INOV8 REVIEW
INOV8 TRAILROC 285

INOV8 TRAILROC 285

 

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I was selected to try the new Inov8 TRAILROC 285’s out. They were my first pair of Inov8 shoes, I have been trail running and mountain running for the last 2-3 years. I am a bit of a tight arse when it comes to splashing money out on kit but when it comes to shoes I don’t mind departing with the cash. The TRAILROC’s retail at £125.

 

Inov8 are wherever you look at a trail running race and it turns out there’s a reason for that.

 

I have never deviated away from my trusted Saucony Perigrine 6 but as the TRAILROC’s arrived in the post I did feel like Buzzlight year had stepped into the room and woody was left in the corner. The poor old beaten up Saucony’s were left for dead as I was out of the door wearing my new TRAILROC’s to walk down the road to get a gelato.

 

I have just moved to Switzerland and have been lucky enough to have some of the best trail networks at my disposal for a true test of the TRAILROC’s. I have had them for about 2 months now and have been on runs of all different lengths and terrain. If your going to test a shoe for comfort, grip, style and overall stability you might as well do a proper test. I gave these shoes some serious punishment and they stood up to everything I threw at them.

New shoes are always a funny one, you put them on and expect your 10k time to drop and start skipping around the trails like Kilian Jornet or should I say Damian Hall (Inov8 runner came 12th UTMB). Turns out that even new shoes don’t make you run any faster, they may make you look slightly cooler and definitely make the whole running experience more pleasurable.

 

The TRAILROC is one hell of a shoe, going from the Perigrine 6’s the toe box is slightly narrower which caused a slight bit of discomfort on my big toe after a few runs. One major winner for me was the support the shoe delivers. The trails in Switzerland are forever changing, rocky terrain, rooted forest sections and mountainous climbs. Turning your ankle is a worry on every step, but the TRAILROC’S support structure makes you feel locked in and gives your confidence to hit the trails hard. No more pussy footing on rocky descents, I was no longer worried about turning an ankle but smashing my face.

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Ino8 state that their new ‘New Powerflow+ midsole delivers 10% better shock absorption and 25% better energy return than standard midsoles.’ Now I don’t know if I can really comment on this as I have no way of measuring that. What I can say is that I like to run on a minimal shoe so I can be intuitive with the ground and try and steer clear of cushioned shoes. But saying this the Ino8’s felt really intuitive even with this cushioned sole and didn’t feel clumsy which I often feel with a cushioned sole. I don’t think my feet are hardy enough to deal with treading on spikey rocks in minimal shoes, so with the TRAILROC’s I was smashing through the roughest terrain and come out the other end with my feet in one piece.

Inov8 are known for their superior grip on their shoes, having run a few fell races grip is essential as you scramble up fells. I took the shoes for a proper grip test through dirt forest, water and up rocky terrain. Again the TRAILROC’s were faultless. Using a combination of three sticky rubber compounds. The science is there for you to enjoy the running, all I can say is that grip on the heel was insane on the fast steep descents. Then on the flats and power hiking ups they clung to the rocks and helped me scramble up steep climbs.

Overall the shoe was a complete winner in my eyes and will definitely look at some more in their range to see what else they have to offer. I gave the shoes a real pounding on some serious terrain and they lived up to everything they said. The grip they delivered was second to none, the comfort and support was faultless. As I said earlier the only downside for me was the toe box being slightly narrow for me, but that is something I can get over as the rest of the shoe is spot on. The TRAILROC’s didn’t disappoint. It was a perfect introduction to Inov8 and happy that the TRAILROC 285’s took my Inov8 shoe virginity. I will be back for seconds and look forward to what else they have to offer.

 

#getagrip #trailroc

 

 

 

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