We spent 9.4 hours reading reviews from experts and users. In summary, this is what training geeks think:

5 reasons to buy

  • Instilled with graphene, the G 290 comes highly recommended for its durability by many experts.
  • The shoe's sturdy built offers stability and confidence for weightlifting, as stated by most gym-goers.
  • A good number of users agree that the trainer doesn't fall short of comfort.
  • Some people note that it also ensures grip and flexibility for agile workout movements.
  • Its austere style also resonates well with the purchasers.

1 reasons not to buy

  • A few wearers note that the upper material lacks breathability.

Bottom line

The Inov-8 G 290 is the first training shoe constructed with the use of graphene, the world's strongest material. Built to last, it has proven itself as a very durable trainer. While it is not very well ventilated, the shoe is described as one of the best options for CrossFit and weightlifting. 

For more, check our guide to the best training shoes


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Video reviews and unboxing

  • The first trainer ever to use graphene. The Inov-8 F-Lite G 290 is a CrossFit shoe designed to keep up with the toughest workouts available to humankind. It is launched as part of the Inov-8’s G Series which highlights the Graphene Grip outsole. This graphene-enhanced rubber is described as being 50% more durable, stronger, and more elastic than the traditional rubber compound. It is also crafted to give traction on indoor and outdoor surfaces better than conventional rubber.
  • Impact protection with stability in the heel. The midsole uses the Exteroflow with Powerheel midsole. The Exteroflow component provides shock attenuation but is created in a way that also allows it to be responsive to movements. The Powerheel element is dense and adds stability necessary during lifts.
  • Same Kevlar that's used in bulletproof vests. The upper utilizes mesh, Kevlar, and synthetic elements to present a durable, flexible, and breathable support for the foot.

The Inov-8 F-Lite G 290 is one of the three products introduced using the Graphene Grip technology for the outsole. Graphene is the thinnest material on earth but is said to be stronger than steel. It is also lightweight, which makes it a sensible component of training footwear. Graphene Grip is a graphene-enhanced rubber that is engineered to be 50% more hardwearing, more elastic, and stronger than common rubber. It also offers a better grip on indoor and outdoor surfaces. The outsole extends to the front and is welded to the rubber toe bumper, protecting the toes during burpees, sled pushes, pushups, and more.

The outsole is equipped with the Dynamic Fascia Band (DFB) technology. It replicates the location of the plantar fascia ligament of the foot and mimics its windlass mechanism to boost the energy return with each step.

The forefoot section features the Meta-Flex component. These grooves facilitate multi-directional flexibility and enable the underfoot to adapt to various movements and surfaces.

The outsole of this model extends up at the lateral and medial sides of the midfoot, creating the Rope-Tec element. This extension grips the rope during rope climbs and ensures that the person doesn’t slide down too fast during descent, averting rope burns.

The Inov-8 F-Lite G 290 employs the Exteroflow midsole with the Powerheel stability. The Exteroflow falls under the one arrow shock category. It means that is has a minimal drop, 4 mm, which translates to a medium level of cushioning with higher responsiveness in Inov-8’s standards. As for the Powerheel component, it makes the heel 40% denser, providing steadiness and support during squats and weight training.

The upper of the Inov-8 F-Lite G 290 is made of mesh with the forefoot reinforced with Kevlar. The mesh fabric aerates the foot chamber. As for the Kevlar, this material increases the durability of the upper, protecting the foot against abrasions during workouts. Synthetic overlays are fused onto the upper to heighten the abrasion-resistance of high-friction areas such as the toe box and the quarters.

The midfoot is adorned with a lacing system that integrates with the Adapterweb Met-cradle innovation. The webbed eyelets create a cage-like structure that becomes taut when the laces are tightened. The fit becomes snug and the lateral stability is increased.

Found at the rearfoot is the thermoplastic polyurethane heel clip. This element holds the heel steady during dynamic movements.

The tongue and collar are both lightly padded. The tongue protects the instep against the pressure created by the laces. Aside from keeping the back of the foot comfortable and free from chafing, the collar also locks the heel down to prevent accidental shoe removal.

Nicholas Rizzo
Nicholas Rizzo

Nick is a powerlifter who believes cardio comes in the form of more heavy ass squats. Based on over 1.5 million lifts done at competitions, his PRs place him as an elite level powerlifter. His PRs have him sitting in the top 2% of bench presses (395 lbs), top 3% of squats (485 lbs) and top 6% of deadlifts (515 lbs) for his weight and age. His work has been featured on Forbes,, Elite Daily and the like. Collaborating along the way with industry leaders like Michael Yessis, Mark Rippetoe, Carlo Buzzichelli, Dave Tate, Ray Williams, and Joel Seedman.