Review | Running Warehouse

Inov-8 Trailroc 255 Product Review

Short Take

With a rugged construction, the Inov-8 Trailroc 255 offers plenty of protection from trail hazards while retaining an agile and nimble feel characteristic of the Trailroc series.

Big Features

  • Moderate Offset: A 6mm heel-to-toe differential makes for a good transition shoe for those accustomed to a higher offset.
  • Meta-Shank Rock Plate: A plate of hardened rubber runs through the midfoot and protects the metatarsal heads from stone bruising and sharp rocks.
  • 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.

Trail Test

The 255 is the most rugged of Inov-8’s Trailroc series, offering increased overlays around the toebox, as well as a bit more midsole material over the 235 and 245 for increased protection and durability. It’s suitable for technical trails and the most gnarly terrain.

The 255 features a 6mm drop, which our testers found best for longer outings during which lower leg fatigue may become an issue. The moderate offset is also suitable for the runner looking to transition into more minimal footwear from a traditional offset shoe. The 255 features a more rugged construction over its Trailroc peers as well as a Meta-Shank rock plate underfoot, allowing for plenty of protection from the most unforgiving trails.

The Trailrocs offer an anatomic fit, giving the runner more room in the forefoot for increased toe splay as the runner transitions from ground contact to toe-off. For those of us used to a snugger, performance fit, the wider forefoot of the Trailrocs required several runs to get used to. Once acclimated, however, 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 unforgiving, shoe-eating terrain.

Runners Say


As a road runner used to a more traditional geometry, I experienced a smooth transition into the moderate offset of the Trailroc 255.


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 Trailrocs are definitely trail-specific shoes; the cushioning is just too firm to be doing any running on the road in these.