Inov-8 known for their minimalist trail and road shoes have launched a new range of lightweight off-road shoes called Trailroc.
The Trailroc 245 tested here is the middle weight shoe in the line up of three, and as the names suggests weighs 245g. The mesh upper is soft and airy with a little stretch and plenty of padding around the ankle and tongue for added protection. What we liked here compared to older trail shoes we’ve tested from Inov-8 is there is more room in the toe box that allows the toes to spread naturally. This also means those with wider feet wont have any issues either.
The combination of stretch and space allows for full flexion and any foot swelling on hot or long run days. Up front a small rubber bump pad takes care of any of any light knocks. The Trailroc’s outsole uses three different rubber types and has three different cleat sizes. There are large soft rubber cleats at the front to provide grip on steep slopes and rocks, smaller and slightly harder cleats under the arch and hard longer lasting rubber cleats in the areas of highest wear. These provide plenty of grip off-road whether it’s muddy, hard pack or on rocks. We were also pleasantly surprised how well they worked on the road. The midsole offers light padding providing a more forgiving ride than you might expect from a shoe of this weight, but this definitely not a big bouncy trail shoe.
Being low profile also makes it a very stable shoe on the trails. With just a 3mm differential between heel and toe, the Trailroc provides a natural ride. This is good for efficient runners and those wishing to develop a more natural mid/forefoot running technique. The Trailroc 245 offers a good balance of comfort, cushioning and protection while offering a more natural and responsive ride compared to most off-road shoes we have tested. They’re great shoes but you pay a premium for them.