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ProView – Inov-8 G Roclite 275

The Inov-8 G Roclite shoes fit true to size. I did not have any major issues with rubbing, hot spots, or blisters after a few runs to adjust. The toe box is more narrow than other similar trail runners. Due to the stiffness in the heel, I experienced some slipping during runs. The combination of grip and lightweight nature allows the shoe to be agile on a variety of terrain.

Inov-8 G Roclite 275

Product Description: The lightest and most versatile shoe in the Roclite collection. Great grip for on and off trail.

Offer price: MSRP: $135.00

  • Quality
    (4)
  • Features
    (3)
  • Durability
    (5)
  • Fit
    (3)
  • Earth Friendly
    (4)

Summary

Inov-8’s Roclite blends traction, lightweight design, and stability into a narrow, low profile trail running shoe. It is efficient, durable, and a joy to run in once they’re broken in. The tread on the Roclite is my favorite feature. It brings confidence and stability on unstable ground. The Roclite could do with a slightly wider toe box as well as a more comfortable and flexible heel. Personally, I would prefer slightly wider laces for easier lacing and less slipping, but that could be easily changed. Overall, I really enjoyed running in the Roclite, and I will definitely be using them often.

Overall
3.8

Pros

  • Lightweight while maintaining durability
  • The tread on the shoe allows for a lot of traction even while running in wet or slippery conditions.

Cons

  • Narrow, especially in the toe box (fit my foot, but may not for wider feet)
  • The heel counter is stiff and relatively flat, which caused my heel to slip some.

Living in the Southeast, I was able to push these shoes to their limit on wet and rocky terrain. The Roclite’s performance surprised me in ways I was not expecting through the liveliness and response of the trail runner. 

I took the Roclite’s through a variety of terrains from the wet, muddy, and narrow trails in Western North Carolina, to the dry, loose, and rocky trails of Kentucky’s Red River Gorge. The tread on the Roclite is more versatile than many other shoes I’ve encountered. For example, I have put many miles on my Altra Superiors, and they tend to slip when introduced to steep terrain, especially when wet. With the steepness of the trails in Western North Carolina, I felt comfortable powering up technical hills in the Roclite. During the trip to Kentucky, the trails were significantly different than the trails I was used to farther south. I had to deal with a lot of dry loose rock, and often even steeper conditions than Western North Carolina. I also had the opportunity to wear the Roclite during construction and instruction on my university’s challenge course. The challenge course is located in the middle of a steep drainage, with the elements in, around, and across the drainage. I was comfortable wearing the Roclite all day with little to no discomfort. They gave me confidence on the slick and steep terrain while I was leading participants through the course. Using the Roclite in widely varying terrain and scenarios was really enjoyable. I found myself hoping across rocks in stream crossings just to see if they would slip. 

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Fit/Comfort

The Roclite is a comfortable shoe right out of the box, and they continued to get more comfortable as they stretched to my foot shape. If my foot ever got wet running through creeks or soaked trails, they maintained comfort and I never felt any hotspots or blisters. However, the Roclite is a narrow shoe, especially in the toe box, so it appeals more to a narrow foot. And I did experience some slipping in the heel. I had to try multiple different lacing techniques to keep my heel locked down while running. Some were more comfortable than others, but I was eventually able to find a comfortable middle ground.

Look/Style

Personally, when it comes to visuals of a shoe, I prefer a low profile look. I appreciate Inov-8’s tendency to design low profile shoes, and I really enjoyed the look and feel of the Roclite. However, I would prefer more color options than the generic men’s colors of blue, gray, and black.

Features

There were a few features of the Roclite that I really appreciated. The extra lacing hole near the ankle is a big must when it comes to trail runners. I normally can’t get the locked-down feel that I want without it. I tend to go with a thicker lace because I feel like they don’t loosen as much during a run, but the thin laces on the Roclite rarely felt loose. 

Weight

The Roclite is a fairly lightweight shoe, but I was surprised with how solid it felt. It performed very well on uneven terrain, and gave me confidence while on slippery trails. It never felt clunky, or heavy, even after long runs.

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Function/Durability

I tend to be pretty rough on shoes, and I normally have to replace shoes quite often, but the Roclite barely showed any major wear during the two months I have been running in the shoe. I was happy to break in the sole however, because it was pretty stiff out of the box. It took a few runs for it to soften up, and get to where I prefer it. Overall, the Roclite exceeded my expectations. It lived up to its name through being lightweight while excelling on rocky and uneven terrain.

Earth Friendly

Inov-8 recognizes its impact and influence on the environment. They have an entire page on their website that gives information about their values and sustainability practices. I was encouraged by their practices, products, and materials. They are driven by their core values of sustainability, minimizing waste, and renewable energy and resources. 

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The Final Word

Inov-8’s Roclite blends traction, lightweight design, and stability into a narrow, low profile trail running shoe. It is efficient, durable, and a joy to run in once they’re broken in. The tread on the Roclite is my favorite feature. It brings confidence and stability on unstable ground. The Roclite could do with a slightly wider toe box as well as a more comfortable and flexible heel. Personally, I would prefer slightly wider laces for easier lacing and less slipping, but that could be easily changed. Overall, I really enjoyed running in the Roclite, and I will definitely be using them often.

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About the Gear Tester

Outdoor Prolink Pro
seth-king
Seth King
Adventure Recreation Guide

Seth has worked as an Adventure Recreation guide for Camp McCall for two years leading high school-aged youth through a variety of outdoor activities in the South East mountains and surrounding areas. He recently completed his Immersion semester at North Greenville University where he learned how to become a proficient outdoor leader in a variety of skills and certifications. When he is not in school, Seth enjoys climbing, mountain biking, whitewater kayaking, and lots of trail running. You can follow his adventures or connect on Instagram at @itinerant_wayfarer.

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