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Inov-8 Roclite 315 – Trail Running Shoe Review

Over the last few months I have included a pair of Inov-8 Roclite 315’s to my trail running shoe rotation. My initial impression was, wow, I love they way these feel on my feet. But more importantly, how would they feel on the dirt? I was curious to find out.

Now that I have gotten past the wow factor and put a fair amount of  trail miles on them, I will share my thoughts and experience with this Inov-8 trail shoe and include some comparisons with two other trail shoes I enjoy wearing, the Montrail Rockridge and Masochist (my review).

First, the specs.

Glamour Shot

Clean with an OK, get it over with look.

(Inov-8 Roclite 315)

The rest of the photos of this trail shoe will be my own pair. Some dust, some dirt, and a big smile.

Specs of Interest

  • Weight – 11.1 oz (size 9)
  • Ride height – 18 mm heel / 9 mm forefoot
  • Underfoot Protection – Meta-Shank
  • Pronation control – moderate neutral shoe

The weight of the Roclite 315 is moderately light as far as trail shoes go, weighing in at about the same as the Masochist.

The Ride height difference for the shoe is 9 mm which provides a fairly low profile feel which is slightly less (by 1 mm) than the two Montrail shoes. The heal height of the 315s is 2-3 mms lower than either Montrail shoe.

The Meta-Shank is a molded stiff material that sits between the midsole (cushioning layer) and outsole (tread layer) to provide additional protection from those knarly rocks and pointy objects that may reside on the trails. This material runs from the heel to the metatarsal heads (the start of your cute little piggies). The Rockridge and Masochist include a partial (forefoot) or full Trail Shield.

Fit

I ended up purchasing a size 12 for the Inov-8 Roclite 315s (size 11.5 for the Montrail shoes). My reason for the larger size was to see if I could reduce some of the toenail beating my foot sometimes receives. I have heard others mention they wear a full size up from their standard shoe, so I thought I would give it a try.

The 315s had a very comfortable feel to them. As strange as it sounds, I would describe it as supportively free (not free of support). Let me try and explain that. 🙂 My feet felt supported and integrated with the shoe, yet based on the design of the upper (I believe), the foot felt unrestricted. Maybe the extra half size up had something to do with this feel as well, not completely sure.

I would consider the toebox roominess to reside in-between the Masochist (less room) and Rockridge (more room).

Overall, the Roclite 315’s have a fit more similar to the Masochist but with a less restrictive feel.

Upper – Cool Points

Across most of the breathable upper there is a thin mesh to help keep most debris where it belongs – not in your shoe. For whatever strange reason, I think this is kind of cool.

Outsole – Tread

The Inov-8 315s have some fair sized lugs on the outsole. The lug depth is definitely deeper than that of the Rockridge. The lugs are close enough together that there could be a bit of clay packing in sticky conditions. With that being said, I am not sure if there is such a thing as a clay-free shoe.

Roclite 315s with some Texas clay.

The Ride

To increase the amount of sensory feedback, I decided to go for a run on a local trail and switch out shoes every few miles so I could attempt to notice some of the subtle and less subtle differences.

Ready to run! Two pairs of shoes stashed in the pack.

My observations with the Roclite 315s:

  • The relaxed feel to the uppers. – A very seamless transition between shoe and foot.
  • Foot-sense of the terrain. – You could simply feel more of the terrain (subtle variations, rocks, roots, etc) as compared with the Montrail shoes. This was more noticeable when compared to the Rockridge (likely due to more cushioning and forefoot Trail Shield)  and less with the Masochist (likely due to the Trail Shield).
  • Less-Wedge – After wearing the Masochist and switching to the 315s, I still could sense that I was closer to the ground in a flatter shoe.

(left to right: Masochist, Roclite 315, and Rockridge)

Summary

For those looking for a moderately light, low-er profile trail running shoe that allows a fair amount of feedback from the trail, the Inov-8 Roclite 315 is definitely worth checking out. My experience has definitely been positive so far.

If interested in the shoes, you check them out  at Running Warehouse (Shoes, Packs, Clothes, Lights, and more…plus 2-day free shipping!).

Amazon also may have them if your size isn’t currently available at RW.

Then get out and enjoy some time on the dirt. A clean trail shoe is just…wrong. 😉

If you have worn the 315’s, feel free to share your thoughts on them in the comments section.

Be active – Feel the buzz!

David – EnduranceBuzz.com

(Glamour Shot: Courtesy of Running Warehouse.)

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About the author

David Hanenburg David Hanenburg is the passionate dirt-lovin' creator of Endurance Buzz and has been playing in the endurance sports world since 2000 after knockin' the dust off of his Trek 950 hardtail thanks to a friend asking to go ride some local dirt. In 2007 he ran his first ultra on the trails and fell in love with the sport and its people. For more information on David's endurance sports journey, check out the About page.

3 Responses to “Inov-8 Roclite 315 – Trail Running Shoe Review”

  1. on 07 Jul 2010 at 7:41 am Blaine Moore

    These are my trail shoe of choice, generally speaking. I’ve got 4 pairs of them.

    The toe box can be a bit tight, so I think it’s good you went with a slightly larger shoe. What I like is that I can get a good feel for the ground and the aggressive tread gives me good traction on the technical single track I like to wear them on.

    In the winter, I drill some sheet metal screws into the bottom and they are perfect for lake running or snowmobile trails.

  2. on 07 Jul 2010 at 5:07 pm David Hanenburg

    Hey Blaine – Four pairs of the same shoe – yes, you like then. 🙂

    Thanks for the comment.

    Btw, if you live in the TALON region, regardless of what you put into the bottom of your trail shoes, attempting to run across a lake during the winter will not produce the desired results. 😉

  3. on 03 Sep 2015 at 2:39 pm Dave Compton

    Thanks for the great review. I’ve had some for a while now and love them, for a combo of road running to the trail, then offroad – mainly mud/grit and trail/mountain when I can get there. As they’re no longer available, what do you recommend as a replacement? Thanks.