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INOV-8 TRAILROC 235 REVIEW

After writing the Inov-8 Trailroc 245 review last week, it seemed only appropriate to follow up with a review of its zero-drop relative, the Trailroc 235. These two shoes are frankly quite similar, which makes for a great way to transition into a 0mm heel-toe differential without changing the fit of your shoe.

Two key things set the Trailroc 235’s apart from the rest of the Trailroc series: The heel-toe differential and the absence of a rock plate. This results in a lighter; more flexible and yet durable trail running shoe.

Here are three unique features of the Trailroc 235 that I believe make it a fantastic minimalist running shoe.

Pros:

  1. Tri-C Sole: The three composite rubbers that make up the sole of the Trailroc 235 have the endurance to hold up over many miles on both trails and roads. Though the tread isn’t the most aggressive on the market, I found it totally capable of handling the mud and rocks while not getting in the way when used on urban surfaces.
  2. Weight: These guys weigh in at 8.3 ounces (235grams – hence the name of the shoe) and would make a great racing shoe. Compared to most of the trail running shoes on the market, these will feel like they’re an extension of your own foot!
  3. Proprioception: The lack of a rock plate makes for a great feedback when running in the 235’s. When on the trails, I felt a significant increase in proprioception and I noticed how the constant feedback helped in maintaining proper form throughout the run.  Watch out for sharp rocks though— you’ll feel them!

Though the shoe has several positive aspects, there are also a few drawbacks to the Trailroc 235’s:

Cons:

  1. Narrow Fit: Many find Inov-8’s shoes to be too narrow as far as minimalist running shoesgo.  If you’re used to wearing Altra running shoes or Vivobarefoot, you will find the fit of the Trailroc 235 very snug in the toe box. However, if you’re transitioning from the Nike Free, these shoes will feel very similar.
  2. Lacing Design: At times I found that the laces caused some wrinkles in the fabric when cinched tight. In addition, I would anticipate these wrinkles to turn into worn out areas in the upper material.

The BTR Take

If you’re looking for a lightweight trail running shoe that’s responsive, durable and crazy neon green, then the Inov-8 Trailroc 235 is worth considering for your next shoe. It’s a superb trail runner with a significant amount of protection and structure without inhibiting proprioception while on the run.

As for sizing, I found that they run just a little small, so try ordering a half-size up when making your purchase. These shoes look great and feel even better on the trails and the roads, so consider ordering yourself a pair of Inov-8 Trailroc 235s today so you can make them your go-to training shoe for your next Spring or Summer race.  Happy training!

Jeff Wolfram

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