Ian and I headed to Arrochar on Saturday morning to make the most of the allegedly decent weather and Ian chose this run to test out the new pair of ContourClaws he’d been sent as part of his sponsorship deal*. The ContourClaw is designed to “handle extended sections of sustained and extreme countouring” and features a detachable sole which permits the shoe to swivel 90 degrees and shift the grippy bit to the side of the foot, thereby providing superb traction and relieving stress on the runner’s ankle. Genius or a “claw” too far? We were about to find out…

We waited until we’d been out for a few hours and sufficiently wet and cold before trying this out on an exploratory descent off Narnain. ‘Twas but the work of a moment to remove the sole and switch it to “contouring mode” using a clever lace binding technique. After this the sole seemed to take on a life of its own, switching between “underfoot” and “side” grip in response to the terrain. Clearly thrilled with this new arrangement, Ian kept the shoe in this mode all the way back to the car park.

Verdict: A triumph, and I for one will be ordering a pair. Five stars Inov-8!

* Technically this is an “inverse” sponsorship arrangement whereby Ian pays Inov-8 to wear their gear.

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