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Inov-8 Roclite G 275 shoes

In this review, I will share my impressions of the Inov-8 Roclite G 275 shoes, comparing them to the very similar Inov-8 Roclite 345 and 325 boots, which I also own.

I have tested all three pairs extensively – in fact, I’ve walked two pairs to destruction. The Roclite 275 shoes walked from Dover to Scotland, the Roclite 325 boots walked across Scotland on the TGO Challenge, and the Roclite 345 boots walked the length of the UK from Land’s End to John O’Groats.  

The Inov-8 Roclite 275s are marketed by Inov-8 as a running shoe, but I will be reviewing them for walking and backpacking. I’m not a runner so I cannot comment on them in that context.

First impressions

The Roclite 275s look well made and smart.

They are comfortable to wear straight out of the box. I’m more than happy wearing them around the house, as they feel like slippers. I would happily go out for a 20-mile walk without worrying about wearing them in. In fact, I’ve done this before with Inov-8 footwear, without a problem.

Soles

The soles of the Roclite 275 shoes look identical to the soles on both the Roclite 325 and 345 boots. There’s a very similar flex in them – although I only tested this with my hands and feet, which is hardly a technical test! The only slight difference is that the soles on the 345s have a more pronounced rocker.

The G-grip means the shoes have graphene soles. Inov-8 are one of the first companies to use it in their soles. Graphene is acclaimed to be the world’s strongest material, 200 times stronger than steel. Inov-8 has infused graphene into the rubber outsoles, making them harder wearing.

I definitely agree with this – I walked from Land’s End to John O’Groats in a pair of graphene-soled Roclite 345s. Once I got to John O’Groats 1,100 miles later, the upper mesh of the boots was wrecked, but the graphene soles still had plenty of tread and grip left.

Graphene sole of the Roclite G 275 shoes
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My Roclite 345 boots after 1,100 miles of mistreatment – the uppers were wrecked, but there was still life left in the graphene soles

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I initially thought the soles of the 275 shoes would feel identical to the soles of the 345 boots, because they both have graphene in, but they don’t. The soles of the 275 shoes have a slghtly less pronounced rocker, and feel a little more flexible than the 345 boots. 

Insoles

The Inov-8 insoles in the Roclite 275 shoes are thinner and more lightweight than those in the 325 boots. This means there’s not quite so much cushioning.

I managed to wear these insoles out within a few hundred miles on my Dover to Cape Wrath walk, so I changed them for some thicker, more supportive Super Feet insoles. I was carrying a heavy backpack every day though – they would probably last longer in normal use.

The top (blue) insole is from the Inov-8 Roclite 325 boots. The bottom (green) insole is from the Inov-8 Roclite 275 shoes and 345 boots.
The top (blue) insole is from the Inov-8 Roclite 325 boots. The bottom (green) insole is from the Inov-8 Roclite 275 shoes and 345 boots.

Breathability

The Roclite 275 shoes are not waterproof, making them ideal for summer use. I prefer a non-lined boot in warm weather so my feet can breathe and sweat can evaporate. This keeps my feet a lot drier, which also helps to prevent blisters.

The top of the shoes are a breathable mesh. This mesh and the low rand on the side work well. They pump any water out when it’s wet and I found that my feet dried quickly. My feet tend to sweat pretty quickly when it’s warm, but in temperatures in the mid 20s C they felt OK in these shoes.

The down side of breathable shoes is that when it’s wet, I get wet feet. I’ve got used to it and not found it to be a problem. The shoes pump the water out well and my socks dry really quickly.

Testing the breathability of my Roclite 275 shoes

Laces

The laces and lace loops on the Roclite 275 shoes (and 345 boots) are round, unlike the flat loops and laces on the 325 boots. I have found rounded laces and lace loops work really well, better than the flat design. They pull through more smoothly, making it quicker and easier to get the shoes on and off.

Mesh on the top of the Roclite 275 shoes

The strengtheners at the sides are strong and well-stitched. They spread the pressure from the laces back down and across the shoes well.

Sizing

The width of the Roclite 275s are about average. I don’t think they wouldn’t suit someone with wide feet.

I usually wear a UK size 8 shoe, but from past experience, I’ve found that Inov-8 boots are a snug fit on me. In my opinion, Inov-8 under size their footwear a little, so I would recommend going up a half size when purchasing them for every day use. You could possibly even go a whole size bigger, depending on what you want to use them for.

I purchased these 275 shoes for long distance walking in warmer weather, so I went for a whole size bigger and purchased a UK size 9. They are plenty big enough, with room for thicker waterproof walking socks. This size also allows for my feet to swell a bit in the heat and my toes to spread, which they tend to on longer backpacking trips.

Inov-8 Roclite 275 shoe.
Side of the Roclite 345 GTX, showing the high rand
Inov-8 Roclite 345 GTX: very similar design and materials to the 275s above.

Conclusion

So – the Roclite 275 shoes are extremely comfortable straight out of the box and I’ve found them perfect for summer hiking on good paths. I have been surprised by how well the Inov8 shoes have lasted. The only weak point I have found is the mesh over the front of the boots, which wears fairly quickly and made the shoes look tatty. But with the graphene soles, the tread has last well so you can do a high mileage before they need replacing. I think that alone, makes them good value for money.

It was an easy decision to buy the Inov8 Roclite G 275 shoes and I was glad I used them for the majority of my 1100 mile Dover to Cape Wrath walk. I only changed to boots for the off path part of the Scottish National Trail, for better ankle support.

Technical Specification from Inov-8

  • Outsole: Graphene enhanced. G-GRIP
  • Flexibility: Shoe moves with your foot, allowing you to react and grip on unpredictable terrain.
  • Protection: Hard wearing mesh upper and rubber side and toe rands.
  • ADAPTERWEB which allows the materials to adapt to your changing foot shape and movements.
  • Upper materials also non-water absorbing.
  • POWERFLOW midsole.
  • METAPLATE for underfoot protection.
Drop8mm
Footbed6mm
Lug Depth6mm
MidsolePOWERFLOW
Midsole Stack16mm / 8mm
ShankMETA-PLATE
Sole CompoundG-GRIP
Product Weight275g / 9.625oz

My size 9 Inov-8 Roclite 275s weigh 572g for the pair without the Inov8 insoles, which weigh 42g a pair.

Further reading:

Inov-8 Roclite G 345 GTX boots review

Inov-8 Roclite G 370 boots review

My complete gear list for Dover to Cape Wrath

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