Verdict from 3 experts and 100+ user reviews

7 reasons to buy

  • A majority of testers liked the minimalist design of the Inov-8 Bare-XF 210 v2.
  • Being close to the ground, many users stated that it made it easier to perform lifts.
  • A few people mentioned that they appreciated the wide toe box as it promotes toe splaying.
  • Gym enthusiasts stated that the shoe’s flexibility made it great for CrossFit.
  • Several purchasers mentioned that the trainer offered good traction because of the sticky sole.
  • The improved Rope-Tec on the side panels of the shoe was lauded by most consumers.
  • Many of the owners mentioned that they liked the lightweight nature of the footwear.

1 reason not to buy

  • Multiple users reported that the removable insoles kept sliding off and bunching up inside the shoe. Some of them resorted to gluing the inserts down.

Bottom line

The minimalist design of the Bare-XF 210 v2 was well received by the training community. The close-to-the-ground profile and roomy toe box were both much appreciated by the weight training enthusiasts. On the downside, there were complaints about the insole sliding around. But overall, it was still the shoe of choice for many fitness aficionados because of the grippy outsole and the protective rubber panel.

Tip: see the best crossfit training shoes.

Good to know

The Inov-8 Bare-XF 210 v2 is a cross-training shoe with a minimalist style. Its low-to-the-ground design with a 0-mm drop is meant to deliver a barefoot-like experience throughout the workout. At the same time, its rubber outsole protects the foot from the elements on the ground.

The outsole of the Bare-XF 210 v2 is made from a sticky rubber that allows it to grip surfaces during workouts. This compound prevents slippage on wet surfaces, thus preventing injuries. The material is durable, has a high abrasion resistance, absorbs impact, and is resistant to oil and grease.

This shoe features the Meta-Flex, a horizontal groove that gives the forefoot more bend and flexibility. This technology makes it easier for the forefoot to push forward in movements such as sprints and plyometrics.

It is not advisable to use the shoe in rough terrains if the user is not accustomed to barefoot training as even a small pebble is felt underfoot because of the thin outsole.

The Bare-XF 210 v2 lacks a fixed midsole because of its minimalistic design. Instead, it uses a 3 mm Power Footbed insole that is designed to absorb impact. The use of this type of insole lets the shoe stick to its barefoot-training design while still providing a bit of protection and cushion to the underfoot. The sole unit of this trainer features a 0-mm heel-to-toe differential.

Those who favor zero-drop shoes but require a bit more underfoot cushioning can also check out the Inov-8 F-Lite 235 v2. Still considered to be minimalist due to its flexibility and weight, this shoe has an 11-mm stack height which offers more padding to the wearer. 

The Inov-8 Bare-XF 210 v2 employs a breathable mesh fabric that keeps the foot well ventilated. Along with the wide profile, the stretchable mesh fabric allows it to accommodate different foot shapes. The front of the footwear features an Italian blown rubber bumper which comes in handy for the overall protection of the toes.

It has synthetic overlays that protect the mesh material in critical areas. They form an external clip that cups and locks the back of the foot in place. This type of support makes the foot feel steady during dynamic training movements.

At the side panels, the Rope-Tec technology can be seen. The material grips the rope so the wearer doesn’t easily slip down during the activity. It also integrates with the Met-Cradle lacing system which provides a natural but secure fit. When the laces are tightened, the panels are drawn in closer to the foot, thereby enhancing the lateral support in the midfoot.


How Inov-8 Bare-XF 210 v2 ranks compared to all other shoes
Bottom 23% crossfit training shoes
All crossfit training shoes
Bottom 36% Inov-8 training shoes
All Inov-8 training shoes
Top 46% cross-training training shoes
All cross-training training shoes


The current trend of Inov-8 Bare-XF 210 v2.
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Nicholas Rizzo
Nicholas Rizzo

Nick combines 10+ years of experience in the health and fitness industry and a background in the sciences in his role as the Fitness Research Director. During his competitive powerlifting years 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, LiveStrong, Healthline, WebMD, WashingtonPost, and many more. Along the way, collaborating with industry leaders like Michael Yessis, Mark Rippetoe, Carlo Buzzichelli, Dave Tate, Ray Williams, and Joel Seedman.