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Inov-8 Trailroc 255 Tester Diary

March 23rd, 2013


By Jonathan
Running Warehouse Shoe Tester

For the last two weeks I have been like Goldilocks looking for just the right trail running shoe. I love to run in lightweight, low-profile trail shoes that provide a great feel for the ground. The Salomon Sense Mantra has been a recent favorite, but for some reason I recently began to feel the need for a little more cushioning. So I moved on in search of a little more impact protection:

  • Asics Gel Fuji Racer – First up was this light and low trail racer. Though it is super nimble and more flexible than the Sense Mantra, this shoe did not give me the extra padding I was looking for.
  • Merrell Mix Master 2 – Still light, low and fast, but I did not find the extra padding I have been seeking in forefoot. Next!
  • Salomon Speedcross 3 – Plenty of cushion, but maybe a little too much. While it was comfy and great for an easy day, it was just too much shoe to run in the next time out.
  • Asics Gel Scout – Funny thing about the Scout: while it provides great traction on the trails and good rock protection, I like the shoe better as a road shoe. I actually prefer the Scout for daily road use, to any current Asics road shoe. Alas, I wanted the Scout to be a svelte, yet protective trail shoe and it was just too much shoe for my current craving.

And after this shoe odyssey, I rediscovered the Inov-8 Trailroc 255. When I originally tested the Trailroc 255, I was testing the Trailroc 245 and Trailroc 235 at the same time. Since I am partial to lighter shoes, I ended up falling in love with the 235, liked the 245 and thought the 255 was a good shoe but in comparison to the lighter, lower versions it was not my preference.

But today, the Trailroc 255 hit the sweet spot. It was more flexible than the Sense Mantra and softer under the forefoot than both the Sense Mantra and Fuji Racer, while being way more streamlined, nimble and faster than the Speedcross 3 and Gel Scout.

For the time being, the Trailroc 255 is the trail shoe that is just right. But give me a few weeks or days . . . .

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