If you’re looking for a deep-winter shoe to get you through the training ahead, one that balances comfort with uncompromising weather-proofing and construction, the Inov-8 roclite 282 GTX may well be your first – and only – stop. TriGear went on the lookout for some mud and testing trail.
The roclite 282 GTX looks like a great beast of a shoe, but first impressions are deceptive with the shoe coming in at under 580g (pair, UK8) – a little lighter than the Race Ultra 290, but heavier, as you might expect, than the much more minimalist Trailroc 245. Design and construction is everything you might expect from trail specialists like inov-8 and the real selling point is the partnership with Gore to integrate the exceptionally waterproof GORE-TEX technology.
The GORE-TEX membrane laminate beneath the shoe’s mesh upper boasts some 1.4billion pores per-square-centimetre, each 20,000 times smaller than a drop of water (keeping the weather and puddles out), yet 700 times larger than a water vapour molecule so sweat evaporates quickly and effectively. In practice this felt about as waterproofed as trail shoes gets, akin to donning the likes of the SealSkinz socklets, but with the obvious advantage that water doesn’t even get as far as the inside of the shoe. Add to this the fully gusseted tongue – and perhaps some optional extras with the inov-8 DebrisGaiter – and the trail is certain to stay well and truly on the outside.
The roclite 282 GTX offers a snug but comfortable fit with good padded support around the cuffs and through the tongue. The high and relatively wide lacing sits comfortably on the longer runs and the toe is protected both with a symmetrically positioned toe guard and the extended lip of the outsole.
So, to the outsole itself: substantial and fairly deep lugs offer grip for both drive and camber, side-to-side, control. The roclite 282 GTX also utilises the FASCIA BAND tech (also found on the F-LITE and X-TALON shoes) which is intended to add further energy to the stride by mimicking the so-called Windlass Effect – see video below for further explanation. Hard to be anything other than subjective, but there does feel to be a decent spring through the roll-through and toe-off.
Whilst we started by saying how good the roclite 282 GTX for deep winter, they are in fact excellent year-round options (just with added benefits when it comes to wet and treacherous conditions.)