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Inov-8 TerRoc 330 Trail Running Shoes

Inov-8 TerRoc 330 and Inov-8 Roclite 320
Inov-8 TerRoc 330 and Inov-8 Roclite 320

Trail Runners for Hiking

I bought a pair of Inov-8 – TerRoc 330 trail running shoes (left) to compare against the Inov-8 Roclite 320’s (right) I reviewed recently. A number of you who commented on my Roclite review said that you were using the TerRocs and I decided that I wanted to try them too. They’re very affordable.

Zappos Rave

Actually, I’d ordered the TerRocs last month but UPS lost my order somewhere in transit. Zappos.com was kind enough to give me a full credit and expedite my order to me before UPS even started their investigation. They (Zappos) do have great customer service. I try to purchase shoes from them because I can order several pairs in different sizes, try them on at home for best fit, and then send back the ones that don’t fit. Zappos pays for the return shipping, reducing the risk of buying shoes online.

Shoe Fit and Comfort

When you put on the TerRocs for the first time, they scream comfort. This isn’t a shoe that requires much break-in at all.

Fit-wise the TerRocs run about a half-size small, just like the Roclites. They weigh 12.3 oz per shoe in a size 9.5 Mens US vs. 12.5 oz each for the Roclites.

In contrast to the Roclites, it feels like the internal volume and width of the TerRocs is a bit larger and wider. However, when I measured the width of the heel and front of the TerRocs and Roclites, they were the same.

Inov-8 Terroc 330
TerRocs on the left, Roclites on the right

Metatarsal Flex

When you hike in the TerRocs, they have a very different feel than the Roclites. First off, they are a lot less rigid and feel like they have less support in the heel and along the shank. You can see this on the shoe bottoms’ above, where the TerRocs are missing the extra fascia stabilization of the Roclites.

The area under the ball of the foot is also a lot softer on the TerRocs than the Roclites. If you push against the toe of the TerRocs with the ball of your hand, they bend up quite easily, while the Roclites won’t. This is due to the metatarsal ridge in the sole that Inov-8 brands as Meta-Flex. This is a grove in the shoe’s sole that is anatomically aligned in front of the metatarsal heads of the foot and provides a more natural fore foot flex that prevents stress fractures.

Inov-8 TerRoc 330
TeRocs on the top, Roclites on the bottom

Toe-Kick Protection

Another key difference between the two shoes is the toe-kick. The TerRocs provide significantly more protection to the toes and side of the fore foot than the Roclites. If you stub you toes a lot against rocks when you hike, the TerRocs are probably a good bet. The Roclites are designed much more like traditional running shoes in this regard.

Hiking in Rain

Drainage wise, the two shoes are very comparable. You can hike in the rain and through streams with both shoes and they shed water wonderfully through their mesh exteriors. In a side by side comparison, the Roclites look like they have a little more mesh in the rear of the shoe to promote drainage, but in field testing, I didn’t notice any significant difference.

My Preference

As a long time boot wearer, I prefer hiking in the Roclites over the TerRocs because they have a much stiffer feel. I do wish the Roclites had the extra toe kick protection provided on the TerRocs, because I think this is a significant advantage, but not one that would force me to switch.

Disclosure: The author owns this product and purchased it using their own funds.

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26 comments

  1. I've tried both and I prefer the Terrocs! I find softer, more flexible footwear more comfortable, especially on long trips. I've worn Terrocs on the last two TGO Challenges. I've done 13 Challenges in a variety of footwear, starting with leather boots, and the Terrocs have been by far the most comfortable.

  2. I hike in the Flyroc 310s, which look much closer to the TerRoc 330. Besides being a touch lighter, the tread is less knobby than the TerRoc, which I consider a feature since they're less likely to get gummed up with mud but still grip well. I like the way they allow my feet to flex and still provide good support and protection. I should add that I also use these as my usual sneaker for running and they work very well for that also, although a lighter racing flat is better if you're running a timed race.

  3. The main reason that I like the Terroc's better is the higher and slightly wider foot box. It just feels more natural for my foot. The extra flexibility of the Terroc's is fine most of the time, but there are rare occasions that the slightly more rigid RocLite's would be beneficial. I certainly don't think that everyone will like Inov-8's for hiking. I haven't found any other trail runner that feels the same. Wearing them is either going to be an immediate love 'em or hate 'em, and I feel that they're almost exactly what I need. My only wish would be for a bit more arch support for my high arches.

  4. Correction to my post. I meant to say toe box, not foot box.

  5. Chris – as you can see I am still struggling a bit with the transition from boot to trail shoe. But what you say about hiking long distance in softer shoes makes sense. I have a 25 mile section coming up in a few weeks and I will try out the terrocs on it to see if I like the extra comfort on a multi-day hike more than the stiffness of the roclites. Thanks for the comment.

  6. Thanks Earlylite for the review, I have yet to try out my trail runners (I run in them) and I am worried myself about the transition from boots. I have been following all of your post about runners and they are encouraging me to give mine a try!!!! I think this weekend might be my maiden voayge with the Merrils at home!

  7. Cool – let me know how it goes.

  8. Hey Earlylite, those are my shoes! :)

    I found out about the sizing by trial and error. I have some 10.5 that are just wearable with light socks but nothing else, and some 11's that are great. I'm very happy with them and have been using them for most of my TGO Challenge training over our summer.

    Still struggling with the boot vs shoe decision. I have some Scarpa ZG40's that are worn in and ready to go. The amount of snow and melt has me a bit worried and I'm thinking I might take both and leave the crocs behind, but still not decided.

    Michael

  9. I'm leaning toward the Terrocs myself. Going backpacking next weekend to test them out on a real multi-day hike. For Scotland, I'm going as lightweight as possible – just over 14 lbs with maps and camera, so just one pair of shoes.

    Where are you starting the Challenge?

  10. I'm starting in Strathcarron. Well, I should say that if the volcano starts behaving I'm starting in Strathcarron, because if it doesn't I might not even make it out of Australia!

    14lbs is very respectable. Mine is looking more like 18lbs. Crocs vs Terrocs adds about 350g to the pack weight. I've got a Mariposa Plus on the way, if that works well it will trim a bit off the weight.

    Michael

  11. Why I wear my Terrocs over my Roclites for long distance hiking? In a word, comfort. Long days on the trail my feet swell slightly and the extra volume in the Terrocs is very welcome. I do prefer the tread on my Roclites though if I'm honest.

  12. Michael – you'll love the Mariposa Plus. A lot of other Challengers use them. I own two. :-)

  13. I just read on backpackinglight.com that the newer version of the Roclite uses the roomier construction of the Terroc while maintaining the stiffer sole. Would anyone here know if this may be the case? Seems like the shoe I want if so.

    Thanks!

  14. Looper,

    Both shoes are built on Inov8's 'Comfort' last so should feel similar but the Terroc's just feel 'roomier'. Maybe it's the upper that gives the Terroc the feeling of slightly more volume.

  15. I found that my big toe was rubbing against the inner wall of the Terroc 330's, so I went up a half size to a size 10. That solved the problem and walking in them presented no problems. You might try that. My normal hiking boot size is 9.5.

  16. I love the Terrocs, but I have not tried the Roclites. Terrocs are light, breathe well, the lug is excellent, they're innately comfortable for me. They're great not only for trail running and hillwalking (as I found recently) but I also use them when backpacking (independent travel) as they're versatile and will dry quickly when wet (which is a boon when travelling). They also pack down quite small, as a result of the upper mesh, which, when you've got US size 12 feet, is crucial. All in all, they've been really abused in South East Asia, New Zealand, across Europe, in the Alps and the forests of Germany, running, walking, in snow and out, left to rot outside in the rain and they still keep working…

  17. I've pretty much standardized on the Terrocs too. I need a new pair already though. The lugs have worn off after 400 miles and they don't provide the traction on wet rock that they used to. Still at about $84 a pair, I'm going to stock up next round and get a few pairs.

  18. I had a failure in my 330's that put me off using them on the challenge. I've since found the Salomon Fastpackers and have been pretty happy with them – not as light as the 330's but (so far) more robust and more comfortable with a little bit of ankle protection.

  19. I don't know if it's the shape of my heel, but my new 330's lasted a couple of hikes and the inner fabric around the heel area wore through – the foam backing rubbed out and exposed the plastic moulding. I took them back and the store sent them back to the distributor who replaced them. Surprise, surprise, it happened again. I love the look and toe construction of these shoes, but can't rely on the heel not breaking down and causing blisters. The same has happened in my Keens I use for urban wear.

    For hiking I now have a pair of New Balance 410s – time will tell re heel wear. Anyone had similar problems??

  20. Rob,

    That is exactly the failure I experienced with my Terrocs.

    I've got a theory about this failure: I think its caused by friction from incompatible socks. When my original pair of 330's failed it was while wearing my normal-wear socks (soft cotton blend with a bit of elastane for stretch) When hiking, I usually wear x-socks lite hikers, and I've been wearing those with the 330's since with no problems (many kms).

    What socks did you wear?, I wonder if there is a correlation between socks and failures…

    Michael

  21. I haven't had the same problem, but I'm wearing a size much larger than I would have expected. I wear a smartwool liner sock and thats it. They wear out on my incredibly fast – I maybe get 50 mile out of a pair. I suspect it's because I get a fair amount of gravel and sand in the shoe/

  22. Michael – I think you are on to something here. Another mate of mine has a theory that wearing socks with nylon causes undue friction that rubs through linning in heel of shoe – he sez wear Wool, no problems then. May be worth another shot, but I love my New Balance 410s now.

    PS I have the Hiking X Socks so will try

  23. I was in need of some new trail runners. My Merrill moabs had outlived their usefulness so I started my search for a replacement at the local mall. Nothing seemed better than what I had been wearing. I said to my gf that I wish I could get some technical help as the service in the average shoe store is either pitiful, wrong or nonexistent.

    Then I remembered section hiker. Surely sh would have a gear review that matched my needs. And sure enough, after 5 minutes on the site (in the local foot locker no less) I had my answer.

    Later, a quick trip to zappos.com and I had my shoes in 4 days. And true to the sh info, these are perfect or me. Great snug fit and as the review said they run a little small. If I go out for a milti-day trip with elevation, I’ll likely get another pair to accommodate my 1/2 size swell.

    Thanks section hiker!

  24. I didn’t know where to post this little item, so don’t yell at me. Today on the top of the highest Mountain in Alabama I met up with two Thru Hikers ( I dubbes them the M&M’s) who have been on the trail for six days. They are Hiking the Pinhoti Trail to link up with the Appalachian at Springer. They each were wearing a pair of these new type of Trail Running Shoes, but not the brand mentioned in the review but the same style and from what I saw at REI, in my opinion, their all made about the same way with the same features. Their combined 4 feet were a mess. Blisters, stone bruises on the ball of the foot and the front bumpers were already eroding away! The Pinhoti is not a rocky trail like the PCT in So. Cal or the AT in Penn, it is mostly a dirt trail covered in forest duff and leaves with few stones or gravel with few steep climbs. It meanders nice through the Talladega National Forest. The young ladies feet were in the worst shape and were raising the question about being able to continue on very far. I fear they may not make it to Springer Mountrain and have to stop if they make it that far. I gave them my Telephone number if they need to bail out and need a ride. They were fun, young and just married in Vegas a couple of weeks ago and they are calling this their 6 month Honeymoon. Both are in very good physcial shape too which is a plus, Neither had packs over 30 pounds and both were using Poles. Still very up beat and cheerful even with the bad feet. I gave them six AAA Batteries they could not find at the Mountain Top Store and a Freeze Dried Dinner out of my Pack and from my Petzel headlamp since I was on the way home and didn’t need either of them. 3 of the AAA’s were spares. They admired my Danner GTX fabric and leather Boots and my Osprey Kestrel 68 Pack. They were carrying one of these Ultralight packs Black in color with white cross lines in cubes which looked like to me they were carrying a sagging bag of groceries or something but they said the packs were no problem, just the feet. So how many other folks out there are having this problem with these Trail Runners?

  25. I’ve got a pair of size 13 (used very good condition) Terroc 330s if any one is interested. Started to get toe bang and I stopped using them.

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