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Review: New INOV8 Roclite Mid GTX boot

Written by Fiona

July 03 2024

INOV8 has launched a collection of waterproof hiking footwear “inspired by mountain goats”.  The key feature of the boots and shoes is rubber cleats that the brand says are shaped like “the alpine acrobat’s super-grippy hooves”.

The ROCLITE GTX shoe and ROCLITE MID GTX boot also boast the brand’s new foot-shaped design and cushioned midsole foam.

Graham Jordison, INOV8’s Head of Product Design for Footwear, said: “The shape of the new outsole cleats are inspired by the cloven hooves of the mountain goat. 

“Cloven hooved mammals have an almost finger-like dexterity and their split hooves – together with a hard outer shell and soft inner pad – provide incredible traction in their steep-sided, precarious habitats. We’ve looked to replicate this split hoof shape in our design.

“Our significant research also shows that the split design helps better disperse underfoot water and so provides better grip on wet rocks.

“The outsole combines with the other design elements to make the new ROCLITE shoes and boots super-nimble, sticky and light.”

The shoe weighs from 365g and the boot from 425g.

More features of INOV8 Roclite Mid GTX boot:
Weight: 425g (average weight across all sizes) My UK9 is 427g per boot.
Lug depth: 6mm
Total stack heights (floor to foot): 31mm heel / 25mm forefoot
Midsole depth: 18mm heel / 12mm forefoot
Drop: 6mm
Sizes: UK3 to UK8.5

Fit options: Wide fit

RRP: £150.

See: Inov8 Roclite Mid GTC boot.

My thoughts: INOV8 Roclite Mid GTX boot

I am usually a UK8.5 but the UK8.5 in the INOV8 Roclite Mid GTX boot is too small. My big toe was at the end of the boot. I was then sent the UK9. This fits the length of my foot. The UK9 actually sits in the men’s boot collection but I was told the boots in the men’s and women’s ranges fit the same, so the width and last will be the same only the boot is longer.

The width of the boot is deliberately wide at the forefoot. This is meant to allow for comfort and spread of your feet as they warm up. If you have very narrow feet like me, you might find the width a bit wide, although, to be honest, it didn’t bother me and I found the boots to be very comfortable.

The ankle area is of normal width and it is easy enough to secure the boots with the laces so they keep my ankles and heels secure.

The boots feel lightweight and they are nicely cushioned underfoot. The cushioning is best for walks on harder trails, such as forest tracks and dry paths, rather than big mountain walks. On more remote, off-trod hikes, I prefer to feel more of the ground under my feet so the soles are a bit deep and cushioned for this purpose.

The are ideally suited to long-distance walks that mix trails and tarmac.

Stability from the wide sole, especially where it flares under the heel, is great. I didn’t once go over on my ankle.

The mid-height ankle cuff very much says “summer” walking, or walking on obvious tracks and trails. In winter, or on more off-the-beaten-track routes, I would want a higher ankle cuff for improved support.

The women’s boots are sold in black or mid-grey. While the black is a bit boring, the grey boots would quickly become mucky looking.

There is a decent rand and toe-cap so the fabric upper of the boots is protected from rocks and vegetation.

But what about performance? The soles are nicely grippy on wet grass, rocks, mud and paths. I rarely have a problem with slippery soles in any INOV8 footwear and these boots work well. I can’t decide if the new “goat hooves” design makes grip better than other footwear but, suffice to say, they are grippy on a range of terrain, both dry and wet. The layout of the 6mm lugs is confidence building because they spread right form the rear heel to the toe cap and across the width.

However, I confess I feel like the “goat hoof” design is a bit of a gimmick but in an arena of competition for sales of many walking boots by different brands, I like INOV8’s bid for something different.

One area that is less impressive is the waterproofing. The boots have a Gore-Tex liner built into the fabric upper but take a look at my socks after an hour’s walk on wet roads, grass and woodland paths. The water has got in from around the ankle, but it has also soaked through the forefoot area, too. In my experience, fabric boots are rarely that waterproof but usually the Gore-Tex liner lasts for about six months and then the boots start to leak. Sadly, these have leaked from the first outing.

other fabric boots I have owned and including Inov8.

Conclusion: The boots are comfortable, lightweight and easy to walk in. They are best suited to tracks and trails, a well as hill dry paths, and will serve you well on a mix of trail and tarmac. I have found the length half a size too short and, while they are wide fitting, they still hug the heel in place. Because the boots are not very waterproof I would recommend them for summer use only.

  • I was sent a pair of the boots in return for an honest review.

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