Inov-8 has hired Park City-based Simbol Communications as its public relations agency of record. The running footwear, apparel and gear brand, with roots in the heart of the U.K.’s fell-running community and a U.S. headquarters near Boston, will be focusing on building its market share in the trail shoe category in the U.S.

Inov-8 is enlisting Nic Sims and Scott Boulbol, the long-time outdoor and cycling-industry insiders behind Simbol, to redouble PR efforts specific to their trail running shoes primarily, while also pushing their trail running apparel and gear.

Simbol will provide PR and media relations outreach, and work on promotions and events, to help bring the trailrunning segment back in line with Inov-8’s indoor-fitness business. Simbol also sees major potential with obstacle course and mud racing for the brand.

“Inov-8 was born in the muddy, rugged world of British fell running – a tradition which helped birth the trailrunning boom in the States. While we’re thrilled with our success across multiple categories, trailrunning is in our blood, and we’d love to get that side of our business growing at a more robust rate,” says US General Manager Jim Howard. “Nic and Scott have some great ideas how to grow our popularity among the core, while also introducing the brand to more casual trailrunner and potential first-timers. We’re super confident they’ll help us put Inov-8 on the minds and feet of a whole new generation of trail enthusiasts.”

Boulbol and Sims see this as a great opportunity to work with a truly authentic brand with a long heritage of making no-compromise trailrunning products.

“I’ve long been a big fan of the brand – since I first discovered them at the OR show almost 15 years ago,” says Boulbol, who knows a quality shoe when he sees one, having also enjoyed a long career as a shoe and gear tester. “We’ve always been really impressed with their commitment to remain authentic and not cave to every passing fad. But we think they also need to build appeal with a much wider range of consumers than their hardcore following, and that’s how we can best help build the brand.”