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!