The Inov-8 Roclite 290 with graphene grip shoe is an absolute beauty. It’s strong, it’s supportive and it’s damn good looking. The shoe of choice for Wonder Woman Jasmin Paris on her epic Spine Race win just shows how awesome this shoe really is.
I have such a variety of trail shoes for so many varied conditions (always an excuse…!!) and had never tried the Roclite, regardless of it being a firm favourite among the MTD. I always thought it looked a bit heavy and maybe clunky, not narrow and precise like the X Talons or Terraclaws so I went out for my first run in the Roclites a little sceptical on how “heavy” my legs would feel. I felt like a real pro with my top matching my tights which both matched my shiny new shoes beautifully but the question was still on the comfort of the run in this unknown model. I was proved to be very, very wrong about these shoes.
The Roclite 290 is a sturdy shoe, yes. It’s stable. It grips with graphene like an absolute beast. It is also pretty light weight. No heavy legs or dragging my feet along the South Downs Way – I love to be proved wrong. This has now been my shoe of choice for all my longer runs building up to my next big race (the South Downs 50) and not once have I had need to complain about this shoe. Box fresh it was comfortable, not need to break them in they were out and onto the New Forest trails for a 20 miler straight out the gate.
The shoe has a lower drop than the Roclite 290 at 4mm so probably why it feels more familiar to my foot but this doesn’t compromise on protection and support that you expect from a Roclite model. The addition of graphene grip just makes it even better, stronger and more durable so no worrying that it won’t withstand those heavy winter months of relentless mud, rain and slippery rock. The shoe dries quickly, so any river/puddle traverses and mishaps are no problem meaning you can tear up those good old English winter trails with no worries at all.
A new firm favourite and the best all-rounder shoe I have ever tried. This shoe could fit to nearly every trail run (except maybe deep snow) but we’re 99% of the way to a 365 shoe for UK weather in particular. Go, give them a go because you will NOT be disappointed!