Whilst in the UK for his summer fell running adventure, Stephan R. Gripmaster spent some time with us exploring the delights of the Welsh mountains. We also managed to get him to guest review the latest Inov8 trail offering, the TrailRoc 245 into the bargain…
The following review subsequently appeared in the excellent Trail Magazin and here Mr. G translates the piece – we think he likes them!
Inov8 Trailroc 245 – Gripmaster / TRAIL magazine review
Flashy colors were the first thing I noticed, when I received Inov8’s new TRAILROC 245. Next was the number printed on the shoe, which indicates the shoe’s weight in size UK 8. 245 grams! It is not easy to build a really good trailshoe in this weight class, and there aren’t that many around.
But weight equals speed, so a lightweight shoe is always welcome.
To find out what the new guys can do, I went straight on my most demanding test loop. I am based in the bavarian Alps, and running here involves quite a lot of climbing and descending, narrow singletrack, rough and slippery rocks alike, wet grass and muddy slopes. My testing lab is called “Falkenstein“ or “The Falcon’s Rock“, and it is so technical, that a shoe that handles this trail well, can go just about anywhere. Some shoes I don’t dare take here, but for an Inov8, that’s a must-do!
The TRAILROC is rather minimalist when it comes to protection, which is logical, as weight is always also a compromise in cushioning and protection. It’s not destined to surf down huge fields of rough gravel and it provides limited protection against a frontal collision with rocks and roots.
However, in exchange for some extra care, running in the TRAILROC makes you feel like a lightfooted Hobbit on a quest for speed. The foot stands low on the ground and has great stability as well as a lot of feedback from the ground, despite the big lugs that provide phenomenal grip and confidence, which we have learned to expect from Inov8.
The lacing system works really well in holding the foot in place and proves once again, that sometimes the simple solution is the best. A positive hold in the heel helps to make the TRAILROC a fun-machine that’s best used on trails that are full of roots, winding up a steep hill or racing through tight corners. Or better yet: all of the above!
In a nutshell, it is very hard to take the TRAILROC out for a slow loop around the block…They might want to consider renaming it TRAILROCKET…
Overall (5 being the best rating possible)
Grip gravel 5
Grip mud 5
Grip forest 5
Grip rock 5