Our View - Inov-8 Roclite 290 Womens:
The Inov-8 Roclite range has been a popular choice with ourselves and our customers for those wanting a trail running shoe that is capable of taking on pretty much anything. This year has seen the range overhauled and the result is an even more comfortable and even more versatile shoe.
Aimed at providing comfort and protection over longer distances and mixed terrain the Roclite 290 is built around the well cushioned POWER FLOW midsole which has a 17.5mm stack height in the heel and 13.5mm in forefoot offering high levels of impact protection without excessive softness. The result is a 4mm heel to drop that is efficient and maintains an excellent connection with the ground, something that is crucial on technical terrain.
Although comfort is central to the Roclite 290 performance is by no means compromised and the POWER FLOW midsole is claimed to increase energy return by 15% compared to standard midsoles which translates as excellent forward propulsion and running economy. The Roclite 290 has maintained the flexibility associated with the range which allows the foot to function fully and it is also nicely responsive for a fast feel.
The Inov-8 Roclite is designed for mixed terrain use and this is reflected in outsole design. The grip is excellent on a wide range of surfaces with the TRI-C rubber compound excelling on gripping to anything you step on. The lug design and positioning is such that the claw shape has a large surface area for initial impact bite and the spacing maximises mud shedding capabilities. This grip type combined with the cushioning makes the Roclite 290 one of the most versatile trail running shoes available.
When running across off-road terrain confidence is key and central to that confidence is a well-fitting shoe. The Roclite 290 ensures that the foot is held securely yet comfortable around the mid foot and heel thanks to the ADAPTERWEB system pulling the shoe close to the foot using a lacing tension system. The X-LOCK system in the heel keeps this area secure and means ascents and descents can be taken at full speed.
The Roclite 290 is extremely comfortable to wear straight from the box thanks to the soft, flexible materials but this is a shoe that is most at home off-road and as such Inov-8 have ensured that it is durable enough for these challenging conditions and will protect your feet too. There is a rubber toe bumper and a simple but effective lightweight randing around the toebox.
To summarise the new Inov-8 Roclite 290 is an excellent progression of the range offering high levels of cushioning and protection in a lightweight, flexible package. We think this is going to be a trail running shoe that will appeal to a wide range of users looking for a shoe that is equally at home training or racing and on pretty much any terrain.
Specifications - Inov-8 Roclite 305 GTX Womens:
- Meidum Fit
- 4mm Drop
- 6mm Footbed
- 6mm Deep Lugs
- POWER FLOW Midsole
- 17.5mm Heel Stack
- 13.5mm Forefoot Stack
- 2nd Gen Metashank
- TRI-C STICKY Rubber Sole Compound
- 290g Weight