Feeling the need for speed? Inov-8's new clothes range is designed for fast hikes

Inov-8's first hiking apparel collection is streamlined for hikers in a hurry

inov-8 VENTURELITE hiking collection, modelled by runners on a mountainside
(Image credit: inov-8)

Inov-8 is best known for its footwear, but this week expanded its fitness clothing range with its first ever hiking apparel collection. This is the brand behind many of today's best trail running shoes, and it'll also probably be a top pick for anyone looking for fast-and-light walking shoes or hiking boots. For the new VENTURELITE (opens in new tab) range (not to be confused with FUTURELIGHT, from outdoors brand rival The North Face), Inov-8 has continued in the same vein. This is a range designed for hikers in a hurry. 

This is actually one of two brands to make their first steps in hiking clothing this week, and Inov-8's efforts couldn't be more different from Lululemon's debut outdoors collection. While the latter is all about making a statement in adaptable, fashion-forward designs, Inov-8 has pared things back with ultra-functional, streamlined pieces that are designed to move naturally with the wearer's body.

inov-8 VENTURELITE hiking collection, modelled by runners on a mountainside

(Image credit: inov-8)

"We've seen the continued growth in popularity of faster-paced hiking and want to give these outdoor lovers the same speedy feel that trail runners enjoy from their clothing but with the necessary hiking twists," comments inov-8's Helen Stuart. "We’ve kept all the garments super-lightweight by removing unnecessary features and instead sharply focused on the things which hikers really need to safely go faster on trails and chase down mountain summits." 

The current collection includes trousers, shorts, mid-layers and T-shirts for men and women, and there's a three-layer waterproof hike jacket promised for autumn. How will they compare to the rest of the best base layers and walking trousers on the market? We'll report back once we've had a chance to test them out. 

inov-8 VENTURELITE hiking collection, modelled by runners on a mountainside

(Image credit: inov-8)

There are similarities with the brand's current trail running range – and you could certainly mix and match the two – but the hike collection is slightly more relaxed, robust and less outright athletic feeling. It's designed to offer more protection from the elements, for multi-day wear over longer excursions. It's the culmination of a two-year design and research process, with plenty of testing from experienced hikers in and around Inov-8's Lake District base. 

There's also, as we'd expect from any major brand these days, to be honest, a nod to sustainability. Two-thirds of the styles contain recycled yarns (although we're not sure how much), and everything comes packaged in biodegradable polybags. Check out the new range here (opens in new tab).

Ruth Hamilton
Ruth Hamilton

Ruth is T3's Outdoors editor, reviewing and writing about everything from camping gear and hiking boots to mountain bikes, drones and paddle boards. To counter all that effort, she also runs the site's Wellness channel, which includes sleep, relaxation, yoga and general wellbeing. She has tested more mattresses than her small flat can handle, and has had to implement a one-in-one-out pillow policy, for fear of getting smothered in the night.