Sunday, 6 March 2011

Inov-8 Roclite 400 GTX boots - review

I bought these boots for my forthcoming walk round the borders of Wales, and the17 mile "round the bay" walk, subject of my last post, was a suitable test for them.

My normal boot size has ranged from 10 to 11 over the years depending on the fittings of individual brands. Amazingly the best size for me with the Roclites was 9.5, so this is worth bearing in mind if you are shopping for them, and it may cause problems for Internet purchase. The boots are comfortable and caused no chafing or nipping over the 17 miles and 5.5 hours of walking. The overall feeling was one of neatness and nimble footedness.
I inserted Sorbothane insoles, and because of the lightness of the boots, without this addition I think they may be a bit hard on the soles of the feet - I was feeling surface irregularities through the soles to some extent by the end of the walk.
These boots will be ideal for path walking, but I would not use them for Munro bashing on steep pathless hillsides where a strong edging facility and firmer support are important.

Addendum - 23rd September 2011 - I walked round the Welsh boundary in the summer (over 1000 miles and 57 days). The Roclites, which were virtually new at the start had worn down to soft sponge rubber on the heels after 27 days so they are not really suitable for long distance work, but they were comfortable and light.                                                                                                                    
                           ****************************************************
I have had to change the start date of my Fife Coastal Walk to 5th April

4 comments:

afootinthehills said...

Interesting Sir Hugh. I have a pair of Inov-8 Flyrocs (shoes) which I bought about a year ago. Before then I would have agreed with you regarding the need for support and "a strong edging facility" on pathless terrain.

Now I'm pretty much of the opinion that I can negotiate almost any terrain just as safely wearing Flyrocs. The lightness allows very accurate placement of the foot and if any scrambling is involved they feel more like rock shoes. Like your Roclites though, I feel every little stone through the soles towards the end of a day out.

My other problem is that I wear proper (hard!) orthotic inserts which make walking on roads a bit of a trial if I'm carrying a heavy pack. That also applies to my leather boots, but less so. I'd probably buy the 345 Terroc next time since people generally speak quite highly of them.

Anyway, I look forward to hearing how the 400s perform on your Welsh trip and before that your Fife Coastal Walk.

Barrett Bonden said...

Pink laces too. You know what they say about that in Mytholmroyd.

Sir Hugh said...

Afoot - thanks for the additional info. I will look at Flyrocs. I agree with what you say about scrambling potential.
Boots seem to be a disposable item since I have been doing long distance walks. I went through two pairs on the LEJOG walk. I had one pair resoled, but the sole came off in the middle of nowhere in The Far North. The other pair were also resoled and they also fell apart later - I no longer regard resoling as an option.

BB - I had a funny feeling about that myself, but I think it may be Hebden Bridge, a bit further down the valley that may be more sensitive, but I have no plans for visiting the Calder Valley in the foreseeable future. Can you advise on a suitable colour if I decide to change?

afootinthehills said...

As you say Sir Hugh, boots seem to be disposable these days - so much more Flyrocs and Terrocs. If you are going to have a look at Inov-8 shoes I think Terrocs are probably better but, as you will know only too well, footwear for the hills is a very personal thing.