It's a technical hiking boot-battle royale, between the sleek and understated Arc'teryx Acrux TR GTX and the slightly more overt but highly capable Inov-8 Roclite G345. Both brands bring a substantial catalogue of experience to the arena, as well as no small helping of built-in technology to secure a hiking-boot win in this shootout.
Both models are available now, and feature in our best men's hiking boots roundup alongside other worthy choices for your outdoor hiking pleasure. They're also available in a women's fit (head to our best women's walking boots roundup for more options there).
Inov-8 Roclite vs Arcteryx Tr hiking boots: Design and features
While neither boot here immediately seizes the eye, there is a vast underlying current of well-considered design here from both brands. The Arc'teryx Acrux TR GTX doesn't have a hair out of place, low profile, a robust rubberised toecap, concealed lace eyes and overlaid panels conspiring to look streamlined yet purposeful. There's an invisible but effective Gore-Tex membrane, and a more visible but equally effective Super-Fabric armoured upper that's lightweight but highly robust.
On team Inov-8, the Inov-8 Roclite G345 design looks a little more hiking-trainer-like, with exposed fabric-loop lace eyelets and a low ankle designed for speed. A mesh front section adds breathability, as does the Gore-Tex membrane, while a rugged rubber section protects the toe. So far, so middle-of-the-road, but the secret firepower of the G345 is hidden just where it makes the most difference – those chunky 6mm sole lugs are augmented with wonder-material Graphene….
Winner: The Arc'teryx Acrux TR GTX easily wins on design (unless you detest tacti-cool minimalism), but the Inov-8 Roclite G345's techno-sole material still impresses.
Inov-8 Roclite vs Arcteryx Tr: Comfort and performance
How much difference the Graphene makes is always debatable, but the headline superpowers of the substance certainly make good reading – super strong (hardwearing), super-grippy, and super pub ammo are all guaranteed. In addition, the Inov-8 Roclite G345 does grip varied surfaces extremely well – from slimy rock to dry high-friction granite, mud and grass, they stay sure-footed over it all. There's a long line of athletes that agree too, with a recent example being
James Forrest, whose self-supported continuous hike of Alfred Wainwright's 214 Lake District peaks (328-miles) took a record-breaking 14 days & 11 hours – all in Roclite G345's.
Unsurprisingly, the Arc'teryx Acrux TR GTX remains a formidable opponent here – that minimalist look is no accident, designed as it is for a more summer alpine-style environment. This means they're light, eminently dexterous, and very hard to trip over or snag – all vital assets for fast-and-light alpine excitement. The micro-plated SuperFabric upper really does deliver, armoured against abrasion on rocks and the like, breathable but externally waterproof, and absolve all very lightweight, it's just what you want on your feet in summer. The sole is crafted from Vibram Mont, a compound designed to still grip in the chill of the early morning, and the lace locker will help get a good fit first time, even in the dark and cold of an alpine start.
Winner: The Inov-8 Roclite G345's performance is undeniable, and comfort is strong. That said, the Arc'teryx Acrux TR GTX is no loser here, merely differently focussed.
Inov-8 Roclite vs Arcteryx Tr hiking boots: Price and verdict
Price wise, the Inov-8 Roclite G345 gets another boost here, dropping at a very reasonable £155, while the Arc'teryx Acrux TR GTX is the premium option at £220. To be fair, Arc'teryx isn't a brand that has ever come cheap, so this will come as a shock to nobody.
Picking a winner is a tougher call though – both boots are awesome, highly technical, lightweight and from brands you can trust to deliver a quality product. Either choice will serve you well for many years, but – certainly for UK use – the lower price and supreme performance on varied terrain makes the Inov-8 Roclite G345 the overall winner.
However, if you're planning a drier, more rock-based mountain adventure the Arc'teryx Acrux TR GTX's blend of lightweight minimalism is tough to beat, although the G345 isn't scared of rock either. Honestly, this shootout comes down to the simplest of decisions – the depth of your pocket, and which design you like most – a fantastic result for both contenders really.