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91 / 100 based on 10 expert reviews
Trekking with the Inov-8 Roclite 345 GTX
As a rookie to the trekking scene, I was keen to try out this innovative hiking and running boots.
You've seen the hype, now it's time to enjoy the feeling of a very well thought out trekking and running boot. It is built for comfort, technical terrain, and classy performance.
On arrival, these looked very narrow. They are a Grade 1 in the Inov-8 width sizing scale.
I can't say as I truly appreciated what this meant, but let me tell you what I found out after some research and trails later.
A Grade 1, suited me as a very normal size 7 ladies street shoe, trying out a size 7.5 UK size was perfect.
What felt like a very minimal sole, with incredible response and feel for the terrain underfoot also offered a surprising amount of comfort and cushioning. With Goretex outer, everything on these shoes is flexible.
The detail of a "narrow fit" which might well normally put me off, was an absolute pleasure and a delight for the trail walker, and runners feet.
Also on arrival, it was incredibly difficult not to notice how lightweight these 345g boots are.
Wow, 345 grams! To put that into perspective, 345grams is two and a half decks of cards. For two shoe, some 81 playing cards in your palm.
I tried these trekking, running boots out in March, April around the south downs, North Wales, Lancaster and on a working trip to Morocco on multi-terrain, roads, tracks, trails, fell, grass and chalk.
They are made of Goretex breathable mesh. On heading out on a frosty morning they proved to be breathable yet didn’t take on any water. How very refreshing not to have a big shoe on and have dry feet.
Also taking them through mud and streams, nothing seemed to stick to this shoe, yet my feet remained fresh and dry. To this end, I cannot recommend them enough, and they will be a firm favorite in my bag in the future.
For traveling this made life very easy to, weight and smell were really kept to a minimum. Heavenly.
They also kept my foot cool in the heat of Morocco. Seemingly the shoe for all occasions, warm or cool.
The laces on the latest batch of Inov-8 seem at first glance to be very slim lined.
Hoping desperately they were not going to be elasticated and hold my foot too tightly, or worse still stretch on every wear.
Yet again another worry was put to bed. The laces are not stretchy and the eyes are made from a flexible material that allows the foot to move freely and flex, never once feeling inhibited.
The laces carry on further up the ankle and give a nice degree of support to the joint, working hand in hand with the contouring design of the top of the boot.
That didn’t rub at all on the ankle over a short period or for three days trekking.
A firm close fit was ensured through the mud as well as over flint and roots.
The inner sole has a cushioned ride, power flow midsole.
With a drop of 8mm and a footbed of 6mm, the midsole stack of 16mm /8mm feels like a lot less when attached to the graphene-enhanced G Grip outer sole.
The footbed was so comfortable I wouldn’t even begin to hesitate to wear these on a multi-day event.
In true Inov-8 style, the grip did not disappoint. The G Grip triangular grips, I’ve gotten to know, release the mud, dirt, sticks, and stones that like to try and collect in the grips of normal shoes.
Offering superior grip on steep ascents and moss-covered descents on the mountainous terrain of the mole valley hills through bracken and lose scree.
My opinion on these shoes really cemented on heading to the hills in North Wales and Lancaster while weight bearing ascending and descending jogging with a 10kg weighted vest, up some of the steepest hills I have had the pleasure of trekking over.
Through three days, they proved themselves to be sure footed and lightweight over any terrain. It took a little while for me to get used to the idea of running in an ankle high boot but they never once rubbed. Even after three days out and about.
I wish I’d known about these sooner, to be honest, I’ve raved about them since my return.
Tabbing and weight bearing while trekking over 16k of multi-terrain gave me the very best idea on just how these respond and support the ankle.
I wanted to understand what the ankle boot could truly offer, and they without a shadow of a doubt, performed. My ankles felt safe, my step felt secure and there was no movement what so ever.
Over three days, they performed and gave me exactly the same enjoyment as they did the first day.
I’m going to be wearing these when I’m 100 if they carry on the way they have started!
If I was going to point any slight hindrance out, it would be you have to loosen the laces right off every time you take the boots on and off. This could be because of the handy flexible eyes the laces weave through.
Also, if anyone was looking to wear these on a mandatory boot event, it is worth noting the lace eyes only come up one eye, possibly two of the ankle joint.
I’m aware some people prefer to have two to three above the ankle joint to truly offer support when weight bearing.
The grip has performed time and time again through sticky mud, water, frost, hills, mountains, and some serious ascent and descents through into firm fast ground on scree.
Without a doubt, the lightweight attributes this shoe has is a huge bonus to the trekking world and is incredibly quick drying and durable.
They ooze confidence and open the door to running while in a supported boot without fear of clipping stones or roots in a heavier boot.
The price tag seems incredibly reasonable for a boot that is going to last a long time, with no wear whatsoever visible over either of the shoes.
On a side note, traveling with these was incredibly easy, they pack well, weight nothing, smell as good as they did on arrival and hold no water while giving air to the foot and allowing the foot to breathe all day long.
I’d take these anywhere with total confidence and encourage anyone else to try running in a supported trekking boot too. They have changed how I view a trekking boot and my idea on trekking as a whole.
This expert has been verified by RunRepeat. Reviews are neutral, unbiased and based on extensive testing.
The Inov-8 Roclite 345 GTX experienceMore photos
Inov-8 is considered by many as the king of the off-road running shoe market. Their shoes are well-known for their durability, quality, and grip.
Whilst I have done several fell races and worked my way through a number of different off-road shoes, I have never run in a mid-cut shoe or an Inov-8. After hearing all the hype about the Roclite 345 GTX, I was excited to try it out.
Straight out of the box the shoes look cool with the steel grey overlay and orange lace loops.
The first thing that amazed me straight out of the box was how many shoes you get for the weight of it.
Inov-8 classifies the Roclite 345 GTX as a ‘speed hiking’ boot but with a weight of 345g, this shoe is definitely capable of doubling up as a pure running shoe.
Inov-8 have used lightweight GORE-TEX® for the upper which is practical in addition to weight saving. The black upper with black and yellow and grey overlay looks slick and provides good strength.
I decided to take the shoe out on my weekly long run over some trails to test out how it first feels. Before the run, I was anxious to see whether the shoe provided enough return and whether the mid-cut would cause any unwanted rubbing.
Also, I was also anxious to see whether the shoe would be light enough to keep my effort consistent when upping the pace. The run was 12.5 miles in total at an average pace of 6:30 per mile.
In the first mile (mostly on tarmac), the shoe felt slightly clunky with the transition through my stride feeling sluggish. I was initially disappointed by the lack of cushioning that the shoe had, the impact felt firm on the roads.
The grip provided by the outsole was good even on the wet tarmac and up hills. When I got onto the trails the shoe felt far more natural.
The additional cushioning that the dirt and grass provide you made the ride feel far better and the uneven terrain was smoothed out by the shoe. The outsole provided excellent traction even in wet sections and in mud, helping boost confidence.
The GORE-TEX® upper performed perfectly in the wet by keeping my foot bone dry both from external moisture and by allowing my feet to breathe. The toe box was roomy without being too large to allow your foot to slip around.
Within the first couple of days of having the shoe, I took it out on an 8-mile walk in the Yorkshire Dales.
I was pleased that the shoe is roomy enough to allow you to wear 2 pairs of socks without feeling like your foot is squeezed into it.
The weight of the shoe coupled with the reliable grip made any slope easy and meant that you can focus on enjoying the scenery without having to worry about the shoes or sore feet.
The insole is good enough to prevent rubbing or any aches and pains from walking for a long time but may not be as substantial as pure walking boot insoles.
As previously mentioned, the upper of the Roclite 345 GTX is made out of GORE-TEX®. This is becoming increasingly common in trail shoes due to its lightweight and waterproof abilities.
Some people are skeptical of its durability, however, there’s are no signs of wear in the upper after over 50 miles of running and around 20 miles of walking.
As you can see, small bits of debris can get caught in the upper, but it has no effect on performance.
The fabric keeps the water out of your shoe helping you to enjoy your activity more.
The one criticism of the upper is that it is difficult to clean and can get clogged up with seeds and other small pieces of debris. This is only a small price to pay and does not affect the performance of the shoe in any way.
Inov-8 have improved the aesthetics of this shoe by including a grey overlay that adds variation from the black upper and outsole. The overlay also helps add structure to the shoe and support to the shoe.
Where the overlay reaches the laces, orange loops have been added to help the user with lace tightening.
This contrasting color is matched to a section of the outsole, giving the shoe a more lively appearance than if the colorway had been kept to black and grey.
The Roclite 345 GTX has a gusseted tongue which helps reduce the amount of debris getting into the shoe.
The tongue is attached to the shoe all the way up to the ankle which means that the only way debris can get into the shoe is through the top of the ankle.
It hugs your foot and ankle snugly helping to stop blistering and increase stability as the shoe does not slip on your feet. The tongue has a small amount of padding within it which reduces the amount that the laces squeeze your ankle.
The Inov-8 logo is included on the tongue which is a nice touch.
As previously mentioned, the shoe has a generous toe box that allows ample room for your toes to spread whilst running and for the second pair of socks to be worn if required.
I initially felt that the toe box was a bit too roomy, however by tightening the laces, I was able to make the shoe fit better to my foot.
The ‘walls’ of the toe box do lack padding and could cause rubbing for some people if the incorrect socks are worn.
The heel of the shoe is strong and is reinforced by an external heel counter.
As previously mentioned, I found the support and stability that the shoe provides excellent, the heel is the base of this support.
The Inov-8 logo on part of the heel counter is reflective – good if you are running at night. It also fills in an otherwise blank space on the shoe.
The outsole of the shoe has rubber lugs (similar to most fell running and some trail shoes) that offer great traction over all terrain.
The grip was excellent on wet tarmac, mud, and grass both up and downhill. After roughly 30 miles, I noticed that the rubber was starting to wear away on the impact points.
Where the main impact is on the outsole (for me the outer edge of the heel), the rubber dimples have worn away. I have not felt that this has been detrimental to the shoe’s grip.
However, this only affected the small rubber dimples that are included on the sole. It had no impact on the performance of the shoe or the integrity of the lugs.
I found the outsole to be slightly too flat to run especially fast in. However, it is perfectly comfortable for hiking and runs slower than 6:30 per mile (which makes sense considering this isn’t a racing shoe).
The midsole has been reinforced by a thin layer of graphene, meaning that theoretically, the shoe should be nearly impossible to break.
Without knowing that the graphene was in the shoe, I would not have been able to identify it.
However, the shoe does provide adequate amounts of cushioning and is comfortable to wear.
When running on tarmac the shoe is quite unforgiving but when off-road, the shoe excels in providing a stable and responsive ride.
My overall impressions of the shoe are good. The shoe is incredibly lightweight for the amount of shoe and its purpose.
The GORE-TEX® upper looks good and functions perfectly. There are no issues with the laces or any signs of wear on the shoe.
Even at faster paces, the shoe performs well and does not fatigue your legs. The rugged outsole is durable and has a nearly unrivaled grip which is perfect for an off-road shoe.
I am impressed with the shoe and would recommend it to any runners, walkers or speed hikers who are looking for a versatile, multi-purpose shoe or for people with weaker ankles who are looking for a lightweight shoe with good ankle support.
This expert has been verified by RunRepeat. Reviews are neutral, unbiased and based on extensive testing.
So to sum up what we have here is a boot that is perfect for anyone into that faster adventures speed hiking, this is the boot for that.
Only time will tell how durable the new sole rubber will be, but the Roclite 345 GTX is an exciting radical new boot for anyone looking to travel fast and light across the hills.
- The Inov 8 ROCLITE 345 GTX is a trail running shoe designed for neutral runners. The outsole utilizes the G-Grip material which aims to provide better traction, especially on wet and muddy surfaces. It also offers increased durability to the outer sole.
- Inov 8 added the ADAPTERWEB in the upper section of the shoe. This design is essential in adapting to the user's changing natural movement and foot shape. The GORE-TEX technology is integrated into the shoe. The purpose of which is to make the platform waterproof, making the runner feel more confident in tackling challenging terrains.
- A well-cushioned ride is offered by the POWERFLOW midsole. The material is described as a synthetic rubber layer that has two main purposes. These are comfort and protection to the foot.
The Inov 8 ROCLITE 345 GTX is strategically engineered for both wet and dry conditions. With the shoe's upper structure, it is sure to deliver a comfortable fit from start to finish of the activity. The available width options are B - Medium for the women's version and D - Medium for the men's version. The footwear utilizes the standard measurements when it comes to its size as well.
The Inov 8 Roclite 345 GTX features a Graphene enhanced rubber outsole. It is combined with the 6mm lugs that aim to provide excellent traction on a wide variety of surfaces. This component of the shoe offers additional durability as well.
Along with the rubber outsole is the multi-directional and claw-shaped boots that have a wide contact area. These boots provide enough grip on challenging terrains.
The midsole of the Inov 8 Roclite 345 GTX uses the Power-Flow midsole. This midsole technology aims to provide 10% more shock absorption than the traditional midsole foam.
The synthetic mesh material is used in the Inov 8 Roclite 345 GTX. The goal of which is to cover the foot while keeping it breathable and secured all the time. The material is meant to provide proper ventilation on short and long-distance running sessions.
Utilized in the shoe is the GORE-TEX technology. This waterproof material offers protection to the foot, keeping it dry even on wet or snowy running condition.
Adapting to the natural movement of the foot is the ADAPTERWEB Cradle. It follows the natural anatomy of the foot, giving runners a comfortable fit.