Inov8 Roclite 295

I spend most of my time wearing trainers. Over the last couple of years I have bought various Karrimor trainers/trail shoes from Sportsdirect. These have been OK for just knocking about in, but not particularly good for mountain walking. The main problem was the soles of my feet got sore and I could feel almost every sharp stone digging into my feet. So for mountain walking, I bought some moderately priced Hi-Tec walking boots, which were very comfortable, but the soles weren't great on wet rock, or for scrambling.

Recently I noticed that the soles of my feet were hurting almost all of the time in my Karrimors. A quick look at the soles revealed that they were paper thin and I was almost walking barefoot. I had read various blog posts about Inov8's range of trail/running shoes. Unfortunately, there aren't any local stockists who keep a decent range actually in stock. Since I didn't want to keep wandering around in my karrimors with paper thin soles, I visited my local GoOutdoors, who did have a small number of different Inov8's in stock.

When I got there it turned out that the only pair I had in my size were the Roclite 295. I had no idea what their intended use was (running, walking), but as soon as I tried them on I felt at home in them. A brief walk around the shop confirmed that they fitted me and were indeed very comfortable. I bought them and chucked out my old pair of trainers immediately.

Fast forward a couple of weeks and we were going on holiday to Chamonix. Since I was taking a load of climbing gear and we were up against our weight limit for checked baggage, I decided to leave my Meindl boots at home and use the Roclite 295's for walking.

On the first trip up to Lac Blanc in damp weather with a thin layer of snow, they were perfect. Although they aren't fully waterproof, the toe section is. Despite the snow my feet didn't get wet. Even better, although I was carrying a reasonably loaded sack with everyone's gear in it, my feet were comfortable. I was able to clamber over wet rocks without slipping. A couple more walks, involving some scrambling over rough terrain only increased my appreciation of these boots. The cushioning worked really well on rocky trails.

You can see INOV8's specification for these boots here .