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Trail and Scramble Shoes

Inov-8 Roclite 345 GTX Boot | Review

With the Roclite 345 Inov-8 have come up with a genuinely ground-breaking hiking boot in our humble opinion

Why We Chose The Inov-8 Roclite 345 GTX Boot: Incredibly light, super tough, super grippy.

There are so many aspects to highlight on this walking boot from Lake District-based fell running specialists Inov-8.

First of all, it’s remarkably light – a pair weighs just 690g. That’s a USP in itself. If you’re looking for something for fast and light hiking you’re not going to find a boot that’s much lighter.

But that’s not the main story here. Not at all. Because, the Inov-8 Roclite 345 has something special that no other walking boots have or have ever had. That something special is graphene, a ‘super material’ that’s said to be 200 times stronger than steel, but at only one single atom thick, it’s also incredibly light. The scientists who ‘discovered’ it at the University of Manchester in 2004 won a Nobel prize for their efforts, that should help to give a bit of perspective on just how special this material is. Oh, and it’s used in bulletproof vests – that’s a little bit more perspective for you.

“The scientists who ‘discovered’ Graphene at the University of Manchester in 2004 won a nobel prize for their efforts.”

That material has been infused into the Roclite 345’s outsole making it virtually indestructible. It simply isn’t going to wear out on you. Stab and jab at it with a kitchen knife and you’ll barely see a mark… trust us on that. 50% more hardwearing than normal shoe soles they say. Impressive.

So there’s something seriously good down below, but what about up top? Mesh, lots of breathable mesh. This is given a bit of reinforcement in the areas that need it with what seems to be a PU laminate, and then there’s a Gore-Tex waterproof membrane underneath of course.

A Gore-Tex waterproof lines the mesh upper. Photo: Chris Johnson
A light rubber toe bumper provides a touch of protection. Photo: Chris Johnson
Graphene has been used within the rubber compound. It's said to be 200 times stronger than steel, but at only one single atom thick. Photo: Chris Johnson

It’s not the most cushioned of boots, nothing like a Hoka One One (not many are) but there’s still enough shock absorption thanks to the Powerflow midsole – the exact same unit that features across Inov-8’s running range. And despite the mid cut ankle, it’s not particularly supportive. But you’re not going to be buying this boot and expecting that from it. You’re going to be buying it primarily for that lightweight build with the expectation of ‘just enough protection’ and ‘just enough’ support.

This is the boot to wear on something like a thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail, when you’re mostly going to be on tracks and need something that won’t wear out, and that’s so light it won’t wear you out either.

What we’d like to see from Inov-8 next is a proper, classic-style hiking boot – one with a solid upper made from nubuck leather or Cordura or something. Because if you combine that with the graphene sole, you could genuinely have a pair of boots that would last decades.

Tester’s Verdict

Alex Staniforth, mountaineer and public speaker

“I wore these on one fairly hefty day in Eskdale with nearly 5000ft of ascent over rugged terrain and I had no issues with comfort at all. They wore in very quickly and the toebox is quite spacious without feeling too loose, but you don’t feel like there’s much support either, so that might be an issue for some, depending on personal preference.

“Like many Inov-8 shoes I’ve had, you barely notice you’re wearing them. My only doubt about them would be the durability, especially on the flex point on the sides in line with the ball of the foot (probably not the technical term for it!). No damage so far but I’ve had splits appear there quite soon on Inov-8 running shoes in the past and the material seems a bit flimsy.”

The same Powerflow midsole that’s used in Inov-8’s running shoes is used in the Roclite 345 GTX. Photo: Chris Johnson

Trade Secrets

Michael Price – Inov-8 CEO

“We’ve brought revolutionary technology to a market starved of innovation. Our brand is the first in the world to use the planet’s strongest material, graphene, in its hiking boots. Infusing it into the rubber outsoles makes them insanely grippy and durable. The boots are light and fast – not surprising from a brand which is renowned for being on the feet of super-speedy mountain-goat type fell and trail runners.”

Inov-8 Roclite 345 GTX Boot

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