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Gear Review: Inov-8 TrailRoc 255 Mountain Running Shoes

July 12th, 2014 By   

Formerly a collegiate miler and cross-country runner, Danny Jenkins has run ultras for the past eight years. He is a freelance adventure writer/photographer, fundraiser for youth services and addiction recovery programs, and past community addictions counselor based in Truckee, California. He lives to run free in the Sierra every chance he gets, regularly uses his running to raise money for local charities, and is a founding member of the Donner Party Mountain Runners.

“No matter where I’m running, it will perform well and definitely get the job done.”

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Ready for anything the trail throws your way. Click image for more info.

I’m liking the Inov-8 255‘s. More support than I’ve had in a long time and my legs are appreciating it. Incredible traction, as you might expect from Inov-8, and performs well in just about all conditions and all trail surfaces. It’s slightly heavier than I like, but it’s almost an insignificant factor. The fit is a little wide (for my taste) because I do a lot of technical running (my strength), but this is a shoe I like to call my “rover” – which means no matter where I’m running, it will perform well and definitely get the job done.

 

I am totally confident with these trail runners underfoot on hard-packed dirt, steep ascents, sandstone, granite, fire trails, sharp rocks, smooth single track, and managing technical terrain. Rates okay in the mud, but there are probably better choices if it’s raining and crud is the call.

 

Trail and mountain runners who thrive on good shoe flex will like the 255. It “gives” in technical mountain terrain, yet won’t lend enough freedom to “twist.” The lightweight toe-guard makes for pretty minimal protection in front, but I didn’t have any issues with Superman-type aerials, even on runs at places like Mt. Tallac in S. Lake Tahoe (which brings every type of terrain imaginable).

 

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Danny flies downhill with confidence.

Comfort factor rates a 9 out of 10, right out of the box. Break-in period was short; maybe 9-10 hours of running and you’re gaining every benefit the 255 has to offer.

 

The TrailRoc 255 is a flexible trail runner (with meta-flex near the toes) that excels in technical mountain terrain. The soft, flexible heal counter helps in lending the shoe a slipper-like feel, while the anatomic last provides a wider toe box than those found on other Inov-8 models. This roomy upper has accommodated thicker socks and some foot swelling on longer runs.

 

The 255 represents the most protective end of the spectrum for Inov-8’s Trailroc lineup, designed with the most cushioning of any TrailRoc running shoe. An ideal shoe for high-mileage training and racing, the 255 blends awesome durability with grip and is capable at a wide range, from 10K trail races to 100-mile mountain ultras.

 

I wore these mountain running shoes on every training run (mountain and trail only) for two months, and I am currently training for the Headlands 100 in Sausalito, Ca., on Sept. 13th. The training territory is North Lake Tahoe, Truckee, Tahoe Donner, Pacific Crest Trail (PCT), Tahoe Rim Trail (TRT) and any other initial on our local Tahoe trail map. Nothing but trail stoke…..Cheers!     -Danny Jenkins

 

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