The INOV-8 Roclite 305 – a genuine multi-terrain trailrunning shoe
After a 1000 kilometres of trailrunning on the INOV-8 Roclite 305 I feel ready to share my experiences. You may notice in the pictures that I have two pairs, I made 800 kilometres on the red and 200 kilometres on the blue.
The trails I enjoyed where very much what I would call multi-terrain: ranging from easy going dry forest, wet grassland, muddy fields, scree slopes to challenging large boulder fields. So besides distance I can also say something about the best terrain for these shoes.
In the INOV-8 Roclite family you will also find a a little lighter version: the Roclite 290 (4mm drop), a version with Gore-Tex: the Roclite 305 GTX and a boot-design (both with or without Gore-Tex: the Roclite 325 (GTX) I have no experience with these other versions.
First the numbers and data – from the brochure.
- The Upper:
- Strengthened rubber toe-cap shields the toes from obstructive debris.
- Integrated tongue gusset keeps all debris at bay.
- Standard fit ensuring the shoe allows for toe splay while lifting (and a good option for those with a normal to wide forefoot).
- ADAPTERWEB lacing system adapts to the movement and swelling of the foot in motion.
- X-LOCK system supports and holds the heel in place.
- PowerFlow cushioned mid-sole together with a molded, 6mm footbed creates light underfoot comfort.
- Tri-C rubber compound and multi-directional claw-shaped cleats, each with a wide contact area, providing an good grip over unpredictable terrain and the quick release of debris.
- Stone protection utilising the Second-generation META-SHANK.
- Weight: 305gm. I measured 336gm for UK size 9.5.
- Stack: Heel 22.5mm / Forefoot 14.5mm.
- Drop: 8mm (INOV-8 two Arrow indication).
- Lug depth: 6mm (how deep are the ‘rubber points’ of the outsole).
- Footbed: 6mm
I will divide my experiences in positive or negative and make where applicable a comparison with other shoes, especially the new INOV-8 Trailroc 285 which I was able to experience also for many kilometres already this season. Obviously this is very much runner dependent. I will describe why I think a feature is + or – but in the end, as always …
‘The proof of the pudding is in the eating’ –
Choose your own treat after running on these shoes yourself!
Sturdy – Stand like a rock. The Roclite 305 is for INOV-8 a relative sturdy shoe which I liked when running trails in the Spanish Pyrenees this summer, for example during a two day trailrun following the Carres de Foc. But also during the ‘horizontal rain and hard wind‘ day three of the Ring Of Fire multi-day trail on the Isle of Anglesey I appreciated the grip and sturdiness on the small paths along the cliffs.
You basically ‘stand like a rock’ and feel more supported from all sides.
This I would like to compare with the new Trailroc 285 (see my review elsewhere) which is much more flexible in the forefoot, becoming more stiff from the middle to the back of the shoe due to the stone protection ‘plate’.
True multi-terrain. The rocky, sharp stoned trails in the Spanish Pyrenees felt all right, just as much as running through the Chilterns near my hometown Northwood.
I agree with the advise from INOV-8 that this is a true multi-terrain shoe.
Good rock protection for feet and toes whilst also enough lug depth and size of cleats for grip in mud or scree. I would say that the Roclite 305 is more multi-terrain than the Trailroc 285.
Lacing system and integrated tongue. I am a bit of a fan of shoes with integrated tongues (which Salamon is known for) so I was happy that INOV-8 applied this for the Roclite 305. It gives me the comfortable feeling that the shoe is ‘wrapped’ around my feet, leaving no room to glide or cause friction when zigzagging through the forest or running down a scree slope. Also the lacing system I liked. It may not be designed for this purpose but the ADAPTER Web gave me the option to tie the laces quiet tight around my feet
whilst keeping it a bit more loose above the last ‘ADAPTER web’.
Wear and tear. After a 1000 kilometres the shoes are still in good condition with only superficial wear of the upper front mesh.
Not really. To be honest I do not have real negative issues with these shoes. They perform as promoted by INOV-8 and what I expected when using them. If anything, they are a bit more sturdy than you may expect when you have been running on INOV-8 shoes before. But that is more a difference than a negative.
The INOV-8 Roclite 305 is true, strong designed, multi-terrain trailrunning shoe with a very comfortable ‘wrap around your foot’ feeling. A bit sturdy but you really stand ‘like a rock’. For me I will use these when going into more demanding rocky or unknown terrain, leaving for example the INOV-8 Trailroc 285 or the even flexible INOV-8 X-Talon 212 for the faster trails.
What are your experiences, please let me know!