Inov8 Roclite GTX hiking shoe | Tested and reviewed

We test the ligtweight, agile Inov-8 Roclite GTX hiking shoes in Snowdonia to see how they perform in demanding real-world conditions.

from Inov8
RRP  £140.00
Closeup of LFTO tester wearing Inov-8 Roclite GTX shoes standing on a rock

by Matt Jones |
Updated on

Hailing from the fringes of the Lake District, Inov8 is a brand that has built its reputation on fell running heritage, with two decades of research, development and innovation channelled into their trademark fast and light running and hiking footwear.

Launched in 2024, the Inov8 Roclite GTX is a continuation of the brand’s “super-light, agile walking shoe”. It’s built on a completely redesigned wider fitting last, designed to mimic the natural shape of the foot, with a roomy forefoot and a broad, blunt toe-box that gives ample space for the toes to splay. Otherwise, this hiking shoe seems to carry the signature hallmarks of Inov8 footwear: namely, low weight and reliable traction in even the sloppiest and muddiest conditions.

Inov8 roclite GTX product imageLFTO


  • Ultralight
  • Very comfortable
  • Mega cushioned
  • Solid traction


  • Broad fit may be too roomy for some
  • Too flexible for most technical mountain terrain
  • Sole doesn't use Inov-8's graphene G-Grip


Inov8 roclite GTX laces

This is a trainer-style hiking shoe with a superlight mesh upper, overlaid with an ‘exoskeleton’-style TPU cage to provide a little structure and protection. A generous toe bumper protects the front of the shoe from debris and impacts. At the rear, a raised heel counter offers some Achilles support and has a handy fabric pull-tab for easy on-off.

The uppers are lined with a Gore-Tex membrane for reliable waterproofing, and a gusseted tongue adds further protection from water ingress. The lacing system is simple and straightforward, consisting of five sets of eyelets, with a secondary top set to pull everything in tight. A webbing tab stitched into the tongue helps to prevent too much movement or slippage.

Inov8 roclite GTX toe band

The shoe has been built on a brand new ‘wide fit’ last, which is designed to follow the natural shape of the foot. So, the fit is relatively slim through the heel and midfoot, but with a very roomy forefoot and a broad, blunt toe-box. This is intended to give lots of room for the toes to splay when walking.

Unlike a lot of other ‘ergonomic’ lasts, however, the toebox isn’t too asymmetric, which ensures it’s a very accommodating shoe. We think it’s a big improvement on the fit of the older Rocfly G350 shoe – it’s similarly roomy, but with a less baggy, slightly lower volume fit overall that leaves less dead space above the metatarsals.


Inov8 roclite GTX upper

Cushioning comes from a new Powerflow Pro EVA foam rubber midsole. It’s lightweight but responsive, measuring 18mm under the heel and 12mm at the forefoot, for a total drop of 6mm. That’s a mid-range drop for a hiking or running shoe, and ought to suit a lot of different gait patterns, including heel strikers. There’s also a flexible Meta-plate rock plate embedded in the midsole for additional underfoot protection. This prevents too much torsional flex and soaks up impacts from rocky or uneven ground, whilst still allowing the forefoot to bend for a natural gait.

Sitting on top of the midsole, the shoe has a 6mm Boomerang footbed, made from expanded TPU foam rubber ‘beads’. Supposedly, these are designed to compress on impact and then spring back, giving you up to 40% greater energy rebound. Though we treat that claim with scepticism, it’s certainly a softer and more cushioned insole than is typically supplied as standard with most sports shoes.


Inov8 roclite GTX lugs

Traction comes from Inov8’s Stickygrip rubber, with chunky 6mm chevron-shaped lugs that do a good job in the sloppy stuff. Apparently, their shape is inspired by a mountain goat’s hoofprint. The rubber itself is reasonably sticky too, ensuring it clings decently on wet and greasy rock. You don’t get the hard-wearing graphene-infused G-Grip compound found in some of Inov8’s higher-end boots and shoes though, which is a shame.

This is very much a mud and trail-orientated shoe, so there’s no climbing zone at the toe as you might find on approach-style footwear designed for steeper or more technical terrain. Instead, you get a pronounced rocker sole to propel you forwards, and a broad sole unit that flares noticeably at the heel, in order to put the maximum amount of rubber in contact with the ground.

At the forefoot, the outsole is also slightly concave in shape, presumably designed for the same reason. This also works with the brand’s trademark ‘Metaflex’ groove across the forefoot to encourage the shoe to flex naturally, at a point that lies just in front of the metatarsal heads.

Price and performance

Inov8 roclite GTX heels and flare

On test, we found the Roclite GTX delivered superb out of the box comfort, thanks in large part to its generous cushioning and that accommodating wide fit shape. It ought to suit a lot of hikers. Underfoot, there’s plenty of bounce from the brand’s PF Pro foam, which really comes into its own on hard ground – though the chunky lugs also deliver dependable traction in muddy conditions.

The flexible design also makes for a nimble and agile feel when rock-hopping, though bear in mind this isn’t a shoe designed for steep, technical terrain.

Having said that, it dealt well with the mountain tracks and paths of Snowdonia’s major ranges. We appreciated the laminated toe bumper, which offers some resistance to gravel and other debris. The mesh uppers feel cool and breathable, though the Gore-Tex lining obviously makes them a little warmer than unlined trail shoes.

On the flipside, it also guards against wet feet, provided you don’t overtop the shoe (not so easy when moving fast in UK hills and mountains). But all in all, it’s a very good choice for pacy spring and summer hiking.

Inov8 roclite GTX main feature image

Downsides? The broad fit may be too roomy for some. And as already noted, the midsole lacks stiffness on more technical terrain. In terms of pricing, the £140 RRP is actually a little cheaper than the similarly maximalist, ultra-cushioned Inov8 Rocfly G350 shoe. Admittedly, it doesn’t have the same graphene-infused tech and is marginally heavier, but overall we think it’s a better all-round trail hiker.

So in that sense, it’s a good value addition to the Inov8 product line of hiking and walking footwear. Looking at rival brands, the Roclite GTX also competes pretty favourably. They come in slightly cheaper than other established but comparable big-hitters in this category, like the Merrell Moab Speed GTX series or the Adidas Terrex Skychaser 2.0 GTX. We tested both of those alongside the Roclite GTX but we much preferred the Inov8 shoe.


Closeup of LFTO tester wearing Inov-8 Roclite GTX shoes standing on a rock

Inov8's Roclite GTX is a superlight and accommodating trainer-style hiker with superb cushioning and a generous toebox. It's not the most structured or protective shoe overall, but the pay-off is its fast and agile feel.

How we tested

Sprayway cape wrath jacket on outdoor writer matt jones

Matt Jones conducted the testing and wrote the review of the Inov8 Roclite GTX. Matt is one of our most experienced gear testers and also writes for our magazine, Trail.

Matt is based in Snowdonia and is able to give the copious amount of outdoor gear he tests a proper mountain workout in a range of very demanding conditions. Matt is also a former magazine editor and one of the UK's most recognisable outdoor writers.

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