Inov-8 Roclite Pro G 400 GTX V2 Hiking Boot Review
Founded in 2003, Inov-8 is a British company that designs and manufactures high-performance footwear and apparel for running, hiking, and other outdoor activities. The company’s mission is to create products that allow athletes to push their limits and conquer any terrain, whether it be rocky trails, muddy paths, or steep mountains.
One of the hallmarks of Inov-8’s approach to product development is its emphasis on feedback from athletes. The company works closely with a team of ambassadors, including world-class runners and outdoor enthusiasts, to continually refine and improve their products based on real-world testing.
The Roclite Pro G 400 GTX V2 is offered as an updated version of the previous V1, which claims greater support, enhanced comfort, increased protection, more energy return, and longer-lasting durability. I reviewed the RocFly G 390 in 2021 and was thoroughly impressed, so I had high expectations for this model as well.
The Roclite Pro G 400 is a beefier model than the 390s, aimed at increasing protection and support during more demanding hikes and adventures amid tough conditions. Spoiler alert: they’re fantastic.
Inov-8 Roclite Pro G 400 GTX V2 At-a-Glance
Weight: 400g / 14.1oz (each)
Sole: Graphene-Grip outsole
Stack height: 20mm/12mm
Drop (heel-to-toe differential): 8 mm
Material: Ripstop mesh upper, GORE-TEX XCR (Extended Comfort Range) liner
Circumstances of Use
I used these boots during spring hiking trips in Maine. The conditions were wet, muddy, and unpredictable, which is exactly what the Roclite Pros were made for. During testing, I took note of the fit and comfort, waterproofness, breathability, durability, traction, and weight—all of which these boots are made to excel at.
Durable upper: The super-tough ripstop upper material is stronger and more durable. Its tighter weave repels dirt to protect the waterproof GORE-TEX XCR (Extended Comfort Range)membrane underneath.
Graphene Grip outsole: For enhanced traction and durability with 6mm lugs.
Upgraded POWERFLOW MAX midsole: Proprietary foam cushioning delivers more energy return and comfort with every stride, so feet and legs feel fresher.
ADAPTERWEB met-cradle: Adapts to the natural movement and swelling of the foot.
Updated external heel cage: Improves stability and support.
Updated toe cap: The toe bumper has been extended in length to add further protection at the front, while a flexible rock plate protects the underfoot from sharp debris.
Improved fit through the heel and ankle: A superior wraparound heel lock system, combined with the heel cupped footbed and Lycra padded ankle cuff, give more support, stability, and comfort.
Inov-8 Roclite Pro G 400 Pros
One of the key features of Inov-8’s footwear line is the use of graphene, a material that is 200 times stronger than steel but also incredibly lightweight. This innovative use of graphene in the outsoles of their shoes has resulted in increased durability, grip, and traction on a variety of surfaces.
Every time I write about Inov-8 footwear, I mention how great the Graphene Grip technology is, and this is no exception.
To create such great traction in the sole, graphene—a super-strong carbon material—is infused into the outsole of the shoe, resulting in a harder-wearing and more robust sole. It offers a remarkable grip on both wet and dry surfaces, including rocky, muddy, and uneven terrain.
Here in Maine, where you’re almost always on roots or granite slabs when hiking, this superior grip allows for better traction and higher confidence when ascending or descending in slippery conditions—which, in the spring, is often.
Not only is the Graphene Grip technology superior for traction, but it has proven to be long-lasting and resistant to wear and tear—with claims that it makes the outsole up to 50 percent stronger and more robust than traditional rubber outsoles.
Anecdotally, I find that the Inov-8 models with this feature last me twice as long (or more) as my other boots and trail runners while maintaining traction.
The addition of a toe bumper is great: this boot excels in rugged and arduous terrain in which the foot is constantly coming in contact with rocks and roots. I recall wishing I had such a bumper on my shoes while on the AT in New England, where I actually developed bruises on the tips of my toes from kicking rocks.
Speaking of rocks, these boots also have a rock plate which helps keep sharp stones and other pointy objects from poking the underside of your foot.
Each Roclite Pro G 400 GTX V2 weighs in around 14 ounces. These shoes are not ultralight, and Inov-8 makes no claim that they are. However, they are the lightest and arguably most full-featured option in the category of tough, protective boots.
Weighing just a few more ounces than light-duty trail runners while incorporating a rock plate, toe bumper, and heel cradle is a substantial accomplishment.
Inov-8 Roclite Pro G 400 Cons
Cost and Availability
Limited availability remains a lamentable reality for US customers of Inov-8 since it is headquartered in the UK, making it harder to obtain stateside. While a few American running and hiking stores may carry some models, in-person shopping opportunities are scarce.
Of course, Inov-8s can still be purchased online if trying them on first isn’t an absolute necessity.
Moreover, Inov-8’s pricing typically sits at the higher end of the market. The Roclite Pro G 400 GTX V2 costs $245, which is $50 to $65 more than comparable options from Topo, Altra, and Hoka. However, given the features and durability of these boots, I believe the cost is justified as they will last much longer than other options.
I’ll admit that I’m usually not a proponent of waterproof shoes. This is because they can trap moisture inside, causing your feet to sweat and leading to discomfort and blisters. And if water does get into the shoe, it can be challenging to dry out, especially if you are on a multi-day hike with consistent water crossings.
Moreover, waterproof shoes tend to be less breathable, which can make your feet feel hot and uncomfortable during warmer weather or strenuous hikes. Finally, waterproof shoes tend to be heavier and more expensive than non-waterproof models, which adds to the disappointment.
All that being said, I do believe there is a time and place for waterproof shoes: hiking in cold & wet winter conditions. Non-waterproof footwear simply does not protect your feet well from extreme elements, whereas waterproof shoes provide added protection against cold and wet weather, helping to keep your feet warm and reducing the risk of hypothermia.
Though I would rarely opt for waterproof shoes in three-season conditions, I almost exclusively reach for them during the winter.
Inov-8 is a company that is dedicated to innovation, performance, and quality. Whether you are a seasoned trail runner or a beginner hiker, their products are designed to help you reach your full potential and enjoy the great outdoors to the fullest.
The Roclite Pro G 400 GTX V2 is an updated and enhanced version of their rugged, off-trail, waterproof boot that incorporates some seriously good features while keeping the weight very reasonable.
This model’s specialty is wet, cold, rigorous terrain where the GTX membrane and Graphene Grip technology really come into play. I plan to use these exclusively for winter adventures in the coming season—that is, if I can ever kill my RocFly G 390s!
Comparable Waterproof Boots
Weight: 15.9 ounces
Drop: 5 mm
Weight: 15 ounces
Weight: 16 ounces
Drop: 5 mm
The Inov-8 Roclite Pro G 400 GTX V2 was donated for purpose of review.
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