Inov8 Roclite 320 first look

It could be third time lucky for me and Inov8. My two previous pairs of Invo8 shoes have not been successful. I found both the Terroc andd F-lites uncomfortable and not very robust. I’ve been looking for the ideal trail shoe for some time. My Salomons and Montrails don’t quite work, for various reasons.

The Inov8 320s looked ideal, so I took a punt and bought some from Likeys. I chose the 320s above the more popular 315s for three reasons. 1) Better cushioning, I like shoes with a bit of give for walking on hard surfaces. 2) I liked the look of the foot cradle, which seemed more supportive. 3) The design looks as though it would drain water better.

As usual, the first tests are dog walking. So far they have been very good. I tried Superfeet footbeds, but decided the OEM foam ones were better. The underfoot cushioning is good but not too sloppy. They ventilate very well, but unlike some, they are reasonably resistant to breezes (which I like). The rubber seems like a good compromise between robustness and grip. The only issue so far has been smooth wet surfaces, which may improve with wear. The forefoot is quite roomy and I can use them with a Goretex over sock (both Trekmates and Rocky).

All in all, these have been to closest to ideal so far. The true test is out on the trail, but for the first time I may do some backpacking with trail shoes. One small gripe is the weight. On the web site they are advertised as 320g (size 8). Mine are 366g (size 9). Even without the insole, they are 344g. I’m not that bothered, but manufacturers have a duty to advertise accurate weights where weight is a major selling factor.

Advertisements

17 thoughts on “Inov8 Roclite 320 first look”

  1. Nice shoes.

    I can also recommend the TNF Hedgehog tail shoes….
    http://uk.thenorthface.com/tnf-uk-en/men/footwear/men-s-hedgehog-gtx-xcr.html?colour=607

    They are Gortex XCR lined and very comfy. I have two pairs – a pair for the train on the way to work, and a pair for the hills – both pairs are about 18 months old and not real signs of wear or loss of comfort.

    The work pair are worn every day and when it snowed this year they performed beautifully.

    Mike

  2. Greetings from Canada! I’m also a fan of the Roclites. The weak point, however, is the mesh panels on the sides of the fore-foot (you can see one just above the “ROC” in photo and there’s another on the opposite side of the shoe). After a year of hard use, I started wearing a hole through these panels. This time around, I’ve tried re-enforcing the mesh with a bit of glue. Otherwise, they are perfect. I also tried a pair of Terrarocs and they lasted mere months in rough off-trail conditions (glacial moraines and such) – the soft rubber on the sole separated from the other rubber and holes soon followed.

    1. @Chris

      Would you say the Roclites are harder wearing than the Terrarocs with regards to the sole? As Ive had the same happen to my Terrarocs “s” shape part of the sole come unstuck, hole worn in and now the Sole has split :-(.

      I’m not sure I’d buy anymore Inov8, cant say I would recommend them, the durability of the sole has to be the worst of any shoes ever made! At £65 I expect them to last longer.

      Makes their green credentials laughable when holes appear after three months of light walking in the peaks. Seem to remember that an Inov8 rep got a bit touchy when asked the question about durability on one of Bob’s podcasts. “If you want Durability dont buy are shoes” was the response.

      It’s a shame really as otherwise they are a good shoe.

      1. The sole seems more robust than the Terrocs, but I can’t give an opinion on durability as I’ve not had them long enough.

      2. @paul

        Your situation perfectly mirrors my experience with the Terrarocs – once the softer “S”-shaped rubber came off, the remaining sole was so thin that the plastic shank soon wore through. For me, the soft lugs started to shear off within a month and the hole appeared about 3 months later. I think mixing rubber of different hardnesses is just a bad idea in a lightweight shoe. The Roclites are a different animal altogether. By the time I retired my first pair, the soles had some wear but could have lasted twice as long as the rest of the shoe.

  3. I’m just retiring my pair of Roclite 318 GTX after 10 months. I don’t do a lot of miles but I have been wearing these as general trainers as well as fell shoes. Condition of sole is fine but some rocky walking on Mull over the last fortnight has scuffed through the suade stuff on both sides of the front of the footbox. Ok, so maybe I should have gone for boots in rough, rocky conditions, but lighter footware is just so much nicer.
    Oh, and I measured these size 9s at 10% above the stated size 8 weight.
    I like the feel of them enough to go try a pair of Flyroc 310s next – going for absolute breathability instead of the damp/fusty goretex – which I put down to always having cold feet which means no energy to drive water vapour though the membrane…

  4. I’ve just retired a pair of Inov-8 Roclite 370 boots (non membrane). They have done two TGO Challenges, weekends in the Lakes and Dales and umpteen day walks. Soles rather worn down & one rand coming away from upper (but repaired with chewing gum!).

    Verdict: just bought another pair!

    Terroc 330’s are my favorite Inov-8 shoe. No problems with longevity there either. First pair’s soles worn out after much use including WHW and St. Bees – Robin Hood’s Bay etc.

    Verdict: replaced with same!

    1. The 320s are definitely an improvement on my previous experiences of Inov8. Time will tell how robust they are, but early indications are positive. Always helpful to know of the experiences of others.

    1. Inov8 provide a useful size chart giving the lenght of the shoe in cms http://inov-8.com/Fit-and-Function.asp?L=26

      Size 9 is 27cm, size 8 is 26cm. Size 9 is 3.8% longer than size 8. It doesn’t seem unreasonable to expect the weight to vary by a similar amount. 10% seems too much. 14% seems way too much. Perhaps Inov8 should be more candid and say that the weight can vary by x%.

      The best company in terms of weight accuracy in my experience is Alpkit.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s