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.