As of today, the Inov-8 Trailroc 245 is now a serious rival to the Inov-8 X-Talon 212 as my favorite racing shoe. I’ve tested it in 3 different races with 3 different types of terrain: flat, relatively non-muddy runners type of race (Extreme Rampage); a rugged, mountainous and sometimes muddy mess (2nd lap of the Spartan Ultra Beast); and hilly with a variety of muddy/wet conditions (SC Spartan Beast). In all three of these races the shoe itself performed remarkedly well.
The Trailroc is one of the more comfortable, minimalist shoes that I’ve worn. It was snug in the right places without any troublesome pressure points. I had absolutely no issues with blisters or soreness and I didn’t even have a chance to train in them beforehand.
I was slightly concerned that the Trailroc wouldn’t have the traction that the bigger lugged X-Talon has. However, I didn’t notice any significant difference with these shoes. I ran several miles either up or down slippery slopes and felt very confident. The smaller lugs are sufficient for muddy slopes, but have the added benefit of being seemingly more grippy on dry surfaces.
This is one of the biggest criteria for me in my selection of obstacle racing shoes. While not quite as good as the X-Talon, the Trailroc was excellent for dispelling the water and mud that inevitably find their way in. Most of the mud and water squooshes out within a couple of dozen steps, leaving you once again with a lightweight shoe. At the end of the races, there was more silt than I usually find in the X-Talon, but it was still within acceptable ranges.
Final thoughts about the Trailroc
It feels like more of a shoe than the X-Talon and is slightly heavier. Because of the smaller lugs, the Trailroc felt better on balance obstacles like horizontal traverse walls and balance logs. It sheds water and debris very well, but I still think the X-Talon is better at that. I will have a decision to make the next time I race. If I expect unusually large amounts of mud and water, then I’ll definitely wear the X-Talons. If not, then the Trailrocs will definitely be my shoe of choice.
Hello, just seeing this post. Do you have an update? I am prepping to run an Ultra Beast in April and there are not many sites that review the Inov8’s against each other. Which would you recommend for that length of race? Thanks!
Josh, I really liked the Trailrocs and still wear them on occasion. I don’t think they make the trailrocs anymore, so if you’re interested in them you would have to find them at a reseller, which means they would be cheaper at least. I would consider wearing the Trailrocs in an Ultra in terms of the stability, but they are not as good as other shoes with traction in really muddy, steep inclines. Shoes are such a personal choice depending on foot type, gait, and preference, but within the Inov-8 series, the Terraclaw is designed for high mileage. The Talons are not. Hope that helps some.