Trailroc 235 durability issues

edited January 2013 in Inov-8
Just wanted to move the discussion from the comment section of Pete's blog post Top 3 Hybrid ... to this forum. I was actually surprised to see how much interest this has aroused. I thought this would vanish in the depths of the internet.

(Please be aware of that English is not my first language)

Before writing my comment on Pete's blog I had posted some pictures of my Trailrocs on the German trail running forum (link to posting).





the toe cap came already off after a couple of runs.



The first mesh's layer in front of the second medial "shark fin" rubber patch rips. One or two more runs and complete rupture of the mesh occurs. This pattern moves along the medial side, e.g. you get several ruptures along the medial side.

I do not log my miles. I do have several 6000 ft mountains behind my
house (Bavarian Alps) and I use the Trailroc only for one particular mountain that I run
about once a week. Since mid September this would make about 140
miles. Add 30 miles for holiday runs. So it comes down to 170 miles as a
reasonable estimate. I must say the shoes looked good up to 150 miles.

Our trails are actually well maintained, we do have a lot of tourism here. For an impression please the the pictures I've posted on the German trail running forum  when reviewing the Petzl Nao headlamp (see postings #1 and #5).

I actually wonder if my use/run pattern has accelerated this type of
wear. This particular mountain run is quite steep. Therefore, the shoes
bend much more when compared to running in the plane. Almost like a
sprinter with regard to foot landing.
However, today was my last day of vacation and I went for 4 h trail run in the mountains. I paid special attention to how I run in the plane and how ascending. The shoe flexes much more up front compared to where the first tears appeared.

There is some wear but it still looks very good. In my opininon Inov8 makes the best trail running outsoles. Good compromise between durability and grip. It's jut a shame that the uppers are so vulnerable

Inov8's uppers
I have experienced tearing uppers with my f-lite 195s and x-talon 195. However, those ruptures were more of the nature of what "testedtodestruction" shows on his blog for the BareGrip.

Have I contacted Inov8
No, not yet. I can't even get a UK contact since their website shows only my local German distributor (see below why this is a problem)

Have I contacted the dealer
I purchased them in the UK but live in Germany. This makes returning/sending in merchandise quite cumbersome and takes time. The shoes still function and we have quite some snow here. I do not have any other zero drop shoes in my rotation that can handle this condition. I probably  run this shoe down to total disintegration. At least it drains well.

Would I recommend the shoe to a friend?

Would I buy another pair?
Yes .... unfortunately there is no real alternative in this segment (zero-drop, slightly cushioned, this type of outsole/tread).


  • I'm not alone!! See Clarke's comment on my comment:

    Clarke:"I have just had a closer look at my pair and there is a hole appearing!!! IN THE SAME PLACE AS YOUR PAIR STEFAN!!! I will be sending my pair back as I consider this a fault in the is not up for the job it was designed for.

    What an absolute shame as I love this shoe! I totally agree that there is simply not an alternative to this shoe on the market. The outsole is fantastic. Perfect almost."


  • I saw over at Clarke's that you got these from Wiggle, so your first step would be to file a complaint with Wiggle. If they agree to take the shoes back they have an excellent return service, which actually is completely free from Germany.

    It is certainly worth a try as it can land you a new pair without further costs.

    When my NB MT00 teared in the upper after just 3 months I contacted Amazon UK and they arranged to have them back, and I got my refund (as that particular model was out of stock).

    Good luck!
  • If the dealer doesn't offer to exchange, contacting the customer service of the manufacturer can sometimes work. New Balance sent me a new pair of the MT00's since the sole on mine peeled off, and I know of others who have had success contacting the manufacturer.

    Based on your sole wear pattern, looks like you are a true forefoot striker, correct? Wonder if that accentuates stress on the upper in this area due to twisting between the forefoot and heel?
  • edited January 2013

    Yes, a natural forefoot striker! Ever since. Additionally ardent mountain runner, I definitely put more stress on these areas of the shoe.

    By now I have three tears on each shoe.

    I contacted Inov8 UK on this (I also sent a link to this thread). They offered to send me a free of charge pair of Trailroc 255. This seems to be enforced in these medial areas. I wrote back if I could have another pair of 235s since I simply can't run in 6 mm drop shoe anymore. However, they did not respond to this. I have to admit that I have lost interest in this and I simply don't bother anymore. I can still run in my pair. I could have taken that pair of 255s and sell it on ebay but honestly, I'm not a "selling stuff person".


    Edit: Just received an email from inov8 in this very moment. They will send me a pair of 235s if it is still in stock.

  • Just wanted to share the most recent pics of my Trailrocs. 3 short runs after those shown above. Short, because we have to much snow above 3000 ft at them moment.

    Three tears on both shoes, medial. Additionally, tears start to occur on the lateral side of both shoes.

    Left shoe:

    Right shoe.

  • Good news! Seems like Inov-8 did the right thing and offered you a new pair (if you indeed get a pair, as they may be "out of stock" :)), which is exactly how every major company should handle this kind of problem, but so seldom does. It will be most interesting to see how many runs the new shoes can handle before braking again!

    You should volunteer to stress test new trail shoes before they hit the market ;)

    Happy running!
  • edited January 2013
    This particular issue of Inov8 shoes breaking around the flex point is not a new one. I have had two pairs of bare grip 200's and it happened to both of them. To be fair, they have reacted well to a warranty claim I made on the on the first pair. After that I gave up and realised it was inevitable so just started fixing them

    This is not a new problem with inov8 there are loads of discussions on about it like this one click link

    I have other inov8 shoes as well as the baregrips and my experience is that if there is not a rand / toe bumper which goes right the way around the toe box (like the X-talon 212 click link) this problem is highly likely to happen. I find this really frustrating as I really like inov8 shoes and I love the way that they offer several different version of the same shoe so you can tailor it for your particular needs

    I was frustrated when the trailrock came out as I noticed that they had no reinforcement around the flex point and predicted that this problem would occur. I would have purchased some for sure if this had not been the case 

    I appreciate that they are light and that this will result in a sacrifice in durability but in my opinion, this problem could be solved for a small sacrifice in weight and people would keep coming back to inov8 again and again instead of becoming disillusioned. They must have had to deal with loads of warranty claims due to this problem over quite a long time now and they still haven't addressed it

    How to Fix Them
    I did this by using black witch neoprene glue. I held the broken sections together and painted several coats of it on with a paint brush on the inside and outside to create my own reinforcement and repair the holes. This has worked really well and I have found that they last about 100miles before needing to be re-repaired.

    I have some pictures of this fix so I someone can tell me how to post them here I would be happy to do so. I am logged in via twitter and the 'insert image' button is asking me for a URL which has confused me as I just want to upload them from my computer??

  • Host the pictures on TinyPic or TinyURL.
  • edited January 2013
    Aha! thanks Bryan!

    I have put some before and after shots on flickr and they can be found here  as I had some problems with tinypic

    I forgot to mention above that I masked of the bits that I didn't want to paint with some tape. I think that the first time I did it I used about 3 coats to get it to be sufficiently covered. It looked better when I first did but since then, several re-applications have left it looking rough but it works!

  • Thanks for the pics and the tip with the neoprene glue. I've thought of something similar but wasn't sure if it would be flexible enough. Tried to glue by ripped Altra Superiors (similar mesh) but this lasted only for a few kms.

    With my Trailrocs I actually do not have an problems running in them. Despite those tears.

    You mention that you also apply something to the inside of the mesh. Doesn't this rub when you run? The glue looks quite "massive" on your pics.

  • Hi Stefan, I painted it on in a thin layer on the inside, probably about 0.5mm thick. haven't noticed any rubbing issues although I do wear them with socks........ good luck!
  • Rth1, just wanted to give some feedback.

    Great stuff this Black Witch! Could "stitch together"  my Trailrocs and Altra Superiors again. Holding up fine. For those rips I cannibilised an older pair of Peregines to get some patches. Works like a charm. Much better than standard shoe glue which gets stiffer. I only coated the outside.

    Wish I had coated my shoes before they ripped.

    By the way, never received the promised "free of charge" pair of shoes from Inov8 (see my post from Jan 9th).
  • Hi Stefan, just noticed your comment here I'm glad that it worked for you! Can't take the credit for the solution myself, I read about it somewhere on the fellrunner forum. That's interesting about Inov8 not living up to the promise

    It would be really interesting to know if anyone has had any similar problems with the trailroc 255 as that has a protective strip that could prevent this from happening........why can't they just fit that to the whole range of shoes, it must weigh next to nothing and i'd rather have a shoe that weighs a tiny bit more but lasts longer than 5 minutes??

    Then we wouldn't have to cover their nice pretty shoes in ugly black glue! :-)
  • My inov-8 trailroc 245's are developing a frayed spot on the right shoe, lateral side by my pinky toe. Not sure if this should be the case after 235km. I use the shoes to run on hard packed snow and ice and love the grip on the trailroc 245's compared to the rest of my trail shoes.
  • both of my previous Inov-8 shoes, f-lite 195 & x-talon 190, developed a pinky toe rip eventually.
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