Our first run in the 245 was on bad-arsed tar. Although it was just 2km, it confirmed what the Brit company had promised: a low-drop shoe to run on hard, broken trail surfaces. With a light-footed running style, you could easily use this shoe both on and offroad.
However, there’s very little cushioning in the midsole and the drop is just 3mm, so build distance gradually if you’re really keen on a semi-barefoot experience.
The Trailroc 245 is the middle shoe in the three kid Trailroc family. The barefoot shoe in the range is the zero drop Trailroc 235, which means it has a 0mm difference between the stack height of the midsole and heel. The third shoe is the Trailroc 255 which Iain Don-Wauchope won the 2012 Retto in, with a 6mm drop.
Our sample size UK 11.5 appeared to have a very long midfoot section, probably because the tongue is a long one. On fitting, there proved to be a few extra millimetres of space at the apex of the toe, not a bad thing, but keep in mind that this model might feel one size larger than other brands you’ve worn.
At the end of that long nose, the toe protector is disappointing for a shoe that should otherwise thrive in rocky conditions. It’s thin and nowhere near as sturdy as a true rock runner like the inov-8 Roclite 285. If you stub your toes a lot, the 245 is probably not the best shoe for you.
The midsole, by contrast, is rigid and any runs over sharp rocks will have little impact on your feet. Flexibility is significantly less compared to the Merrell Mix Master (tested on this page).
The upper is constructed from a synthetic mesh with a TPU (thermoplastic polyurethane) overlay, which looks very funky. Our sockless test in wet shoes over 9km of easy terrain produced no hotspots or discomfort from the upper. The toebox is spacious, giving our average-width foot tester enough room to wiggle his toes and flex the forefoot on push-off. The 245 is billed as a long distance training and racing shoe. Our 30km of easy running in it didn’t bring out its true abilities but we look forward to tackling harder mountain terrain shortly. Read more in issue 6 of TRAIL magazine.
Sizing UK 4-12 in half sizes and 13, 14 available.
Originally published in the Jan/Feb 2013 issue.