This was my first time trying a 1 Arrow shoe from Inov-8, and the 3mm differential was noticable right away. Most of my trail running lately has been in the X-Talon 212 which is a 2 Arrow shoe (6mm differential) and prior to that I was wearing the Roclite 295 which is a 3 Arrow (9mm differential). What I noticed was my achilles being stretched just a little more than usual as I ran, not in a bad way, just an awareness.
Twisty shoes. OK, so my feet don't move like that, is it a good thing that the shoes wouldn't stop my foot from moving like that?
Speaking of awareness, one thing that I love about these shoes is the way you can feel the ground beneath your feet. Not only is there a minimal differential between the heel and midfoot of the shoe, but overall the midsole is very thin and made from a lightweight material that allows for a natural response of your foot to the ground. I've come to realize that there is a reason the human foot has 26 bones, it's to adapt the variable terrain you encounter while running. A shoe doesn't need to control the way you move across the ground, it should allow your feet to do what they were meant to do.
This is a seriously flexible shoe. My feet certainly don't bend like that, but if I ever need to roll up my shoes and stick them in my pocket I can.
The uppers of the 190's are mostly a lightweight fabric mesh, which means they should drain well, but since I managed to jump the stream at Twin Brook this evening I didn't get them saturated. These definitely aren't going to be as durable through rough terrain as many Inov-8's are, but that's the price you pay for a 6.7 ounce shoe.
location: Twin Brook Recreation Area, Cumberland
distance: 5.5 miles