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!
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.
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!
Colorway (Cool Grey/Wolf Grey/Black/Metallic Gold)
Nike Metcon 2: Electric Boogaloo
The Nike hype hasn’t died down with the release of the new Nike Metcon 2. I had a difficult time trying to pick up a pair at launch but they were sold out. My fiance was able to get them from Footlocker.com but they were back ordered. I waited until late February and I’ve been wearing them ever since. If you liked the previous version of the Metcon, you’re going to love the Metcon 2. I will be comparing these shoes to the previous versions which I have reviewed on this site. Check out my previous reviews on the Metcon 1’s for more info.
Looks, Fit and Construction
Over the past few weeks I’ve used these shoes for everything. They were my go to CrossFit and casual shoe. This was my favorite colorway from the launch selection. The gold on black and grey looks fantastic. If you take a closer look, the shoe looks very similar to the Metcon 1. The shoe is divided into four sections that can have different colors. The area around the laces are different but it’s not a huge change. The shoe fits like the Metcon 1, true to size. It took a week or two to break in, but that’s like most shoes. The mesh on the toe box is the same as the second wave of Metcon 1’s but has a different construction.
The sole doesn’t look too different from the previous version and that’s not a bad thing.
Changed the heel by adding more padding. Heel should slip less.
Added a plastic plate to the heel which reduces friction on the handstand pushups.
I put these shoes through its paces. CrossFit to casual wear, these shoes have held up great. The sole is a bit more rigid in the heel area; I didn’t feel as much compression during squats. The sole is still flexible and do not make a squeaking noise (yet). I still wouldn’t want to run long distances in them. A mile max, but I don’t think any shoe would help me at that point. My heels felt more locked in during running and jumps. The extra padding around the heel and a new heel design is probably the reason for the improvement. I haven’t done a lot of rope climbs yet but that’s on my list of things to test. The gym just built a rig that has a rope climb section.
The plastic heel works and I do feel less resistance. I’m not sure how much of a difference it’s going to be but it will take some stress off the sole. The wall has to be flat and smooth since that plastic piece will be able to grab onto cracks. I haven’t encountered that problem yet but it might be something to look at.
If you’re a fan of the first Metcon, you will definitely love this one. Nike took all the feedback and improved the shoe for the better. My only complaint from my first pair was the mesh on the top of the shoe but that looks like it has been fixed. I need to do more rope climbs and bang it up a bit to talk about the durability. I’m having a great time working out in these shoes and I’m sure you will too.
Lift Heavy and Level Up!
After the CrossFit games controversy, the Nike Metcon 1 Varsity Red became the most sought after colorway. I must admit, they look slick. I’m a huge fan of the red and black, paying homage to the Air Jordan 1. The only thing I would change would be the sole color. I would have preferred a black sole or even a red sole.
Their are some differences between this version of the Metcon 1 and the original version that I reviewed here. The mesh on the top of the toebox is a lot thicker and feels like a different material all together. I haven’t used my Metcons to do many rope climbs but I have heard about shoes falling apart from repeated abuse. My Metcons are also starting to fray at certain spots but are still usable. I hope this material change brings more longevity to this shoe. Other than that, I haven’t noticed any more changes. Check out some of the other pictures below.
Lift Heavy and Level Up!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.