The Inov8 F-Lite 230 is a unique shoe where minimalism meets off-road running. Its radical construction is designed to be lightweight yet tough enough to handle hardcore mountains.
Inov8 is a British shoe manufacturer that focuses its efforts on creating performance shoes for those who desire to take the path less traveled. In other words, this is a free runner’s dream, and has a large following of off-road trail runners.
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The Inov8 F-Lite 230 is considered an elite racing flat packed with tons of features that enhance its durability and breathability. The upper is constructed of a synthetic mesh upper with a textile lining for comfort and ventilation.
The F-Lite uses patented Performance Last technology that makes this shoe most suitable for shorter distance racing by offering a slimmer fit.
It should fit snugly and hold your heel in place while giving the forefoot more freedom to move in a natural running motion. This feature really makes a difference on uneven terrain, or in the mountains when you need a shoe that holds up on the incline and decline portions of your run.
The Inov8 F-Lite 230 also features advanced Meta-Flex technology, which is essentially a groove in the outsole located where you toes meet your feet. This allows more movement and flexibility in the forefoot, which is essential in taking a more natural running approach.
This is combined with Inov8’s Met-Cradle webbing system on the upper, which supports the forefoot, and provides a snug fit on top. Also adding support on the uppers is the TPU lacing system that makes the F-Lite a balanced and snug ride for even the bumpiest of trails.
To improve you stride’s efficiency, the outer sole of F-Lite has a Fascia-Band, which acts and looks much your plantar fascia ligament. This will help you save your much-needed energy to climb over that last hill before the finish line.
Wondering how the F-Lites will hold up to all of the slippery elements you are bound to encounter? Inov8 has you covered. The outsoles are designed with a sticky rubber material that gives you all of the traction and grip you could ask for.
Is Inov8 F-Lite 230 The Best Running Shoe For Me?
The Inov8 F-Lite is geared towards the more experienced runner seeking a lighter, less cushioned option for off-road running. This shoe’s low-profile also makes it very popular among the ever-growing group of CrossFit fanatics across the nation, and has become their unofficial trainer of choice.
Our testers commented that the F-Lites were awesome for weight-lifting, CrossFit WOD’s, and shorter-distance runs, but fell short when it came to long distance races. For longer runs, we recommend that you choose an option with a little more cushioning to avoid knee pain. You may want to check out the Adidas Climacool Chill.
Runners raved about the overall fit of the 230’s, and loved the snugness it provided. However, several people commented that the Inov8’s ran big, which is unusual. I’ve gotten tons of feedback on shoes running small, but this is one of the few that appears to give you too much room.
My suggestion is that you order a half-size smaller, unless you have wider than normal feet. This shoe is also unisex, so pay close attention when choosing your size. All in all, the Inov8 F-Lite 230 is designed to be tough yet lightweight ride.
If you are looking for a minimalist shoe that can stand up to whatever wacky workouts you get into, look no further than Inov8.
RunPals Rated: Inov8 F-Lite 230
(5.0 out of 5)