Inov-8 shoes are winning some of the world’s toughest trail races and they have arrived and dominated the serious end of the trail-running market in just a couple of years. The Roclite 315 won Trail’s trail-running shoe test in 2006 and to my mind it is still the best shoe for regular off-road running. This is one of the lightest shoes available at only 732g (size 11), with the result that it is very responsive. You get an exceptionally breathable upper, and this is ideal for trail-running. The upper is reinforced around the toe, heel and sides to provide abrasion resistance when rubbing up against undergrowth or rocks. The toe box is not solid, but it is stiff enough to prevent toe bruising when running downhill. This is quite a low-cut shoe but there is still enough support in the heel, arch and sole to support and protect the feet on uneven ground. The sole flex is ideal for running, being supportive at the heel and arch with a flex point at the toe. Cushioning is great too, but what really sets this shoe apart from most is that you get a very aggressive studded sole. There is also good resistance to pressure from stones under the forefoot. The shoe is ideal for fast long distance trail-running on any terrain if weight and ease of running are your priorities. But the shoe does not offer as much support or as much cushioning as some others and so if you are heading for long, plodding jogs on firm ground, then this it not ideal. Like most shoes here it is not waterproof, but for trail-running I don’t think a waterproof shoe is required. There is not a women’s-specific model of this shoe, so other shoes may be better for women (although plenty of women are wearing these in the Lakes, so they may just fit women well anyway).
Upper: breathable mesh and synthetic reinforcement
Sole: rubber Fascia-band Inov-8 sole
Trail fit profile: forefoot 2; heel 2; volume 2; length 2
Weight: 732g (pair, size11)
Made in China
Stores: England140; Wales 10; Scotland15; Ireland 4
Verdict: Buy it if you do regular trail-running on mixed terrain, particularly muddy and grassy surfaces and want a lightweight shoe for lightness of foot, rather than maximum support.