Comments: I do all of my road running in a pair of Vibram Bikila's. I have used the VFF's on the trail as well, but always end up with bruised feet and/or jammed toes. I was searching from a trail shoe with a similar feel to the VFF, but with more slightly more protection. The Trailroc 235's are perfect: light, grippy, zero drop, true to size, and they allow for a snug fit in the midfoot, even for my relatively lower volume foot. Some trail shoes feel really clunky on the road, but these are fine if your race involves a few road miles. Fantastic shoe!
From: Sam, KY, USA. 2/10/14
Comments: I have been running trails for the last 4 years in triathlon-specific running shoes, so I, obviously, don't require a whole lot of cushioning during my sessions. I run anywhere from my local trails here in Lakewood, CO (roughly 5,600 feet above sea level) to the mountainous, rugged trails in Fraser and Winter Park, CO (approximately 9,000-10,000 feet above sea level) while attempting to keep up with my dogs. The runs are filled with rocky, muddy terrain and can be quite challenging, especially with 2 80 lb. dogs on leash. The triathlon-specific running shoes seemed fine, but I always seemed to be having to buy a new pair, as these were constantly falling apart (I recently competed in a Spartan Beast race and ruined my relatively-new K-Swiss K-Ruuz 1.5 shoes after 6 hours on a muddy obstacle trail course). I read reviews about the Inov-8 Trailroc 235 and decided I needed to try a pair. What a blessing! I still run these same trails, but I have discovered what true trail shoes can do for your runs. I never realized how much I had been slipping and taking big hits with my old running shoes. Now, I am running much faster and confidently on these trails in my 235's. The 235's are still lightweight and flexible enough, but they also offer more protection and durability. I am now outrunning my dogs - I never thought a shoe shoe could make make one a faster runner until now (these are the new Zips, baby!). I bought these in the same size in which I buy most of my shoes; however, I had tried the Trailroc 255 (which were way too stiff and heavy for my liking) and needed to try a half-size up from my normal shoes - I'm guessing it's because the shoes were significantly built-up for more protection.
From: Brian, Lakewood (Denver), CO, USA
Comments: Love these shoes. Zero drop, minimal stack height, firm lower. I've done long (5hr) runs in them on rough trail, no problems. Feel very responsive on the trails. They are my new favorite ultra distance shoes. They are lighter and less bulky than the Altra Superiors, so not sure why they are not more popular. The tread is sufficiently deep, certainly better than a Trail Glove or VFF. But not too deep of a cleat that it catches or cakes with mud. Drain well in creak crossings. The only drawback is the laminated toe bumper peeled back after my first 20 mile run. Annoying but not a show-stopper. I wash my shoes after every run so i wish they were sock less with no footbed. Other than that, great shoes.
From: Nick, Franklin, TN, USA
Comments: I must open with the fact that I have run in nothing but five fingers for the last few years so I am used to neutral running form. I have been in the market for something with a larger toe box and some cushion to take the bite out of nasty trails from time to time. Overall I love this shoe. It has a wide toe box, has just the right amount of protection, great traction on the trails, and is lightweight (not as light as VFFs of course). They fit pretty close to size. They have performed well both on trail, pavement, and the treadmill. Some other trail shoes tend to be clunky off the trail. I do not experience that with these shoes. All around I believe I have found a viable alternate to VFFs with one glaring exception. The uppers have already begun to rip around mid foot vertically between the Inov-8 design. I can still run in them but I was very disappointed that they ripped after only a couple hundred miles (about 2 months). The soles show very little wear at all. I hope that Inova-8 addresses this issue as I love these shoes otherwise.
From: Jim, Harpers Ferry, WV, USA
Comments: First, I have not done more than walk around my apartment in them so this is a very limited review. Sizing, I wear 9.5D in the New Balance Minimus Roads so I bought both 9.0 and 9.5 in this shoe and the 9.5 fits better. Although some reviews of the TR 235 say the toebox is wider, I still think it could use a little more wiggle room and I tried them on with the thinnest socks I own. That said, they're not any more narrow than the NB Roads and those could be wider too, IMHO. If you have narrow feet I'm sure these will feel great. The upper has a healthy amount of padding to them which is good if you like that. The heel in particular has a lot of padding which may be good to keep your heel locked in but I'm worried all this material will absorb and keep in water/mud. Also, the upper itself is unlike anything else I've encountered in a shoe. It sorta reminds me of that material at the bottom of carpets but flexible. They could've saved a lot of weight in the shoe if they thinned out the upper. The outer must be as grippy as everyone says they are as they make a pleasant squeaking sound when I walk across my hardwood floors. I can't comment on whether the lack of a rockplate provides sufficient protection but my gut tells me it'll be enough. That said, some reviews said the shoe was flexible. For not having a rockplate, I thought it'd flex more.
From: Randy, CA, USA