DiscontinuedUpdate: Inov-8 F-Lite 195 v2
Shoes with optimum cushioning, lateral support, and flexibility for daily workouts and studio sessions. See workout shoes
Versatile, low-profile shoes for constantly varied exercises including plyometrics, sprinting, weightlifting, and rope climbing. See CrossFit shoes
Shoes for daily wear that ensure a smooth walking gait cycle. Check out walking shoes
For people with normal pronation. Also provide support for high-arched feet with underpronation (excessive outward rolling of the foot). See neutral training shoes
For people with low-arched or flat feet and moderate overpronation (excessive inward rolling of the foot). See stability training shoes
Shoes feature stabilizing technologies for people with severe overpronation. See motion control training shoes
Good to know
Stability and motion control add-ons are uncommon for workout shoes and are never present in CrossFit or weightlifting footwear. They are mostly found in walking shoes where the gait is easier to correct.
WeightMen: 6.9ozWomen: 6.9oz
Training footwear typically weighs between 200g and 300g per shoe to accommodate agile workouts. Minimalist trainers go as low as 150g, while weightlifting shoes can go as high as 500g.
Heel to toe dropMen: 3mmWomen: 3mm
Heel heightMen: 9mmWomen: 9mm
Forefoot heightMen: 6mmWomen: 6mm
WidthMen: NormalWomen: Normal
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90 / 100 based on 6 expert reviews
Inov-8 F-Lite 195 – My journey to minimalist running
After over 20 years of running, I attended my first technique session with a running coach.
Having known about the benefits of minimalist running footwear, I was finally convinced of the new running technique and the increased performance it offered.
The Inov-8 F-Lite 195 was my chosen shoe to enter into this new running style. Now 18 months later, here are my findings.
My typical running shoes
I have used Asics road and trail running shoes mainly but generally, prefer the lightest shoe possible for long distance road and trail runs.
Introduction to the Inov-8 F-Lite 195
The Inov-8 F-Lite 195 is super light and the upper part of the shoe is almost see-through.
There is not much stability in the heel but it didn’t seem to matter to me. It feels more like a slipper than a running shoe when I have them on my feet.
Taking them for a test drive
The transition to this type of shoe takes some getting used to. My calves and hamstrings were stretched more than normal after the first few runs.
I needed to build up the distance gradually as my legs got accustomed to the flatter and less-cushioned sole. But they were very responsive and helped apply a more efficient running stride.
Road running experience
Running on the roads has been great and the shoes really encourage me to keep running on the balls of my feet.
Typically, I would unconsciously move to more of a heel strike motion when I get tired but these shoes don’t allow for that with the thinner sole being too jarring.
Trail running experience
I rank a 45km mountain trail run (Sixfoot track in Australia) in these shoes and they performed admirably. The creek crossings were also easier to recover from as the water escapes easily and the shoe dries quite rapidly.
Towards the end of this event, I did start to feel sharper rocks more and more as my feet got tender. I would say if an event or trail was extremely technical these shoes may lack the support in the ankle.
The price was low, just over $100 when compared with $150-200 I have normally paid for running shoes as far back as I can remember.
After 18 months of solid use, a few blowouts have appeared on both sides of the shoe. The upper has simply detached from the sole.
My shoes generally wear in this area though as I have quite wide feet. It’s just that the lightness of the material may not be as hard wearing or as strongly stitched as other shoes.
The sole is very durable though and being flatter has meant it actually wears less in the usual areas, which is great.
Would I buy the Inov-8 F-Lite 195 again?
I am actually going to try out the Salomon S-Lab Sense 6 shoe next.
This is to experience another type of flat running shoe, plus I like the convenience of the quick draw laces that I have enjoyed on Salomon trail shoes before.
I will likely try the Inov-8 F-Lite 195 again in the future though as I saw they have just released the v2.
This expert has been verified by RunRepeat. Reviews are neutral, unbiased and based on extensive testing.
These shoes..are fantastic!
If you’re looking for an advanced natural running shoe that can keep up with your daily training or a versatile trainer, that’s ready to handle your intense extreme fitness workouts, the Inov-8 F-Lite 195 returns as a leader in the “less-is-more” shoe category.
Lighter lifts go fine in these shoes, but with heavier lifts we wanted more of a supportive sole like that of our Editors' Choice winner, the Nike Metcon 3 - Women's.
Updates to Inov-8 F-Lite 195
- The Inov-8 F-Lite 195 is a lightweight shoe, designed to meet the demands of people who lead an active lifestyle. The upper is made of a breathable mesh material with synthetic overlays at the toe box for added protection. The midfoot features the Met-Cradle, a structure that integrates with the laces to enhance the lateral support of the footwear.
- The trainer uses an injection molded ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA) midsole. This material absorbs shock and delivers comfort to the wearer while retaining a lightweight nature.
- As for the outsole, it is made of sticky rubber that delivers maximum traction on most types of surfaces, even wet ones. It features a number of technologies that help with the foot’s mobility such as the Fascia Bands that propel the foot forward without exerting too much energy; the Meta-Flex grooves which allow the platform to adapt the foot’s natural movements; and the RopeTec feature that aids in rope climbing.
Inov-8 F-Lite 195 size and fit
The F-Lite 195 is available in men’s and women’s versions. The width comes in Precision Fit, which is a D – Medium in men’s and a B – Medium in women’s sizes, but the heel and the forefoot sections are both close-fitting. Inov-8’s width profile may confuse some consumers, so they are advised to try the footwear in person to obtain a secure and comfortable fit.
The F-Lite 195 has a rubber outsole that is durable and flexible. It has a sticky nature that allows it to function well on wet surfaces and uneven terrains.
The Meta-Flex system has grooves that are found in the forefoot area. They align with the metatarsals to maximize the bending capacity of the foot.
The Fascia Band is a feature that mimics the function of the plantar fascia to make the sole more reactive, thus propelling the foot forward with less energy. It has strips of rubber that start at the heel area and spread to the forefoot.
The medial and lateral portions of the outsole feature the RopeTec technology. It is designed to grip onto ropes and prevent the shoe from sliding down too much while rope climbing.
The F-Lite 195 utilizes the IMEVA foam. This type of cushion is lightweight, durable, and is designed to absorb the shock with each step.
The shoe also features a removable 3 mm foam insole that adds another layer of comfort and shock attenuation to protect the foot during intense workouts.
At the back portion of the midsole, below the Inov-8 logo, is the 1 Arrow Shoc-Zone marking. According to the company, this single arrow indicates a medium level of cushioning, responsiveness, and speed.
The upper of the Inov-8 F-Lite 195 uses a breathable and fast drying material. This fabric not only keeps the inside well ventilated, but it also makes it easier to keep the shoe clean. The toe area features a synthetic overlay that protects it from abrasion during high-intensity workouts.
A traditional lacing system helps in keeping the foot securely in place. The lightly padded tongue has a small slot through which the round laces pass to keep it from sliding to the sides.
A Met-Cradle thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) webbing system wraps the side panels. It extends from the base of the midfoot area to the eyelets of the lacing system. It acts as a cage that adheres to the tightening and loosening of the shoelaces. This material also reinforces the lace-holes and protects the lateral and medial sections of the upper during rope climbs.
The lightly padded collar prevents chafing in the ankle area. It also keeps the foot from sliding out of the shoe during workouts.