So if you’ve familiar with Runbl you’ll know that we’re huge fans of trail running; there’s just something about getting off the pavement and onto a good trail that seems to enhance the running experience. You’ll also know that we’re big fans of Inov-8 shoes, which is why I was so excited to test out the latest shoe in the Roclite range – the Inov-8 Roclite 295.
Having previously reviewed the Roclite 285 I was keen to put the 295 through its paces.
Looking at both shoes on paper, it’s clear that there are some parallels to be drawn. Both have a 6mm heel-toe drop, both weigh under 11 ounces / 300 grams (although, admittedly the 285 is 40 grams lighter) and both are priced in the mid to high range.
With this in mind, it was only fair that I put the Invo-8 295 through the same test as the 285.
Inov-8 Roclite 295 Upper
When you study the upper of any Inov-8 running shoe, it’s clear that the team have taken a lot of design cues from the world of climbing. For example, the lacing system on the Roclite 295 runs much further down the upper than a traditional running shoe.
The toebox is roomy which makes it ideal for those with a high volume foot and the initial feel is one of a plush design. I quite like the rubber toe bumper which helps give you a little extra protection when you’re out. Even after a 20KM trail run I didn’t experience any blistering or hotspots.
The tight-weave Nylon mesh upper provides adequate ventilation and airflow, letting you feet breath and dry as you run. It’s worth noting however that while you can run in the Roclite 295 when the weather gets soggy, they won’t give you the same level of dryness as, say, a GORE-TEX upper. The upper also suffers similar issues as previous Inov-8 shoes where the upper isn’t as robust as other trail running shoes within the same price range.
Inov-8 Roclite 295 Sole
As we’ve come to expect from Inov-8, the outer sole tread pattern is chunky, aggressive and performs exceptionally well when the going gets tough. You can be confident that no matter where you place your foot, the lugs on this shoe have your back. They seem to grip and grip which helps and you come to trust that they’ll keep you upright.
Inov-8 have elected to use their 3 Arrow SHOC-ZONE cushioning for the mid-sole. This extra cushioning adds 40 grams over the Roclite 285 however, it also makes the shoe more suitable for both training and longer events.
What I love about Inov-8 trail shoes is that you’re always guaranteed to be running in something that’s up to the job and thankfully the Roclite 295 doesn’t let you down. It’s the little things that make the real difference such as the sticky rubber compound that’s added to the outer sole to help grip on slippery, wet rocks.
If you’re looking for a trail running shoe that can take all the punishment that you can throw at it and still keep going then the Roclite 295 is for you.