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Inov-8 Roclite best shoe for the Coast to Coast

Inov-8 Roclite best shoe for the Coast to Coast

Dougal Allan, Coast to Coast Champion 2019, shares why he wears Inov-8 Roclite shoes on this event.

When it comes to NZ’s premier endurance race – the Coast to Coast (which doubles as the World Multisport Championships) there is really no event like it. There is something unique and special about crossing New Zealand’s South Island under your own steam and doing it by running over the rugged main divide of the Southern Alps and down through the wild waters of the Waimakariri River.

When it comes to the mountain run, there is always a hot debate about the perfect shoe to wear. We ask a lot from a shoe in this unique environment. It needs to be light enough to drain water well and not become a burden when being drowned through 20-30x river crossings. It needs to grip to wet rocks, tree roots, muddy trails and riverbeds. It needs to be stable enough to offer reassurance across technical and unpredictable surfaces. It needs to be durable in the most unforgiving of running experiences where sharp rocks, mud and branches come from all angles constantly. Finally, it needs to offer protection underfoot given the impact forces that are inevitable over 30km of running in the mountains.

In my early years in the Coast to Coast I had resigned myself to the fact that these were just too many qualities to ask for in a shoe and there needed to be compromise at some stage. I had tried a number of established running shoe brands and many ticked a few boxes, but none ticked all. Then I discovered the Inov-8 Roclite range and everything suddenly fell into place. That was in 2011 and it remains my trusted shoe of choice to this day.

It is amazing to think there is a shoe that is rugged and durable, yet nimble and light. It has enough substance to offer optimal foot protection, while shedding water seconds after a river crossing. Above all however, it is the grip that stands it above anything I have ever used. When you are jumping from one house-sized boulder to another with nothing to break your fall other than a Grade-4-looking rapid a few meters below, you want to know your shoe will stick to the landing pad. I have full trust in my Roclite’s – even when throwing some pretty ambitious tests at them over the years. This was before their Graphene or ‘G-Grip’ technology, which somehow and rather remarkably seems to have taken the grip to an even high level of certainty.

When I line up to try and defend my Coast to Coast title in February there will be no guarantees of my result. But one thing I can guarantee is the footwear you’ll see me wearing during the run.


Photo Credits: Korupt Vision