The Inov-8 Trailroc 245
Over the span of 2 years, the UK-based Trail-running specialist – Inov-8, has catapulted itself to be the provider of one the best trail-running shoes to date.
It’s in depth knowledge, and research on “Minimalism” & “Barefoot-running” supercedes most companies (not gonna say which), that do not display as much commitment to the study, as Inov-8 has.
During my time in the Blue Mountains training – I caught up, and spent most of my days, with Inov-8 Australia’s Matty Abel – An up & coming 27-year old Ultra-runner.
1st look at Matty – He isn’t the average looking Ultra-runner, you’d probably be used to seeing. Lanky, small framed, quick.
Matty is big. Not overweight big – But muscle big.
Standing at 1.83-metres, the previous Rally-Champion has always been an advocate for strength & conditioning.
Most definitely – I roped him in to help me review the kicks from his perspective as well.
1st as foremost, here’s my take on the pair of kicks.
The Trailroc series, comes in several models:
Photo credits: Inov-8
The numbers depict the weight of each individual pair.
To my knowledge, they have since launched a few more models, catering to individuals with various needs.
Photo credits: runningwarehouse.com
When I first slipped them on (above), I could feel how wide the toe-box was.
A huge offset from the Salomon shoes that I have been training/racing in.
Salomon shoes, are known for their narrower toe-box in their range of kicks – From the Speedcross, Fellcross, to the S-Lab 5s & Sense series.
The fit, albeit different – was similar to the Inov-8 X-Talon 190s, that I used to run in.
Photo credit: Trailmag.com
The fit seemed really roomy, and I had to make sure I had tightened the laces REALLY taut – just to ensure that I could feel the support around the back of my foot.
Inov-8 has always been known to emphasize the importance of heel to toe differential, easy for the user to comprehend. Using their “Arrow System“, each Arrow (seen on the back of the heel, of each shoe) represents a 3-millimeter differential.
That said, the pair of Trailrocs that I have weighs 245 grams – and has 1 arrow, seen on the back of the heel. Thus, 3mm differential.
Matty and I were around Manly, Sydney – and we did back to back runs along Spit to Manly & Manly Dam.
1. I have the habit of training without socks, and have not encountered much trouble as of late. 7ks into the run, I concur that my feet felt REALLY comfortable!.. Initially.
Hotspots started to occur, and I felt my feet move too much INSIDE the shoe.
2. Perhaps it is just me too used to the protection that the Sense Ultra (Salomon) provides, but I have used the Sense (3 pairs in fact) – but still not used to how painful it was to feel every grit and stone using the Trailroc.
I felt like doomsday, watching Matty way ahead of me – gracefully rev-ing in the identical pair of kicks that he has on his feet too! Perhaps it’s conditioning, perhaps it’s just me.
But the dude was flying. I was hurting.
(Not to mention, that the Salomon Sense – possesses the Profeel film underneath, though!)
For Matty, this was the perfect pair of shoes for him.
He found it extremely responsive to his abilities. Big guy – Very good running gait.
He displayed the perfect posture for his running form. (Forefoot striking, he is)
Leaning front, arms relaxed – Seemed like he was being yanked willingly by a rope.
Though at times, he too, realised that the tongue of the Trailroc 245s – tend to move around too much, it seemed like that was only but a minor (albeit irritating) issue to deal with.
He put the Trailrocs to the “Ultimate Test” on Day 3 of my trip to the Blue Mountains.
We ran the course of the Mt. Solitary Ultra
Relentlessly brutal, and technical; with a neat mix of soft single-track trails, 35-degree faces to scale, and an abundance of Fire-trail for us to hover on.
With us en route – was fellow Singaporean, Sydney-based Ultra-runner & Race Director: Keith Hong
Located about 100-kilometres west of Sydney, in the heart of the Jamison Valley -
Mt. Solitary was a beauty standing at 3, 117 feet.
She gave no shortcuts for any individual, that wanted to scale her.
She, was brutal.
Matty, as usual was flying.
The Trailrocs seem to take whatever beating he gave them with ease.
1st up the Mountain, his feet weren’t hurting one bit.
Digressing a little – Mt. Solitary had one of the finest views I’ve ever seen in 9 years.
Okay back to the topic:
After spending a day in the Mountains – subsequently, I’ve used the Trailroc for some of my training runs, and have cumulated about 120-kilometres into the pair.
Injinji toe socks, complimented my usage well during my runs.
If anything – this is would one pair of kicks that I wouldn’t recommend running for long, without socks. If not – it works perfect.
The trails in Singapore are hardpacked, and easy to navigate through – so no issues there.
Banged them up quite gnarly-ly too – and they handle water well.
Not much squeaking! – Brownie points!
If anything – I highly ask of anyone planning to use the Trailroc 245s, to still purchase 1/2 a size larger than your usual fit.
Just to factor in that your feet will still swell, after longer distances.
This is, the Inov-8 TrailRoc.