Profile of the Inov-8 F-Lite 235 v3

The latest addition to the F-Lite 235 line received so many construction updates that it ended up looking nothing like its predecessors.

The most striking difference lies in the refreshed upper design. It ditches the bulky overlays in favor of a more clean and form-fitting structure. In combination with the pliable sole, it is claimed to provide superior flexibility.

Like most Inov-8 trainers, this model is crafted as a lightweight, all-around training shoe. It aims to create that minimalist experience while still offering comfort and support.

Outsole

Gum or graphene? The F-Lite 235 was initially launched with a gum rubber compound. Called Inov-8 rubber, it is meant to serve as a durable and grippy outsole on indoor gym surfaces. A few months later, the "G" version of the shoe was released. It features the brand's proprietary G-Grip rubber which is instilled with graphene, the world's strongest material. This outsole is described to be two times more durable, flexible, and traction-ready than conventional rubber. 

Guards on rope climbs. The outsole is not limited to the bottom of the shoe alone. The rubber also protrudes up at the front, back, and sides of the shoe to guard these areas against abrasion as well. At the front, it forms a protective bumper for the toes. On the sides, it forms durable Rope-Tec shields which keep the sole safe during rope climbs.

Meant to bend. The outsole design mimics the skeletal structure of the foot. It features deep horizontal cutouts and vertical grooves to help the foot spread naturally and grasp the surface. They also allow the sole to bend in all directions freely. This design functions as part of the Dynamic Fascia Band technology. It is a flexible TPU shank that’s embedded into the sole to help the foot transition smoothly from heel to toe. Extra flexibility in the forefoot is ensured by the wide Meta-Flex groove.

Midsole

Ready for lifting and jumping. In search of a balance between stability for weightlifting and responsiveness for agile movements, the brand introduces the Powerflow+ midsole. This unit helps the foot stay stable under heavy loads without compromising the cushioning. The brand promises a 10% better shock absorption and 25% better energy return compared to the standard midsoles. The midsole is designed to keep the foot close to the ground for a better sense of control. It also has a minimal heel-to-toe drop of 4 mm, which is a standard for CrossFit trainers.

Upper

Adaptive upper. The F-Lite 235 v3 makes a step away from the conventional design by using two types of fabric in its upper. The narrow mesh is placed on the lateral side of the shoe for consistent support. The medial side, as well as the tongue, are covered by a stretchy knit textile with large pores. This material has more give to it and changes shape easily to create a customized fit. Both types of fabric are made breathable and keep the shoe interiors fresh. Additionally, the entire upper is wrapped by synthetic overlays. They give structure to the facade while also protecting the material against the wear-and-tear.

Facts / Specs

Weight: 8.3oz
Drop: 4mm
Use: Crossfit, Jumping rope / Gym / Cross-training
Heel height: 11mm
Forefoot height: 7mm
Width: Normal, Wide
Release date: Jun 2019

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Author
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 Bodybuilding.com, 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.