In this review, I will share my first 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 and have used and tested extensively.
|Midsole Stack||16mm / 8mm|
|Product Weight||275g / 9.625oz|
My size 9 Inov-8 Roclite 275 weigh 572g pair without the Inov8 insoles which weigh 42g pair.
Shoe fit scale
Inov-8 say the boots are a 3 fit so they are for average width feet.
I think Inov-8 under size their foot wear a little and I would recommend buying a half size bigger than your normal shoe size and at least a whole size bigger if you’re going to be wearing thicker walking or waterproof socks in them.
They are comfortable 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. I have done this before with Inov-8 footwear, without problem.
The soles look identical to the soles on the Roclite 325s, and there’s a very similar flex in them – although I only tested this with my hands and feet, hardly a technical test! The soles on the 345s look the same but have a more pronounced rocker.
The G-grip means they 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.
With the graphene in the soles, they should last extremely well, probably over 1000 miles, depending on the surface you’re walking or running on. From my experience, Inov-8 soles without the graphene last roughly half that distance.
The Inov-8 insoles in the Inov-8 Roclite 275 are thinner and lighter weight than those in the 325 boots. Which means there’s not quite so much cushioning. The standard insole Inov-8 supplied with the boots were worn out within a few hundred miles on my LEJOG walk, I found I had to change them for some thicker more supportive Super Feet insoles. The standard insoles had gone thin and the bottom of the boots were feeling rough. I was carrying a heavy backpack, so they would probably last longer in normal use.
The mesh on the front of the shoes and the low rand on the side work well pumping the water out when it’s wet and drying my feet quickly. My feet tend to sweat pretty quickly when it’s warm, but in temperatures in the mid 20s C they felt OK.
The laces and lace loops are round, differing from the flat loops and laces on the 325 boots. This is exactly the same as they are on the 345 boots, which I have found to 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. The strengtheners at the sides are strong and well-stitched and spread the pressure from the laces back down and across the boots well.
As mentioned above, the width of the Inov-8 Roclite 275 is about average and 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. I think they under size them a little, so I would recommend going up a half size when purchasing them for every day use or possibly a whole size bigger, depending on what their intended use.
These shoes were purchased for warmer weather and long distance walking so I’ve gone for a whole size bigger and purchased a size 9. They are plenty big enough, and there is room for thicker walking socks and for my feet to swell a bit in the heat and my toes to spread, as they tend to on longer backpacking trips.
Summary and comparison
I initially thought the soles would feel identical to the sole on the 345 boots, because they both have graphene in, but they don’t. The sole shape on the Roclite 275 is more like that on the Roclite 325 boots. I don’t think this will make much difference, as I’ve backpacked high mileages on both soles and not really noticed a difference. I would expect the more rocker would help my feet feel less tiered and ache less.
The top of the boots are a breathable mesh, which will be the only part of the boot that can breath well and should be good in the summer – I prefer a non-lined boot in warm weather so my feet can breath and the sweat can evaporate. Keeping my feet a lot dryer, which will also help prevent blisters.
As a guide to the possible wear rate of the Inov-8 Roclite 275 shoes, I have included some pictures of the 345s after completing 1200 miles on my LEJOG walk. I imagine the wear on the 275s would be similarly impressive.
In the UK the paths are usually pretty good and gaiters are not needed. This will let the shoes or boots breath better, which in turn keeps your feet cooler and dryer. Letting the sweat evaporate quickly.
There are occasions when gaiters are really handy though, if the path is particularly gritty and it’s getting flicked up into your shoes (which is less of a problem when wearing boots.) Or if you’re venturing off track, through long grass, bracken or snow. On these occasions I wear either mini ankle gaiters or full size, waterproof gaiters, depending on the shoes or boots I’m wearing.
As the Inov-8 Roclite 275 shoes are not waterproof, a simple mini gaiter is best. They are lighter weight and more breathable than the full size gaiters, and they keep debris out of the shoes well.
So – the Roclite 275 shoes are extremely comfortable straight out of the box, look and feel perfect for summer. I have been surprised by how well the Inov8 boots have lasted. The only weak point I have found is the mesh over the front of the boots, which wears fairly quickly and makes the boots look tatty. But with the graphene soles, the tread should 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 would be happy setting off on another summer LEJOG in them.
You can also read about the abuse that I gave the Inov-8 boots on my Lands End to John O’Groats+3 peaks walk here.
If you’re going to be buying boots with a Gore-Tex lining it may be worth reading this surprise refund.
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