Inov8 TrailRoc 245.
If you have talked running shoes with me for more than 10 minutes, it is no secret that I love my Inov8’s. I have been wearing the TrailRoc 295’s since my first ultra, White River 50 back in 2010. The sticky rubber and gnarly lugs allow me to attack any downhill or technical terrain. Every time I have tried to go to other shoes with similar heel to toe drop or more minimalist, I always end up back in my 295’s. But that might all be changing now that Inov8 has released its newest additions to the TrailRoc family. I’ll admit, the striking color profile of the 245 drew me in, that and it has a 3mm (1-arrow) drop which is a big change from the 9mm (3-arrows) in the 295’s. I was nervous about the sole as most more minimal shoes seem to neglect sturdiness and cushion. The first step in my 245’s showed me that they had the right amount of cushion. They also have an incredibly creative design for the rubber on the soles, making it what I believe to be the most functional trail shoe out right now.
Watch this video, it explains the construction of the sole: TrailRoc 245 video from Inov8
I have taken the past few days and thrown every type of trail I can at the 245 and I cannot find any faults. I first went up Grouse Mountain (BCMC) and they were very light but so aggressive. Having the thicker rubber (black layer) in the sole gave me the confidence I have in my 295’s to fly downhill that I never did have in something like the Minimus. The next day I went on flatter but very rooty and rocky portions of the Baden Powell trail. It was pretty amazing feeling just how light these shoes are. The lugs, though not as pronounced, did a phenomenal job giving me stability and grip. I also went running around UBC, hitting the flat gravel trails and roads. I was surprised at how comfortable and ‘cushioned’ it felt transitioning to the road.
The biggest downfall for me was the release date. I was able to get mine last week, just 3 weeks before Wasatch 100. Now I want to be running it in them but am scared to make their long distance debut at my goal race for the year. I guess you could say I am between 2 TrailRocs and a hard place. 🙂
Anyway, Inov8 TrailRoc 245. Give them a try. In my opinion they are the most versatile, aggressive, minimal shoe on the market. They might become your new favorite shoe too!