The Sportsshoes x inov-8 'Venture lighter, faster' Hiking Collection
Written By: SportsShoes
Venture lighter and faster with Sportsshoes and inov-8, as 6 experienced hikers share a selection of their favourite fast-hikes in the Lake District, UK.
Take a look at this Collection to find some clothing and inspiration for your next adventure!
- Glenridding Dodd (2.95 miles)
- Castle Crag (2.5 miles)
- Stickle Tarn (3 miles)
- Dodd Fell (4.6 miles)
- Wansfell Pike (7.8 miles)
- Sale Fell (2.8 miles)
1. Glenridding Dodd (2.95 miles)
Glenridding Dodd is a great fell that often gets overlooked by the more-famous Helvellyn. The views from the top are great and overlook Glenridding and Ullswater. You can even see Helvllyn and the surrounding peaks if the weather is clear. Whilst up here, I have been lucky enough to see low flying military aircraft pass over the fells. In the shop at Ullswater Information Centre you can purchase a great photo of these aircraft if you are not as lucky as I was.
I used all of the inov-8 VENTURELITE Hiking kit for this walk, but I was particularly impressed by the inov-8 VENTURELITE 25 Backpack. I like that you can access the main body of the pack without the need to remove it via a cleaver zip. The two side compartments have plenty of space for water bottles and easy to access items. The main compartment has plenty of room for the hiking essentials. When the weight of the pack increases you can modify the carrying set up via a Velcro system in the rear of the pack. The waist belts provide added security and space with a zip pocket on one side and an elasticated pocket on the other, perfect for gloves, hat or buff.
Route and images by Chris Gaskin
2. Castle Crag (2.5 miles)
I chose to hike Castle Crag because it’s a great mini mountain (the only Wainwright below 1,000ft) with stunning views across Upper Borrowdale Valley, Glaramara, Scafell, Scafell Pike and the summit view of Derwent Water with Skiddaw and Blencathra. It holds a special something for me as Borrowdale was also my Great Grandads favourite valley.
I hiked with my Mum and Dad starting from Rosthwaite National Trust Carpark. Carpark access is good with another option directly behind the National Trust carpark at the Borrowdale Institute.
At the summit we sat for a while soaking in the scenery of Derwent Water. There is also a war memorial to the men of Borrowdale.
From the new inov-8 VENTURELITE Hiking range, I really like the VENTURELITE Mid Half Zip because it's lightweight and comfortable. It fits nicely over my T-shirt not causing any restrictions when moving. It has a handy watch window in the sleeve and is easy to pack when taking off.
The VENTURELITE Mid Hooded top is also amazing. It has a lovely satin type feel to the fabric and is warm and comfortable. If the wind gets up I found the hood to be very handy! Plus, the two pockets at the front are large enough to fit your hands fully in or your phone!
Route and images by Laura Potter
3. Stickle Tarn (3 miles)
As a long-term, passionate fan of inov-8 trail shoes and apparel, I was delighted to see the launch of their first-ever hiking range, specifically designed for light and fast hiking. And what better place to test this new range of kit than in Langdale, my favourite valley in the Lake District, the home of inov-8.
The climb to Stickle Tarn is a popular one as it’s short, sharp and simple to navigate. The main path is steep and technical in parts, so it’s best to wear a good pair of hiking shoes. I wore my trusty pair of inov-8 ROCFLY G 390 which are ideal for this kind of terrain and hike because they have excellent grip and they’re just super-comfortable to wear. This fast-hiking shoe combines the lightweight features of a trail shoe with the durability and support of a traditional hiking boot, essentially giving you the best of both worlds. What I also love about this particular model is the ADAPTER-FLEX technology in the midsole, which allows the shoe to adapt and react to challenging terrain like no other- perfect for negotiating the lumps and bumps of the Lake District!
My circular route can easily be extended into a bigger loop to climb some, or all, of the famous Langdale Pikes. You can do this by climbing from the tarn (on the left-hand side) to Harrison’s Stickle, or turn right and take the paths to Thunacar Knott or Sergeant Man. For those feeling particularly adventurous, there is also the dangerous scramble called Jack’s Rake on Pavey Ark.
WARNING: Only experienced and confident walkers should attempt this scramble and DO NOT attempt in wet or poor weather conditions.
For each of these additional route choices, I also recommend hiking to Pike of Stickle and Loft Crag, before descending back to the start.
I always like to travel fast and light, so wearing shoes and apparel that serves this exact purpose makes such a big difference to my adventures. My favourite piece of kit from this new range of clothing are the VENTURELITE pants. They are unbelievably comfortable to wear and extremely versatile. Not only do I wear them for hiking, I also wear them round the house or casually out and about. The material is really soft and stretchy and just feels great against your skin. The problem is not having an extra pair to wear when they're in the wash!
I particularly love the stretchy waist band, which plays a huge part in enhancing comfort levels, plus the practical zipped pockets on the hips and waist band. Both the length and streamlined fit of the trousers are excellent and they sit really well on top of lower profile walking shoes or mid-length boots.
Route and images by Ben Mounsey
4. Dodd Fell (4.6 miles)
I live on the outskirts of the Lake District and this hike - a simple loop from the Forestry England car park (CA12 4QE) to the wonderful 1,612ft summit of Dodd - is one of my local hikes. It is perfect for the whole family, with good paths, excellent waymarking, epic panoramas across Derwentwater and Bassenthwaite, and a great cafe (The Old Sawmill Tearoom) for a post-hike coffee and cake. Dodd is one of the 214 Wainwright fells in the Lake District and a first-rate 'starter' fell for anyone dipping their toes into the world of fellwalking. I hiked this route with my two nephews (aged 7 and 9) and my brother, his wife and my girlfriend - a real family affair.
I wore the VENTURELITE Mid Hooded top , which is part of the brand new inov-8 hiking range, and it hit the spot, providing the touch of warmth I needed in a stiff breeze without being overly bulky or restrictive. I love the hood, the slightly fleecy inner and the lightweight, athletic cut.
Route and images by James Forrest
5. Wansfell Pike (7.8 miles)
As an apparel designer and product developer for inov-8 I get to combine my background in fashion design and outdoor retail with my passion for the outdoors. I’m always in search of the next adventure and the kit that will enrichen my experiences, so to be part of exciting developments is a dream come true.
As much as I enjoy challenging myself, I am also very happy to enjoy shorter hikes in a more leisurely pace when in good company. My chosen route is easily accessible by car or public transport from Ambleside and it is suitable for novices and families alike, while still offering stunning views for the experienced hiker. If you’re bagging Wainwright peaks the short detour from Wansfell Pike to Baystones will allow you tick another one off the list.
My inov-8 ROCFLY G 390 boots have seen many miles in the Lakes during my multiday hikes this spring and summer. I know they’ll remain comfortable day in and day out thanks to the wider fit. The outsole offers good grip and plenty of enough energy return which helps to propel me further even on tired legs. Being non waterproof they breathe well so I don’t overheat on warmer days, while I also know they will drain well if they get wet and will dry reasonably fast. I have the shoe version too and I’ll be taking them (ROCFLY G 350) as my choice of shoe for a two week hike in the Alps.
The inov-8 VENTURELITE 25 Backpack is another piece of kit that uses light but sturdy fabrics to keep overall weight down. The removable and adjustable hip belt has stretchy pockets great for an easy-access snack, and the bottle pockets are nice and deep to keep your water bottles secure even if you go decide to go downhill with a skip in your step.
Route and images by Mirjam Kallis
6. Sale Fell (2.8 miles)
Sale Fell is one of my favourite local fells to take a brisk walk on summer evening. The route starts on the Routenbeck road to the north of Sale Fell. This circular route takes hikers to the western side of the fell, approaching the summit with the Skiddaw massif rising up to the east. The route then continues over Rivings and Lothwaite, where my favourite view over Bassenthwaite Lake comes into view. This time of day is especially beautiful, as the sun prepares to drop below the horizon. The route then heads back towards Routenbeck to finish.
Route and images by Nic Hardy
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