Best Inov-8 minimalist running shoes

Based on reviews from 15 experts and 76 users. Learn how our rankings work or see our guide to Inov-8 minimalist running shoes. Updated Dec 2019.

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Join the natural running movement by making Inov-8 your brand partner because more or less 100,000 shoe reviews have collectively agreed that their minimalist shoes are some of the best options on the market. Going minimal can be a challenge for runners, especially the one who are transitioning from stability trainers. However, with the right type of shoe, the transition will go smoothly to allow the runner to adjust to a natural running movement.

What makes a pair of Inov-8 minimalist shoes important to runners?

  • Minimalist shoes are developed for a variety of activities. The best Inov-8 minimalist shoes are suited for track running, road running, cross training and sports. There are also trail versions of minimalist shoes for those who want to go natural on rough terrain.
  • As compared to neutral trainers, minimalist shoes do not have much bulk in them. This is due to the minimal cushioning incorporated in the build to promote better flexibility and ground contact.
  • Technical- wise, minimalist shoes do not have a lot of features. This allows them to be lighter than other shoe models, and a better option to transition to a natural running movement. You can also expect a low heel to toe drop because cushioning is limited for just adequate protection and comfort. In some instances, the midsole and outsole are combined into one material to reduce the overall weight of the shoe.
  • The best Inov-8 minimalist shoes train runners to adapt to forefoot or mid-foot striking. This is the ideal movement if you want to increase your speed. The minimalist structure also allows more momentum during the toe-off phases, given that the shoes have a responsive and firm midsole.

What aspects should be present in your best Inov-8 minimalist shoes?

  • Flexibility. The objective of minimalist shoes is to transition runners to a barefoot-like experience. In order to improve your soles and Achilles tendon for minimalist running, a flexible platform is needed. It encourages natural toe splaying and allows runners in practicing their balance without much support or stability. The flexibility of the best Inov-8 minimalist shoes could be influenced by the brand’s cushioning technology, which is the Arrow System.
  • Weight. In going minimal, it is obvious that you need shoes with lesser structure. A feature-packed body will just hinder your natural range dynamics and even drag you down. Pick a lightweight shoe, which signals a minimal technical construction and more flexibility to boot. Minimalist shoes could weigh between 150 rams to 250 grams. Make sure to pick the lighter option if you also want to improve your speed for racing on the track or trail.
  • Heel to toe drop. The heel to toe drop will tell you how low you are on the ground. If you need a pair of minimalist shoes that can provide better ground contact, you should choose between 4 mm to a zero drop profile. The best Inov-8 minimalist shoes feature either a zero drop profile or a 3 mm drop (Arrow 1). These will guarantee more flexibility and better training for ground feedback.

2 best Inov-8 minimalist running shoes

  1. Inov-8 X-Talon 190
  2. Inov-8 Trailroc 150
Jens Jakob Andersen

Jens Jakob is a fan of short distances with a 5K PR at 15:58 minutes. Based on 35 million race results, he's among the fastest 0.2% runners. Jens Jakob previously owned a running store, when he was also a competitive runner. His work is regularly featured in The New York Times, Washington Post, BBC and the likes as well as peer-reviewed journals. Finally, he has been a guest on +30 podcasts on running.
This shoe has recently been added to RunRepeat. There are still not enough reviews for us to assign it a CoreScore.
A score from 1 to 100 that summarizes opinions from users and experts. The average CoreScore is 78. More...