Facts

  • Discontinued
    Discontinued
  • Terrain
    Terrain

    Road

    Shoes best for road, track and light gravel. See the best road shoes.

    Trail

    Shoes best for trail, off road, mountains and other unstable surfaces. See the best trail shoes.

    Good to know

    As long as you stick to the road or path, and if you want just one running shoe, buy a road running shoe.

  • Arch support
    Arch support

    Neutral / cushion / high arch

    Shoes for runners who do not need any additional arch support (Around 50% of runners). Best for people with normal, high or medium high arches. See the best neutral shoes.

    Stability / overpronation / normal arch

    Shoes for runners who need mild to moderate arch support (Around 45% of runners). Best for runners with a low arch. See the best stability shoes.

    Motion control / severe overpronation / flat feet

    Shoes for runners who needs a lot of arch support. Best for runners with flat feet. See the best motion control shoes.

    Good to know

    - Rule of thumb: If in doubt, buy neutral shoes to avoid injuries.
    - More about arch support in this video.
    - Find your arch type by following steps from this video.

  • Use
    Use

    Daily running

    Cushioned shoes for your daily easy running. Great comfort. See best shoes for daily running.

    Competition

    Lightweight shoes good for races, interval training, tempo runs and fartlek. Here are the best competition running shoes.

    Good to know

    If you want just one pair of shoes, buy a shoe for daily running.

  • Price
    Price
    $125
  • Weight
    Weight
    Men: 9oz
    Women: 8.1oz
  • Heel to toe drop
    Heel to toe drop
    Men: 6mm
    Women: 6mm

    The height difference from the heel to the forefoot, also known as heel drop, toe spring, heel to toe spring or simply drop.

    There are many opinions about what a good heel drop is. We do not recommend any in particular. Lean more in this video.

  • Heel height
    Heel height
    Men: 22mm
    Women: 22mm
  • Forefoot height
    Forefoot height
    Men: 16mm
    Women: 16mm
  • Width
    Width
    Men: normal
    Women: normal
  • Release date
    Release date
    Unknown
Show more facts

Summary

We spent 9.6 hours reading reviews from experts and users. In summary, this is what runners think:

6 reasons to buy

  • The Natural Fit is a schematic kind that forms an anatomical design to enhance comfort.
  • The Injected EVA allows a plush and adequate underfoot platform on which to rest the foot during idle moments and actual performance noted some runners.
  • The Shoc-Zone employs a low-profile drop from the heel to the toe, essentially taking advantage of a more natural running efficacy.
  • The Meta-Shank Generation 3 offers more underfoot protection for improved confidence on the trails.
  • The Trailroc design on the outsole gives more traction over the unpredictable terrain, according to many runners.
  • The average weight of the Trailroc 255 allows runners acclimate well to it without worrying that it’ll drag them down.

4 reasons not to buy

  • Some runners experienced the outsole unit get separated from the shoe after only a few uses.
  • The price is slightly expensive.
  • There were testers who noted that it was one size smaller than what they were used to.
  • A few felt that it needed more cushioning to add a plusher underfoot experience.

Bottom line

The Trailroc 255 from Inov-8 is a trail shoe that offers flexible performance and comfort in the off-road paths. Those who need stability are going to enjoy this one because it cradles the midfoot adequately.

Rankings

Expert Reviews

Experts are runners, who post reviews at youtube, directly at RunRepeat or at their own websites. Each expert is categorized from level 1 to level 5 based on expertise. See stats on expert reviews and how we calculate scores here.

Are you an expert? Apply to contribute here.

82 / 100 based on 6 expert reviews

  • 84 / 100 | Matthew Leonard

    Inov-8 Trailroc 270 – The trail shoe for when speed matters

    If you are after a lightweight shoe for fast training and racing over rocky mountain tracks and hard-packed trails, the Inov-8 Trailroc 270 is the shoe for you.

    With a low profile look and a road-racing feel, this shoe provides superior ground feel and its unrivaled grip on dry rock will inspire confidence on technical, rocky trails.

    This does not feel like a daily running shoe, especially for the heavier runner, and is not designed to be an all-terrain shoe.

     

    Pros

    • Superior grip on dry rock and trails
    • Good “ground-feel”
    • Comfortable, secure fit
    • Lightweight and responsive

    Cons

    • Shoe slightly smaller than size
    • Low heel allows ingress of debris
    • Minimal midsole cushioning

    Introduction

    The simplest way to describe the Inov-8 Trailroc 270 is to use Inov-8’s own summary in that it’s “perfect for fast running over hard and rocky trails.

    That really does sum up this shoe, but in providing a little more insight, I’d describe the feel of the Trailroc 270 as more like a fast road shoe rather than a chunky trail shoe. It’s snug fit and low profile, together with a 4mm heel to toe drop make it the ideal shoe for faster training runs or races.

    The small studs and sticky rubber that make up the outsole grip fantastically well on trails and rock, especially when dry.

     

     

    The Trailroc 270 is designed to be lightweight and flexible but still incorporates a “Dynamic Fascia Band” rock plate to provide protection from sharp rocks.

    Whilst not quite as robust as the plate on shoes such as the Roclite 290, this band manages to flex with the foot to provide an improved feel underfoot.

    The Trailroc 270 should not be considered a multi-terrain shoe. It offers little grip on soft, muddy surfaces, and the sticky rubber sole compounds which offer superlative grip on the trail and dry rock can become compromised in wet weather.

    Over the last few weeks, I’ve run just over 50 miles in these shoes, subjecting them to a variety of hard-packed and rocky trails, as well as rocky mountain paths, and a few other terrains besides. I feel that I’ve tested them out thoroughly enough to review them.

    Appearance

    Inov-8 offers the Trailroc 270 in two colorways; black/red and green/black. As shown in the picture, my shoe was the bright green / black option.

     

     

    The Trailroc 270 is designed to be a fast, no-nonsense trail-running shoe, but that hasn’t prevented the designers from coming up with a great looking shoe. The shoe has an impressive low-profile look to it, and the materials feel hard wearing and durable.

    The shoe provides good cushioning around the heel cup and the tongue.

    As befits the design of the shoe, there is just sufficient cushioning in the right places to provide a comfortable fit and ride, without the unnecessary weight that a highly cushioned upper would require.

    Weight

    The Inov-8 Trailroc 270 is listed at 270g (hence the name) or 9 ½ oz, which makes it comparable to a road-running shoe in terms of weight, and lighter than many shoes of this type, such as the Salomon Speedcross 4 which comes in at 310g.

    As expected, my UK 13 (14.0 US) shoe weighed in heavier at 330g (11 ½ oz)

    Most importantly, the Trailroc 270 has a light low-profile feel when running. The small studs on the outsole provide grip on rock and hard trails without the unnecessary weight and protrusion of an all-terrain shoe, improving ground clearance and making it faster over such terrains.

    Fit

    An Inov-8 shoe will often provide a snug fit, which can be a concern if you’ve not previously worn an Inov-8 shoe.

    With no half sizes available, I went for a UK 13 (US 14) which is what I’d wear in a normal, everyday shoe, and in a Brooks or ASICS shoe (for comparison purposes, in shoes from New Balance, Hokas, and Salomon I’d generally need to go for a ½ size larger (UK 13 ½).

    The Trailroc 270 did provide the expected snug fit, though I found them a little more roomy than the very snug Roclite 290. The heel cup of the Trailroc 270 is low but holds the heel well.

     

     

    It provides a little more room in the mid-foot, and also in the toe box.

    This can be seen on the picture in which the slight rippling of the upper in the inside of the shoe gives an indication of extra room in the midfoot.

    This should not be taken to mean that the shoe is “baggy”. The foot feels as if it is held well, while the cushioning in the heel cup and tongue provides good comfort.

     

     

    My advice then would be to try on the shoe before you buy just to make sure, but if you are not able to, and that if you are “in between” sizes, then I’d recommend going for the larger size.

    Otherwise, you should opt for the size you’d usually choose in a pair of Brooks / ASICS or similar shoes.

    Construction 

    Upper

    The upper of the Trailroc 270 is formed from a single layer of breathable mesh which holds the foot while allowing good airflow.

    A printed overlay (seen on the pictures in a brighter green) runs around the front and much of the outside of the shoe, providing a little more structure and resistance to tears from sharp rocks in these areas.

     

     

    The heel cup offers good cushioning, which extends around to where it meets the Metcradle which makes up the midfoot section.

    The only seam inside the shoe comes at the point in which these sections meet, and whilst the seam is pronounced, I didn’t feel it when running, and it certainly hasn’t caused any discomfort.

     

     

    The “Metcradle+” used in the Trailroc 270 is a further development of the Inov-8 “Metcradle” printed overlay system which runs from the lace holes down to the sole, holding the midfoot securely in place and providing some extra support in this area, preventing unnecessary movement of the foot on uneven terrain.

     

     

    A strengthened rubber toe cap runs around the front of the shoe, to protect the toes from any impact from stones and rocks.

    This is not as substantial as the cap provided on some of their other shoes, and presumably represents a compromise between protection and weight.

    It does provide effective protection and is more than adequate for a fast, racing shoe.

     

     

    To summarise the construction of the upper, it fits well and is comfortable without offering unnecessary cushioning.

    The foot is held securely, and I didn’t feel any movement of the foot inside the shoe, providing confidence in fast descents and steep sections over even the rockiest of surfaces.

    Midsole

    The “Powerflow+” midsole in the Trailroc 270 has been designed by Inov-8 to deliver 10% better shock absorption, and 15% more energy return than standard midsoles, though I’m not really in a position to determine the accuracy of these findings.

     

     

    A “Dynamic Fascia Band” rock plate is used in the Trailroc 270 to provide underfoot protection from sharp rocks.

    This band is designed to have greater flexibility than those incorporated into many other trail shoes so that the protective plate flexes with the foot during running. The shoe has a 4mm Heel to Toe drop.

     

     

    While I often find the drop less significant in a trail shoe than a road shoe, I am sure that this small drop combines with the low profile design of the upper and sole to provide a feel more akin to a racing flat than a traditional off-road shoe.

    In my personal opinion, there is a lack of cushioning and absorption in the midsole that prevents me from choosing this shoe for regular training runs.

    Similarly, it is possible that whilst the Dynamic Fascia Band provides great feel through improved flexibility, it doesn’t provide quite enough protection for long training runs on looser trails consisting of stones / small rocks.

    I should point out however that I am heavier than many runners, currently weighing in at around 90kg / 200lb. This will make a difference in the requirements for cushioning and the effectiveness of the rock plate, which I’m sure is more than adequate for the average sized trail runner.

    Outsole

    The outsole is constructed from a “Tri-C Sticky Rubber” compound which utilizes different types of rubber in different areas of the sole.

    The hardest, most durable rubber is on the heel (dark grey on the pictures), with a soft rubber up the center for increased traction (black), and a medium rubber on the edges for grip (green).

     

     

    What this brief summary doesn’t convey is just how “sticky” this “sticky rubber compound” is.

    When taking the shoe out of the box, or trying it on in the shop, simply run your palm across the sole of the shoe and you’ll be amazed at the way in which the rubber holds your palm as it moves across the surface. I haven’t found a shoe from another manufacturer that manages to achieve this.

    This grip translates exceptionally well to traction on rocks whilst out on mountains and trails. It makes rocky descents more enjoyable and faster, thanks to the confidence that the grip provides.

    The small (4mm) studs are well designed to improve grip without accumulating debris during the run.

    The studs help with traction on dry grass surfaces, and on sandy trails, but this shoe is not designed for running through muddy fields, so don’t expect much grip in these environments!

     

    Performance

    If you’re short on time, then the brief summary is that this is a great shoe for racing and fast sessions on rocky surfaces and hard packed trails. It may not be the ideal everyday shoe, or for longer training runs where there is a lot of loose rock/stone, especially for the heavier runner.

    The first time I put on these shoes was for a run around Newborough Forest on Anglesey. This a regular running haunt of mine, and a fantastic location to run with a variety of undulating hard packed, loose and sandy trails, as well as meandering paths through the forest.

    The shoes fit well right out of the box, and I just ran by feel for about 7miles or so. I’ve run this forest numerous times over the years, in a variety of shoes, but this is the first trail shoe which has actually felt fast.

    Whilst running, the feel is more like a road racing shoe than a standard trail shoe, and in my experience, it’s rare to feel light on your feet when wearing a trail shoe.

     

     

    The foot felt secure throughout and, whilst admittedly the trails around the forest aren’t particularly technical, there was very little movement in the foot, and I felt confident, even when moving quickly.

    Unlike many trail shoes, this one seemed to encourage you to speed up, and so I put a couple of bursts in on some sections I know well, and wasn’t surprised after my run to find that I’d run faster on these sections than during any previous run (even managing to pick up a much prized Strava CR on one of them!).

    I’ve since had the chance to run in these shoes on a variety of terrains, some more technical than others. The shoe performs exceptionally well on dry hard packed trails and on rocky mountain paths.

    It feels fast and the grip provided by the sole gives fantastic confidence. If I’m after a shoe for a race on hard terrain, especially in the summer, then this would be the first I’d pick up.

    On a rainy day in Wales, with the prospect of a variety of terrain including grass, mud and wet, technical trails, I’d leave the Trailroc 270 in the cupboard and pick up the Roclite 290, which offers far greater versatility.

     

     

    As mentioned above, I’d also prefer a little more cushioning in the midsole to consider this as an everyday trail shoe, especially on more rocky trails.

    My own weight, however, may be significant in this assessment – a 200lb runner landing repeatedly on small rocks is far more likely to feel the cumulative effects of these impacts than an average-sized mountain runner!

    I’m confident that the improved ground feel that comes with a minimal midsole and flexible rock plate will appeal to many mountain and trail runners looking for a fast racing shoe.

    In summary then, the Trailroc 270 is a lightweight fast racing shoe for hard-packed trails and rocky mountain routes. Its no-nonsense, low profile look and feel makes it a great choice for racing, though it may not appeal to everyone as an everyday shoe.

    Comparison

    I’ll make a brief comparison with the Salomon Speedcross 3 which I used for most off road runs for a couple of years, and also the Inov-8 Roclite 290 which I have worn more recently.

    Whilst neither comparison is truly applicable because the Trailroc 270 does not pretend to be an all-terrain shoe, it may help provide an indication as to how this shoe differs.

    The picture shows the relative grip of the Speedcross 3, the Roclite 290 and the Trailroc 270.

     

     

    Despite the increased wear of the Salomon shoe (light grey) which has covered approximately 500 miles, it should be clear that the Trailroc 270 has a much lower profile stud, giving greater clearance over the ground, and making it less likely that you’ll catch the foot on protruding rocks and stones during the forward movement of the stride.

     

     

    I should also mention that both Inov-8 shoes fit snugly to the foot in a way that the Speedcross 3 does not manage (I found the foot moved around significantly in the Speedcross 3, especially when the shoe became wet, and also during steep descents when the toes could crash painfully against the front of the shoe with every footfall).

     

    Summary

    If you’re looking for a fast, lightweight racing shoe with a road-shoe feel for hard trails and rocky mountain routes, then the Trailroc 270 is definitely worth considering.

    Heavier runners may be better to consider a shoe with more cushioning and a more robust foot plate, especially for everyday running, and longer runs.

    This expert has been verified by RunRepeat. Reviews are neutral, unbiased and based on extensive testing.

    Matthew Leonard

    Level 3 expert (6-14 reviews)

    Somewhat bigger and heavier than the average runner (6’2”/ 85kg), I’ve been involved in a variety of sports throughout my life before settling on running as I approach the half century. I’m lucky enough to live on the Isle of Anglesey, North Wales as I love running on the coast or in the mountains of Snowdonia, generally averaging around 80-90km per week.

    7 reviews - average score 91/100

  • 96 / 100 | iRunFar

    The Inov-8 255 is my favorite long distance offering from the company and I will continue to keep this shoe in the regular rotation for some time.

  • 65 / 100 | Minimalist Running Shoes

    It may have too much protection for non-technical trails or flat trails but for cross country training, it is fine. For racing, I would definitely prefer a lighter and lower to the ground model

  • 84 / 100 | Running Warehouse

    Even though I have a narrow foot, I found the anatomical fit to allow me to run a little more naturally and get a better feel for the trail.

    Erik

    Level 2 expert (3-5 reviews)

  • 78 / 100 | Rise to It

    The sole is ideal on loose and eroded trails where it will bite down while still dispersing impact efficiently on the harder trail surfaces.

    Rise to It

    Level 2 expert (3-5 reviews)

  • 95 / 100 | A Run Through The Woods

    My overall impression is that I'm definitely a fan of the shoes and I think they're a great fit for some of the tougher mountain terrain.

    Chris Payton

    Level 1 expert (1-2 reviews)

    2 reviews - average score 87/100

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Updates to Inov-8 Trailroc 255

  • The Inov-8 Trailroc 255 features a meta-shank rock plate that is located in the midfoot, protecting the metatarsal heads against stone bruising and sharp rocks. With this hardened rubbers, runners are keep protected while running on rough terrain.
  • It comes with a medium sized lug pattern. This purpose-specific rubber delivers a versatile traction and enhanced durability.
  • The shoe also comes with an enhanced upper and a wider forefoot that offers more room for toe splay. The anatomic fit of the shoe follows the natural shape of the foot for a more comfortable running experience.

Inov-8 Trailroc 255 size and fit

The Trailroc 255 is available in standard running shoe length. It comfortably accommodates those with medium foot shape and measurements. It comes with a wider forefoot and medium midfoot and heel area. It is available in standard running shoe width.


Outsole

The Trailroc 255 features a reliable outsole that comes with a moderately aggressive lug pattern that delivers an impressive grip on hard packed trails and other terrain. It works perfectly with the shoe’s Tri-C compound that delivers impressive grip on wet conditions.

Hard and sticky rubber compound are also strategically placed in the outsole for maximum performance, excellent grip on wet conditions and enhanced endurance. The endurance rubber also gives added durability and grip especially on mixed terrain.


Midsole

The midsole of the shoe uses the injected EVA midsole foam that delivers resilient cushioning and optimal memory retention. It also features the brand’s 2-Arrow Shoc-Zone that delivers a moderate underfoot cushioning. The Meta-Shank extends from the midfoot to the forefoot and it delivers flexible underfoot impact protection for a much enjoyable ride.


Upper

The Inov-8 Trailroc 255 features a synthetic mesh upper that delivers lightweight and breathable coverage. The TPU lacing system gives added support while offering a secure and comfortable fit. The Met-Cradle gives support for the forefoot and secure fit.