The Inov-8 Roclite Pro G 400 GTX is pitched as Inov-8's "toughest ever" hiking boot, combining, for the first time, a graphene outsole with a super-protective Schoeller ceramic-coated fabric upper. They're also the most cushioned of Inov-8's hiking boot range, and feature design tweaks to improve grip even further.
As you might expect from a company known for its trail running heritage, these features don't come at the expense of weight – they're still incredibly lightweight. “For those who want to hike fast and light in big mountains and seek adventure amid the toughest of terrains and environments, this is the boot for you,” says Inov-8 COO Michael Price.
The Inov-8 Roclite Pro G 400 GTX boots were released on 17 September 2020, and have a ticket price of £200 / €220 / $235. We tested the men's version, and were extremely impressed – these are some of the best hiking boots on the market right now. Note: these also come in a women's fit and colourway (check out our guide to the best women's hiking boots for some alternatives). Read on for our full Inov-8 Roclite Pro G 400 GTX hiking boot review.
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Inov-8 Roclite Pro G 400 review: Design and comfort
The Roclite Pro G 400 features Inov-8's pioneering ultra-tough and grippy Graphene outsole, as well as a Schoeller ceramic coating on the upper fabric, to protect your feet in even the most extreme conditions. You'll find Graphene in some of Inov-8's other footwear, but this is the first boot to combine it with Schoeller, which is what earns these boots that "toughest-ever" descriptor. The brand has even recruited former Special Forces operator and two-time Everest conquerer Jay Morton to offer his stamp of approval.
Inov-8 has reshaped the Graphene-enhanced 6mm studs found on other Roclite boots to add water-dispersion grooves inspired by sports car tyres, in order to improve grip on wet ground (there's Gore-Tex to keep your feet dry, of course). The Roclite Pro G 400 are also Inov-8's most cushioned hiking boot to date, with an increased stack height in the forefoot and rear, offering greater protection underfoot to match the extra protection elsewhere. Finally, a high-cut padded ankle collar helps boost stability.
It's tricky to push these to the kinds of extremes they're designed to be able to cope with, but they certainly performed extremely well in our tests. They're cushioned and comfy enough to lace on straight from the box and head out on a hike, with no fear of blisters. Grip and support is excellent, and the build feels sturdy and high-quality.
Of course, they're lovely and lightweight, to help you move fast (the spec stated is 400g, but obviously this will depend on the size you need – the UK 10 is 440g). We found the Schoeller ceramic-coated upper crinkled a bit on our pair, which looks a bit odd but didn't impair functionality. The only downside we noted is that this particular fabric seems more prone to going mouldy if left slightly damp, so you'll need to be meticulous about drying them out before putting them away.
Should I buy the Inov-8 Roclite Pro G 400 hiking boots?
Now to the important part of our Roclite Pro G 400 GTX review: should you buy a pair? We were extremely impressed in our testing, and couldn't find fault with the comfort, support and protection on offer here. For speed hikers who regularly tackle unpredictable terrain, we'd fully recommend these boots.
However, for most use cases, the Schoeller ceramic-coated fabric upper isn't strictly necessary, and the need to keep it very dry when not in use is a little irritating. We'd be inclined to consider the Inov-8 Roclite G 345 GTX as an alternative – with these you sacrifice the ceramic upper but still get that Graphene outsole, and they're also lighter (345g rather than 400g) and if you go by ticket price, a fair whack cheaper. However, if you want truly the toughest boot around, the Roclite Pro G 400 GTX might just have it.