Inov-8 Roclite 243


I was recommended to try out these beauties, so I put them to an epic 5 Munro trail run test. This covered everything from rocky trail, through to mud and deep snow and they were fantastic!

I have been a huge fan of the Inov8 190s and the only reason I have tried out something slightly more ‘developed’ from the 190s, is that I was looking at wanting more durability in the material. Due to me covering a heck lot of trail millage, it wasn’t long (5 months – over 1000 miles) until the 190s were showing signs of wear and tear – surprisingly the softer, rubber compound sole was not the diminishing factor, it was the soft, lightweight material around the toe box area and outer side of foot. – see below:


So, along came the latest from Inov8 – the Roclite 243!!! What to me seems to be everything that great about the minimal, lightweight 190 but with a little more added protection for the odd rock and stone scuffs of the Scottish highlands!

One big bonus I noticed with these over the 190s, was that during winter running, or simply running anywhere that required my trusty Kahtoolas, In the 190s, I was suffering from getting my toes crushed by the metal links and the cross bar. Having the added protection over the toe box and side foot, my Kahtoolas fit and feel great! – PLEASE NOTE: although there is the highlight of added material and protection, over the toes, this shoe is STILL minimal and extremely flexible. I don’t feel as though I have lost out, in my passion for minimal running, in moving from the 190 to the 243. The only thing to note as a major difference between to 190s and the 243s, would be the obvious weight difference and that the grip, soles have a slightly less aggressive tread – though still aggressive enough to bite in and take on the varying terrain that this mountain run had to throw at me!


Here’s the tech blurb… 🙂


Inov-8 Roclite™ 243

A lightweight, versatile trail running shoe designed to tackle demanding terrain with a reinforced toe box for added protection
Lightweight and versatile trail racing and training shoe | Deep cleated, grippy outsole ideal for muddy terrain | Reinforced toebox for protection against unexpected objects on the trail | Unisex | 3mm Differential | Weight: 243g (UK 8)

More Information – Inov-8 Roclite™ 243
Replacing the Inov-8 Roclite™ 285, the Roclite™ 277 has lowered its weight while maintaining the ability to grip on mixed terrain. The deep cleated outsole made from sticky rubber compound provides fantastic grip on a wide range of conditions including rock, mud, wet grass and loose stone. The reinforced toe box protects the foot and the upper from unexpected objects on the trail such as rocks. The Roclite™ 243 is built on the Inov-8 Performance Last which provides a precise fit to minimise foot movement in the shoe when contouring, ascending and descending. With a 3mm differential, to provide a closer to the ground feeling, the Roclite™ 243 are designed for maximal performance during racing and training. An ideal choice for demanding off-road running.

Specifications – Inov-8 Roclite™ 243:

    • Weight: 243g (8.6oz) (UK 8).
    • Fit: Performance.
    • Upper: Synthetic, TPU.
    • Lining: Mesh.
    • Footbed: 6mm.
    • Midsole: Injected EVA.
    • Shoc-Zone™: 1.
    • Differential: 3mm.
    • Sole: Roclite™.
    • Compound: Sticky
  • Gender: Unisex
  • Following my recent response to one question, from this blog, I thought I’d update this with an updated mini gallery of the shoes that I purchased and how they are still holding out 11 months and many hundreds of miles later… 🙂 please bare in mind though that these are not the only pair that I run in but these are without a doubt the ones I grab for my long, muddy weekend trails!


6 responses to “Inov-8 Roclite 243

  1. Pingback: Review Of My Shoe – Inov-8 Roclite 243s | Pursuing The Void·

  2. Hi,
    nice review. But let me asked one question.
    How about the material at the toebox area? Is it still that crappy as it was on the 190s?
    I’ve a pair of f-lite 195 which looks like your 190s at the toebox.

    So it seems to be a problem with the materialmix. Is it more solid on 243s?

    • He Maikel 🙂
      Yes, there are similarities between the 195 and 190s, but the 243s do offer a more ‘protective’ toe box area. Do not think though that this is a significant amount of protection. What you seem to get in addition with the 234s is almost a 2nd application of the original toe box material. After a few hundred miles, you do find that this will also crack and give way but for me, this is the best offer that you can look for without adding too much significant weight to a shoe that is driven by the desire for being minimal and lightweight. The purpose I had for buying this version was to add a ‘little’ more protection to the toe box that allowed for slightly longer durability as well as ‘slightly’ more rigidity to the box when I run with my Kahtoolas. – the 190 toe box was so minimal that my toes suffered from being crushed, when I wore my Kahtoolas over them. This was the main reason for my purchase and they work a treat! The addition in weight for me was insignificant to the benefits of comfort and durability. – all the best with your hunt buddy! 🙂

  3. I’m an Inov-8 fan, coming from Trailrocs. The 245s, which I love, both for training and racing, have that same old splitting problem of the material near the little toe, rear of the rand. I’ve had two pairs, and each lasted less than 300 miles. Looking for a little greater longevity I replaced them with the 255s, on which the rand extends a little further back, and these look like they might last longer but the extra weight (only 10g, I know!) and increased drop/differential make them feel clumsy in comparison – hence having done less than 100 miles in them so far I looking for something else again.
    Reading this, and a couple of other reviews, has led me to give the Roclites a try. I have a couple of short fell races this weekend, and it looks like it might be a bit damp, but I’ll give the Roclites a try, then I’m hoping they’ll be OK for Trail Marathon Wales!
    Thanks for the review.

    • Hey bud thanks for the kind comments and pleased to hear that you’ve been convinced to give them a go. I’m still wearing my pair that I reviewed – still going strong and in one piece! My inov8 195’s would most certainly have been replaced by now… These have certainly proved their value and ‘mileage’ over the wet winter and spring that we’ve just had in Scotland! 🙂

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