Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Slip, slip slipping away: A review of the inov-8 315 shoes

I have been a long term user of inov-8 shoes, firstly the Flyrocs then the 370/390 boots and more recently the 288 boots and the 315 shoes. I have tried Terrocs, but the heel cup does not work for me. On my tour along the Nordkalotteleden in 2012 I used a pair of 315's and was very pleased with them, in particular their breathability, their ability to dry quickly and grip in most conditions.


Roclite 315

In my view the major fault of the older style 315's was the fabric loops for the laces and once they broke (wore out) the shoe was rendered useless. I was pleased therefore when I saw that these had been replaced by eyelets reinforced with plastic in the updated model.




In recent times, however, I have been using inov-8 295's and had intended to use them up north this summer.
2013-02-07 11.12.05

Sadly as I began to search for a new pair in my size (UK 13) I found that there was none available till after summer as a consequence I purchased a pair of the newer model of the 315's.

Farum Sø

Phillip (Sectionhiker) had already indicted his concerns about the fabric being used in the uppers of the new Terrocs. I was somewhat concerned when mine arrived and I found how stiff the upper fabric was. Furthermore, I noticed that the attachment of the tongue to the upper near the toes left a large "flap" that rubbed the toes as I put the shoes on. Hoping that this would not be a problem after a bit of use was my first mistake, as I soon found that within a few kilometres of walking with a fully loaded pack. The tops of all my toes on both feet were red and some already had broken skin. That night after everything was dry I taped all my toes and placed duct tape over the offending loose fabric and my toes were forever grateful.

However, as I have already mentioned the fabric was stiff and worse it was not breathable and did not dry, in other words it Continually Retained Atmospheric Precipitation (C.R.A.P. for short) thus I may as well have been wearing gtx shoes as once they were wet they rarely approached dryness for the remainder of the walk.

But there is more, whilst I did not expect miracles when it came to traction I found the grip of these shoes as being equivalent to Curling Stones on Ice, in other words very limited.

The offending shoes are still in good condition after more than 330 kilometres of mud, rock, grass and gravel.

P7212126

To say the least I am very disappointed, and I have the bruises and scars to prove it. It appears to me that the workmanship and quality of inov-8 shoes has deteriorated and given the need to pay international shipping rates to obtain the styles I prefer, in my size, I feel that my days of wearing inov-8 shoes are numbered. Consequently as I write this I have begun exploring brands that firstly offer shoes in my size and that are readily available in brick and mortar stores in my country of residence.

Whilst I appreciate some readers will offer suggestions, both Ecco Biom and La Sportiva are most likely too small, while Salomon and Merrell may be options.