Inov-8 Roclite 280

8.5
8.5 score
[Editors rating (8.5)] = (WalkJogRun) score (8.5)/10


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Editor rating: 8.5 / 10
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Inov-8 Roclite 280 Review Facts

Another brand that many don’t know about (and for good reason) is Inov-8. They make rather high-quality running shoes but, due to the fact that many of them can’t be found in the general places that gear is purchased in, it is rather difficult to find a pair of their shoes. The Inov-8 Roclite 280 is a model designed by this brand and they have all of the bells and whistles that one may need in a high-quality trail running shoe; it has the lugs in the outsole unit and the dense upper portion that keeps the wearer’s foot protected from any possible damage due to materials entering into the design.

Editor's Pros & Cons
Pros

Highly durable design

Debris has a hard time getting into the design

Breathable upper

Inexpensive

Cons

Narrow forefoot

Outsole

Outsole

The outsole of the shoe is designed to give the wearer of the shoe the highest level of grip that they need when switching between terrain types. The outsole of the shoe itself is designed from a thick, sticky hardened rubber material; it is also raised into lugs in certain areas so that the shoe can really dig into the ground when need be. The name of the material itself was aptly titled “Sticky compound” due to the fact that it really provides the wearer what they need on various terrain types. In addition to this, the sole unit of the shoe features Inov-8’s Meta-shank technology which really allows the shoe to give the wearer what they need in terms of protection for their underfoot when running on those harsh terrain(more will be said about this later in the review).
Midsole

Midsole

Inov-8 did something funny with the midsole of this shoe; they designed it so that the cushioning level that’s provided is shown before anyone puts the shoe on their foot. The shoe features arrows on this part of the shoe that makes the cushioning that it provides to the wearer painfully obvious when it’s on foot; as for this shoe, it provides a midlevel degree of cushioning. The midsole of the shoe itself is designed from an EVA material overall; this allows the shoe to really give the wearer what they need in terms of responsiveness and does so due to the material’s ability to simply conform to the curves of the wearer’s foot during use. The material in place is also rather thick, which is another way that wearers could see the level of cushioning that is provided.
Upper

Upper

One of the best parts of the shoe is that the upper of the shoe is incredibly well-made and does its part in protecting the wearer’s foot while the shoe is in use. The shoe itself is designed from a mesh material and has various TPU overlays which work to give the wearer a decent level of stability while the shoe is in use. The bottom portion of the shoe that extends from the heel cup all the way to the toe area is designed using the synthetic material and does its job in keeping the shoe stable while in use. The upper of the shoe also features a gaiter trap that works to keep debris from entering the design of the shoe. Not to mention that the rest of the shoe is designed in such a way as to be highly cushioned throughout and to remain so during the wearer’s use of the shoe. The lacing on the upper of the shoe is flat and aids in providing the wearer of the shoe with a snug fit during use.
Weight

Weight

This is a somewhat heavy duty trail running shoe; that means that the design is going to be somewhere on the heavier end of the spectrum in terms of weight. Not! The crazy thing about this shoe is that, with all of the extra things that are in place throughout the design, and the beatings that it can take, the shoe only weighs around 10 oz. With the upper of the shoe being as layered as it is and the sole unit of the shoe being on the thick side of things, this shouldn’t be possible, but it definitely is.
Breathability

Breathability

To allow this shoe to be a bit more on the versatile side of things the upper of the shoe is highly perforated so that the wearer is able to enjoy a decent level of airflow when the shoe is in use. The shoe does feature a decent amount of layering but, since it is only featured in the bottom portion of the shoe, it leaves the upper part of the shoe open to provide the wearer with what they need so that their feet don’t experience excessive amounts of sweating while the shoe is in use.
Comfort

Comfort

The upper of the Inov-8 Roclite 280 is cushioned so as to provide the wearer with what they need in terms of comfort. The level the shoe provides the wearer with a decent fit that aids the shoe in providing the wearer with what they may need in terms of comfort as well; this is only enhanced by the breathable design of the upper and the feeling that it provides to the wearer’s foot. The sole unit of the shoe and the EVA material that it is designed from, allows the shoe to really give the wearer what they need in terms of comfort as well, mainly due to the fact that it is raised in the all of the right places and simply conforms to the curves of the wearer’s foot while in use.
Style

Style

This is a highly versatile technical terrain running shoe. All of the features of the shoe allow the wearer to get what they need in this respect; things such as the outsole of the shoe and the grip that it provides, as well as the upper of the shoe and the thick cut of that, give this shoe the look that signifies that it is meant for activity above that of the general use. The Inov-8 Roclite 280 comes in a variety of colors as well, which allows the shoe to really give the wearer a decent level of variety and contrasts against the somewhat bulky look of the majority of the shoe’s design. The use of the varying materials in the shoe’s design also somewhat works to give the wearer what they may need in terms of style but may hurt the wearer when they are looking to wear the shoe for casual activities.
Durability

Durability

In terms of durability, this shoe definitely doesn’t disappoint. The Inov-8 Roclite 280 works to provide the wearer with everything that they may need in terms of durability simply because of the fact that the materials throughout the shoe’s design are on the thicker side of things; the sole unit of the shoe has a high level of cushioning in place and does what the wearer may need it to do so that their foot doesn’t have to deal with the constant ripping and tearing that various other shoes tend to experience. The wearer of this shoe should expect to be able to get upwards of 300-400 miles in this shoe before they experience anything along the lines of aesthetic failure.
Protection

Protection

This is a trail shoe that is designed to give the wearer tremendous levels of protection so that their feet don’t experience any of the damage that may come upon it when the shoe is being used to run over trails and come into contact with materials such as rocks and things of the like. The upper of the shoe features a mesh (highly layered mesh) that really just works to keep materials out; a component of the mesh in the design is that there is a gaiter trap incorporated into the design that backs this feature of the shoe up. The sole unit of the shoe also features a design that allows the shoe to really give the wearer what they need in terms of protection; the layering of the material in the Inov-8 Roclite 280 really works to keep materials from entering the design of the shoe and possibly damaging the wearer’s underfoot.
Responsiveness

Responsiveness

The fact that this shoe is both lightweight and breathable hints to the wearer that it may also be able to provide the wearer with what they may need to really enjoy a responsive ride while the shoe is in use. The mesh on the upper has very few overlays which allow the shoe to really provide the wearer with a shoe that moves to allow the feet to really splay out during the shoe’s use. The EVA foam in the midsole of the shoe provides wearer’s with ample comfort for their foot and ensures that wearer’s don’t have to worry about a stiff feeling coming from the shoe; the shoe’s ability to move along with the movements of the wearer’s feet is one of the inherent features of EVA foam.
Support

Support

The Inov-8 Roclite 280 has a foam insole and elevated cushioning in the sole unit that really allows the shoe to provide the wearer with what they need in terms of support. Inov-8 has an arrow indicating that shows the wearer the level of cushioning that any single shoe should be able to provide the wearer; the Inov-8 Roclite 280 has elevated cushioning in place that allows the shoe to really provide wearer’s with a ample support for their arch and, for the medial portion of their feet. The responsive nature of the material that’s used also ensures that the support that is provided continues to be so. The upper provides the standard level of support due to the snug fit that it provides to the wearer.
Terrain

Terrain

This shoe can handle a wide, wide variety of technical terrains. The sole unit on this shoe and the sticky compound that is used for this area of the shoe really allows it to work rather well on damp and relatively unstable terrains; things like fell or compressed snow shouldn’t give this shoe a whole lot of trouble. The fact that the upper is highly layered also allows the shoe to provide the wearer with what they’ll need in terms of versatility in terrain usage, solely because of the fact that the material in this portion of the shoe doesn’t experience a whole lot of ripping while in use.
Price

Price

The most amazing thing about the design of this shoe is that it is done in such a way as to provide wearer’s with immense levels of durability while being cost-effective at the same time. These shoes go for a price that would seriously make these shoes be considered a steal by most individuals; the longevity of the Inov-8 Roclite 280 and the features provided suggest that it should be sold for a much higher price than it is currently retailing at. The upper of the shoe, as well as the sole unit last for a relatively long time and, the sole unit barely shows any signs of wear even after the 400 mile mark has been hit(this is when the shoe is used on more technical terrains also)
Traction

Traction

The Inov-8 Roclite 280 features a sole unit designed from their special Sticky compound. A feature of this material is that it simply can’t help but work to provide wearers with an extremely high level of traction on almost any surface that it's used. To complement this material, the shoe has been designed with lugs going in various directions that work to give the wearer an extremely high level of traction simply because of the fact that a multidirectional sole unit makes it relatively difficult for the wearer of the shoe to really experience any slippage while in the shoe.
Flexibility

Flexibility

The sole unit of the shoe, used in tandem with the upper, works to provide the wearer with what they may need regarding flexibility(range of motion). The sole unit features a MetaShank technology that works to provide the wearer with a great deal of flexibility; this material separates the movements of the forefoot and heel, which inadvertently allows the shoe to bend with the movements of the wearer’s foot. The upper of the shoe may have a few overlays in place here and there but, for the most part, does its job to give the wearer a decent level of range of motion during its time in use.
Stability

Stability

The design of the upper features a few stability elements such as the synthetic TPU overlays on the sides, heel, toe area of the shoe. These materials work to allow the shoe to provide ample coverage and security to the various high-profile parts of the wearer’s foot. The MetaShank also works to give the wearer a decent level of stability because of the way that the materials are in place throughout the shoe.
Drop

Drop

Nothing really too special about the drop on this shoe; the drop of the Inov-8 Roclite 280 is about 9mm.
Key features

Key features

• Metashank technology
• Mesh upper
• Sticky compound
Verdict

Verdict

The design of the Inov-8 Roclite 280 makes it a shoe that is above average in various areas. The durability provided by this shoe gives the wearer ample time to really make use of the shoe and also reduces the money that they have to spend on replacements. The compound in the shoe’s outsole is unique and works to give the wearer ample traction when in use as well; for the price, there are very few shoes out that provide these features to the wearer’s foot.