Inov-8 is blasting forward in 2013 with the launch of many new models in the Road X-treme, TrailRoc, and F-Lite series. In this review, we will cover our wear testing of the TrailRoc 150 and TrailRoc 226 models. The unisex TrailRoc 150 is the lightest shoe in the trail range, focusing purely on minimalist performance. No midsole provides a low profile authentic barefoot feel. Three sticky rubber compounds varying in hardness give optimal wear and maximum grip on dry and loose trails.
The TrailRoc 226 is a women-only performance-focused trail shoe offering minimal underfoot cushioning and a natural barefoot feel. Three sticky rubber compounds varying in hardness give optimal wear and maximum grip on dry and loose trails.
The Inov-8 Trailroc 150 is a zero drop trail shoe with no midsole. The anatomic last follows the natural shape of the human foot for a close and comfortable fit. The upper is made of synthetic mesh for a lightweight and breathable coverage. The TPU lacing supports a strong, lightweight and secure fit. The removable 3mm footbed is provided for additional underfoot comfort. If you want to experience barefoot-style running shoes in its purest form, run sockless in the TrailRoc 150 without the sockliner.
The outsole is built with a moderately aggressive lug pattern. It is intended for use on hard packed trails and mixed terrain. Three different outsole rubbers are used for grip and durability: soft sticky rubber for optimal performance and maximized grip in wet conditions; hard sticky rubber for optimal performance, grip in wet conditions, and increased endurance; and endurance rubber for increased durability and grip on mixed terrain.
The Inov-8 TrailRoc 226 is a zero drop trail shoe with an injected EVA foam for resilient cushioning with maximum memory retention. The anatomic last follows the natural shape of a women’s foot for a close and comfortable fit. Synthetic mesh covers the upper for a lightweight and breathable coverage. The TPU lacing system uses TPU lacing supports for a strong, lightweight and secure fit. A synthetic webbing upper (Met Cradle) supports the forefoot and provide a secure fit.
The outsole is also built with a moderately aggressive lug pattern like all shoes in the TrailRoc series. It is intended for use on hard packed trails and mixed terrain. It has the standard three different outsole rubbers for excellent grip and decreased wear.
So did the TrailRoc 150 and 226 perform to expectations?
My TrailRoc 150 (US Men’s Size 10.5) weights in at 6.0 ounces and compared to the TrailRoc 235 that I reviewed last year, the TrailRoc 150 is a whopping 3+ ounces lighter! The uppers is reminiscent of the New Balance Minimus Zero Trail with great breathability – the tongue does not slide around like the Minimus Zero though. Check!
The toe box is a little snug for my 2E wide feet and I did get an occasional hot spot (fifth metatarsal) on any runs longer than 3 miles. Nothing that I cannot fix by taping my toes – a common task when wear testing narrow minimal shoes.
You will feel small rocks and pebbles wearing the TrailRoc 150 and especially if you remove the sockliner – you’re closest to the ground of any of the Inov-8 trail shoes. The front toe bumper guard does come in handy at times. With total freedom of movement for my feet (a wider toe box will let my toes splay to the max), this shoe is great for runners who are looking for a lightweight trail racing shoe.
For my wear tester, the TrailRoc 226 is a shoe with a little more cushioning than what she is used to – her typical trail shoe is SKORA CORE and SKORA FORM. It is in between her alternate Merrell Bare Access 2 and Dash Glove 2. She considers the Trail 226 a zero-drop transitioning trail shoe.
She has no problem running non-technical trails in them and does a lot of long walks (asphalt, concrete) in them too. But when running hills, the toe box is slightly snug for her – not tall enough as she can feel the tightness (even though she loosened her laces) from the uppers. Again not a major problem.
The TrailRoc 226 has better traction than running shoes in her current rotation, especially on trails or when it is muddy after an overnight rain. The stack height is sufficient to soften impact from small rocks and pebbles. The uppers feel just like those on my TrailRoc 235 so it is slightly warmer for cold days. Overall, the TrailRoc 226 is a great shoe for female runners looking for a zero drop lightweight and cushioned trail running shoe.
The Inov-8 TrailRoc 150 for men and TrailRoc 226 for women is available in a single colorway each:
*Product provided by Inov-8. CMP.LY/1 Review
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