Simple Brandz Granola and Inov-8 RocliteTwo training runs, 1 race in snowy, frigid temps, 1 OCR boot camp, and 1 day of hiking in my new Inov-8 Roclite 295s.  That should be ample enough wear to give them a proper review.  My first thought when I put them on was “sturdy, but comfortable” .  Compared to the X-Talon and Trailroc, this was more of a shoe in the sense that it just felt like it had more support and protection.  From the very first training run on a mulch track to an obstacle race in 30 degree weather, the shoes were the least of my worries.  That’s a good sign.  I’m not going to talk about all the specs of the shoe, because you can find them directly from the source here.

In a quick, consumable fashion here are the rest of my thoughts.

  • They are a little heavier than my X-talons and Trailrocs, but not horribly so.
  • There seems to be a little less proprioception, but just a tad bit.  I love using the word “proprioception”…makes me feel smart!
  • Like the other Inov-8s that I’ve worn, these are good at dispelling water.
  • Great traction for coming out of muddy berms and climbing slickery hills.  I am probably not the first person to use this term, but I just coined “slickery” for myself so don’t bother looking it up in the dictionary.  I think you can figure it out.
  • I prefer these shoes more for longer runs and/or hiking than I do for sprint racing.  In fact, they are now my hiking shoe of choice.

Final judgment:  I like these shoes, not so much for racing, but especially for training and hiking.  If you want to try some Inov-8s, but aren’t sure if you will like ‘less of a shoe’, then I would recommend you give the Roclites a try.

Disclosure:  Inov-8 provided me these shoes to review, but there was no obligation to provide a positive review.  This assessment is 100% mine.  I own it.

PS. Also be sure to check out OCR Gear and their selection of Obstacle Course Racing shoes.