When I heard that Inov-8 released the new Trailroc 245, I knew I had to put some miles on them as soon as possible. So I picked up one of the first pairs that came to us at Born to Run, and roughly 1,000 miles later I still consider them my favorite minimalist trail running shoe.
The Trailrocs were a line of shoes Inov-8 released to experiment with several different rubber compounds throughout the outer sole. I frankly found this to be just one of several aspects of the shoe that performed well.
The following are the 3 main characteristics of the Trailroc 245 that truly make it stand out above the rest.
- Tri-C: The three composite rubbers that make up the sole of the Trailroc 245 have the endurance to hold up over many miles on both trails and roads. The tread is not as aggressive as the X-Talons, but I found that to be a good thing as it increased the overall responsiveness of the shoe.
- Weight: These guys weigh in at 8.6 ounces (245grams – hence the name of the shoe) and make great training or racing shoes. I wouldn’t have a problem racing a trail 10k or more in these shoes.
- Rock Plate: Not featured in the Trailroc 235, the rock plate brought lightweight protection from sharp rocks even at higher speeds. From long runs out on the road to 8k race simulations on the trails, I felt comfortable and confident in the protection underfoot.
Here are a few things I’d like to see changed on future models of the 245:
- Narrow Fit: Many people find Inov-8’s shoes to be too narrow as far as minimalist running shoes go, and the Trailroc 245’s are no exception. If you’re used to wearing Altra running shoes or Vivobarefoot, you will find the fit of the Trailroc very snug in the toe box. Many Inov-8 products are unisex, and this seems to be a logical reason for having an overall narrower design. Nevertheless, wider feet may cause greater stress on the outside of the shoe and lead to the upper material wearing out over time.
- Lacing Design: At times I found that the laces caused some wrinkles in the fabric when cinched tight. In addition, the highly breathable upper material showed signs of excessive wear over time and could lead to a hot spot on the foot.
- Inflexibility: Due to the rock plate, the flexibility of the shoe is compromised. I did not find the shoe structure too restricting, but compared to the 235, it’s significantly stiffer. The rock plate also reduces the amount of feedback you receive through sensors in your feet (more on proprioception here).
THE BTR TAKE
I have found the Trailroc 245 to be the go-to shoe in my trail running arsenal. It has survived my collegiate cross-country season (no simple task), and I am looking forward to seeing Inov-8 continue to manufacture this shoe. Above all, I really appreciated the 3mm drop paired with the rock plate when I was cruising down rugged trails or around town on longer runs when my form began to fall apart.
As for sizing, I found that they run just a little small, so try going a half-size up when purchasing your pair of the Trailroc 245’s. If you currently run in the 235’s and were planning on switching to the 245, know that the upper design and fit is virtually the same.
The versatility of the Trailroc 245’s is truly unparalleled in Inov-8’s history. The tread is durable and aggressive on the muddy trails, but not overkill when running on the streets. The upper is breathable and lightweight, yet with a 3mm drop the shoe is forgiving enough over a variety of terrain. Get yourself a pair of Trailroc 245s today, and I’m sure you won’t regret it as you hammer the trails hard this Spring!Date posted: September 9, 2013