inov-8 Roclite 268/295 (Spring 2013)
Editor's Choice: 9.5 ounces / 9mm drop (268) / 10.4 ounces / 6mm drop (295) / $120
The Dirt: The Roclite comes in gender-specific models: the 268 is built on a women-specific last, with a narrower heel. Both models feature relatively low heel-to-toe drops, but the men’s 295 is more scant at 6mm.
Suitable for long distances and providing exceptional grip in muddy conditions, the Roclite gave testers confidence on the slickest, most technical terrain. Testers also praised the overall sturdiness of the shoe. Said one tester, “The fabric is thick around the bottom without being overbearing.”
Best For: In the words of one tester, “The Roclite really shines when navigating wet rocks, crusty snow or twisted roots.”
Traction: The sticky-rubber lugs grip well in mud and on wet rock—though beware that the softer rubber compound may wear out faster than harder rubbers.
Fit: Both models run about a half-size big, with ample width throughout.
The Downsides: The Roclite 268/295 can feel a little stiff out of the box, though most testers said it loosened up after a few runs.
Tester-Monial: “The Roclite feels like a compact, lightweight, bendable piece of armor for your feet.”
—Jenn Hughes, Sammamish, WA
Check out the other 10 shoes in our Spring 2013 Shoe Review.