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: 8.8ozWomen: 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: 8mmWomen: 8mm
Heel heightMen: 19mmWomen: 19mm
Forefoot heightMen: 11mmWomen: 11mm
WidthMen: NormalWomen: Normal
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90 / 100 based on 8 expert reviews
Inov-8 F-Lite 250: Great shoes for crossfit and gym purposes
Let's get one thing sorted out first – these shoes are not running shoes.
Understood? Ok :)
The Inov-8 F-Lite 250
If you are into CrossFit and functional training, you have probably tried using "normal“ running shoes which are not perfect for that. Alternatively, some use indoor soccer or tennis shoes. Some use Converse All Star shoes.
None of those is a very good solution. You need to run, jump, weightlift, climb, do gymnastic exercises etc, all in one workout. Some people use barefoot shoes which are not a bad choice.
But the need for specialized shoes caused the creation of new type of shoe. I don't know how to call them, so let's call them "functional training shoes".
I got these Inov-8 F-Lite 252 before Reebok Nano became famous and have used them for something like 300-400 or more CrossFit workouts. They are still in great shape, only the sole has lost the properties and became relatively stiff. Still usable, but not great.
Also, I had some running in them, but they are not too comfortable for running with my weight.
Most of guys and girls I see are wearing some of many Reebok Nano iterations. But more and more are wearing Nike Metcon shoes which are created to be the direct competitor to Reebok Nano. I have tried both of them in store, but they don't suit me so well.
So I decided to get new Inov-8 F-Lite 250. Completely revised design when compared with the old F-Lite lineup. But people at Inov-8 usually know what they are doing, so I was confident they will at least be good if not great.
Comfort & Fit
My feet are wider, I went a half size up with them but I comfortably could have ordered normal size. For comparison, I use Salomon EU 46 2/3, while these would be good in EU 46.
The fit is wide and comfortable, you can tighten the laces properly, fix the foot firmly and still have plenty of toe room. When worn they are quite comfortable, although not very soft. Obviously, they are not made for running and long walks.
Weight is approx 250g which is implied in the shoe name. The drop is 8mm which is not minimalistic but can be useful in the gym for lifting. Many people have an issue with zero drop shoes and weightlifting.
Sole & Upper
Sole is constructed with functional training in mind.
It is flat, with good traction, Inov8 website calls the compound "STICKY" and sticky it is. Reinforced is the arch segment of the sole, for the rope climbing purposes.
Considering that you are supposed to lift weights in them, the heel part of the sole is fortunately hard enough. I have not experienced any issues during the heavy lifts like deadlift and squat. Obviously, the heel is not firm like in specialized lifter shoes, but for me, it is firm enough for carefree lifting.
Sole is also soft enough for the various jumping and dynamic exercises, so no issues there. Inov-8 managed to find the sweet spot with the sole firmness to cover all exercises. Except… well running. But you will not run more than few miles in them in the worst case, so it doesn't matter much.
Upper is made of a seamless material with toe protection. After approx 100 workouts it is still like new.
So I don't expect any durability issues with them. Like the old model, they should last for a long time.
These shoes are made for functional training, CrossFit, gym and similar. They are NOT made for running.
Taking that into consideration, they perform their job admirably. After a lot of workouts, I did not experience any issues with them, whether the workout is focused on lifting or gymnastics, or running/jumping, or something else.
I have replaced the laces, original ones were not perfect and were too long.
Now I use elastic laces on them, which are for me much more practical and comfortable. But beware, if you use elastic laces then you must tighten them properly for CF workout, otherwise, you could experience foot slippage during the exercises with sudden direction change (shuttle runs and similar).
- Durable construction
- Versatile, made for all CrossFit and gym purposes
- Firm sole, good for weightlifting
- Not very good for running distances longer than a kilometer or two
- Wider fit could be problematic for people with narrow feet ( there are other F-Lite models with narrow so-called precision fit.)
If you are looking for a good alternative to Inov-8 F-Lite 250. They can usually be found at discounted prices which makes them great value for money.
Unless you are real weightlifter or powerlifter (I mean REAL, not wannabe), you don't need specialized weightlifting shoes. These shoes should be enough for at least 95% of people I see at the gym.
This expert has been verified by RunRepeat. Reviews are neutral, unbiased and based on extensive testing.
If you're looking for a shoe that's a good blend of mobility, power delivery, flexibility, this is a very good CrossFit shoe.
I really like them, they're good. But they're not a must-have for me.
Overall, the Inov-8 F-Lite 250 has become the shoe I grab from the closet before most WODs because of its superior fit and performance. This shoe is one that I can rely on to get me through my workout, no matter what’s in store.
Updates to Inov-8 F-Lite 250
- The Inov-8 F-Lite 250 was designed for those who need a versatile shoe to tackle a wide range of cross-training activities. It is packed with different features to accommodate each of these exercises.
- The midsole unit has an 8 mm heel-to-toe drop to provide better ankle mobility during squats. It works together with the dense Powerheel™ to provide a stable platform for weightlifting.
- The Rope-Tec™ technology is utilized to offer a 360-degree grip and protection during rope climbs.
- The shoe employs the Dynamic Fascia Band™ in the midsole. It is meant to deliver a responsive ride during fast cross-training movements.
- The outsole also features the Meta-flex™ grooves. They assist the multi-directional flexibility of the foot during jump training and running.
Inov-8 F-Lite 250 size and fit
The Inov-8 F-Lite 250 is available in both men’s and women’s versions. It follows standard measurements regarding size. As for the width, the shoe features the Standard Fit, which is close-fitting in the heel and is wide in the forefoot to allow the toes to splay when running, lifting weights, or jumping.
The Inov-8 F-Lite 250 uses sticky rubber on the outsole to provide optimum grip and traction. The geometrical pattern helps in achieving maximum ground contact.
The Meta-flex™ grooves throughout the sole ensure the natural flexibility of the foot. It makes the shoe move with the foot both forward and laterally.
The midfoot section is part of the Rope-Tec™ technology. It features a rubber compound, which extends up to cover the midsole on both lateral and medial sides. This technology guards the shoe against the abrasive nature of rope climbing. It is also engineered to provide traction for efficient ascending and descending the rope.
The midsole unit of the F-Lite 250 is made up of the compressed EVA, which is about 40% denser in the rear than in the forefoot due to the use of the Powerheel™ design. It is employed to provide a stable pressing surface for weightlifting. The 8 mm heel-to-toe drop helps athletes in achieving a greater depth in a squat.
The Inov-8’s patented Dynamic Fascia Band™ is strategically placed in the midsole. It stretches from the heel to the forefoot, mimicking the plantar fascia ligament. It is claimed to duplicate the windlass mechanism of the foot, delivering a kick of energy with every toe-off.
A breathable mesh material makes up the upper unit of the Inov-8 F-Lite 250. It provides a ventilated and snug coverage. Synthetic reinforcements are placed on the toe box and the heel counter for an enhanced fit and durability.
The lace-up closure on the top ensures a secure lockdown of the midfoot. The lightly padded tongue serves as a protection to the instep while the plush collar keeps the heel from slipping out of the trainer.
The rubber overlays on the medial and lateral sides are part of the 360-degree Rope-Tec™ technology. Their purpose is to protect the upper and provide traction during rope climbs.