User Review: Inov-8 Men's Terroc 330
Use: hikes of various kinds, running
Break-in Period: a week
Weight: roughly 1.5 lbs/pair
Price Paid: $80
I have used these shoes for short hikes of 1-35 miles, and in all kinds of terrain and weather conditions. While far from being an avid trail runner, I've also taken them for a spin up and down some mountain trails to see how they work as running shoes. The Terroc 330 is far-and-away the best shoe (excluding boots) that I have ever owned, and while not perfect for a number of reasons, they are as close as I could reasonably expect.
I chose to buy these shoes as an experiment. I have had a couple of severe knee injuries, and after much trial, decided that I needed to try something both less supportive (of body and psyche) and less demanding (of body). Bingo. My feet and ankles have gained a good deal of flexibility and strength while using these shoes.
Details: the sole is unusual in that the toe is almost without any padding at all, and it takes some adaptation to get used to it. Conversely, I've never owned shoes that felt like they allowed my toes to contribute to traction(!). That said, I would not use these on broken, large rock trails (e.g., High Sierras) with a heavy pack. To be fair, these are advertised as running, and not trekking shoes.
Meanwhile, the traction is nothing short of amazing on certain kinds of terrain-namely rock, mud, dirt, loose gravel, and notably on well-frozen ice. It's like having tentacles on my feet! On very wet rock, such as streams and their shores, the traction is less effective.
Arch support is usually an issue for me. These are passable though not ideal. Running on very hard flat surfaces (concrete) is a little straining, but on bedrock I've noticed very little wear or pain in my feet.
The uppers are about as supportive as a sock and the lacing system servers more to fit the shoe to the foot than to support it. Some people may not like this, but I found that the design was pretty effective in that steep descents were not typified by the disconcerting wobble I get from stiffer make/models. These are not to be worn in the wet and cold, of course.
At last, these things are surprisingly durable. I've used them for over 18 months and only now is the sole starting to peel apart. The heels have lost some stiffness, but generally, my Terroc 330's feel like they did when I bought them. The Toyotas of ultralight trail shoes.