Having spent most of last summer trekking using the inov8 345 we were excited about the prospect of using the Roclite Pro G 400 for our late autumn and early spring activities. Having found the 345's to be a fantastic lightweight mid-boot for ultralight adventures over dry and rocky ground, once it came to travelling off path through course heather, deep bog and mud, they did begin to show some weakness, especially in terms of a deterioration in the upper fabric. With inov8 stating the Pro G 400 to be designed for ‘serious outdoor adventures’ and boasting a ‘Schoeller ceramic-coated fabric upper and waterproof GORE-TEX lining for the ultimate in strength, protection and durability in all weather conditions,’ we were eager to put the Pro 400 G into territory which the 345's struggled.
To start off with, the Pro G 400 are the closest we have used to being a proper ‘walking boot’ from inov8 in terms of the shape and support. On first appearance we found it hard to believe the Pro G 400 would weigh in at a mere 830 grams for the pair in a size 9. Compared to most super light boots they didn’t have that instant fear that in a few months’ time they would start to fall to pieces.
The upper Schoeller ceramic-coated fabric, which has a design style with small dots in hexagonal shapes, is an almost singular piece of fabric, which avoids the issue of stitching becoming detached through abrasion. There is stiffened support at the heel, a rubberized toe rand, cushioning at the ankle, and added underfoot protection of the carbon infused Mata Plate Pro. Overall this makes for a supportive boot with absolutely no question that the Pro G 400 is built to handle much more than just the paths and trails.
Almost straight out of the box (after a quick jaunt in a local wood) we used the Pro G 400 along mixed terrain on a Deeside loop taking in 3 Munros and near to 35km in distance. The comfort and support were outstanding, as too was the level of waterproofing, something we didn’t think we would get to say when it comes to a pair of inov8's. The GORE-TEX lining we found to work well keeping our feet dry on the inside, although having not used the Pro G 400 on a particularly warm day as of yet we are interested to see how they would perform once summer arrives, as they do come across as a slightly warmer boot compared to the 345’s.
The lacing system is simple but performs well keeping a solid hold to the foot. The small hooks around the ankles aid in keeping laces locked in place with very little play after a full day’s walk. The laces included, like many brands seem to offer, are ridiculously long but they can be easily replaced or shortened.
Footwear is only as good as its sole and it’s great to be using once again inov8’s G Grip with deep 6mm lugs and water dispersal channels. They really are the best around and we had no issues from slick wet rock in Torridon to boglands in the Cairngorms. These should definitely not be considered as winter mountain boots, although we did find for low level walks through snow and ice the grip was still decent enough. The overall fit was just on the edge of being too wide for our foot shape. The heel is much slimmer that the toe end with no issues of our heel riding up. The sole is mostly flat and wide which is great for gripping onto different surfaces, on the other side this made for issues when using a gaiter with a wide rubber foot strap as it was difficult to secure in place. Also, on steeper ground it became difficult to edge the Pro G 400’s large sole into small gaps in the rock and for future use we instead opted for a slightly narrower boot for more technical scrambling.
Super lightweight and comfortable the Pro G 400 are a great option for multi-terrain adventures in the great outdoors. The star of the show is the unrivalled G-Grip with deep lugs that clung onto just about every surface we came across. A carbon infused Mata Plate Pro and stiffened heel support gave the boot good stability whilst wearing a moderate weight pack for multi-day expeditions. The main issue we have had with inov8 footwear in the past is due to its lightweight nature for all their great attributes they don’t tend to last very long. The upper fabric can often deteriorate much before the soles have even started to show real signs of wear. The Pro G 400 are definitely an improvement and after much use in multiple activities including long days in the hills, mountain biking and packrafting, they have held up very well. There is a slight bit of damage to the toe rand but nothing to really make us worry that the rest of the boot will soon follow suit. The Schoeller ceramic-coated fabric really has been a game changer for us and although the fit could have been just a touch tighter this is by far the best ‘walking boot’ we have used from Inov8.
Trek Scotland is a small family business based in the picturesque village of Tomintoul in the North East region of the Cairngorms National Park. They provide bespoke Mountain Guiding for Single Day Walks and Lightweight Multiday Trekking experiences, including wild camping, in the stunning Cairngorms wilderness and surrounding areas. Whether in the high mountains or lower valleys, their Multiday Treks are equipped with high quality, lightweight camping and trekking gear. They only work with small groups and, whatever your ability, pride themselves on designing your outdoor experience completely to your needs and with professional guidance and expertise. Adventure is waiting...