Inov-8 Roclite 288 GTX
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $150
Two years after getting these I'm still not sure.
- great traction
- no foot support
- little ankle support
This is basically a sticky, minimalist, high top trail running shoe. I've been using the Inov-8 MudRoc and RocLite line of trail running shoes for about 6 years and decided to try the hiking boots.
Like their lightweight trail running shoes this boot has very little structure in the sole which lets the foot deform and bend with the terrain. In trail running this is good because the foot forms to rocks and roots instead of sliding off. This is bad because it can put stress on the connective tissue around the tarsals and meta-tarsals. With training you can toughen your feet which is fine for trail running but I'm not sure it is good for backpacking.
The collar that comes up around the ankles seem a bit large so even with thick socks in never feels snug and I don't feel like there is much support. Otherwise these are the most comfortable shoes I own. My feet are always hot so I only wear shoes when socially required. These shoes are light which keeps them cool and the Gore-tex membrane keeps them dry. When stepping in cool water you can feel the cold like dipping in a bare foot but your feet are completely dry.
I love how these shoe feel and work, but I'm just worried that they don't have enough support or padding and that I'm opening myself to injury.
Price Paid: £55 (half price offer)
Purchased this boot and fine for 75-100 miles Canicross running in all weathers. Good grip from sole and waterproof. Then, they started leaking.
Sent back to Inov8 via retail store and they agreed it was letting in too much water. Offered us refund or Roclite 390 GTX. The Roclite 390 GTX is cheaper than the 288 and reviews say it is even worse than the 288 for waterproofness so will go for refund. Shame as when new, the Roclite 288 was excellent but no durability. My husband also purchased a pair but has done less mileage so by the time they fail they will be out of the 1 year warrantee.
So in summary if you are high mileage trail runner, maybe try these, keep the receipt, and send back if they leak. Otherwise avoid.
It should be noted that Inov8 did not offer us another replacement pair of 288's so they obviously do not have much confidence in the durability of this boot.
Where to Buy
The Inov-8 Roclite 288 GTX is not available from the stores we monitor.
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Manufacturer's Description refers to the men's version
The Roclite 288 GTX is currently the lightest-weight waterproof boot on the market, with a sticky rubber sole for grip on slick surfaces and excellent traction on mixed off-road terrain. It has a medium amount of cushioning with a very low profile heel to eliminate heel strike. Based on a performance last, it provides an intimate precision and fit, particularly in the toe box.
Here's what other sites are saying:
When the weather turns ugly, pick up the pace. The proven Roclite chasis is adapated to for the extremes. The Roclite 288 is not a boot; it's a performance trail runner. The minimal upper is lined with Gore-Tex for waterproof protection. The gusseted tongue keeps the rain and debris out. This shoe is light and moves with you. The Mid-top is for protection, not support. INTRODUCTION The Roclite 288 GTX is a minimum feature, moderate neutral shoe designed for racing, daily training and high mileage. It is built with a semi-curved shape. CUSHIONING Moderate EVA is a moderately thick layer of industry standard foam designed for moderate cushioning and flexibility. MIDSOLE Moderate EVA is a moderately thick layer of industry standard foam designed for moderate cushioning and flexibility. Fascia Band originates from the heel and terminates under the metatarsal region. This composite band is engineered to resist the elongation of the medial arch and propel the runner by acting as a rigid lever arm. UPPER GTX Mesh encompasses the upper and is a Gore-Tex material designed to be waterproof yet moderately breathable. Met-Cradle is the synthetic webbing upper intended to support the forefoot and provide a secure foot hold. TPU Lacing Support is designed to attach the lacing to polymer supports for an even cradle around the foot. Performance Last is a precise fit designed to reduce minimal internal movement. OUTSOLE Sticky Rubber is a compound engineered to optimize grip in wet conditions. Lugged Pattern is a full length lugged pattern that is designed for both compact surfaces as well as grass, mud, and snow. Meta-Flex is a flex groove located at the bottom of the metatarsal heads and is intended to provide a natural forefoot flex.
- Vargo Outdoors refers to the men's version
Inov-8 continues to impress with new styles and designs like that of the new Roclite 288 GTX hiking boot. This new, fully waterproof hiking boot is touted and the lightest in its class. Low weight and a high levels of performance make it possible to walk or run in comfort on virtually any type of surface. The sticky rubber compound used in the sole of these shoes is sure to give you grip, and the high sides provide ankle protection.Weight (UK 8): 288 grams
- Mountains Plus refers to the men's version