Comments: I have been through many different minimalist trail shoes, mostly new balance, from the MT-OO to the MT-20v2. They were very good and very light, but the foot protection did not hold up with small rocks and the grip wore down buy the third run. The Trailroc 245's are by far the best shoe I have owned. They offer fantastic protection for a minimalist shoe. Not once have I had a small sharp rock come up and stab me in the tarsal. The lugs are great, they handle almost any terrain, but do become a little slippery when wet and on flat rock. But that is literally the only situation where footing is a tiny issue. Its also nice to have bottom grips that do not wear down easily. I have put in many miles so far and the lugs show no sign of wear. I personally like the fit, I have narrow feet and these work well for me. The uppers are also cushioned which makes them comfortable for longer runs. The only negative is the weight, and to be honest it's barely noticeable and only came to my attention when holding the Trailroc in one hand and the MT20 in the other. The difference is SLIGHT but it is there. The weight HAS NOT made a difference on runs. I read a review in which the writer mentioned that the TRI-C protection decreases the flexibility. I have not noticed a lack of flexibility on the trails. I live in Colorado and most of the runs I do are 10+ miles of very technical trail, and I can say without a doubt that these shoes have made it exponentially easier for me to cover distance in a minimalist shoe and still feel protected near the end of the run when technique begins to fade.
From: Brendan, CO, USA. April 20th 2014
Comments: After 13 hard trail miles in these shoes out of the box I think this is the best all around trail shoe I have ever worn. They are light, protective, flexible. There are no pressure points or seams inside the shoe. They do not constrict my toes even though I have a semi-wide forefoot. They feel like a NB MT110 only much better construction and far superior sole. I would for sure race a 50 miler in this shoe. I have never left a comment on this site but these shoes deserve the praise.
From: Joel, Denver, CO
Comments: Everyone wants their day in the minimalistic shoe sun and Inov-8's turn is now here. Their previous lasts were far too narrow in the forefoot but they seem to have hit the mark with this new ergonomic last. I have been beating on the 245's for several months now, on extremely rough and rocky trails. In my opinion, they add the perfect amount of underfoot protection for these conditions: just enough to prevent bruising but not too much to decrease sole flexibility and ground feel. The shoes cinch up well on my midfoot, the heel is locked in, and there is more than adequate room for the metatarsals to work their magic. To my utter amazement, I do not have a single gripe -- I cannot say this about any other pair of running shoes that I've owned, including MT10, MT110, Mix Master (1 & 2), Breatho, VFF, Trail Glove, etc. I've noticed how other minimalist- styled trail shoes tend to effect foot and ankle tendons in different ways but these (along with the Breathos and the VFFs) cause no discomfort which indicate to me that they are not restricting natural foot movement. I have seen three concerns that others have posted with these shoes: (1) the laces come untied -- this never happens to me and I don't even double-knot them, (2) the toe bumper is inadequate -- while it may appear that there is a lack of a large toe bumper there is plenty of rubber around the front of the shoe for me, and (3) vague comments about durability -- I have not seen any signs of this, even the lugs are holding up remarkably well on rough limestone. I always hate paying $100 for a pair of running shoes, but in this case my hope is that part of that money will be re-invested into Inov-8's R&D to continue to provide impeccable products, such as this. I just picked up a pair of the Bare-X 180's for roads and smoother trails; can't wait to see if they are also this impressive!
From: Kevin, Carlsbad, NM
Comments: I bought the Trailroc 245s same size (11us) as my MT10s (this according to what the shoe fitr tool mentioned). I received them today, for sure they are an excelent shoe, although using my MT10s as a point of reference... the 245s are actually smaller, my big toe touches the front of the shoe, while the the toe box is much narrower than that of my MT10s. Other than that construction is superb, they are extremely lightweight and feel confortable by walking in them. The sole actually feels sticky! But it seems they won't do for running at least for me in this size. So if you have been running in MT10s go for half a size bigger!
From: Cesar, Chihuahua, Mexico
Comments: What a great shoe! I love the fit! wide wear i need it in the mid foot and forefoot. Just enough cushioning to get through a trail half marathon I did yesterday! Best trail shoe I've ever tried, and I tried lots of them! My previous favorite was the Montail Rogue racer. The Rogues had more cushioning but I liked the feedback of the Inov8 better. Fit was very similar except for the Inov8s were wider in the midfoot and looser in the heel. Keep up the good work Inov8 and Running Warehouse!
From: Mark, Oregon
Comments: I've tried just about every minimal trail shoe on the market in this category: MT110, Truegrit, Kinvara TR, Mix Master, Fujiracer.
My main priority is protection while retaining flexibility. It was a close call between the Trailroc and the Mix Master, but the rest of the shoes aren't even close. In the end, the Trailroc is my favorite because the outsole molds around the foot rather than flaring out like the Mix Master. On uneven ground, this is a nice advantage as there is not a lot of extra shoe hanging out to either side of your foot.
The biggest disadvantage is the price. You don't tend to get better durability for your money with Inov-8, but you do get a better overall designed shoe.
From: Dan, Cincinnati, OH
Comments: My 245s arrived yesterday and I took them on a 14 mile training run over mostly hard packed, rocky terrain, here are my early impressions. I am impressed with the traction, comfort, and locked in fit. I already prefer them over the MT110s. The trailrocs fit my low volume feet perfectly, just like the Minimus last but a tad bit more room in the toe box. I purchased the same size I wear in Minimus Trail and the fit was spot on.
Traction was nice all around - from the hardpack, loose gravel, mud, and soft pine needled track I have no complaints. The upper was 'breezy' and after a small stream crossing they drained and dried pretty well. I do like the mesh upper more than the also nice synthetic 110 upper. I did not have any debris catch or snag the mesh on my run. Also, I did not notice any debris getting through the thin mesh yet or any hotspots. I absolutely love the outsole on this shoe! I just hope it's durable enough to justify the high price tag. I believe it will put the 110 to shame in this category.
In regard to weight, I didn't really notice a difference between these and the 110s. The lower 1mm drop of the trailrocs was not noticeable to me either. I did notice a difference with lack of soreness after my usual run which I attribute to the additional cushioning of the trailroc. Or maybe it's just because the EVA foam of the 110 was crushed after the first 30 miles on mine.
Complaints - the laces. I guess NB has just spoiled me. Those thick laces just don't come untied. I had to double knot the inov-8 ones. Toe bumper is pretty much not there, it could be beefier. I also wish the tongue was gusseted higher up, it doesn't want to stay put.
Overall I am very satisfied with this purchase. The fit really is spot on, and that was one of my biggest concerns. Now if the durability is there this could be my all around go to trail running shoe. I'm excited to take them out on my long run Saturday.
From: Emil, PMV, GA.