Inov-8 TrailRoc 255 The Shoe I Wish I Bought in My Correct Size…

This is not a shoe review – this post is a Warning!

And the warning is thus:  Do not listen to anyone on the internet regarding shoe sizing. They do not have your feet.  Your feet are sleek beautifully formed sculptures of perfection – so when they suggest you need to take a certain shoe in a certain size be wary…Be very wary. People on running forums and shoe reviewers may like shoes with a different fit to you – and it’s a little known fact that nearly all minimal shoe bloggers have wider than average gorilla feet.  There are also people who seem to need their shoe to measure an inch longer then their foot…?

What’s that all about?

I’ll tell you… Apparently this is because your foot swells to gargantuan proportions after a few miles.  The funny thing is, my feet – the individual entities that they are – seem to shrink after a few miles.  I know that sounds bizarre, but I’m more likely to need to stop and tie my laces tighter than rip open the toe box with my pen knife

What I’m trying to adduce is that we all have very different feet, most people don’t really know how big their feet are and we don’t all fit in to the same pair of shoes.

So why did I listen to the advice to size up a half in the TrailRoc 255’s?

Look at these, beautiful shoes…

On the first run I found that I could get on with them quite well, the shoe felt really positive, even though I had more than a thumb width at the end of the shoe.   At first I just thought to myself that they were supposed to fit like this afterall a whole load of people on the internet said that they run small – size up!  I took them out for their inaugural run and my initial thought was yeah, I think all the internet people are right.  The natural last on the Trailroc tapers in quite sharply on the lateral side of the shoe, if I’d have chosen a smaller size this could have put pressure on my little toe.  The shoe felt responsive enough, I liked the firm ride, my foot felt like it was tucked up as snug-as-a-bug-in-a-rug, my toes had all the room they needed and more – it’s supposed to feel like this isn’t it?   The first tell tale sign that something wasn’t quite right was on the initial steep climb towards my local peak – my heels were moving far too much inside the shoe.  This puts me off.  I don’t like it.

So I stopped and removed the insoles, re-tied the laces with the heel lock technique and proceeded to climb.  Great, no slippage, great traction on what was admittedly quite a dry trail, hmm I thought maybe they’ll be okay without the insoles?


It wasn’t meant to be though.  On arriving at the first Col, after roughly 600 metres of climb, I turned around and headed back the way I had come to test the downhill prowess of these puppies.  It wasn’t long before I realised that there was simply too much volume in the shoe for my foot.  If there’s one thing I hate more than heel slippage whilst climbing, it’s toe bumping whilst descending.  So I stopped and put back in the insoles.  The shoe was instantly transformed into a descending monster,  the triple rubber compound creating loads of confidence as I floated over a rock strewn section of trail.  I was impressed at how responsive and precise the shoes felt on this first descent, they were good!  I resigned myself to the fact that I had better get used to the heel slippage when going the hard way on the mountain.

I gave them a good try but unfortunately it was not meant to be, after just four runs I felt like the Trailroc had given a bit and I could now easily slip a finger in and out of the rear of the shoe – and yes, that was when my foot was inside the shoe…If I’d stuck to my normal size then I’m guessing they would have stretched a bit too…Bummer.

So I decided to part company with the 255 and they have now been sold on Ebay.  So this is my warning: Be careful when you gather opinions about a running shoe from the internet. The top bloggers are literately showered with free review pairs of trainers/sneakers. And I do believe that is grammatically correct to use the word “literately” –  this is not an exaggeration!   With so many shoes to test it’s not surprising that you don’t see much more than first impression reviews all over the internet.  There are only 365 days in a year – some bloggers receive more than this number of shoes in a month so it’s hardly surprising that they find it difficult to put enough miles on a shoe before it comes to review time!

If I was to tell you how I felt about the Trailroc 255’s after the first 10 mile run I would’ve said that they were great, because they are great –  I may have thought that the heel slip would go away…But I may have also towed the party line and advised a half size up – this may or may not have worked for you…  It didn’t work for me.

So what’s to learn? 

Number one, don’t take anyone’s advice on the internet or even in a store when it comes to shoe sizing.  Blogger X may have flappy flipper feet and need all the space she can get.  And, as I’ve demonstrated with this article a shoe changes dramatically with use.

Number two, try and read as many reviews as possible – I like Pete Larson at Runblogger, Biker Nate and Ginger Runner – They tend to put a little bit more mileage on a shoe before they write about it,  Nate usually runs at least one ultra before a review.

And Number three – remember, no matter how much other people say that a shoe doesn’t run true to size, YOU are the final judge about what fits YOU the best.

Happy trails!

If you’d like to see a proper review of the Trailroc 255, here are a few good ones (although take no notice on sizing recommendations).


13 thoughts on “Inov-8 TrailRoc 255 The Shoe I Wish I Bought in My Correct Size…

  1. I bought the TrailRoc 255 last year, and chose the same size as my X-Talon 218. When they arrived I found they were about half a size too short. I didn’t like them at all. They’re far too rigid to be considered a minimalist shoe, nothing like the X-Talon or the RocLites. Anyway I found a thing called Shoefitr. You tell it what your current shoe is, and what shoe you’re looking to buy, and it shows the inner shape difference and best size to get. But to be honest nothing beats actually trying them on in a real shop.

    • Yes, I’ve used shoefitr in the past, it does help, but nothings better than trying the shoe. I agree that the 255 is more rigid than the RL or X-Talon, but I was looking for a potential shoe for the Grand Raid des Pyrenees, which might take me over 15 hours. I may have a look at the Salomon Sense once I’ve saved up a few pennies…

  2. According to runningwarehouse the stack height of the Roclite 295 is 17mm heel-10mm forefoot and for the Trailroc 255 22mm heel-16mm forefoot. Do you feel that the 295 is lower to the ground compared to the 255?

  3. I just the Trailroc 255 but i don’t think they have a natural fit as claimed by Inov-8. The toebox is narrow, much narrower than the Altra Lone Peak.

  4. Just bought them. Haven’t run in them yet but they feel “flat”, standing or walking makes the area between the arch and the ball of both feet and heels, sore. I feel like this shoes is no soft at all.

  5. I am a bit hesitant on start running in these shoes. They feel very “hard” underneath. I feel the lugs too much. The Altra Lone eak is much more comfortable.

  6. I’ve had the the exact same model and exactly the same problem! This has been the most disappointing Inov8 I have owned. Not just because the sizing but also general performance and quality.

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