Before attempting the Inov-8 F-Lite 235 v2 review, we were slightly sceptical.
We recognize Inov-8 as a great brand for trail and OCR running but for training not so much. And we actually feel bad about it as their previous F-Lite 235 release was rated the most versatile training shoe by a number of fitness journals including Shape Magazine, The Rx Review, and the Men’s Journal.
That only proves two things:
- how hard it is to compete against Nike, Reebok or adidas in the training shoes category
- how easy it is to overlook amazing products
Upgrade over F-Lite 235 v1
The v2 comes in a lightweight and comfortable design. It has a number of gym performance-oriented features like the reinforced heel for lifting stability, the 360-degree Rope-Tec and the flexible construction for unrestricted, multi-directional movement.
It provides superior performance traction at toe-off and good grip during rope climbs. There is even extra cushioning at the toes to prevent toe fractures during burpees.
The Inov-8 F-Lite 235 v2 is ideal for the gym but also performs well on the open tracks, even in rough terrain. The tough and innovative design makes it able to withstand whatever is thrown its way.
It is undoubtedly one of the lightest and the most efficient cross training shoes designed to take the brunt of all your hardest workouts.
Features of the F-Lite 235 v2
The v2 has a sticky rubber outsole made with the ROPE–TEC 360 technology. This provides superior grip and stability while climbing ropes and performing other brisk movements like box jumps.
The outsole has a geometric pattern and is designed to cover as much surface area as possible for a good ground contact. The design also cuts out the on key areas of the outsole so as to reduce the overall weight of the shoes.
Furthermore, the outsole has a grooved design for a natural and effortless flexion, especially over the forefoot area. The Meta flex design not only allows but enhances efficient and explosive movements during the workouts.
The shoes have a stripped back and are made out of very lightweight materials. The upper part is made out of gusseted, soft and elastic mesh liner. The laces are attached to each eye for a snug and close fit.
This customized fit ensures that the shoes stay in place despite the highly agile movements. There are also extra reinforcements over the strategic areas like the forefoot and the heels. The protective toe cap and the heel lock system not only assist in making free movements but also reduce the risk of having injuries.
The v2 is anatomically designed to recreate the windlass effect. Therefore, you get that extra kick of energy with each movement which is further intensified by the thick and flexible cushioning especially at the heels and forefoot.
What we like about Inov-8 F-Lite 235 v2
The first thing that sets apart the Inov-8 F-Lite from other shoes is the design itself. It comes in an eye-catching set of colors, making sure you stand out in the gym. The design is quite modern and innovative but still, retains the characteristic attribute of training shoes.
These shoes also have a flat drop and are much lightweight as compared to the Nike and Reebok shoes.
They offer quite a close fit and are very breathable at the same time. The arch support and the lateral support ensure that you do not feel any constraint while making any type of movements.
This combined with the very flexible upper part, gives you a much-grounded feel and makes your jumps and rope climb truly effortless.
What we don’t like…
You can feel the cushioning in the forefoot area giving a “heavier” sensation sometimes but nothing major.
It also has a stiff arch which may not go down well with everyone. However, this stiffness can get practical during the weight lifting sessions.
The shoes have a rather minimal design so if you are concerned about the look as well, you may want to consider that. We think it looks pretty cool.
Apart from this, some people report they can squeak quite a lot. We haven’t notice that ourselves but thought it’s worth a mention.
Our Inov-8 F-Lite 235 v2 Review score: 8.6 / 10
The Inov-8 F-Lite 235 v2 is a highly functional cross training shoe that we believe is very underrated in the gym community.
It offers great performance for every type of workout and you will especially love the lightness and the flexibility of movement.
Though the retail price was ~$130, you can currently get it for closer to $90-100 which sounds like a good deal.
Check Inov-8 F-Lite 235 v2 on Amazon