Saturday, 11 July 2009

Initial Review - Inov8 Roclite 318 GTX

On Thursday I mentioned getting a pair of Inov-8 Roclite 318 GTX. Today was their first outing in anger...

Inov8 Roclite 318 GTX
Price: £76 (with £5 voucher) including p&p
Supplier: Wiggle
Pair of shoes

What it does:
Lightweight, waterproof hiking/fellrunning shoe. The manufacturer uses a lot more words to say this here.

Look and feel:
The manufacturer claims that the 318 in the name refers to 318g per shoe for the size 8 version. Other reviews of Inov8 shoes that I've seen have reported the weight of actual product to match description. As I take size 43/size 9 I expected mine to be a touch heavier, but I was more than a little surprised to find them over 10% heavier at 358 and 368g. Other than that they appear to be exactly as described. Construction is neat and accurate and they're certainly much lighter than the Berghaus boots they're replacing which were 800g per boot.

Initial Testing:
OK, todays walk was just under 6 miles. I was wearing a pair of the rather nice new Alpkit AKdrenaline coolmax socks. And success! There was light drizzle as we set off through wet grass and my feet stayed dry. That is Requirement No. 1 for campsite wear.
Further on down in the wooded ex-industrial wasteland that is Ticknall Limepits, the ground varies between wet, rocky and slippery roots. Again success! Grip noticeably better than the boots, especially on the now muddy logs that had been placed in the muddy puddles presumably to act as little bridges.
Ticknall Limepits

And the tunnel to hide the workers from the view of the gentry at the adjacent country house...

As the walk went on I did notice that my ankles were working a little more than usual, especially on the rougher surfaces. But I guess that is a consequence of most of my hiking having been in boots and I'll get used to this freedom of movement in time. The tickling of grass on my ankles was a novel experience - which reminds me I need to add something for tick extraction to the first aid kit. I'm hoping the ankle exercise will also be a good thing for my cycling - stronger ankles should, hopefully, lead to less risk of damaging them when riding hard.

Yes, it looks like the Roclites do what they promise. I'm looking forward to putting more miles on them - we're hoping to find a gap in the bookings of one of the local youth hostels just north of us in the Peak District and get 2 to 3 days fixed-centre walking in - hopefully walking including the Dove Valley as I like that stretch and there is a handy cafe at Milldale - though now as I'm coffee self-sufficient maybe I no longer need the luxury of buying in ready made supplies! {grin}

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