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Inov8 - Stickyness of soles
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Peter S
(prse) - MLife

Locale: Denmark
Inov8 - Stickyness of soles on 04/26/2013 07:16:26 MDT Print View


I'm curious about which sole from Inov8 sticks the best to wet rocks.

Reading a couple of reviews of different Inov8 shoes, it seems that the Roclite and X-Talon soles should be good.

What's you're experience?

Dustin Short
(upalachango) - MLife
Re: Inov8 - Stickyness of soles on 04/26/2013 10:20:44 MDT Print View

It's the not the tread but rather the compound. Look at their site. Inov8 has three compounds, an E for endurace, and S for sticky and a tricompound that tries to maximize both. No word on the tri-compound yet but the E is definitely not as sticky as the S.

Also it depends on your surface. I love my roclite 315 (Endurance compound) but the tread is a bit too aggressive for slick rock or hard pack trail until it wears down. It's a bit like walking on stilts and the deep treads minimize rubber contact on rock, which is the exact opposite that you want on slickrock.

So if your surface is a consolidated rock, like slickrock or granite slabs, and wet I'd actually look at one of their lower profile outsoles. The trail-roc, terrafly, or even a road shoe like the f-lite with sticky rubber would be best. If you have more talus or river rock gravel then the more aggressive tread like a roclite or x-talon is useful.

Stuart .
(lotuseater) - F

Locale: Colorado
Inov8 on 04/26/2013 10:27:23 MDT Print View

More surface area in contact rather than less has worked better for me. Roclites are great for snow and mud, but Trailrocs are better for wet rocks.

spelt with a t
(spelt) - F

Locale: SW/C PA
x-talon on 04/26/2013 10:52:16 MDT Print View

Based on posts here these seem to be a less popular product line but I've been very impressed with the traction.

Nathan Watts
(7sport) - MLife
Re: x-talon on 04/26/2013 15:27:01 MDT Print View

If you like the x-talon check out the f-lite. Same shoe, different tread. 195's use sticky rubber. Not sure about the other models of f-lite.

The sticky stuff holds up just fine too.

I've been waiting forever to find a good deal on x-talon 190's.

Edited by 7sport on 04/26/2013 15:29:18 MDT.

David (Bleach)
(dtabachnick) - MLife
use case? on 04/26/2013 17:29:32 MDT Print View

I wear the roclite 295 (sticky sole) on the majority of my trips and I'm quite happy with the stickiness and versatility. There's enough tread depth to work in mud/snow, while the sticky compound is great on slick rocks during river crossings. But I agree with the above posts, if you are doing primarily slick rock, get something with less tread depth like the flite or trailroc.

(xeren) - F

Locale: Southern California
bare-grip on 04/26/2013 18:06:06 MDT Print View

I'm in love with my bare-grip 200's

Great traction on everything- I use them for backpacking, running, and flag football. I know it depends on the individual, but these shoes fit me so perfectly, there was no break-in period.

Peter S
(prse) - MLife

Locale: Denmark
Thank you on 04/27/2013 03:30:32 MDT Print View

guys, that's a lot of good info to get me going further on my way to a new

Really good info regarding the compound.

My usage will primarily be the fjells of Norway and Sweden and the coasts with rocks in Denmark.

It seems that Inov8 have both old and new names for their FIT.

Under their Tech part:
the soles are:

Precision, Natural and Endurance.

When you go to their product search:
the FIT-filtering has these options:

Anatomic, Comfort and Performance.

I guess

I have very slim and low volume feet.

I think i'll go for the Sticky Compound and Precision/performance for my first one.

Edited by prse on 04/27/2013 08:10:08 MDT.

Dustin Short
(upalachango) - MLife
Re: Thank you on 04/27/2013 04:43:38 MDT Print View

If you have narrow feet then pretty much any Inov8 will fit you.

I don't know what fjells are (is that same as the british "Fell"?) but if it's the same as british mountains then you'll deal with more loose rock, scree, gravel, grass, and mud. In that case you'd want more "traction" which is exactly what the x-talon and roclites were designed for. Traction is the ability of a shoe to "dig" into soft or loose ground and not slip. Friction is the ability to "stick" onto hard and smooth surfaces (like tarmac, concrete, granite slabs). So decide what's best for your local geography.

For comparison, I live in the American southwest. We have a lot of sand, gravel, scree, and hardpacked trails. So I went with the roclite since it has an aggressive tread but wasn't too much like cleats (like the x-talon or bare-grips tread patterns). I got the 315s which have endurance rubber since the desert is brutal and abrasive on anything not made of stone. This gave me the most security on desert cross-country trips and wetter forested hikes. Now that I hike in canyons and do more climbing I'm looking at the trail-rocs (didn't exist when I bought my shoes originally) since they're a little flatter and my roclites don't feel too secure on polished slickrock with the non stick rubber..

For city life I use flites with sticky rubber and they've held up well on very slick cement in the rain. I've been impressed with the wear too so I'm not going to worry/bother with endurance rubber on future purchases.

So that's my rationale for generally dry and rocky hiking in the American West. Hopefully it'll help you pick a tread pattern.

Personally I'd get a roclite if I was spending more time on looser ground or a trailroc for harder surfaces, but either is a good all around choice to start with. Then you can decide later on if you want flatter or more aggressive tread for your preferred hiking conditions.

Peter S
(prse) - MLife

Locale: Denmark
Terminology on 04/27/2013 08:45:38 MDT Print View

Sorry for the term Fjells (Plural), it's exactly the same as Fell (Nordic Mountains).

"If you have narrow feet then pretty much any Inov8 will fit you."

Ah, great great news! - That's so nice to hear - it's usually a PITA to find technical footwear that fits my narrow many options now... :-)

Since hiking in Norway and parts of Sweden usually involves a lot of crossings of cold and rocky streams, and i don't mind a potentially shorter life span, i'll stay with a Sticky Compound.

I'm leaning towards Roclite's. If i were just to judge by the look of the tread, i'd pick that. And your experience supports that.

"So that's my rationale for generally dry and rocky hiking in the American West. Hopefully it'll help you pick a tread pattern"

It's a big help, thank you Dustin!

Cheers Mate (I'm down under right now)

Nathan Watts
(7sport) - MLife
Re: Inov8 - Stickyness of soles on 04/27/2013 08:52:55 MDT Print View

Sorry in advance if this ends up being thread drift.

You might also want to consider some of La Sportiva's offerings if you're not married to Inov-8. They offer some of the grippiest rubber compounds available in lightweight trail runners. My only experience with the brand has been a pair of Vertical K's I bought to try out that are too short for me. I haven't been able to use them due to sizing but they feel comfortable. So this isn't a recommendation per se, but a suggestion of an alternate brand to check out for sticky climbing shoe rubber used in running shoes.

I'm very happy with my Inov-8s though, so you can't go wrong there.

Stuart .
(lotuseater) - F

Locale: Colorado
2013 changes on 04/27/2013 10:33:20 MDT Print View

Inov-8 have changed some of their models for 2013. I can no longer wear the Roclite 295 as the new model is a much narrower fit, even after upsizing, than the previous version. So if you're ordering over the web rather than trying on in a store, the Shoefitr app sizing guidelines may be out of date.

Personally I cannot wear the F-lite or X-talon models (Performance last) as they are far too narrow for me. The old model Roclite 295s (Comfort) were good, but the Trailroc 245s (Anatomic last) feel like a custom fit for me - absolutely perfect. Note that last and compound are different classifications. The former refers to shape, the latter grip and wear-rating.

Edited by lotuseater on 04/27/2013 10:49:08 MDT.

Peter S
(prse) - MLife

Locale: Denmark
Nathan and Stuart on 04/28/2013 07:04:28 MDT Print View

Nathan: Okay, thanks for pointing La Sportiva out, i'll check them out - i've only heard good things about them, but never owned any shoe from them.

- Anybody knows if they're a "narrow" brand?

Stuart: Thanks! My plan is to buy them from an online shop, as there aren't any shop near me that has a big selection of Inov8. I'll make sure to make correspondence with Inov8 or the dealer before purchase about sizing, and i'll probably order a couple of sizes of 2-3 different pairs at the same time and send the rest back. Having narrow feet has made me buy way too many technical shoes over the years, that i ended up regretting. So i'm prepared this time to do a thorough research!


Dustin Short
(upalachango) - MLife
Re: Nathan and Stuart on 04/28/2013 12:38:19 MDT Print View

Peter, I found that has great advice on sizing shoes. For each shoe they have a "how it fits" section that is pretty good at letting you know whether the shoe runs a bit long, narrow, short, fat, whatever. I used this to help me narrow down the sizing for my 195s (which apparently run a half size bigger than a "normal" shoe). Since I already had 315s that I liked, I was able to do a pretty decent virtual comparison that worked out well for me with my next online purchase.

So if you have a shoe size that normally works for you in trail runners (or you own an existing pair of shoes offered by runningwarehouse) you can get a fairly decent idea of what will work.

For the 295s they say the following:

How It Fits (based on width D)

Sizing: Standard running shoe length
Heel: Medium to narrow
Midfoot: Medium volume
Forefoot: Medium
Toe-Box Height: Medium-high
Arch Structure: Low
Shoe Shape: Semi-Curved

Stuart .
(lotuseater) - F

Locale: Colorado
Runningwarehouse on 04/28/2013 13:00:25 MDT Print View

That website uses the shoefitr app I mentioned. Given that the Roclite 295 is new and fits differently, the results may not be as accurate as the app normally is.

Peter, you will probably find that the new model fits your foot better than the old one, but you'd be wise to order 2-3 sizes and figure which works best for you.

Peter S
(prse) - MLife

Locale: Denmark
runningwarehouse, soles on 04/29/2013 10:19:07 MDT Print View

That shoefitr app is very convenient - i do have a running shoe (Mizuno Wave Inspire 6) that fits me perfectly, and it's in their database.

Stuart: Do you have a link to some info on which models Inov8 has changed the fit for?

Currently i'm down to: Roclite 295, 243 (too thin for Mountain use?), the old 285 (how does that compare to the new 295?) and Trailroc 255. Maybe the Roclite 286 GTX, but i'm no fan of GTX though.

What about the Terroc's? Not mentioned yet - the sole pattern looks pretty allround..

Btw, can i count on that the more "transition arrows", the more padding/(stiffness?) in the whole of the sole and not just the heel?

Edited by prse on 04/29/2013 18:01:15 MDT.

Stuart .
(lotuseater) - F

Locale: Colorado
Shoefitr on 04/29/2013 11:21:49 MDT Print View

Peter - I see that shoefitr now lists both old and new versions of the Roclite 295. That is recent, as the last time I looked they only had the old model. I've not been able to do a direct comparison between old and new Roclite 295s as the software thinks they are the same. However doing a three-way comparison with the TrailRoc 245, shoefitr now suggests going 1/2 size larger in the new model than the old. That wasn't enough for me widthwise, and 1 size larger felt too long. For reference I wear 10.5 (all sizes US) in the old Roclite 295, 11 in the Roclite 312GTX and 11 in the Trailroc 245. shoefitr suggested I should wear the new Roclite 295 in 11.5 and strangely the old Roclite 295 in 11 based on my Trailroc 245 sizing.

In contrast, Zappos replaced the picture of the Roclite 295 to show the new model, but retained all the reviews and fit feedback for the old model.

The Roclite 285 has been replaced by the Roclite 243 (which I see they now say has a 'Precision' fit - so confusing). The 285 has the Performance last, which is narrower than the 295 (either model). I believe the Roclite 286GTX also has the Performance last. I'm told the Terrafly line has been updated, although the 303 looks the same as last year. I can't comment on the Terrocs as I've never found any locally.

The Trailroc line was introduced last year, along with the Anatomic last. I wanted to get a pair of 255s (6mm drop) but couldn't find them in stock so settled on the 245s (3mm drop). After wearing the 245s for 3-4 months I tried a pair of 255s through Zappos and sent them back. Between the amount of cushioning around the heel, and the plastic met-cradle on the outside, the heel felt much narrower and was decidedly uncomfortable. I recently acquired a second pair of 245s and they fit as the first pair did. Initially I was concerned about the 3mm drop, but my left knee and ankle are much happier than they were in any other shoes I've worn. These are my go-to shoes outside of winter and mud season.

Take a look at the combined footbed and drop measurements for each shoe to get an idea of how much cushion exists. I started with a 6mm footbed with 6mm drop, then moved to 6mm footbed with 3mm drop. The latter's sole is much more flexible but the Trailroc 245 has some form of plate in the sole and that helps protect against sharp rocks. There's less roll in my ankle on the lower drop shoes, but that also may be a function of the smaller lugs on the Trailrocs than on the Roclites.

Edited by lotuseater on 04/29/2013 11:30:28 MDT.

Nathan Coleman
Inov-8 shoes on 05/01/2013 06:55:45 MDT Print View

I've got the Flyroc 310's, Roclite 315's, Roclite 400's, and Terrafly 303's.

On one of my regular trail running routes I wade a swift creek that is flowing on bedrock, so it is very slick. The stickiest are the terrafly's, followed by the roclite 315's, and the flyroc's are the worst. Haven't waded with the 400's as they are a goretex boot.

Steve Meier
(smeier) - MLife

Locale: Midwest
narrow feet on 05/01/2013 07:35:14 MDT Print View

I've found the LaSportiva's to be very narrow and much narrower than the RocLite's. Saying that, I found both to be comfortable and am a Innov-8 wearer now. Hard to believe how light the 315's are while giving me great support.

Peter S
(prse) - MLife

Locale: Denmark
Thanks on 05/05/2013 05:15:50 MDT Print View

Hey Guys, just wanted to say thank you for all your very thorough advice. So great.

I'm in Adelaide, Australia now, and it seems to me to be easier to find a lot of online Inov8 dealers in Europe, so i'll wait to order when i'm home again.

I'll give feedback of my purchases then.