Gear Review – Inov-8 Trailroc 236
This year Inov-8 already a leader in the trail running and obstacle racing world made a big jump in their product offering. Not only have they come out with new designs for 2013 but have also revamped almost their entire line-up updating colors, materials and styles. The biggest news is the addition of many female specific models. The new Inov-8 Trailroc 236 is no exception.
About the Shoe:
Inov-8 built on the popular design of the Trailroc released summer 2012 and this year focused on more gender specific models. The Trailroc is one of the models that was given a feminine touch. The new women’s TrailRoc comes in three different versions the 226, 236, and 246. For those unfamiliar with Inov-8 they have simplified the shoe naming process. TrailRoc refers to the sole of the shoe and the number accompanying it refers to it’s weight in grams. Because Inov-8′s are more minimal shoes they also make the all important heel-toe differential easy to understand with their arrow system. Each Arrow (represented on the heal of each shoe) represents a 3 mm differential. So what does all that techie talk really mean, simply my new women’s TrailRoc 236′s are the TrailRoc sole, weigh 236 grams (8.3oz), and have a one arrow (3 mm differential).
These shoes were designed with Inov-8′s anatomic fit which allows for more room in the toe box for your feet to spread out. Those with wider feet, like me, will like the extra room as compared to other models. The outer mesh of this shoe is much more durable than is older counterpart the unisex Trailroc 245. The new women’s version is lighter and also has a smaller heal cup to fit women’s heals perfectly and not allow for foot movement in the shoe.
Weight: 236 Grams/8.3 oz
Upper: Synthetic, TPU
Women’s Sizing (US): 5.5 – 11 (including half sizes)
In the Field:
The most important factor is not any of the tech specs but how it fits and how it performs in the field. I can say the first thing I was drawn to were the colors of this shoe. I love the feminine touch in the color scheme as soon as they came in I wanted to wear them everywhere and show them off to my friends. Initially I wore them around town just because I loved them that much.
The fit was perfect right out of the box as I have come accustomed to with Inov-8. The smaller heal cup is a definite improvement as my heal nestled right into it, feeling like it was meant to be there. The toe box seems to have gotten a little bit bigger this year. It seems Inov-8 listened to the masses calling for a wider shoe. The toe box also allows for toes to splay as you run and gives more stability.
To date my Inov-8 Trailroc 236‘s have made it through a gym workout including rope climbs and other obstacles as well as a couple hour trail run. I tested them in the gym to see how they would fair on the rope, and climbing walls in an obstacle course race. The sticky rubber on the sole of the shoe really helped me to get up and over the wall. Later I took them up in the Wasatch Mountains front range here in Utah. as spring approaches I found myself running on muddy trails, exposed rock, loose gravel, and deep snow pack. The shoes gripped well on all terrain and unlike some of the models the lugs on the bottom of the shoe you couldn’t feel even on hard pack.
After some test runs in these shoes, I have come to the decision that if you can only get one shoe for trail running, obstacle course racing, and outdoor workouts the Trailroc is the way to go. It is the most versatile shoe in the Inov-8 line up and with the three options, it fits almost every runners style and needs. It transitions well and will be able to serve several purposes. And for us ladies, they are a great looking shoe that you won’t want to take off your feet! I recommend ordering a half size larger than your street shoe size on the Trailrocs.