ProView – Inov-8 Roclite G 345 GTX
Hiking is one of the quintessential activities in the Pacific Northwest. To hike in the Northwest you need a boot that is at minimum water-resistant, comfortable, lightweight, and ideally stylish enough that you don’t look like Sasquatch if you go out for tacos after your hike. When presented the opportunity to test the Inov-8 Roclite G 345 GTX boots I was eager to see how the boots would perform in the wet fall environs of Washington.
Inov-8 Roclite G 345 GTX
Product Name: Inov-8 Roclite G 345 GTX
Product Description: Comfort and speed in a boot that boasts a GoreTex upper and graphene grip outsole (G-Grip). Perfect for all trail conditions. The Roclite 345 GTX hiking and running boot with graphene-enhanced G-GRIP outsole and utilizing GORE-TEX product technology offers the optimal combination of the world's toughest grip, climate comfort and protection.
Offer price: MSRP: $190.00
The Roclite G 345 GTX is a niche product for those looking for an ultra-lightweight durable boot and are willing to sacrifice some of the comforts that other hiking boots, while heavier, may provide. The G-Grip graphene-enhanced sole is the star of this shoe offering excellent traction on all surfaces along with killer durability.
- Durable sole
- Lightweight boot
- Gore-Tex material
- Minimum cushion for foot and ankle
- Lightweight boot
- Boot was slightly larger than a traditional US 9.5 size
I wear a US size 9.5 running shoe and hiking boot across numerous brands. In my first few miles, the Roclite’s had a slight slip in the heel while wearing thin hiking socks which resulted in a large blister. Inov-8 is a UK company and the boot seems to run slightly larger than an American-made 9.5 size. Keep this in mind when ordering or remember to always wear thick hiking socks to maximize comfort and avoid those nasty blisters.
Inov-8 classifies the Roclite G 345 GTX as a fast hiking boot. During long climbs the lightweight Roclite makes all that trudging uphill almost pleasurable. The drawback to the lightweight construction is that on the downhill I felt every rock and root in the soles of my feet – as the miles increased so did the soreness to my feet. The toebox of the boot felt snug but not restrictive and my toes never hit the inside of the boot on the downhill sections.
As mentioned above the Inov-8 Roclite G 345 GTX is classified as a fast hiking boot. Evaluating the construction of the boot it quickly becomes apparent that one of the priorities for the Roclite was for the shoe to be lightweight. The boots are sold with a thin caliber shoelace and Inov-8 also replaced all the traditional metal grommets with a thin fabric grommet of similar material as the shoelaces. This was done to shave grams and bring the weight of the boot down to an impressive 12.1 ounces per boot (345 grams)
The Roclite boot comes in six color schemes all of which are a more traditional look and aesthetically pleasing.
Inov-8 is the only footwear manufacturer which offers a sole that is graphene-enhanced. This feature was the primary attraction I had to test a pair of Inov-8 boots. The G-Grip outsoles are reported to be 50% stronger, 50% more elastic, and 50% harder wearing. During the weeks I tested the boots the traction of the G-Grip outsole has performed excellently – keeping solid traction through mud, scree, wet roots, and slick granite rocks. The sole has shown no significant wear or breakdown thus far and I expect this to last for numerous miles.
The Roclite is Gore-Tex treated which waterproofs the lower portion of the boot as you hike through wet conditions or shallow streams. If you are fortunate enough to step in deeper water, as I did, the material above the toe box is not waterproof and your socks will become wet. Thankfully the Roclite is well ventilated so my feet dried relatively quickly.
One caveat to my review is that all of my testing was done on day trips with a lighter backpack weight of 10 to 15 pounds. If you are backpacking with a heavy load for multiple days I would not recommend this boot due to the lightweight construction.
Inov-8 is a British company located in the British lakes region of the U.K. Their stomping ground is similar in climate to the Pacific Northwest making this boot a good fit for a similar environment. Inov-8 states they are “passionate about reducing our impact on the environment; using sustainable and recycled materials in our products wherever possible; ensuring a sustainable supply chain; fair labor practices; and paving the way forward for other businesses to follow.” Inov-8 ensures their suppliers follow a Code of Conduct and ensure fair labor. In 2019 Inov-8 featured their Autumn/Winter collection introducing the first base and mid-layers made from recycled technical fabric created by recycling 500ml PET plastic bottles and turning them into polyester yarn. The Inov-8 footwear department is also focused on sustainability. The outsoles of the Inov-8 shoes are 15 to 20% recycled rubber, while the graphene-enhanced (G-Grip™) outsole offers outstanding durability.
The Final Word
After weeks of testing the Roclite I have come to enjoy the lightweight fast technical feel of the boot. I was initially hesitant but after I dialed in the right socks and fit I feel I will be reaching for these boots on day hikes or overnight fastpacking trips. I would not recommend this boot if you are looking for maximum comfort or plan to do longer multi-day backpacking trips with a heavier pack. The Roclite G 345 GTX is a niche product for those looking for an ultra-lightweight durable boot and is willing to sacrifice some of the comforts that other hiking boots, while heavier, may provide. The G-Grip graphene-enhanced sole is the star of this shoe offering excellent traction on all surfaces along with killer durability.
About the Gear Tester
Ryan Beachy is a Physician Assistant and volunteer SAR member. You can find him outdoors hiking, running, biking, and shooting photography. He lives in Washington State with his wife, two daughters, and a feisty cockapoo. You can connect with him on Instagram at @cascadia_argonaut.