05 February 2013

Training and Reviews on Inov8 Trailroc 245 and Altra Superior

 Last week was fruitful, training-wise. My week kicked off with a 16K run on Monday, 20K Tuesday (split), 31K with gym Wed (split), 16K (split) Thurs and Friday gym only (basically rest). Weekend was more specific and on elevation - 18K or so double climb at Mt. Arayat and the next day, Sunday 40K run at Miyamit for a total of 141k plus. My weekday runs included some hills just to simulate the terrain for H1 (You have to have "mountains in your legs" for this type of race). The week before last week training capped off close to 100K. I think I am ready. The last 3 weeks will be spent to more-specific workouts.
Now, I am concentrating on recovery whilst maintaining fitness for PlLIPINAS AKYATHLON®: The Philippine International SKYRACE™ 2013 and of course, the goal race - H1. My mindset for PSA is at least to establish a new PR (5;48) and if the gods of the mountains allow it, grab the 40-49 age group award (placed 2nd last year). I wish I could have reached 100 miles/week of training but I just did not have the luxury of time without straining my system. Right now, my immune system is complaining a wee bit and I know better than not to heed it.
Now, a quick review on those shoes ... dirty as they are (but then again, I don't like shiny clean trail shoes! If they are, the owner is not using them and methinks, he is undertrained :)
So here is a quick comparison:
LUGS of Trailroc 245 (blue) is bigger than Superior (dirty green). 245 grips better on wet loose trail especially on downhill. Superior is good for hard-packed surface and is also good on road. However, the sole of Trailroc 245 is simply excellent. Sturdy and grippier. 

 Altra Superior
UNDERFOOT - Trailroc 245 has more protection underfoot since it has built in rockplate. I have been using Superior without its removable rockplate so it feels I need more protection for longer ultras (50 miles and above). Unfortunately, the Superior was bought online and should have come at least 1/2 bigger in size. Inserting the rockplate in it is problematic as far as fit is concerned. My toes get crowded especially in the toe box area. 
FIT - I would have to choose Superior over Trailroc 245 on this. My forefeet are happier in Superior as they can splay freely on ground impact. If not only for the issue on size, Superior would have to be the winner.
HEEL AREA - Another con for Trailroc 245 is the strain on my Achilles and heels. Perhaps they are a little stiffer because of the built-in rockplate. They tend to yank my Achilles while going uphills because perhaps of reduced flexibility. Don't get me wrong, they are flexible already but not enough compared to Superior.
DURABILITY - I have not raced in Trailroc 245 and it has already shown sign of tear. Same issue with Inov8 X-Talon 190 which pair I used to finish GNW100 in 2010. In fairness, it is too early to tell for Superior. Now I need to bring Trailroc 245 to my cobbler to patch the hole lest an annoying leech sneaks in during H1 :)  
Inov8 Trailroc 245
I love both shoes. If only Altra would come out with trail shoes with aggressive lugs, it would be awesome! For now, I can use both shoes for ultras. They seem to be of the same weight with rockplates. What I noticed is that Superior needs more cushion in the forefoot area for 100 miles which is where Trailroc 245 really shines in if not only for the Achilles strain and durability issue. Hmm perhaps, I just need to bring Superior also to my cobbler to fix the toe box area to make it bigger. With added space, that way I can insert its removable rockplate for the added cushion.
So the quest for the perfect ultra shoes continues!
Jon (needing some massage)


  1. My shoes are so clean...i feel guilty. haha
    and my trail shoes is inside the box ---i need to go up the mountains soon!

  2. Get the S-lab Sense. :)
    Good luck on your H1. You're the man!

  3. Give us some feedback on the S-lab Sense. I heard it is pricey :)