Sporting many features from the T2 Kinabalu this new incarnation in principal is a completely different beast. The aggressive outsole from the T2 is gone leaving a shoe (and grip) that will fly along on dry and hard pack trail, however, if mud is your thing on first impressions the T2 will be a far better choice.
Following the trend for low drop shoes, the Trail Rocket now has a 5mm heel to toe drop in comparison to the 11mm drop of the T2. However, don’t look at this as an either/ or option. The T2 and Trail Rocket are worlds apart and as such the appropriate shoe should be chosen depending on many factors. I very much see owners of the T2 purchasing the Trail Rocket for faster and shorter sessions and Trail Rocket owners looking to purchase the T2 for longer days when terrain could be very unpredictable.
The upper is very breathable with a wide toe box, snug heel compartment that provides a solid and secure fit and importantly, toe protection is good should you have any unwanted encounters with rocks or obstacles on the trail. The shoe is designed to work well with or without socks, the choice is yours. Sizing is true to size, however, if you are going without socks you may want to check what works for you. Lacing is solid and depending on your preferred lacing method the shoe holds firm to the foot and is extremely comfortable. The laces themselves have stretch and once tied hold firm and don’t come loose. Missing from the front of the shoe is the elastic bungee that could hold and retain excess lace (see T2 review). I don’t understand this? It was a simple addition that added no weight but provided a really practical solution to a problem that exists for all runners unless you use Salomon!
They are lightweight and versatile trail shoes designed for maximum performance for racing and fast training and as such they won’t appeal to everyone. The minimalistic design in combination with the eRide™ Technology promotes an efficient, natural and fast running style. Arguably, the eRide™ (rocker) is not required for this model of shoe as a 5mm drop will almost certainly mean that your run form should already be good and mid to forefoot landing is normal. However, should you be transitioning to lower drop shoes the eRide™ will help guide you on your way.
As you would expect, the shoes weigh in at a light 260g (UK9) which is obviously due to the minimalist design and Aerofoam.
Forefoot cushioning is 17.5 and rear cushioning 22.5 providing a shoe that still provides good cushioning and protection. How far can you run in them? Well it very much depends on your form, adaptation and technique. Without doubt I think we will see many efficient runners covering 100-miles in this shoe, however, for many it will be a great mountain marathon shoe, 50k or 50-mile race option shoe.
Importantly, the shoe has no rock plate and that my prove an issue for many?
Slipping the shoe on you have that confirmed comfort feeling inherited from the T2 Kinabalu, so, it’s fair to say that if you are a fan of its beefier brother you are going to like the Trail Rocket.
You zip along feeling very light and although this is considered a more minimalist racing shoe, overall comfort is great.
On road it performs exceptionally well, that is a real bonus for many of us who may need to transition to trail either by connecting roads or maybe you need to access trail with a jog to and from home.
On hard trail and rock you fly along. The Trail Rocket has great response and promotes a faster pace… that may or may not be a good thing? Certainly if you are new to ultra racing or looking to complete rather than compete, the Trail Rocket may not be the shoe for you. I would recommend the T2 and use the Trail Rocket for faster training sessions or shorter trail races.
The lack of a rock plate was noticeable when on continued rocky or gnarly ground. It wasn’t an issue or caused any problems, BUT if I was doing a long race over continually tough and technical terrain then this would become a problem and for sure, my feet would be tired. This is not a fault of the shoe, one just needs to choose the appropriate shoe for the terrain and length of session
Ultimately, the Trail Rocket is a great shoe. It doesn’t replace the T2 in any way, in actual fact it compliments it and I therefore I see Trail Rocket owners having a pair of T2’s and vice versa.
- Drop 5mm
- Upper – mesh with synthetic overlays
- Lower – eva/ rubber
Scott Running website HERE