Minimalist Running Shoe Spotlight: Inov-8 TrailRoc 235/255

The Natural Running Center has an extensive data base of running shoes on our site. But as a further service to runners, we will now be featuring short, up-to-date, wear-tested shoe reviews by our shoe editor Nick Pang who also helms


U.K.-based Inov-8 introduces TrailRoc, a new range of trail running shoes designed specifically for running on loose, rugged and eroded trails. With three different options (Trailroc 235, zero drop; Trailroc 245, 3mm drop; Trailroc 255, 6mm drop) of varying cushioning, protection and differential, there is a new TrailRoc shoe for every trail runner’s need.

There are three shoes in the Trailroc range, each with varying levels of cushioning and differential.
•    Trailroc 255 (Shoc-Zone 2) – 6mm differential
•    Trailroc 245 (Shoc-Zone 1) – 3mm differential
•    Trailroc 235 (Shoc-Zone 0) – 0mm differential

When I tested the first zero drop trail shoe from Inov-8 last year, the Bare Grip 200 had a really narrow toe box. I even sized up by one full size and it is still a little snug. But I loved it otherwise. So with a new anatomic last, the toe box is now a lot wider and even fit my 2E+ width feet – my toes can now splay out unrestricted for feel and balance.

All around, the TrailRoc 235 is a lot wider but about an ounce heavier than the Bare Grip 200. The Merrell Mix Master 2 is a very comparable shoe to the TrailRoc 235 in terms of weight, comfort, fit, performance – only difference is a 4mm drop which is also unnoticeable. The uppers on the TrailRoc 235 is however smoother, softer and more comfortable than the Mix Master 2.  My prediction is that the Inov-8 TrailRoc 235 will become one of the top lightweight minimal trail shoe of 2012! It is my favorite trail shoe that I rotate with the Merrell Mix Master 2 and New Balance Minimus Zero Trail.

Read detailed review here.

[nrcwhere2buy shoebrand=”Inov-8″]

6 Responses to “Minimalist Running Shoe Spotlight: Inov-8 TrailRoc 235/255”

  1. Matt says:

    What’s the performance comparison between the Trailroc 235 and the Merrell Trail Gloves? I have a pair of Trail Gloves (which I love), but on rocky trails I find them a little unforgiving on sharp rocks – does the Trailroc ride this terrain a little better?

    Also, the Mix Master 2 has a rock plate and I don’t think the 235 does – is this noticeable?

  2. NickP says:

    For a lot of folks who does not fit a Merrell Trail Glove or a Mix Master 2 because of the arch/midfoot area, the Inov-8 TrailRoc series is an alternative. The TrailRoc 235 is about 4 mm thicker (stack height) and heavier than the Trail Glove so it may take a little adjusting to. But they are both great trail shoes. I would prefer a Trail Glove for road running because of the more aggressive lugs on the TrailRoc. But for non-technical trails, the TrailRoc 235 and Mix Master 2 are similar. No rock plate but I’m only running on non-technical trails with small pebbles that still hurt…

    I like the TrailRoc 235 fit and uppers more than the Mix Master 2 – softer and snug.

    All sockless wear testing only.

  3. SteveL says:

    I have the Mix Master 2 and I think it’s a good shoe. I don’t feel the rocks hurt unless it happens to be a particularly pointy sharp rock but even then it’s not a big deal. When these wear out I’m going to give a pair of Inov-8s a try just to see the differences.

    With the Mix Master there are two areas I trail run at. One is a great series of very groomed trails and they work great there. The other is another great series of trails but much rougher and a lock rockier. I would prefer if the Mix Master had a more aggressive tread for those but they still work.

  4. SteveL says:

    I just got the TrailRoc 245 and love that shoe. It’s more flexible than my MixMaster and much stickier on the slick rocks and mud than the MixMaster. I’ll use the MixMaster at one set of trails I run that are well maintained groomed trails. The Trailrocks are for another area I run that is much rougher and lots of rocks, roots and stuff. I thought about the model 235 but at 55 years of age not sure I need to be poked in the foot by sharp rocks. :)

  5. Bob W says:

    The Inov-8 Terrafly and 245’s are superb shoes. Someone else mentioned that the 245 tread is sticky, and I agree. It seems to resist slipping on wet rocks. Lately, these have become my favorite trail running shoes. The tread on the 245’s is well designed. I have the 255’s, but they only use them for hiking (too clunky for running). The 235’s are great on smooth trails, but don’t offer enough protection for faster running on trails with rocks and roots. Finally, the Terrafly is my favorite road to trail shoe. I’ve even used it on a few road races this Fall.

  6. Tomas M says:

    If you anybody tried both this shoes, do you use the same size of Trail Glove (MixMaster) and Trailoc?


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