Inov-8 Roclite Pro G 400 GTX V2 review: light-but-tough boots for hitting the hills

A rugged and protective waterproof walking boot, best suited for technical trails and hiking with a heavy pack

T3 Platinum Award
Inov-8 Roclite Pro G 400 GTX V2 review
(Image credit: Pat Kinsella)
T3 Verdict

The new and improved version of the inov-8 Roclite Pro G400 GTX is as close to a perfect 3-season backpacking boot as we’ve seen, with superlative grip (of course), but also excellent heel and ankle support, top-level comfort through the enhanced midsole, and excellent robust build quality across the entire boot.

Reasons to buy
  • +

    Great Graphene grip

  • +

    Strengthened upper

  • +

    Firm heel lock

  • +

    Responsive midsole

  • +

    Fully waterproof

  • +

    Good quicklace system

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    Not enough rigidity for scrambling or technical alpine terrain

  • -

    Three-season use only – not protective enough for winter adventures

  • -

    No recycled material used

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British brand inov-8 are based in the fantastic fells of the English Lake District, where all their apparel and footwear is stress tested by outdoor athletes. They built their reputation for producing nimble but tough trail running shoes and have since diversified into other outdoor pursuits, particularly hiking.

The Roclite Pro G 400 GTX V2s are one of an ever-increasing collection of walking boots offered by the brand, which all boast their trademark and award-winning graphene-enhanced grip in the outsoles, the performance and longevity of which make them some of the best hiking boots available. 

Inov-8 Roclite Pro G 400 GTX V2 review: price and availability

The Inov-8 Roclite Pro G 400 GTX V2 is available to buy now from Inov-8 UK, Inov-8 US and Inov-8 AU for a recommended retail price of £210/ $245/ AU$370. Men’s and Women’s versions are available. 

Inov-8 Roclite Pro G 400 GTX V2 review: Specifications

  • Upper: super tough ripstop material
  • Outsole: Graphene-enhanced G-GRIP lugs
  • Waterproofing: Gore-Tex
  • Weight: 400g (average across the size curve)
  • Available colours: Black / Olive, black and yellow
  • Gender specification: Men’s and Women’s versions available

Inov-8 Roclite Pro G 400 GTX V2:

(Image credit: Pat Kinsella)

Inov-8 Roclite Pro G 400 GTX V2 review: Design and features

The Roclite Pro G 400 GTX is Inov-8’s most high-performing and protective hiking boot to date. As we recently reported, along with the more lightweight Roclite G 345 GTXs, this already popular boot was recently re-released after several significant upgrades, made in response to feedback from users – reflecting a level of engagement with the end users we applaud and love to see.

The resulting new and improved Roclite Pro G 400 GTX V2s are the sturdiest boots in the inov-8 range and also the heaviest – albeit only by a few grams, and they are still light compared to the majority of hiking boots on the market. And for that extra few grams, you get a whole lot more performance and protection.

The upgraded Roclite Pro G400 GTX boot boasts a new and much-improved heel-lock system, which holds your foot firmly in place and inspires confidence on tricky trails, and upgraded Powerflow Max foam cushioning in the midsole to supply some extra bounce.

Inov-8 Roclite Pro G 400 GTX V2

(Image credit: Pat Kinsella)

The toe bumper has also been beefed up, and a tougher nylon ripstop material has been used in the main chassis of the boot – this last improvement in response to criticisms that, while the graphene-enhanced outsoles last forever, the uppers on inov-8 boots were more prone to wear and tear (and there’s not much point in having a bulletproof outsole if the top falls apart).

As before, a Gore-Tex membrane keeps water and general trail juice out while letting your feet breathe. And the outsole remains largely the same, too (no need to meddle with something that was delivering everything it promised to). The Roclite Pro G400 GTX boots are still armed with 6mm-long Graphene-enhanced long-lasting G-Grip lugs that seize hold of the ground you’re walking across to supply excellent traction. The reverse chevrons on the underheel provide braking control during slippy and technical descents.

As if these chunky Graphene tyres aren’t chunky enough, a rockplate that runs along the length of each boot, between the outsole and the midsole, protects your feet from potential puncture wounds and bruising from sharp sticks, stones and other nasties out on the trail. 

Inov-8 Roclite Pro G 400 GTX V2

(Image credit: Pat Kinsella)

Inov-8 Roclite Pro G 400 GTX V2 review: Comfort and performance

In terms of comfort, I found the Roclite Pro G400 GTX V2s to be like the proverbial slippers with studs on. They might tip the scales more than any other boots in the inov-8 range but felt very light on my feet while I was out exploring trails on Dartmoor, in the Mendip Hills and on several hikes along sections of the South West Coast Path.

The new heel-lock system really held my hoof in place, cutting out all movement within the boot and filling me with confidence no matter how rough and rugged the trails were. The lacing system – despite being relatively minimalist, with just three sets of eyes and two pairs of quick hooks – is speedy to do up and helps with secure ankle support.   

Inov-8 Roclite Pro G 400 GTX V2

(Image credit: Pat Kinsella)

The midsole has been given some extra cushioning, which has improved comfort levels on longer hikes, and the rockplate supplies extra protection. All this does come at the cost of any perceptible trail feel and feedback, but that goes for pretty much every hiking boot on the market, bar Vivobarefoot models. 

I have been testing the boots across several seasons, and the Gore-Tex membrane reliably kept my feet dry during downpours and stream crossings, and as the weather got warmer, my feet were still able to breathe.

There are limits, of course, and while the Roclite Pro G400 GTX V2 is ideal for hiking the vast majority of non-high alpine trails throughout most of the year, it’s not a 4-season boot. It lacks the true toughness and thermal capability to deal with snow and ice and isn’t crampon compatible. It also has a lot of flex along its length, which is fine for keeping you comfortable on fairly flat trails and even most hill hikes, but it’s no good for edging around rocks while scrambling or taking on higher peaks.

Inov-8 Roclite Pro G 400 GTX V2

(Image credit: Pat Kinsella)

Inov-8 Roclite Pro G 400 GTX V2 review: verdict

Version 1 of the Roclite Pro G400 GTX was already a decent boot, but the improvements made by inov-8 earlier this year are much more than cosmetic, and they have taken it to a whole new level. It’s long been a frustration for many inov-8 footwear devotees that the outsoles on their shoes and boots look likely to outlive human habitation of Planet Earth, but their uppers deteriorate (albeit after considerable use and abuse). The significant strengthening of the materials used in the main fabric part of these boots should go a long way to quietening those criticisms. Time will tell.

The other upgrades to the heel-lock system and the midsole are also excellent, and of course, the Graphene-infused griptastic outsoles are among the best available for providing tractions and certainly the most robust and long-lasting option out there. Overall this is an excellent 3-season hiking boot for trekking and backpacking, and it will give you years of loyal service.

The new and improved version of the inov-8 Roclite Pro G400 GTX is as close to a perfect 3-season backpacking boot as we’ve seen, with superlative grip (of course), but also excellent heel and ankle support, top-level comfort through the enhanced midsole, and excellent robust build quality across the entire boot.

Inov-8 Roclite Pro G 400 GTX V2 with comparisons

The Roclite Pro G 400 GTX V2s alongside the ROCFLY G 390s, the Keen NXIS Evo Mids and the Salomon Cross Hikes

(Image credit: Pat Kinsella)

Inov-8 Roclite Pro G 400 GTX V2 review: Alternatives to consider

For a slightly lighter boot, you can go for inov-8’s Roclite G 345 GTX, which still boasts an excellent graphene outsole, but the heel lock and ankle support are inferior on this model, and you’ll miss out on features such as the quicklace hooks. Or check out the Inov-8 ROCFLY G 390s, which have unique Graphene-infused G-FLY foam midsoles - but this model is more fastpacking-orientated, and it still lacks the superior ankle and heel support of the Roclite Pro G 400 GTX V2s - plus the standard version doesn’t have a waterproof membrane. 

The Keen NXIS Evo Mid boots are a similar weight and also offer excellent hold with the KonnectFit heel-capture system. They’re protective (more so in the toe area), waterproof and comfortable, but have less aggressive lugs on the outsoles, which won’t last as long as the Graphene grips on the inov-8s.

The Salomon Cross Hike 2s are another lightweight mid-cut boot jostling for position in this category, and they’re an excellent option if you’re looking for speed and comfort (with a great quicklace system and a sumptuous stitch-free upper and sockliner design, combined with breathable waterproof performance), but they don’t quite offer the same level of foot and ankle support as the inov-8s, or the long-lasting grip.

For a tougher, four-season hiking boot, check out the excellent, high-performing and crampon-compatible Mammut Taiss Light Mid GTX, the Lowa Tibet GTX or the Arc’teryx Acrux LT GTX.

Pat Kinsella
Freelance outdoor writer

Author of Caving, Canyoning, Coasteering…, a recently released book about all kinds of outdoor adventures around Britain, Pat Kinsella has been writing about outdoor pursuits and adventure sports for two decades. In pursuit of stories he’s canoed Canada’s Yukon River, climbed Mont Blanc and Kilimanjaro, skied and mountain biked across the Norwegian Alps, run ultras across the roof of Mauritius and through the hills of the Himalayas, and set short-lived speed records for trail-running Australia’s highest peaks and New Zealand’s nine Great Walks. A former editor of several Australian magazines he’s a longtime contributor to publications including Sidetracked, Outdoor, National Geographic Traveller, Trail Running, The Great Outdoors, Outdoor Fitness and Adventure Travel, and a regular writer for Lonely Planet (for whom he compiled, edited and co-wrote the Atlas of Adventure, a guide to outdoor pursuits around the globe). He’s authored guides to exploring the coastline and countryside of Devon and Dorset, and recently wrote a book about pub walks. Follow Pat's adventures on Strava and instagram.