Does the flagship Inov-8 Roclite Pro G 400 Gore-Tex live up to the hype?
As soon as I got these boots out of the box, I couldn’t wait to take them for a spin. Eagerly lacing them up, to get out the door and head for hills. I could see the jealousy in J’s face. My new hiking boots were better than his and as much as I tried not to rub it in, we both knew it.
An update to previous Inov-8 Roclite models, these nifty boots have a ton of technology thrown into them and are dubbed Inov-8’s “toughest ever hiking boot“. Quite the statement.
With graphene rubber soles for exceptional grip, Schoeller® ceramic coated upper and reliable Gore-Tex waterproof lining, these shoes are made for adventure. What’s more, Inov-8 are leading the way for ethical adventures, as all their leather and suede-free shoes are 100% vegan, including these mighty boots.
I’ve been putting these hiking shoes through their paces over the past few months and here’s what I have to say about them.
Keep reading this Inov-8 Roclite Pro G 400 review to find out:
- The Inov-8 Roclite Pro G 400 GTX in a nutshell
- What they say on the box
- How I tested them
- Field results
- The final verdict
- Where to buy Inov-8 Roclite Pro
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1. Inov-8 Roclite Pro G 400 Gore-Tex in a nutshell
- Intended use – Fast hiking, technical adventures
- Weight – 800 grams a pair
- Width – 4 (Inov-8 grade their toe box width from 1 – 5 with 5 being the widest)
- Drop – 8mm
- Lug depth – 6mm
- Midsole – EVA foam
- Midsole stack height (toe/heel) – 20mm/12mm
- Sole – Graphene grip
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2. What does it say on the box?
The Roclite Pro comes out fighting and is designed for fast, technical hiking and mountain adventures. The Great Outdoors magazine declared it FOOTWEAR OF THE YEAR 2020 and it gets killer reviews.
These hiking boots have tough graphene rubber soles with superior traction over all terrains. You’ll get a Schoeller® ceramic-coated upper and Gore-Tex waterproof lining, for ultimate waterproof protection and durability.
Considering all the protection and stability, these are super lightweight hiking boots and flexible enough for all-day comfort fast-hiking through changeable terrain.
How did they do in the field? Just keep reading!
3. How I put them to the test
These boots have been used exclusively around the moors and hills of North Yorkshire, through autumn and winter.
This means they’ve endured an amalgamation of mud, snow, bog, wet and ice. More than enough to put that grip to the test. All over hills, steep grassy sections, rocks, tarmac and gravel too.
I’ve used them for short hikes and all-day hikes, sometimes in pretty wet and snowy conditions.
I’m of average build, with an average stride and slightly narrow UK size 5 feet. I have the size 5 women’s hiking boots
Want to know how to pick the best vegan hiking boots for you? This guide explains everything you need to look out for and compares the best hiking boot options too
4. Field results
Grip, stability & ankle support 4.5/5
By far one of the most impressive features of these shoes is the epic grip.
The Roclite Pro’s have graphene soles and having worn them to hike through steep, slippy mud, over sheets of ice and mossy rocks, the traction is amazing.
They give a real confident surefootedness. There may have been one or two falls, but I can’t hold the shoes responsible for my lack of coordination…
The 6 mm lugs have an aggressive pattern which gave immense grip on slippery terrain. The water dispersion channels mean they shed mud easily and didn’t clump up in sticky fields, helping you to feel confident moving fast in even the muckiest terrain.
As a natural ankle roller, the ankle support on these boots was comfortable and protective when walking and scrambling. I really liked the padded mid-length ankle rise which helped you feel strong and stable on dodgy terrain.
Comfort and fit 4/5
Straight out of the box these shoes were comfortable. I didn’t need to break them in and there was no rubbing. Months down the line and they’re still as comfortable as the first day I put them on.
The 8mm drop is average for a hiking boot so you typically won’t feel any transition when switching. I loved the cushioning from the midsole, especially going over uneven and sharp terrain, which I had no problem with.
Along with the heel design, which is more trainer than boot-like, it all gives wicked flexibility and comfort all day. I didn’t have any aching spots or a single blister either.
They have a spacious toe box and enough room to double up with thick socks in the winter. I have slightly narrow size 5 feet, but find them snug enough even with a thin pair of socks.
The only thing I have noticed is a crease on the toebox which I think is because my narrower feet don’t always fill the volume. It’s cosmetic and doesn’t affect the comfort or performance of the shoe, but I think could become more prominent over time.
Waterproofing, weatherproofing and breathability 4/5
The Schoeller® coating along with the Gore-Tex lining, have kept my feet completely dry. Even though wet mud and snow they’ve held their own and continued to impress.
In extreme cold, my toes can feel it. Even with two pairs of socks, the cold seeps in. As three-season boots, they are not built for extreme colds which I’d recommend winter hiking boots or snow boots.
In the conditions I’ve tested them in I have found them to be extremely breathable and have had no issue with overheating.
Durability and versatility 2/5
The graphene soles, along with the lugs are extremely durable, which means you’ll have a deeper tread for longer. This should give the shoes a long life and so far they’ve shown no signs of wear.
BUT, and this is a big but, the durability of the uppers has been very poor over the 12 months of testing.
There are a number of material scuffs and tears that you wouldn’t expect from a premium-priced boot within the year. This may have been a bad product but it’s definitely dropped the boot down in our rankings.
Over the time I’ve tested them I’ve found them to be very versatile. They’re able to deal with wet and precarious terrain, as well as being breathable in warmer weather.
Overall I’ve found them to feel secure, reliable and hard-wearing on mud, snow, ice and gravel over varying inclines and declines.
At 800 grams for the pair, these shoes are incredibly lightweight especially considering all the protection they offer. Even over long and tough days, you feel free to bound along trails or break into a jog on descents.
- Lacing 4.5/5 – With hocks at the top, the Roclite Pro G 400 are easy to tighten and loosen when you want them off quickly.
- Looks 3.5/5 – They look good but are only available in one colour. Black is practical sure, but variety is the spice of life after all.
Vegan and green 4/5
Inov-8 have said these are 100% vegan hiking boots as are all their synthetic boots. This is great as not a lot of brands are able to guarantee this.
As a company Inov-8 is also trying to take steps to lower its environmental impact which you can read about here.
The Inov-8 Roclite Pro G 400 GTX is at the pricier end of the spectrum. With all that tech, durability and being so lightweight, this is a boot for avid hikers who want to pay a bit more for its reliability.
5. The verdict 3.5/5
An incredibly lightweight and durable boot, with epic grip and all-day comfort. It’s versatile and reliable, making it a brilliant adventure enabler. However, durability massively lets it down, particularly considering the price point.
- Durable and waterproof
- Superior traction and grip
- Flexible and comfortable
- Incredibly lightweight
- Higher price tag
- Only available in one colour
- Coldness felt in harsh cold
- Poor durability
6. Where to buy Inov-8 Roclite Pro G 400 Gore-Tex
- Ellis Brigham (UK)
- Sport Shoes (UK)
- Inov-8 (shipping to UK, USA and Europe)
7. FAQ’s Inov-8 Roclite Pro G 400 GTX
Do Inov-8 shoes run big?
I found them to be true to size, however, I have slightly narrower feet. I would recommend opting for your normal shoe size.
Do the Roclite Pro G 400 come in men’s and women’s?
Yes, they come in both men’s and women’s sizes.
Is the Roclite Pro a winter shoe?
They hold their own in cold but as a 3 season shoe are not recommended for extreme cold.
Is the Pro G 400 waterproof?
With Schoeller® and Gore-Tex lining, they are impressively waterproof.
Hi I have a pair of Roclite 325 Gtx boots that fit me. Like a glove because I have narrow foot. Unfortunately the upper has split.
I noticed some people have noted the roclite pro g400 has a wide toe box. On inov8 scale it’s a 4 compared to a 3 for the 325.
I am concerned these shoes will have a wide toe boxing being too wide for me which I can not stand.
What are your thoughts?
Hi Ashlon, I myself have narrow feet and have found them to fit well even with thin socks. I have found them to be very comfy when done up tighter or looser with no problems in the months I’ve had them. Hope that helps 🙂
Thanks, interesting review. I am tossing up between these boots and Vivobarefoot Tracker FG II. I have good experience so far with Inov8 shoes for trail running so am tempted, but I am put off by the 8mm drop. I generally look for flat soles, being of the view that if god or 2 million years of evolution thought we needed high heels, we would already have got them! However the Inov8 grippy sole is a big plus – I had a less than positive experience with Vivobarefoot Magna Forest ESC, which were slippy on wet rocks and rather hard on my heels.
Hi Giles, glad you liked the review. Haa, yes good point about the drop. It is harder to come by lower-drop hiking boots but they are out there. The grip on the shoes is great, they aren’t the most durable out there however for the price. Comfort wise I found them great though!
The Altberg Dalesway Boots have a slightly lower drop at 5mm
But they’re a much clumpier boot and very durable.
Hope you manage to find the right pair for you 🙂