Inov8 RocLite 295 Review
When I opened the box and looked at the lacing pattern on the Roclite 295’s knew instantly they meant business. Instead of the usual lacing pattern, these were laced with a loop at the top, then the top lace put through the loop. This pattern is what I used when I ran cross country in high school and it helps keep the heel tight. Details like that tell me that a lot of thought and development went into making the Inov 8 Roclite 295.
Inov 8 has several models in their line up but all are designed for use on the trail. The Roclite 295 is designed for racing or light-weight training and weighs in at 298 grams. I am fortunate enough to have good biomechanics that allow me to run in shoes with minimal padding and little stability, so the 295 was exactly what I want in a shoe.
The flexibility of this shoe also helps with the slipper-like feel. Minimal overlays and plenty of mesh mean your foot is free to hug whatever the trail gives you. Speaking of grip, the sole of the 295 provides enough traction while keeping the shoe flexible. This mix provided enough grip on technical trails while still feeling fast on open dirt trails. I was surprised at how much cushioning this shoe had. Being a mid foot striker, I like just enough cushioning to soften my landing but not so much to feel spongy. The 295 has just the right amount of cushioning for me. I especially appreciated this cushioning on my longer runs on hard packed trails. The 295 is low to the ground, keeping with it’s racer feel. This also keeps the sole relatively level, perfect for a mid foot striker like myself. For a heel striker, this could be an issue, but I believe that heel striking needs to be corrected by form, not a shoe. The heel cup of the 295 is lower than many trail shoes, again keeping with the goal of remaining light and being more race oriented. This is also probably why it comes laced the way it does.
Another small feature that make this shoe more trail specific is the wider, taller tongue. This extended tongue helps to keep dirt, rocks and debris out of the shoe yet I never felt it impede my stride.
The mix of a racing flat feel, good grip, flexibility and breathability make the Roclite 295 a great choice for runners looking for an all around lightweight shoe.