The lowest profile of the Trailroc series, the Inov-8 Trailroc 235 offers a nimble and flexible ride with a zero-drop, close-to-the-ground feel.
- Zero Offset: A level platform allows for nimble performance and a more natural running feel.
- No Rock Plate: The absence of a Meta-Shank means increased flexibility in the platform through the fore and midfoot.
- Moderately Aggressive Outsole: Medium-sized lugs, in combination with three purpose-specific rubbers, offer versatile traction along with lasting durability.
- Anatomic Fit: A wider forefoot offers room for toe splay during toe-off and more closely follows the shape of the foot.
The 235 is the most minimal of Inov-8’s current Trailroc series, featuring a lightweight upper and thinner platform for a nimble and flexible ride. A zero drop mid/outsole encourages a natural running style, though with a bit of cushioning underfoot to offer protection, the 235 doesn’t quite fall into the quasi-barefoot category.
We found the 235 to be the most performance-oriented of the Trailroc offerings. It’s light weight and lack of a Meta-Shank allowed our testers to fly over the trails, though with limited underfoot protection the 235 is best reserved for race day or for more forgiving trails.
The anatomic fit of the Trailrocs provides the runner with more room in the forefoot for increased toe splay through the gait cycle. For those of us used to a narrower, performance-oriented fit, the wider forefoot of the Trailrocs required several runs to get used to. Once we got used to it, we found the fit to allow for a greater feel for the trail as well as increased stability due to the amount of outsole surface area underfoot.
We liked the traction offered by the Trailroc series’ moderately aggressive outsole. The smaller lugs worked well over a range of terrain, but impressed us most over hard-packed singletrack and over loose rock, great for runners in drier conditions. The use of three purpose-specific rubbers on the outsole also worked to improve grip in most conditions while adding durability; our testers noticed very little wear even after several runs over rough terrain.
The lack of a rock plate in the 235 gives the shoe a bit more flexibility over the other two Trailroc models, allowing me to easily negotiate technical trails.
Even though I have a narrow foot, I found the anatomical fit to allow me to run a little more naturally and get a better feel for the trail.
The traction is my favorite aspect of the Trailrocs. I didn’t notice any slippage over a variety of terrain, giving me the confidence to just cruise over the trails.