Where to get in NZ: Various Outdoor Stores, see https://inov-8.co.nz/pages/stockists
Typical Retail price: $140
The Roclite 295 is a good shoe for doing some basic off road, heavy trail and some minor off trail running. They are a good, reasonably durable all around shoe for a mixture of terrain. I wouldn’t use them for much longer than 4+ hours as they lacked the cushioning for that sort of duration of race. I didn’t like that they only came in the standard fit size, this meant I wasn’t as confident off trail as I would have been in the 243’s. They also lack the speedy look and feel that the 243’s had so they are not what I would see as a replacement for the 243’s but maybe a level back from a race shoe to a more general and training type shoe.
I got these shoes initially for a 12 hour Rogaine, having run in the Roclite 243’s religiously and with a bit more weight behind the 295’s I thought they might be a little bit more solid for spending more time on my feet . The 243’s were a little bit hard on the feet over the four hour mark, and as it turned out the 295’s didn’t perform much different to the 243’s. The bigger toe box area meant that the shoes were not as tight around my foot, which possibly made them feel a little flatter and harder?
These shoes have the standard Roclite tread pattern, exactly the same as the previous 243’s. I really like this sole for a mixture of trail and “route” type terrain, not quite a track but not quite full on off road. The lower profile of the studs allows for good traction in the mud but also good grip on wet rocks. With this tread pattern I have the confidence to know that 85% of the time I am not going to slip when I jump onto that rock in front of me.
These style of roclites only come in the standard fit size range. I prefer the precision fit as I like have a tight fitting shoes especially for off road running, but for a wider foot they probably fit quite nicely. The standard fit has a bit more room in the toe box so your foot can be a bit freer which is nice over a long distance. The sole is still quite low profile and I did start to get sore feet from the lack of support after around 8+ hours. I did another trail run in them over about 5-6 hours I thought they were pretty solid for that distance, I probably wouldn’t have wanted to run too much longer in them but was just comfortable for that length of time.
This version of roclite 295 has a good durable lip above the sole connecting it to the upper of the shoe. In particular the toe box area is very robust and the sole has shown no signs of peeling away from the upper like previous shoes of its type. The heal area is again very sturdy and made of good material that has lasted the distance quite well. The downfall of the upper is that in an effort tot keep it light the mesh is not super tough, and again the plastic shoe lace straps are not enough to maintain the structure. I had a blow out at the inside on the right shoe between the rubber lip and the upper. The mesh tore and the plastic strap like material eventually also tore creating quite a large opening.
These shoes came out in NZ in mid 2016 in bright blue and yellow, looking quite similar to a pair of Hoka’s I have seen floating around about the same time. They have some good looking stylised contours on the black part of the shoes. I thought the combination of the colours with the style of shoe worked well together and made them stand out but also look good at the same time. The general shape and look to them doesn’t scream out “fast” however, the upper part of the sole is quite high and round when new and the general feel doesn’t make me feel fast in them either!
The cost was about standard for an Off-road, trail type shoe, originally retailing at around $200. You can now pick up a pair for about $140 and in my opinion this is probably more what they are worth, they are not going to last forever due to their lightweight nature but if you are looking for that edge with speed and comfort over terrain than they are probably perfect.