We found the Inov8 Roclite Mid GTX is the best lightweight boot for wet and slippery terrain

Following testing in the perpetually moist north of England, we've discovered the Roclite Mid GTX is one of the few lightweight boots than can handle the muddy stuff.

from Inov8
RRP  £150.00
Side profile view of Inov8 Roclite Mid GTX with LFTO star rating

by Chris Williams |
Updated on

Inov8’s foray into hiking footwear has been remarkably successful, particularly given its pretty modest product lineup.

Its signature lightweight construction paired to a comfy midsole and mud-plugging outsole found immediate favour among British hikers (including us).

This latest addition – the Roclite Mid GTX – is a continuation of the Inov8 modus operandi, albeit with a couple of subtle but important tweaks. We’ve been testing it during a particularly wet British spring to find out how, or rather if the Roclite Mid GTX is an improvement.

Side profile view of Inov8 Roclite Mid GTXLFTO

Pros

  • Best lightweight boot for mud and slippery terrain
  • Wide fit is super comfortable
  • Can be recycled through Inov8 take back scheme

Cons

  • Little ankle support

Design and features

Inov8 Roclite Mid GTX midesole
©LFTO

It’s all very classic Inov8 when it comes to construction and design. The upper is fully synthetic with a Gore-Tex waterproof lining. Underfoot is foam midsole called POWERFLOW PRO, which Inov8 claims is simultaneously very soft and cushioned yet still allows for ground feel (an important trait for traversing uneven or tricky terrain).

For grip, the Roclite Mid GTX has 6mm lugs, which are noticeably larger than many lightweight hiking boots, whose soles tend to focus on being grippy on rock and gravel and thus have shallower lug patterns.

Inov8 Roclite Mid GTX sole and lugs
©LFTO

Inov8 has also widened the shape of the Roclite Mid GTX compared to earlier Roclite models. It’s pleasing to see brands finally adopting a wider fit as standard because we've found many modern hiking boots (especially lightweight ones) are too narrow. A wider fit is crucial for allowing the foot to sit naturally – it's better for comfort, foot health, and balance.

Overhead view of Inov8 Roclite Mid GTX to show wide fit
©LFTO

At just 425g, the Roclite Mid GTX is unquestionably at the lightest end of the hiking boot market, but that said there is no shortage of rivals weighing around 400g. There is also a shoe version of the Roclite Mid GTX.

Performance and comfort

Lightweight walking boots like the Inov8 Roclite Mid GTX are very popular because of their comfort but they invariably have the same performance problem: lack of grip in slippery or muddy conditions. Almost all have lug patterns that are best suited for hard surfaces like gravel.

Hiker walking wearing Inov8 Roclite Mid GTX
©LFTO

The Roclite Mid GTX stood out to us because it’s one of the few lightweight boots we’ve tested that can cope with mud.

The other problem area of lightweight boots is durability. Frequent use can often result in a pair only lasting one or two seasons before the upper disintegrates. Again, this is somewhere the Roclite Mid GTX does a little better. It’s not as durable as heavier leather walking boots, but compared to its direct rivals, it’s moderately tough.

Inov8 Roclite Mid GTX ankle cuff
©LFTO

We loved the fit of the Roclite Mid GTX. It holds the heel well but has generous width at the forefoot. There is ample padding around the ankle as well, but there isn't much in the way of structured support.

Underfoot, there is quite a generous amount of cushioning, which does remove a fair amount of ground feel. This coupled with a lot of flex means this boot isn’t ideal for highly technical routes but it was never designed to be. Instead, we found it excels on day hikes around a long horseshoe route for example where you’re covering big miles.

Sustainability

Hiker tying up laces of Inov8 Roclite Mid GTX
©LFTO

This is has been a big challenge area for lightweight, synthetic footwear, whose use raw materials derives from fosil fuels and lack of durability makes for poor eco credentials. Inov8 has been starting to address this big issue, however, by creating a circular model for its products called (you could probably guess this) Renov8.

Renov8 launched in 2023 and takes a meaninful step in tackling sustainability. One aspect of Renov8 is keeping gear in use for longer by introducing a repair service and selling refurbished gear. The repair service isn’t offered for Inov8 footwear yet but Inov8 has said to watch this space.

Inov8 Roclite Mid GTX toecap
©LFTO

Inov8 is also accepting any of its used gear back to any of its stores, which it either refurbishes and resells (in its stores) or recycles.

We’ve been critical of Inov8 in the past for its apparent lack of effort towards sustainability, so it’s great to see it making ground.

Price and competition

Inov8 Roclite Mid GTX lacing
©LFTO

As far as lightweight hiking boots go, there is no shortage of rivals. But as for lightweight boots that can handle mud and slippery terrain as competently as the Roclite Mid GTX, there aren’t many.

One is the La Sportiva TX Hike Mid GTX, which is £50 more expensive. It’s a superb boot, however, and arguably even more versatile and durable. But at the £150 price point, the Inov8 Roclite Mid GTX is the best of its kind.

Verdict

Side profile view of Inov8 Roclite Mid GTX with LFTO star rating
©LFTO

As is so often the case with Inov8, we’ve been impressed by the Roclite Mid GTX, largely because of its ability to tackle sloppy terrain that most other lightweight boots struggle with. But the Roclite Mid GTX has added appeal because of its wider fit.

It’s also very pleasing to see Inov8 is now getting proactive with sustainability.

How we tested

chris tucks into a naked bar, but he himself is not naked
©LFTO

The Inov8 Roclite Mid GTX was tested and reviewed by our Senior Writer Chris Williams, primarily in the Yorkshire Dales.

Chris has been with us since 2021 and has a wealth of experience with outdoor gear thanks to previous experience working for outdoor brands and a lifetime’s worth of hiking in his home country of New Zealand.

Don't forget to subscribe to the Live For The Outdoors newsletter to get expert advice and outdoor inspiration delivered to your inbox!

Just so you know, whilst we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this website, we never allow this to influence product selections - read why you should trust us