Super comfortable, extremely light and impressively made with mostly recycled materials, the Roclite Recycled 310s are good for fast-paced adventures on trails, but they’re not waterproof and provide only minimal protection.
Lightweight and breathable
Low level of foot protection
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inov-8 Roclite Recycled 310: first impressions
Best known among trail runners and hill walkers for ruthlessly performance-orientated shoes and boots with super durable, award-winning soles made from graphene, British brand inov-8 now look to be making positive steps in the direction of sustainability too – if these inov-8 Roclite Recycled 310 trail hiking shoes are anything to go by.
Made from 90 per cent recycled materials – primarily previously discarded plastic bottles – the Roclite Recycled 310s have a pleasingly light environmental footprint. Even the laces are recycled, and the midsole features foam that’s 10 per cent algae biomass (which contributes positively to the environment when harvested).
But how did they fare under test conditions for our best hiking shoes buying guide? Read on…
• RRP: $150 (US) / £130 (UK)
• Gender specificity: Men’s / Women’s
• Materials: Knitted 100% recycled rPET yarn upper; Bloom foam midsole (10% algae biomass); natural gum rubber undyed outsole
• Weight (per shoe): 310g / 10.9oz
• Colors: Green & Gum / Navy & Gray
• Compatibility: Hiking and fastpacking in warmer conditions
inov-8 Roclite Recycled 310: on the trails
I have been testing the Roclite Recycled 310s on coastal and countryside trails all around the South West of England and on the North Downs in the South East, wearing them on long and short hikes across various terrain types. It has been exceptionally dry, it has to be said, leading to concrete-hard conditions underfoot.
In some respects, however, dry conditions suit these shoes, since they are not waterproof. Typically I do prefer walking shoes (as opposed to running shoes) to offer some protection against getting wet feet, but the lack of a waterproof membrane does mean they breath really well, and the lightweight mesh upper dries quickly of they do get a soaking.
Pitched towards walkers and fastpackers who want to stay nimble and quick, the Roclite Recycled 310s are as comfortable as slippers, extremely lightweight and easy to wear, and the relatively small heel-to-toe drop (8mm) keeps your center of gravity nice and low.
However, they are not especially supportive or well-armed for providing foot protection – while there is a rand of sorts around the mostly mesh upper, it’s not going to put up much of a fight against sharp stones and sticks. They’re not shoes for wearing while carrying a heavy load, being best-suited to day walks and fastpacking adventures.
There’s no graphene in the studs of these shoes, but the 6mm lugs on the natural gum outsole are very grippy, and the design didn’t collect too much mud when I managed to find some mucky trails.
The Metaflex feature means they move dynamically with your feet, providing decent levels of trail feedback and making them slipper-level comfortable. The look and colors used are both quite understated, but this fits well with the excellent eco-conscious approach of these shoes.
Writer, editor and enthusiast of anything involving boots, bikes, boats, beers and bruises, Pat has spent 20 years pursuing adventure stories. En route he’s canoed Canada’s Yukon River, climbed Mont Blanc and Kilimanjaro, skied and mountain biked through the Norwegian Alps, run an ultra across the roof of Mauritius, and set short-lived records for trail-running Australia’s highest peaks and New Zealand’s Great Walks. He’s authored walking guides to Devon (opens in new tab) and Dorset (opens in new tab), and once wrote a whole book about Toilets (opens in new tab) for Lonely Planet. Follow Pat’s escapades here (opens in new tab).
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