While the Inov-8 Roclite 315 GTX shoes are aimed at trail runners, they are also a great choice for the trail walker who likes their shoes lightweight, flexible and with plenty of grip. If you like to deviate from the trail for a scramble there and a tree climb here, or want shoes that will make lightly-packed fast walking missions more pleasant and efficient, then we recommend you try these.
There are both men's and women's versions of this shoe. We tried out the women's version, and they earned themselves a strong place in our ranking of the best women's walking shoes. For some more alternatives, see our list of the best walking shoes for men and the best trail running shoes.
- Need something more robust? These are the best hiking boots for men
- ... and the best women's hiking boots
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The GORE-TEX membrane prevents water ingress from the sides (though obviously this won't help if your foot is submerged), the tongue is designed to prevent debris getting in, and there's a hook to attach gaiters too if you want to up the bad weather protection.
We did find the laces finer and more fiddly than on other walking shoes we tested, and the lacing system means you need to maintain tension while tying them or they'll loosen, which is irritating.
The fit around the foot is a great blend of comfort, support and flexibility. The design of the inner incorporates a padding that cushions and holds the heel in place, meaning the shoe moves with the foot and reduces the chance of blisters or rubbing (pair with a pair of the best walking socks for further protection).
While the outsole and midsole is at the more flexible end of the off-road shoe spectrum, the 'META-PLATE' feature – a plate that sits under the mid-foot – adds stiffness that makes these shoes suited to longer walks too. This plate supports the arch meaning less fatigue when you've been stomping around for hours on uneven ground.
If your walks tend to take you to places where paths are scarce or muddy, or if there's a lot of slick, wet grass or rock on your routes, these shoes have proven traction and grip you can rely on. The ROCLITE outsole from which the shoes get their name combines zoned rubber compounds designed to provide long-lasting and durable grip on the heel plus soft and grippy rubber towards the edge of the shoe.
There also a seriously chunky tread pattern, with large toothed lugs that dig into mud, but with enough space between the lugs that the shoes don't get choked up, because there's nothing worse than having to prize tussocks of mud off your shoes every five steps.