New look inov-8 orienteering shoes coming in April 2010


oroc™ 280 – The World’s lightest Orienteering Shoe

April 2010  will see inov-8 introduce three new dobbed orienteering shoes into the market, with the oroc™ 280, oroc™ 340 and oroc™ 350 (the numbers, as with the rest of the inov-8 range, refer to the weight of the shoes) offering a range of options from a lightweight race specific shoe to more comfortable and hardier orienteering shoes.

After years of being faced with limited choice in the orienteering shoes market, with VJ and Jalas/Olway holding a near monopoly for many years, while inroads were made by Silva and some relying on their trusty Walshes, recent years have seen many orienteers jump over to inov-8's. inov-8's first steps into the orienteering market were in 2006 with the Mudclaw 330, which provided a great crossover from the fellrunning market, while the dobbed 340 O was also introduced.

At the time they divided opinion, with many claiming they'd found the perfect orienteering shoe, while for others blisters and the loss of dobs proved troublesome. Next year we're sure we'll see a whole new raft of opinions as inov-8 launch a brand new range of orienteering shoes onto the market in April, strengthening their position as market leaders in specialist off-road shoes. They’ve taken previous problems on board and had orienteers such as Graham Gristwood, Oli Johnson and Sarah Rollins testing the new range to help refine the new shoes further.

All this sounds promising, with the lightest version aimed at being a lightweight race specific shoe which is based on the road running (and urban orienteering) favourite the x-talon, but with an orienteering specific outsole. The oroc outsole, which which won an award at the European Outdoor show earlier in the year,  is standard across the range, featuring tungsten carbide metal dobs, dual density rubber and a flexible supportive sole.

One of the problems faced by the earlier mudclaw orienteering shoes was the dobs falling out, so the new dual density rubber fixes this. The harder rubber preventing the dobs being ripped out while the softer rubber provides a stickier grip on bare rock. The dobs also protrude less than with more traditional dobbed shoes, making for a more comfortable running experience when you hit tracks and roads. It is claimed that after a year of testing they’ve yet to lose any dobs from the new shoes, so lessons have clearly been learnt in the development process.

We’ll report back with more on the new range after we’ve done our own testing, but here’s what inov-8 have to say about their new shoes:

oroc™ 280 – The World’s lightest Orienteering Shoe

The oroc™ 280 offers an incredible fusion of low weight, superb traction and maximum breathability. It is a performance racing shoe designed to make the difference when every second counts. The microfibre tongue ensures that the shoes remain comfortable event when laced tightly and provides additional protection from dirt and debris. The uppers are made from the same material as the World Championship winning x-talon™ 212 and do not absorb any water, which means the oroc™ 280 remains light and fast regardless of the underfoot conditions. Capable of producing winning splits in all types of terrain, the 2 Arrow Shoc-Zone™ under foot protection provides instant proprioceptive response to changes in ground type and aspect.

oroc™ 340 – Comfort Orienteering Trainer/Racer

Taking the principles of low weight, superb traction and maximum breathability from the OROC™ 280, the OROC™ 340 is beefed up with additional padding to improve comfort and a more substantial rand to provide increased levels of protection and durability. The OROC™ 340 is perfect for classic races, long training sessions and for any orienteer looking for more comfort than is offered by traditional O shoes.

oroc™ 350 - Winter Orienteering Trainer/Racer

With 3 Arrow Shoc-Zone™ under foot protection, the OROC™ 350 completes this range of orienteering footwear and with different levels of cushioning.  The Velcro sealing lace guard provides enhanced protection from dirt and debris and prevents the laces freezing together when used in winter conditions. Perfect for those cold Scandinavian mornings… and afternoons! The additional 1 Arrow Shoc-Zone™ under foot protection over the oroc™ 280 and 340 mean that the oroc™ 350 is better suited to heavier orienteers running on harder ground, who want greater levels of comfort.

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