Post updated in 2023. This is a review of the new Inov-8 Roclite Pro G 400 GTX V2 boots and includes the differences between the old and new models. Inov-8 say; Now boasting more toughness, support, protection, comfort, and energy return. I agree with this and I’m impressed with the updates, they’re definite improvements. I’ve walked around 1500 miles testing both pairs.
In 2019 I walked 1200 miles from Lands End to John O’Groats in Inov-8’s first graphene soled boots – Roclite G 345 GTX. So I know how good they are and it’s great to see it in these boots. It means the grip will be good for much longer.
The Inov-8 Roclite Pro G 400 V2 boots feel comfortable and more supportive than the previous model. They’ve always been comfortable and well made and that hasn’t changed. I had no worries about setting off on the Southern Upland Way in them.
Inov-8 have made a number of fairly big changes to the Roclite Pro G 400 GTX boots with the new V2 model. I think they are all significant improvements. One instantly noticeable one is the smarter look. But this is minor compared to the other changes, namely the new mesh, stiffer sole and more supportive ankle support. They now have a much closer feel to the old traditional hiking boots but without the weight.
Breathability and Waterproofing
This is another area where the new updated V2 model has been improved, with a completely new mesh material. The Roclite Pro G 400 GTX boots upper material was already pretty good but Inov-8 have still decided to change it to improve durability. It still allows good breathability but protects the Gore-tex lining better. So the boots should stay waterproof and last a lot longer.
I’ve been impressed with the breathability of these boots, considering they’ve a Gore-tex lining in. But as with all waterproof footwear, I can find them a little warm for hot weather hiking. I use the RocFly G 390 boots or Roclite G 275 shoes during the summer. It’s all a compromise as it does mean they’re warm enough for some winter use.
I love the lacing on the Pro G 400 boots and they haven’t changed this, fortunately. The boots lace up much more like traditional hiking boots. The boots tighten nicely around the foot for a very comfortable fit.
There are metal loops for the laces and the top two are hooks, rather than the loops all the way to the top as you find on some other footwear. I much prefer the hooks because it just makes it easier to get the boots on and off. This is a huge advantage in non-ideal conditions, like when I’m exhausted at the end of a long day in the hills, with my leg muscles on the edge of cramp, and crunched up in the entrance of my tiny hiking tent, trying to get my boots on or off.
The Roclite Pro G 400 GTX V2 boots have an increased padding, which has improved the comfort and gives a snug fit. They feel very secure on the foot which gives real confidence on rough ground.
My feet are size 8 UK but I tend to size up a half size with Inov-8 footwear that I use every day. And with my hiking footwear I go up a full size from my foot size as this allows for thicker hiking socks and for my feet to swell during longer hikes. This gives me more room as I find my feet spread during long distance hiking trips with a heavy pack. I like having a bit of spare room around my toes, so they don’t start rubbing later in the walk when my feet warm up.
The ankle support in the 400 boots is pretty good, bearing in mind that they are a light-weight boot. This is an area the updated V2 model has been altered to the previous model and it’s a definite improvement. However, if you’ve been used to the support of heavy-duty leather boots, you may be disappointed.
I think you’ll be amazed by the light weight and comfort though. I like the feeling on my feet of being so light and agile. It makes me feel that I could run up and down the hills. Even with less ankle support I’ve never felt like I am going to wring my ankle over more than in more supportive shoes.
Light-weight footwear is really popular these days (for good reason) and a lot of people hike in trainers. I use trainers in summer on well-made paths, but I still like the feeling of a boot around my ankle when crossing pathless or steep terrain. This gives me a bit of extra ankle support.
Another advantage of boots over trainers is that they keep my feet drier and stop so much dirt getting into my boots. When I hike in shoes or trainers, I find I need gaiters on to stop the grit and mud getting in.
Soles and Grip
The graphene soles on the Roclite Pro G 400 boots are a definite improvement from the other Roclite hiking footwear. The soles on the other models are very good, but the 400s soles have a more complex design. This means that they grip even better, especially on steep wet grassy slopes and rocky ground.
I think the biggest improvement in the Pro G 400 boots is the re-designed heel brake. With these boots Inov-8 have moved away from a design more suited to running, to a sole designed specifically for hiking.
Inov-8 were the first company to use graphene in their soles. It makes the soles last twice as long in my experience. This means you’ve got deeper tread for a lot longer, which makes a real difference on light-weight footwear.
I’ve spoken to people who wore out two or even three pairs of trainers whilst walking from Lands End to John O’Groats, when I only needed one pair of the graphene-soled Roclite 345s.
Personally I don’t think the graphene in the soles makes them grip any better initially. However, the fact it makes the soles so hard wearing means that when lesser light-weight footwear has worn the tread dangerously smooth (sometimes within a few hundred miles), these graphene soled boots will still have plenty of deep tread left. From my experience, they should safely do over 1000 miles. This makes them good value for money compared to a lot of light-weight footwear. I was extremely impressed with the 345s that I walked to destruction on my 1200 mile Lejog. I’m sure the Pro G 400 soles will be equally as good.
They grip better than any walking boots that I’ve ever worn, on all surfaces, even frozen compacted snow. I was very impressed with the grip during a resent 5 day wild-camping trip around the Lake District in the snow. They gave me the confidence to scramble to a number of summits that I may have missed previously in other footwear.
The new Roclite 400 V2 soles have less flex in them than most light weight footwear and feel more like more traditional heavy duty hiking boots. This supports the foot better during long distance hikes and it may well be possible to use crampons with them. I’ve not tried this but I have used Micro crampons which worked very well, making it safe to use the boots on frozen snow and ice.
Wear after 800+ miles
Wear after over 800 miles walking the Southern Upland Way, Ayrshire Coastal Path, Isle of Aran, Cowal Way, John Muir Way, Northumberland Coast Path and the Cleveland Way etc.
The wear or lack of it was very impressive. I had been walking continuously for over 5 weeks and over 800 miles carrying full camping gear and wild camping most nights.
The water proof lining has failed, which is a real shame as the boots are still in great condition. This does seem to be the weak point on all the water proof footwear that I’ve used.
I’ve always been impressed with the Inov-8 Roclite Pro G 400 GTX V2 boots, especially the grip. The updates on the V2 version have made them even better and with the new materials they last even longer. They now feel much more like traditional hiking boots – tougher and more supportive, but light weight.
As walking boots go, the Roclite Pro G 400s are extremely light weight at 836g (on my kitchen scales) for my pair of size 9s. They feel supportive enough when hiking with a heavy pack, but also flexible enough for fast day hikes over varied terrain. I think they are a great walking boot for the toughest of hiking trips. They’re even supportive and tough enough for some winter use.
Check Amazon price here Inov-8 Roclite Pro G 400 GTX V2 boots link.
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