Facts

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Terrain

Road

Shoes best for road, track and light gravel. See the best road shoes.

Trail

Shoes best for trail, off road, mountains and other unstable surfaces. See the best trail shoes.

Good to know

As long as you stick to the road or path, and if you want just one running shoe, buy a road running shoe.

Arch support

Neutral / cushion / high arch

Shoes for runners who do not need any additional arch support (Around 50% of runners). Best for people with high or medium high arches. See the best neutral shoes.

Stability / overpronation / normal arch

Shoes for runners who need arch support (Around 45% of runners). Best for runners with a normal arch. See the best stability shoes.

Motion control / severe overpronation / flat feet

Shoes for runners who needs a lot of arch support. Best for runners with flat feet. See the best motion control shoes.

Good to know

- Rule of thumb: If in doubt, buy neutral shoes to avoid injuries.
- More about arch support in this video.
- Find your arch type by following steps from this video.

Daily running

Cushioned shoes for your daily easy running. Great comfort. See best shoes for daily running.

Competition

Lightweight shoes good for races, interval training, tempo runs and fartlek. Here are the best competition running shoes.

Good to know

If you want just one pair of shoes, buy a shoe for daily running.

Price
$130
Show more facts

Road

Shoes best for road, track and light gravel. See the best road shoes.

Trail

Shoes best for trail, off road, mountains and other unstable surfaces. See the best trail shoes.

Good to know

As long as you stick to the road or path, and if you want just one running shoe, buy a road running shoe.

Neutral / cushion / high arch

Shoes for runners who does not need any additional arch support (Around 50% of runners). Best for people with high or medium high arches. See the best neutral shoes.

Stability / overpronation / normal arch

Shoes for runners who needs arch support (Around 45% of runners). Best for runners with a normal arch. See the best stability shoes.

Motion control / severe overproanation / flat feet

Shoes for runners who needs a lot of arch support. Best for runners with flat feet. See the best motion control shoes.

Good to know

- Rule of thumb: If in doubt, buy neutral shoes to avoid injuries.
- More about arch support in this video.
- Find your arch type by following steps from this video.

Daily running

Cushioned shoes for your daily easy running. Great comfort. See best shoes for daily running.

Competition

Lightweight shoes good for races, interval training, tempo runs and fartlek. Here are the best competition running shoes.

Good to know

If you want just one pair of shoes, buy a shoe for daily running.

The height difference from the heel to the forefoot, also known as heel drop, toe spring, heel to toe spring or simply drop.

There are many opinions about what a good heel drop is. We do not recommend any in particular. Lean more in this video.

Summary

We spent 7 hours reading reviews from experts and users. In summary, this is what runners think:

6 reasons to buy

  • The minimalist construction provides superb flexibility.
  • A large group of runners loved its excellent ground feedback.
  • Unmatched traction is something most reviewers appreciated in the Bare-Grip 200.
  • A couple of testers call it a solid choice for runners with minimalist preferences without going all the way to barefoot running.
  • The Inov-8 Bare-Grip 200 was built for speed.
  • It is a solid option for obstacle course running, based on the reviews of a couple of testers.

4 reasons not to buy

  • A handful of runners noted that the Bare-Grip 200 runs a bit larger than usual.
  • Some runners also remarked that it is not ideal for technical trail running.
  • Some users found the forefoot too narrow for comfort.
  • It has a slightly expensive price.

Bottom line

The Inov-8 Bare-Grip 200 is clearly not the ideal shoe for entry level runners or those who love more cushioning and arch support, but for those who love lightweight shoes with insane traction and excellent ground feel, this shoe is easily one of the best options available.


Rankings


Ratings

4.4 / 5 based on 31 ratings

5 star
77%
4 star
3%
3 star
6%
2 star
10%
1 star
3%

My Rating

Expert Reviews

Experts are running shoe geeks, who post reviews at youtube, directly at RunRepeat or at their own websites. Each expert is categorized from level 1 to level 5 based on expertise. See stats on expert reviews and how we calculate scores here.

Are you an expert? Apply to contribute here.

85 / 100 based on 13 expert reviews

  • 78 / 100 by Minimalist Running Shoes • Nicholas Pang • Level 4 expert

    I would have preferred that Inov-8 made a wider toe box for the Bare Grip 200. That is probably the only obstacle preventing a lot of trail runners with wide feet from trying these on.

  • 75 / 100 by Outdoor Kinetics • Andrew Bentley • Level 3 expert

    They won’t be everyone’s cup of tea but I get excited ever time I lace them up.

  • 96 / 100 by Natural Runner • Tina • Level 2 expert

    There is finally a minimal shoe that is perfect for extreme trail terrains full of snow, slush, mud and anything soft and slippery.

  • 88 / 100 by Another Runner • Ash • Level 2 expert

    The outsole provides excellent traction on wet pavement or off-road terrains. And, it's lightweight construction allows for speed where you didn't think you'd have it.

  • 87 / 100 by Muddy Race • Rob Foulkes • Level 2 expert

    They’ve paired the flexibility of a Yoga teacher and the grip of a crocodile to create an off road king that will rival a Land Rover

  • 84 / 100 by iRunFarMedia • Travis Liles • Level 2 expert

    Inov-8 is offering what has been the short fall of most of the market to date.

  • 98 / 100 by Outdoors Magic • Gavin Day • Level 1 expert

    Insurpassed grip, stability and trail feedback and surprisingly durable for such a lightweight shoe.

  • 96 / 100 by Birthday Shoes • Dan C. • Level 1 expert

    I've been wearing these shoes for about six months now and I honestly couldn't be more happy with them. They are very comfortable, and they feel light and quick. They have also been very durable.

  • 95 / 100 by Legend Of The Death Race • Anthony Matesi • Level 1 expert

    The Bare Grip 200 offers superior performance in an ultra light package. They look amazing and they seem to be able to handle everything I’ve thrown at them.

  • 87 / 100 by Ian Corless • Ty Draney • Level 1 expert

    I see this shoe as a great vertical-k-type shoe in adverse conditions or for racing muddy fells where there are few rocks.

  • 86 / 100 by Toe Salad • Raul Escutia • Level 1 expert

    I enjoyed testing the Inov-8 Bare-X 200’s and have continued to include them in both my running and casual shoe rotation.

  • 83 / 100 by David's Running Blog • David W • Level 1 expert

    For mixed terrain, they will take some getting use to, there is no cushioning so rocks, scree and tarmac will not be comfortable but don’t let this detract from how good these shoes are in the right terrain.

  • 83 / 100 by Blogging Jogging • Blogging Jogging • Level 1 expert

    The grip is akin to the Mudclaw’s which is great when you’re really off-road, not so when on-road.

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Updates to Inov-8 Bare-Grip 200

  • The Inov-8 Bare-Grip 200 offers the runner a barefoot-like running experience, but with the certain performance of a trail shoe that’s efficient on many types of terrain. Even in the harsh environments of the great outdoors, runners would be able to run as naturally as they can with the power of a shoe that has a flexible upper unit and an aggressive outsole.
  • The upper unit of this running shoe uses a quick-drying mesh material that is also highly breathable. The coverage is not too thick, but it’s ultimately secure because it wraps around the foot in an even and comfortable manner. It works in tandem with the foot, so natural movement is definitely encouraged.
  • The lacing system is attached to supports that cause the upper fabric to tighten or loosen, in accordance with the adjustments made to the shoelaces themselves. It’s a solid way to let runners experience a more customizable fit.
  • The outsole unit uses aggressive gripping lugs to provide traction over the many types of surfaces found in the outdoor environments. This layer is also very durable, so it delivers sure protection against wear and abrasion.
  • The Inov-8 Bare-Grip 200 doesn’t have a main mid-sole unit. It’s a way for runners to experience a truly barefoot way for running. A molded insole is added to provide mild underfoot cushioning.

Inov-8 Bare-Grip 200 size and fit

The Inov-8 Bare-Grip 200 has a standard running shoe length. The men and women’s versions come in sizes that adhere to the regular measurements. A medium width is available for this model, so it accommodates runners with medium sized feet. Its semi-curved shape follows the natural shape of the foot.


Outsole

The Bare-Grip™ outsole technology is a durable layer of protection that works well in staving off wear and abrasion. Placed along the entire length of the shoe, its all-encompassing nature ensures that the foot and the shoe itself is safe from damage.

Aggressive lugs are placed all over the external unit. They hold onto the ground well, giving traction to the runner on hard and soft surfaces.

The Meta-Flex™ is a groove that’s placed in the front section of the shoe. It allows the natural flexibility of the foot, giving the forefoot the freedom to move.


Midsole

This running shoe doesn’t have a main mid-sole unit. It’s a conscious decision to exhibit a barefoot style of running with a trail shoe. What it has, however, is a molded foam insole that gives mild and lightweight cushioning.

The 0 Shoc-Zone™ gives the wearer minimal protection for the underfoot. It’s a helpful device for those who want to experience the barefoot style of running, but it is recommended that only advanced athletes use it for longer periods of time.


Upper

The upper unit of the Inov-8 Bare-Grip 200 uses a quick-drying mesh material to provide a constantly dry yet breathable coverage. It gives a very comfortable wrap that’s effective in wet or dry conditions.

The Met-Cradle™ webbing locks the foot down over the foot bed. It doesn’t make the upper very tight, and it even allows the natural alignment of the metatarsals.

TPU supports are connected to the lacing system. When the shoelaces are adjusted, these supports cause the upper to follow suit, making the coverage more customizable and more agreeable to the needs of the runner.