Inov-8 Introduces Mid-Top Ultralight Boot

Inov-8 expands their RocLite line of ultralight trail shoes with a waterproof-breathable mid-height shoe that some might call...an ultralight boot.

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by Ken Knight | 2007-01-28 00:29:00-07

Inov-8 has rocked the ultralight shoe market over the last few years by applying the less is more philosophy to trail running shoes. With designs long praised by fell runners in the UK, Inov-8 shoes have been gaining favor among the ultralight backpacking community as well. In fact, Scott Williamson used Inov-8 Flyroc's on his 191-day record-breaking yo-yo of the Pacific Crest Trail in 2006 (stay tuned for an upcoming podcast with Scott and Backpacking Light in a few weeks).

Inov-8 expands their RocLite line into new arenas with a mid-height shoe that some will think of as an ultralight boot. At only 390 grams, the RocLite 390 GTX offers a waterproof-breathable lining, ankle support and padding, and its signature flexiblity, engineered fascia banding sole, and sticky rubber. Also improved: more durable lugs that aren't prone to the breakage of earlier shoes in the RocLite line.

Not interested in the extra boot height, but still want a GTX shoe? The new RocLite 325 GTX - a low top for winter runners weighing only 325 grams may be just what you are looking for and will be available in August.


Citation

"Inov-8 Introduces Mid-Top Ultralight Boot," by Ken Knight. BackpackingLight.com (ISSN 1537-0364).
http://backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/02742.html, 2007-01-28 00:29:00-07.

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Inov-8 Introduces Mid-Top Ultralight Boot
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Ryan Jordan
(ryan) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Greater Yellowstone
Inov-8 Introduces Mid-Top Ultralight Boot on 01/28/2007 00:46:51 MST Print View

Companion forum thread to:

Inov-8 Introduces Mid-Top Ultralight Boot

Nigel Sanderson
(onthefells) - F

Locale: The Chilterns and Peak District
very interesting on 01/28/2007 02:37:27 MST Print View

When will the boot go on sale? I use their shoes for running but the boot looks good for hiking when its wetter. I 'buy' all this let the water in but get it out quickly philosophy when running but if on a long wet hike once your feet are wet they never get dry and often end up cold. This waterproof boot looks to fill that gap nicely (if you aren't crossing rivers) and at a low weight.

Woubeir (from Europe)
(Woubeir) - F - MLife
Inov-8 Introduces Mid-Top Ultralight Boot on 01/28/2007 05:57:33 MST Print View

Being almost addicted at my Terrocs and having had a very positive experience with Roclite 315's last summer in the Pyrenees, it's always interesting to see what these guys are coming up with.
This new mid-top boot could be a real option for winter trips but I how wonder how durable the gore-tex liner is in such a light and flexible shoe. My experience with the gore-tex durability in a fairly lightweight and flexible shoe like the Montrail Stratos has been very dissappointing. I wonder what this means for even lighter and more flexible shoes like Inov-8's.

All these Roclite models start to get confusing:
Roclite 282 Womens
Roclite 285
Roclite 305
Roclite 315
Roclite 318 GTX
Roclite 320
Roclite 325 GTX
Roclite 390 GTX

BTW any chance what will be the difference between the 318 GTX and the 325 GTX?

Last point, something which I have never understood: why the narrower fit at the front of the Roclites compared to that from the Terrocs? The toe room in the Terrocs feels great and is something I miss in the Roclites. If there's still an opportunity to ask, I would like to know what oppinion Inov-8 (Wayne Edy) has on this.

Edited by Woubeir on 01/28/2007 05:59:37 MST.

Linda Voll
(Mataharihiker) - F

Locale: NW Wisconsin
Whoopee! on 01/28/2007 06:38:46 MST Print View

I've been waiting for a mid-top from Inov-8...any idea when will it be available?

Edited by Mataharihiker on 01/28/2007 06:39:30 MST.

Thomas Knighton
(Tomcat1066) - F

Locale: Southwest GA
Nice on 01/28/2007 07:51:53 MST Print View

It looks to be a good choice for those who just can't seem to get into the idea of wearing trail runners, but instead prefer a boot for stability (percieved or otherwise). Very interesting :)

Tom

Brett .
(Brett1234) - F

Locale: CA
re:Inov-8 Introduces Mid-Top on 01/28/2007 10:23:32 MST Print View

My 330s are an awesome product; the last fits my foot perfectly and they feel.. hard to explain; like not wearing shoes but instead having tough sticky feet.
I am looking to replace my 900 gram(each) lowtop light hikers which I still use with the occasional heavy pack. These 390s look promising and I will buy a pair. Same question please, when will they be available? I emailed Inov-8..

Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
ONE QUESTION: on 01/28/2007 21:27:52 MST Print View

Just one burning question:

Are the soles of these shoes rigid enough to protect your feet and not be deformed by rocks(with you and your pack's
full weight on them)????

If not then it's back to the drawing board.
There's nothing worse than being on a long, rocky trail with boots that have wimpy soles and feeling every golf ball-sized rock punish your foot.

Richard Stein
(buckaroobanzai) - F
Re: Inov-8 Introduces Mid-Top Ultralight Boot on 01/28/2007 22:38:31 MST Print View

Warning, newbie question coming:

When the weight of boots are quoted, is that per boot or for the pair?

Carol Crooker
(cmcrooker) - MLife

Locale: Desert Southwest, USA
Answers from inov-8 on 01/29/2007 09:51:27 MST Print View

1. The mid-height boot will be available in August.
2. Difference between roclite 318 and 325: the 318 has a stitched webbing upper like the terrocs and flyrocs. The 325 has a more supportive structural lacing upper.
3. The roclite has a different last than the terroc including a narrower toe (the roclites also run about a half size small so order up). The extra toe rand on the roclite may also contribute to the narrower toe box. Wayne mentions in the podcast that he likes to use slightly different lasts in shoe models so that a wider variety of foot types will find a shoe that works for them.
4. The inov-8 convention is that the number in the shoe title is the weight of one US size 9 shoe (UK8) in grams.

Woubeir (from Europe)
(Woubeir) - F - MLife
Re: Inov-8 Introduces Mid-Top Ultralight Boot on 01/29/2007 12:50:46 MST Print View

Thanks Carol.
Perhaps one follow-up question: what about their gore-tex gaiter system? When their gore-tex shoes originaly were shown last year, they had a distinctive black groove to fit a gaiter. Both the gore-tex models they currently sell as the new gore-tex models lack that groove. Did they drop the system?
BTW, about the difference in last, anyone an idea what sizing up means for the fit of the heelcup? I have both Terrocs and Roclites in the same size and although I prefer more toeroom in the Roclites, I'm afraid that sizing up means a looser fitting and less stable heel.

@Eric:
although you can feel golf-ball sized rocks through the sole, at least for me this hasn't been a major problem. I have used it last summer on rocky trails with a heavy pack (up to 18kg) and they performed better than I had hoped, even on steep, rocky descents.