The TrailRoc 150 is a super minimal, light weight trail shoe.
I picked up a pair to replace my worn down Inov-8 X-Talon 190’s, and considering how much I love my minimal shoes, I wanted to get two things in a replacement – I wanted a shoe thats as minimal as possible, while still retaining grip, and I wanted a shoe that had a wider toe-box than the X-Talon, as the reason they fell apart was because they were too narrow.
First, lets get the obvious out of the way. These things are hideous. I don’t know who at Inov-8 comes up with their color schemes, but they have some hits, and some misses. Total miss here. Especially in a Mens 12!
Second, they are LIGHT. They weigh little, and provide little. There is no support, there is no heel cushioning. For fans of minimal shoes, this is a good thing, and mostly, it is – however, having worn them to several races on various levels of terrain, and worn them hiking/running up and down mountains, I’m having mixed results.
Do I like them? Kind of. They are comfortable fitting – finally, an inov-8 with a wider toe box for those of us with flat feet! The grip of the sole is good – not as aggressive as an x-talon, but dramatically better than most shoes out there. They are light and flexible enough that they never feel like they are in the way, and they shed mud quickly and easily.
However – and this is my reservation – the uppers are different. They feel less like a fabric mesh, and more like a plastic fabric. They don’t drain well. If you splash in a puddle, you will stay dry – submerge them, and the water will stay. I tested this by sticking them under a tap, and running water into them – the only place it drained was the leg hole. Not good.
Also, the sole is a bit too minimal if you’re looking for anything more than a casual trail shoe. Running on some fire roads, or through light trails, you’ll feel everything as you’d expect, and be fine – but once you hit the really rocky stuff, or get into some serious hiking, I feel like I need more protection and cushioning.
I’m also a little concerned that the fabric of the upper is fraying – it’s nothing more than a bit of an eye sore right now, but long term, who knows what will happen.
I’m placing an order for a sturdier pair of Inov-8’s soon, to see how I prefer those – more to come.