This is the third and final review of my Inov-8 Roclite 390 GTX boots – I know its the final review because they’ve just about fallen to pieces – they are completely unusable as walking boots.
I originally got these in August 2010, as review boots from FitnessFootwear.com, so it’s not like I can even send them back for a warranty swap – but then I’m not out of pocket and I have had some good use out of them.
But I’m being a little premature, I should review these before I come to my conclusions.
I first walked in these boots in August 2010, but that’s not to say I’ve used them for a year – I haven’t – in fact nothing like. I didn’t wear them at all over the winter period, preferring instead my Salomon Missions, or perhaps my Scarpa ZeroG10 if there was likely to be snow involved. So I’ve not had a year’s worth of wear out of them.
They have been incredibly good though, while they’ve lasted – I’ve enjoyed them immensely. They are wonderfully light, incredibly comfortable and adequately grippy when they’ve needed to be. They are by far and away the most waterproof boot I’ve ever used. If you used these in conjunction with gaiters (which I haven’t) then I think you’d pretty much guarantee dry feet under even the most taxing conditions – and there’s not many waterproof boots you can say that about.
On the downside, they aren’t the most protective boot – as you can imagine, they are built to be light, so the sole isn’t very thick and doesn’t protect you from stony tracks. In fact on the Coast to Coast this year I felt quite abused in the foot department after one or two long days over rough tracks with the Inov-8s. But then I doubt this would come as any surprise to anyone who’s worn Inov-8s before.
The main problem with the Roclites though is their longevity. Like every other Inov-8 review I’ve ever done the same conclusion is arrived at. These are great boots/shoes, they are lovely and light, but they won’t last you a full season. If I’d bought these boots they would have cost me about £100 – you can find them for less if you search, but that’s a ballpark figure. So £100 for a summer’s worth of walking boot – I just don’t think that’s good enough value.
I think I’ve also concluded before that I will never buy another pair of Inov-8 shoes/boots – that opinion hasn’t changed – there are much more reliable and resilient light-weight boots out there – they may not be quite as light as the Inov-8s, but they will probably last you more than a few dozen miles of walking.
I’ve included some photos of the failings of the boots below, please forgive the carpet in the background, but I took the photos while I was on the C2C, in a B&B, so it’s not my taste in floor coverings at all.
I think you can see the problem.
It’s not like one of the boots has developed a fault, it’s both of them and both at the same time. I think they started to come apart in the space of two walks, both together – so not coincidence.
I’m going to leave it there – I think this will be my last review of Inov-8 footwear – I’m not sure I want to take another pair even if they are free!