A visco-acoustic wave-equation traveltime inversion method is presented that inverts for the shallow subsurface velocity distribution. Similar to the classical wave equation traveltime inversion, this method finds the velocity model that minimizes the squared sum of the traveltime residuals. Even though, wave-equation traveltime inversion can partly avoid the cycle skipping problem, a good initial velocity model is required for the inversion to converge to a reasonable tomogram with different attenuation profiles. When Q model is far away from the real model, the final tomogram is very sensitive to the starting velocity model. Nevertheless, a minor or moderate perturbation of the Q model from the true one does not strongly affect the inversion if the low wavenumber information of the initial velocity model is mostly correct. These claims are validated with numerical tests on both the synthetic and field data sets.