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inov-8 Training Shoes

inov-8 is one of the top training shoe brands used by serious athletes. And we've put together the best inov-8 training shoes to help you improve your workouts. For a more in-depth review, see our breakdowns below.

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inov-8 Training Shoes


inov-8 is one of the top training shoe brands used by serious athletes. And we've put together the best inov-8 training shoes to help you improve your workouts. For a more in-depth review, see our breakdowns below.

inov-8 Fastlift 335

Unlike the other shoes in the lineup, the inov-8 Fastlift 335 is meant for weight lifting rather than general cross-training. They’ve got pretty much all of the same elements of a standard weightlifting shoe, as well as a few extra features that make them unique. Although they lack the same cross-training capabilities as CrossFit shoes, they’ve got a sturdy, raised heel that helps keep you stable, making them especially good for barbell workouts.

If you've been doing deadlifts or squats minimal training shoes and then you lift in the Fastlift 335, you might love these even better because of the added stability. The Fastlift 335’s upper is quite durable and can really take a beating. And they’ve got a lockdown strap that helps hold your foot in place. Just know, if you want a more versatile cross-training shoe, the Fastlift 335 is likely not your best bet. The 335 is really only intended for weight training, and it’s not going to be the most comfortable for other activities like long runs, for example.

Standout features of the inov-8 Fastlift 335:

  • They’ve got a sturdy heel
  • The lockdown strap secures your foot in place
  • The quality nylon material protects against rips

Things to note about the inov-8 Fastlift 335:

  • This isn’t a downside, but just know that these shoes are not designed for CrossFit and general training

Inov-8 Bare-XF 210

The Inov-8 Bare-XF 210 is about the closest thing you can get to training barefoot.Because these shoes are so minimal, and with their zero heel-to-toe drop, you can really feel the ground through them. And since they're so light and they stay out of your way, they're great for full training sessions. They don’t have a lot of fancy features, and that's the whole point of this shoe. They’re bare, as in almost barefoot.They do, however, have the rope-tec same as the F-Lite 235 series, which makes rope climbs so much easier. They also have a decent toe bumper in the front so you don't have to worry about stubbing a toe during training.Just know, since this is a minimalist shoe they're not going to be optimal for super long runs or even the more intense CrossFit workouts. What they're best for is High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), sprinting in short bursts, and general cross-training.

Standout features of the inov-8 Bare-XF 210:

  • They’ve got a minimalist design
  • They’ve got a nice flat sole that lets you feel the ground
  • They have solid toe protection for such a minimalist shoe

Things to note about the inov-8 Bare-XF 210:

  • Some people say the soles (which are removable) can slip and slide around a bit during intense training. Just something to keep in mind – and again, these probably aren’t the ideal shoes for your more intense workouts

Inov-8 F-Lite G 300

The F-Lite G 300 is a very stable and very durable cross-training shoe. It’s got a higher 6mm heel-to-toe drop, which makes it a little better for lifting. You’ll really notice this difference on certain exercises like deadlifts and squats. And one of the most unique features of this shoe is the protective cage around your foot. It not only makes the shoe very durable, but it holds your foot in place, unlike most training shoes. And it’s got a really sticky outsole, which grabs hold of any surface so you won’t slip. This feature, along with the protective cage, is especially great during lateral movements. The F-Lite G 300 also has some nice responsive cushioning. This gives you a nice little boost for shorter runs. Though it’s probably not the ideal shoe for anything above a 5k.

What type of person is the inov-8 F-Lite G 300 designed for?

Just about anyone, with the exception of long-distance runners. The G 300 is a pretty versatile shoe. You can run and cross-train in it. You can lift in it. And it’s comfortable enough you could just wear it around all day. And since it’s so durable, this shoe can take quite a beating and it’s still going to last a long time.

Standout features of the inov-8 F-Lite G 300

  • The cage around the Upper makes it very durable
  • It’s got stabilizing tech in the midsole to hold your foot steady during lifts
  • The responsive cushioning gives a nice energy return on runs

Things to note about the inov-8 F-Lite G 300

  • It’s a tad on the heavy side, so you probably won’t do longer runs in it
  • This isn’t necessarily a negative, but if you’re looking for a more natural feel during your runs, the 6mm drop will hinder that a little

inov-8 F-Lite 235v3

The inov-8 F-Lite 235 has got a 4mm drop which is less than the G 300 (6mm), but more than the Bare-XF 210 (0mm). The F-Lite 235 sort of hits the sweet spot. And the same goes for their weight, they’re 9.4oz, compared to 10.5oz on the G 300, and 7.5oz on the Bare. All this means they’ve still got a very natural feel, and yet they have a little more protection than a barefoot feeling shoe. They also have a rope guard which makes you much more efficient at climbing rope. And for exercises like box jumps where you could ding your toes, the 235 has a protective toe bumper. Just one less thing you have to worry about. And as far as comfort goes, everyone seems to agree that the wider toe box on the 235 gives you a nice amount of extra wiggle room.

Standout features of the inov-8 F-Lite 235:

  • They’re still pretty minimal, so you get a nice natural feel
  • The roomy toe box is a plus
  • The rubber outsole and inov-8’s Rope-Tec give you a solid grip

Things to note about the inov-8 F-Lite 235:

  • They’re probably not the best for long-distance runs (though pretty good everywhere else)
  • While the 235 is sort of the jack-of-all-trades, this means it’s not necessarily the master of any particular one.

If you’re looking for an all-around shoe, this would be a positive. Just know it’s not the most protective, or the most minimalist model, for example.

Which inov-8 training shoe would be the best for a beginner?

If you’re just starting cross-training or CrossFit, and you haven’t yet learned what your preferences are, you’ll probably want an all-around shoe. This will ensure that you’re covered, at least a little, for all types of exercise.

The inov-8 F-Lite 235 is probably going to be your best bet.

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