Written by Alex Jospe, team inov-8 adventure racer
I was psyched to try out the Roclite275, a goretex shoe, even though I’ve heard that there’s no such thing as dry feet. I thought that rainy-day trail runs, where the splash tends to hit the toe of your other foot, would be the perfect situation for wearing these shoes. They’ve since turned out to be my go-to shoes for two situations, though: running in the mountains, and running in slush/snow/winter urban environments.
The Roclites have great traction, with wide-spaced aggressive lugs in a sticky rubber. This makes them fantastic over bare rocks, because you can stick to the rocks like glue, while not suffering from loose dirt or sand because of the space between lugs. No compromises there. I found myself turning to these shoes all summer whenever I was headed into the White Mountains, because of their fantastic grip! The Goretex uppers definitely helped with the occasional splash from a stream or puddle, keeping my socks dry and my feet blister-free. The three-arrows of drop also provides some cushioning for a long day on your feet in rocky terrain, making these shoes incredibly comfortable and functional in the mountains. There is some space in the toe box, which was nice for the longer hikes and runs where your feet swell a bit, too. Big win for spending all day covering rocky miles!
This winter with all the snow in Boston (and everywhere else, but I happen to live in Boston), the true calling of these shoes becomes clear. To the rest of the eastern seaboard, Boston is the frozen wastelands of the north. To our northern neighbors where I go ski racing, Boston is a southern flatland of easy living. Like our reputation, Boston weather can’t figure out quite what’s going on, and does things like snow two feet, followed by a few inches of rain, some sunny days, and then an ice storm. Like a Masshole taxi driver, the Roclite shoes plow through it all without batting an eye. Slush? No problem. Snow? No problem. Rain and general grossness? No problem. The one problem is when you’re on glare ice, because then you need metal studs. But for more “regular” winter conditions -these shoes rock. All winter, these have been my go-to shoe for running to work. I never thought I’d be wearing trail shoes to run on pavement! The cushioning of 9mm of drop is good for when you hit bare pavement instead of ice and slush, and the grip is phenomenal.
Overall, these shoes are a tad heavy for my racing preferences, but as a good nasty-weather and nasty-terrain running shoe, we’ve got a winner. And they look so bad-ass!
– Fantastic grip through a variety of surfaces (bare rock, sand, slush, snow, pavement)
– Goretex protects your little piggies from splashes and unpleasant wet slush
– Space in the toe box for those longer expeditions
– 3 arrows of drop provides some cushion under the heel for a more “comfortable” shoe, without sacrificing any of the performance
– Design is pretty awesome!
– Slightly heavier than I’d like in a racing shoe
– Good winter shoe except when there is glare ice -need studs for ice.
– The Goretex doesn’t last forever (though, it is probably possible to re-waterproof them)