I met up with the guys from Inov-8 today after the launch of their Offroad Running Centre at Run4it, upstairs at the GOE Tiso in Glasgow.
The lowdown is that Run4it now have the biggest selection of Inov-8 kit in Scotland, it’s all there from a wall of shoes (his and hers) to the packs & bumbags, gaiters, socks, hats and more. It’s a good idea, a lot of the questions I hear about Inov-8 are about what’s the difference is between models, what has the most cushioning or the best grip. Well now it’s easy, you can just pull them off the display and spend all day trying different shoes on and melting the heads of the Run4it guys. Then you can go to the cafe with you new purchase and soothe your buyers remorse with a tasty lunch. Genius.
Below from left to right are Wayne Edy (Inov-8 main man), Matt Brown (designer) and Jethro Lennox (Team Inov-8 racer and amongst other things, winner of the 2009 OMM Elite class).

It’s amazing what you miss, and that’s what’s good about talking the folk that make the kit. Inov-8 shoes have a cushioning grading system which you can see below, on the right we have four arrows, then three and two as we look left. This is a nice logical system when you know it’s there and you can look for what will suit your quest for comfort or your need for speed. They’ve got a shoe coming out with one arrow, and that’s going be damned close to running barefoot. That’ll be interesting.
There’s a few new models on the cards for spring and winter next year, some of which I’ve seen, and none that I can talk about yet. I will say that we’re talking mids (which had me grinning from ear to ear as apparently GT had predicted) as well as shoes, and as well as the usual undiluted search for low weight and performance there’s a lot of nice new aesthetics coming, and I think the range is looking fresher.
I’ll have photies and test samples when the time comes, it’ll be good, trust me.

I knew about the Debrisoc and the Debrisgaiter, but it completely passed me by that Inov-8 were doing regular socks. Well, racing socks to be precise, in three weights from summer to winter. I’ve got the Mudsoc 20’s on test which is the middle version, it’s lightly padded and is baked from Coolmax. Updates on them in a wee while.

As mentioned above, folk often find it hard to get into the world of Inov-8 and pick out what they want, and this hasn’t been lost on them. The range is going to be honed a bit, we’ve got similar model’s being spliced together where one would do better, and some being dropped. The Roclite 370 boot being one casualty, it’s now discontinued. Folk just didn’t get it.
Also it’ll be easier in general to figure out where we are with the help of their new chart below (it’ll be on the website and literature soon, not just on shop floors which would be hard to refer to at home…). It shows the sole pattern with the model names and has a nice wee usability chart as well. Good job, a definite stress soother.

Unfortunately there were no “Worlds Lightest Boots” for me to squeeze, the X-Talon 240’s  have proven a big hit and are sold out. But hopefully we’ll get a set to have a shot of soonish, and we’ll see more Inov-8 on test as time goes on too.

We spent the afternoon sitting at a table in Run4it with lunch, cuppas and a tin of Mars Celebrations (thank you Run4it, may your house be free of tigers), there were grapes as well but only Matt was eating them, the poor boy was burst having been in Germany this morning. This meant that customers were tripping over us to get to the gear and as one lassie was poking at shoes Wayne got up and did a fitting routine with her. That was kinda cool, both because it shows that the man at the steering wheel knows how to drive the bus and also because the lassie didn’t have a clue why we were all so amused. Brilliant stuff.

16 thoughts on “Inov-8”

  1. Must admit i didn’t know about the cushioning ratings. Just thrown away a worn out pair of roclite 315’s today & got my new pair out of the cupboard and low and behold the arrows are there for all to see. Can anyone answer me a question regarding if their is any fit difference between 315’s and terroc 330’s as i fancy a pair of them if they fit. They are top shoes, but i think that my only question is durability, does anyone else feel they wear out too quickly or am i just punishing em too much :0)

  2. I think the Terrocs are on a slightly wider last than the Roclite 315s (at least wider across the forefoot); however, it does get confusing when the Roclite 295s are different vs the 315s – the same shape as the Terrocs – so worth trying on to check

  3. Aye, what rp610 said!

    The lightness and race credentials will alway limit durability, it’s a trade-off and it doesn’t look like it’s changing.
    I’ve rather have grip that an everlasting sole though, you know me :o)

  4. i will definately be sticking with em as they are a great shoe and fit, just may try other models, although the 315’s do allow me to wear my rocky goretex socks when the weathers pish without any drop in comfort. Them parkour ones look ok for bouncing off bush shelters when your pissed up.

  5. Blimey, you say the X-talon 240s are sold out – I’ve not even seen them hit the shops yet! :(

    Any idea when the Recolite 180s will see light of day in the UK?

  6. Matt, spring, so from March on we’ll get the new stuff.
    The new models are going to upset everybody from Crocs to Keen to Icebug.
    And anyone doing lightweight leather mids…

    I haven’t had the Roclite 288’s on for a few weeks. I’m pretty sure the Gore liner is like a string vest now, but the outer is plenty tough.
    I actually like them, definitely not a run of the mill bit of kit though.

  7. Me and my Da tried some of these on a few months back in June. I tried to convince him he needed a pair (we’re the same size – a 4!) but he never. He’s stingey and wouldn’t pay the price. A pair I tried were the Roclite 305’s and they fitted like a glove (and I’m notoriously fussy with footwear/socks).
    So new stuff in March you say, just in time for my birthday! A wee treat to myself I think.
    Do they work in snow aye?

  8. Have big envy here at all those shoes to look at and examine. We have White & Bishops round here and they only stock 330s and 390s – good job the shoes fitted eh? Been really happy with them but the stitching is already breaking up, stuffing my foot into cracks whilst scrambling has pretty much done for any idea that they would last. Managed quite easily to solo up Curved Ridge in torrential rain with them on… only once wished for my boots so I could have edged better. Oh – laces just fell apart, worn where they tie. I will buy another pair mind, just need to visit a shop like that one… check the whole range out and try them on like.

    ps wedding update – got blindingly drunk as befits a pirate/best man and woke up with the bridesmaid! Didn’t expect that and as a bonus, it turns out she’s proper into the outdoors, owns crampons, 3/4 sleep mat to save weight… cupid must have used an ice axe ;-)

  9. I have the Roclite 370, it is my favourite summer walking boot. I was hoping that Inov8 would replace it with a lighter roclite boot. The X-Talon 240 is a “specific” boot mostly for muddy surfaces and not for general use and rocky paths as the Roclite series. Also i am not sure that the X-talon 240 is as breathable as the Roclite 370. As for the running models, i have tried several, X-Talon 212, f-lite 230, roclite 285 and roclite 295. The most flexible by far is the X-Talon, the most flexible shoes i ever had, almost like a water shoe. Although it is rated as a 2 lever cushioning as the roclite 285, i feel it is lower to the ground and more comfortable. The Roclite 285 has a more narrow heel cup than the X-Talonand it is stiffer. I hope that Inov8 will make a roclite 213 , it will be the ultimate lightweight trail shoe. X-talon is mostly for fell running and not for trails and rocky paths where i think the big studs are a disadvantage.

  10. The big-stud sole pattern is always a compromise. I find LaSportiva’s Crosslite to be troublesome on rock with those big studs, the X-talon’s less so with the much softer compound. A good compromise stud pattern was the one on Montrail’s Highlanders, but the flex of the midsole was very stiff.
    Ach nothing’s perfect.
    The Inov-8 range is a little different for next year, with a new boot as well as shoes. You never know how the new boot might turn out.

  11. Coops- there is a massive difference between the Haglofs and Inov8 in my case.
    Haglofs is roomy for wide feet I find the Inov8’s narrow and cant get them to fit me !
    The best thing is to try them on as everybodys feet are different.

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