Review: Inov-8 F-Lite 235 v2

Colorway (Grey/Blue/Black)

Inov-8 F-Lite 235 v2

The first shoe I reviewed on this blog was the Inov-8 F-Lite 235. I loved that shoe. It was light, looked great and felt awesome during workouts. The new version was released late last year and I have been using them for about three months. So far they are great but I have some issues with them.

Specs

Fit – Standard
Drop – 0mm
Weight – 235g
Sole Compound – Sticky
*Specs taken from Inov-8 Website.

Looks, Fit and Construction

Looks

The first colorway that interested me was the red/blue sketch that Inov-8 Training posted on their Instagram.

Screenshot taken from @inov8training Instagram profile

I love the red and blue color scheme which is why I purchased the first version in that color. Unfortunately, the sketch was not a production color. After looking at the launch colorways, I decided on the grey/blue/black version. The shoe resembles many of the shoes in the Inov-8 catalog and is not something completely different like the original 235’s.

Fit

I ordered my pair from Zappos.com, in the same size as the v1’s. I am not sure if I received a defective pair but they were a little more than a half size too big. I had to ship it back for a half size smaller. When I got the new pair, it still felt a little big but not by too much. I had more room in the toe box compared to the original.

Construction

After using the shoes for about five months, they are holding up great. No rips or tears from rope climbs or general use. The only issue that I have is with the rubber label on the tongue. It was attached using some kind of adhesive and has started to come off. It’s not a big deal but it’s the only flaw I can find in the shoes. The mesh is also showing some signs of wear where the shoe flexes. It looks like it will hold up.

Performance

If you are a fan of the original 235’s, you will like this version. Since it’s not as snug, I was afraid my feet would be sliding around during workouts and lifts. I have used these shoes for almost six months and almost any workout. They held up against olympic lifts, metcons, squats and deadlifts. The soles felt sturdy during squats and flexible during runs. Power transfer was not an issue during heavy lifts thanks to the dense sole.

Rope climbs feel great as well. They grip the rope better than the Metcon 2. Better technique might be able to explain that however. I set some pr’s while wearing the v2’s, a new power clean pr and a few metcon pr’s. Check out my Instagram or the Barbells and Boxcars for videos of me wearing them.

Final Thoughts

The v2’s is a great follow up to the original 235’s. It does what good shoes are supposed to do, let you forget about them. I did not think about my shoes during workouts and did not have to switch them out when heavier lifts were programmed into the workout. It could be that I’m getting better at the movements but the shoes definitely help. If you can get passed the aesthetics, these will be a great buy.

Lift Heavy and Level Up!

Review: Inov-8 Trailroc 245

The only pair of running shoes that I own are a pair of Kayano 21’s and my other shoes are for CrossFit. Since I don’t have an old pair of shoes that I would be okay with ruining, I decided to buy a pair of trail shoes for the Konqer OCR. I read a lot of good things about Inov-8’s trail running/mud shoes and I found a good deal online for the Trailroc 245’s.

 

Looks and Fit

The shoe looks like has the usual Inov-8 design, which is not a bad thing. The shoe is made up of a soft mesh which feels durable and breathable. The toe area is also reinforced with a fuse material design. The sole looks like it will maintain grip on the muddy trails.I thought this shoe was true to size. I ordered my regular size and it fit well. The toe box is a little wide which is great for people with wider feet. After lacing up and walking around a bit, I couldn’t wait to hit the course!

 

Performance

Konquer was my first OCR, and I don’t normally do trail runs. My running experience is all on pavement so I didn’t know what to expect out of this shoe. The first leg of the run was done on loose gravel and mud. The traction was great. I didn’t slip or slide on the steep inclines. My fellow teammates wore normal running shoes and they were having some traction issues. 

During the mud section, the bottom of the shoe was covered in mud. I felt like I was running in cement shoes. After jogging on dry dirt/gravel, the mud would fall off and my shoes would feel light again. The water also drained quickly leaving only my socks feeling full of water. The shoe also handles rocks and other sharp obstacles well. I could still feel the ground but I wasn’t worried about injuring my feet.

Final Thoughts

This is a great overall trail shoe and I’m happy with the performance. I was nervous during the race and the last thing I wanted to worry about was my shoe. The durability might be an issue since the material is soft. Sharp limestone rocks are all around trails on Guam but I believe they will hold up. After I put some miles in, I’ll update this post. I’m excited to do more runs in these. 

*This model may have been discontinued which is why it was on sale for a low price. 

 

Lift Heavy and Level Up!

Review: Inov-8 Fastlift 335

After talking to a few members and coaches about weightlifting (Oly) shoes, I decided to take the plunge and order a pair. The hardest part was deciding which shoe to purchase and what fits my budget. I settled on the Inov-8 Fastlift 335 because of its price point, versatility and availability. I have been using these shoes for a little more than a year and they have been great.

Looks and Fit

The Fastlifts come in a variety of colors but my favorite colorway is the black and red. The materials used were ripstop nylon as well as other synthetics. The heel platform is different from other lifting shoes that I’ve seen. Instead of a wedge it has a “power truss” which look like columns. I think the columns make the shoe lighter while still providing the same stability as a wedge. The shoe has one strap which keeps your foot locked down and instead of a rigid midsole this shoe also has a metaflex system. The flex point should help during movements like box jumps and brupees.

Since these were my first pair of weightlifting shoes I didn’t know what the fit was supposed to be like. A lot of articles online recommended a snug fit. The Inov-8 website recommends a half size up from your f-lites, but I decided to get my normal size. If they didn’t fit well I could always return them. Thankfully they fit well, not loose or too snug. Fastlifts are light weighing only 335 g or around 12 oz. I would be doing some olympic lifts in the coming weeks which gave me a great opportunity to test them.

Performance and Durability

This is my first pair of Oly shoes and I did not know what to expect. I tested these shoes during heavy lifting days and I did some metcons as well.

Heavy Lifting Days

The advantages of Oly shoes can be felt immediately. My ankle and hip mobility are not great; these shoes help keep me on my heels and maintain a more vertical torso. During heavy squats I’m able to push into the heels without the give from regular CrossFit shoes. Snatches and clean and jerks feel better in the Fastlifts. The first and second pulls felt easier and my turnover feels faster. With all these advantages I managed to hit a clean PR at 165 lb. during the first week, adding 10 lb. to my clean. I was able to also PR my snatch but that was a few weeks after my clean PR.

WODs

I would use these shoes for WODs that had moderate to heavy barbell movements. I wouldn’t use them for WODs that had running in them however since the raised heel would kill my running form. During WODs these shoes do not feel heavier than normal shoes which was a concern since those extra ounces add up. The shoes are flexible and do not hinder movements like box jumps or burpees.

Durability

So far these shoes have held up great and still look fairly new. All of the pictures featured in this post were taken a week ago and I’ve been using these shoes almost every week since I got them. I only use these shoes indoors and during certain workouts which helps with longevity.

Final Thoughts

I bought these shoes mainly because of the price, hybrid functionality and online availability. At the time these shoes were $150 but they may be cheaper now. I’m not sure if these would be better than the other hybrid shoes on the market but they are definitely well worth the price. If you have any questions or comments, leave them below.

Lift Heavy and Level Up!

CrossFit Progress: New Clean and Jerk PR!

I finally hit a PR on my clean and jerk. My previous PR was 205 lb. and today I lifted 215 lb. I learned that your mental state plays a big role in heavy lifts. I made two attempts at 205 and missed one of them. The difference between the two lifts were my mental state. I wasn’t 100% during my missed lift; I wasn’t focused. After reevaluating and some notes from my coaches I made the lift. I felt really good after and decided to try and PR.

Thankfully, it only took one attempt. My coaches were trying to get me to attempt 225 lb but I decided against it. I only had a few minutes left and I didn’t want to rush it. The next time a max clean and jerk comes up, I’ll definitely attempt 225 lb. I wanted to post a video but it didn’t come out well, next time.

Lift Heavy and Level Up!

CrossFit Progress: New Back Squat PR!

Last Friday I was able to hit a new PR. I was aiming for 345 – 350 lb. after the last heavy squat day. I broke my PR three times during the squat session. My last three lifts were 335, 345 and 355 lb. I took a lot of time between each attempt, resting about four to five minutes. Overall, I’m satisfied with my lifts. I have a gain of 9% on my squat which I’m impressed with. If I can keep this up, I’ll be able to hit 400 by this time next year. 
The video below is from my 345 lb (right) and 355 lb (left) lifts.

Lift Heavy and Level Up!

Review: Inov-8 F-Lite 235

My Nano 3s and Inov-8 Bare-XF 210s will not last forever. A year of CrossFit has taken a toll on them and the wear is starting to show. I was leaning towards the new Nano 4s but the design of the new Inov-8 F-Lite 235s caught my eye. I own a few pairs of Inov-8 shoes and I’m satisfied with their quality. My fiance purchased a pair for my birthday and I’ve been using them in the majority of my workouts ever since.

Looks, Fit and Sizing
The colorway and design of the 235s are very unique. It has a “yin yang” design with half the shoe being one of the two colors. The materials and construction feel solid and the Rope-Tec blends in well with the shoe. Using my 210s as a reference my fiance ordered the shoes in my actual size. The shoe fits well and better than my 210s. The toe box doesn’t feel as wide as the Nano 3s but it has plenty of room for your toes. They feel lighter than the Nano 3s and slightly heavier than the 210s. The shoe feels flexible enough for running and stiff enough for lifting making it an ideal shoe for any WOD.

Performance
I decided to do some squats and deadlifts to test out how these shoes handle lifts. I used a moderate weight when lifting and didn’t try to max out. These shoes were great and handle lifts well. They perform just as well as my Nano 3s. I didn’t feel the soles compress during heavy lifts and the shoe felt stable throughout.

After running in the 235s for a few weeks I have nothing but good things to say. I used a couple of 400m runs to test run performance. The 235s have a zero-drop profile and with the sticky rubber sole provide a lot of grip. I was concerned that the shoes would feel like the Nano 3s, thankfully that was not the case. The shoe grips the pavement well, only felt a slight slip when running through a wet area. My box doesn’t program rope climbs regularly and a rope is not set up at the box. I will update this post with any info on how the shoe holds up to rope climbs.

After using these shoes regularly for four months, I can say they are holding up well. The construction is solid, and the wear is not that noticeable. The quality is what I’ve come to expect from an Inov-8 product. The versatility of the F-Lite 235s is its strongest selling point. It does well in lifts and its a good shoe for shot to medium distance runs. I hope they release a few more colorways, black and red would look awesome.

If you have any questions, leave a comment at the bottom. Next on the review list is the Inov-8 Fastlifts and the Nike Metcon 1s and strength wraps.