This first shoe, the Mudroc, was built for fell and mountain runners and tipped the scales at just 290 grams and offered great traction on uneven terrain with an aggressive outsole design.
Edy soon became a regular fixture at mountain running events, selling Mudrocs out of the back of his pick-up truck. Later that year, New Zealand athlete Melissa Moon won the World Mountain Running Trophy in a pair of Mudroc 290 shoes she borrowed on the day of the race in Alaska. The shoe was an instant hit.
Building on the success of the initial Mudroc, three new off-road shoe designs were put out into the shops. It was then that Inov8 really pioneered the idea of minimal running and created the arrow system to allow runners to transition to a new minimal ‘more natural’ way of running safely without risking injury by of stressing the legs and feet.
Things really took a leap forward in 2009 when the brand was discovered in the US, where the burgeoning Crossfit community discovered the f-lite 230 shoes. The low profile of the shoes seemed to exactly fit their needs for a shoe built for a specific type of high intensity workout.
Today inov-8 trades in over 60 countries around the world and boasts more than 80 shoes, meeting the needs of off-trail, off-road, road and functional fitness athletes. It also has a global team of athletes who compete at the extremes of sport and stretch limits.
The team includes UK-born Joe Grant, who raced 350 miles across the Alaskan wilderness earlier this year in the world’s longest human-powered winter ultra-marathon, the Iditarod Trail Invitational, and Brendan Davies, who recently won the high-profile TNF 100km trail race in Australia, shattering a course record previously held by three-time Skyrunning champion Kilian Jornet.
This summer inov-8 will also launch its first running apparel range, tested by international mountain runners.
Company founder Edy said:
I am proud of what we have achieved, it has been an amazing ride so far. We are not followers, we carve a new way, and that’s why our products are different.
And we will not let up. We will continue to sweat innovation and provide outstanding products for committed athletes wanting to run fast on all terrains and smash hardcore workouts.