April 21, 2015

Review : Inov-8 Roclite 295

    • Type : Neutral
    • Use : Trail running
    • Price : $120-$130

    This is the third Inov-8 shoe I get to run in, and the second I review after the Race Ultra. I've always been impressed with the Inov-8 feel and its extreme expression; when I wear these shoes, I feel like a pro! The combination of grip and responsiveness is only matched, in my opinion, by a few top-of-the-line trail shoes such as the now-defunct Kinvara Trail from Saucony or my beloved (and also now-defunct, dammit) Altra Lone Peak 1.5.

    Trail Test
    This time around, the shoe feels light and quick, much more like the 235's I'd tried the first time. Unlike the Ultra, which definitely feels like it was made for a more cushiony ride over rough terrain, the 295 brings the aggressivity back while maintaining a great level of comfort. The shoe feels slim and long, with a lot of room at the tip but not so much on the side. When you lace up, you can feel how plush the upper is and I immediately thought how great that feeling must be while changing shoes in the middle of a long race.

    While certainly not a minimal shoe, the 295 doesn't overdo it and remains swift and nimble. The extra material between your foot and the ground becomes a great advantage if you're going to run long on terrain that switches from trails to pavement, for example, or if you're looking for a good overall winter running shoe. The grip is as good as always, with the outsole material soft and sticky. If you're looking for a firm grip in a comfortable shoe, this is it.


    While this is pretty much the bulkiest shoe I'd wear out there, I have to say there's a lot of things the 295 does well. The feeling of sturdiness and protection you get can be a great plus for beginning trail runners or to get yourself back together after some hard distance on rough trails. The 9mm drop is the only thing I wish was different; why does it have to be so steep? I'd give it all A's if it had, say, 4.

    High points
    • Excellent grip as always
    • Nimble and swift despite added material
    • Super comfy

    Low points
    • 9mm drop is just too much
    • Tiny laces make it real easy to overtighten the shoe

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