Verdict from 6 hours of research from the internet

5 reasons to buy

  • Intended as a CrossFit shoe, the F-Lite 230 pleasantly surprised lots of buyers with its utility for cross-training.
  • The shoe’s light and minimalist feel resonated well with the majority of purchasers.
  • Many buyers pointed out that the trainer ran true to size and fit as expected right out of the box.
  • It was described as a comfortable training shoe by most wearers.
  • Multiple users took note of the shoe’s grippy graphene outsole.

2 reasons not to buy

  • An expert noted that the shoe's flexible sole may not be the most stable for Olympic weightlifting.
  • Several people griped about the laces as one shoestring was longer than the other.

Bottom line

Both long-term fans and new purchasers of Inov-8 cross-trainers rejoiced at the refreshed iteration of the F-Lite 230. They were impressed with the shoe’s performance and minimalist vibe. Overall, the trainer excelled at everything that is expected of a quality CrossFit footwear.

Tip: see the best training shoes.

Expert reviews:

User reviews:

The Inov-8 F-Lite 230 was created as a multi-purpose training shoe which could be sported for jumping, running, lifting weights, or any other activity involved in a typical CrossFit WOD. First released in 2009, it was warmly welcomed by the cross-training community. Ten years later, in 2019 it comes back with a few significant improvements for enhanced performance.

The bottom part of the trainer is now guarded by the revolutionary G-Grip graphene outsole. Made with the world’s strongest material called graphene, it delivers a more durable and grippier outsole unit than the standard rubber one. For those who favor gum outsoles, this model is also available in a gum variant.

The underside of the shoe features the company’s proprietary G-Grip or Graphene Grip compound. Known as the world’s toughest material, graphene is claimed to increase the outsole’s durability, abrasion-resistance, and elasticity by 50%, compared to a conventional rubber one. It is also stated to deliver stronger traction on all kinds of indoor and outdoor surfaces. Inov-8 pioneered the use of graphene in athletic footwear in its F-Lite G 290 Crossfit shoe.

Gum rubber variation of the shoe is also available. It is ready to provide grip on indoor gym surfaces but has a softer nature than the G-Grip rubber.     

The midfoot portion of the outsole extends up on both sides, hugging the midsole. It is part of the Rope-Tec technology that shields the platform during rope climbs.

The outsole of the F-Lite 230 is lined with strategically-placed flex grooves, including the META-FLEX groove. The former ensure flexibility along the entire length of the unit, while the latter aids in the forefoot bending.

The F-Lite 230 makes sure that the foot stays cushioned by incorporating the Powerflow foam midsole. It protects the foot against impact throughout training and running sessions.

The sole is constructed with a 3-mm heel-to-toe differential which makes the foot stay nearly flat on the platform. This position provides athletes with an alternative between support and a barefoot-like experience. It accommodates quick moves and rapid changes of direction as well as providing better contact with the surface and a more stable platform for weightlifting exercises.

The Inov-8 F-Lite 230 uses flexible textile and synthetics for a snug, yet flexible coverage. The 3D Air Mesh enfolds the upper unit to help breathe air into the foot chamber, keeping the foot well-ventilated.

Like most Inov-8 training shoes, it uses the Met-Cradle technology to give the upper its structural integrity. Made of a lightweight, yet sturdy TPU (thermoplastic polyurethane) material, it gives a firm hold on the lateral and medial sides of the foot. It is integrated with the lace-up closure to provide a lockdown fit and to carry the foot responsibly through the training session.

TPU is also utilized in the shoe’s toe cap. This component guards the toe area against bumps during burpees, sled pushes, and other exercises. It also prevents the mesh material from the wear-and-tear.

Size and fit

True to size based on 185 user votes
Small (0%)
True to size (62%)
Large (38%)
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How F-Lite 230 compares

This shoe: 93
All shoes average: 89
72 97
This shoe: £130
All shoes average: £130
£90 £200
This shoe: 230g
All shoes average: 299g
195g 400g
Author
Nicholas Rizzo
Nicholas Rizzo

Nick is a powerlifter who believes cardio comes in the form of more heavy ass squats. Based on over 1.5 million lifts done at competitions, his PRs place him as an elite level powerlifter. 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 Forbes, Bodybuilding.com, Elite Daily and the like. Collaborating along the way with industry leaders like Michael Yessis, Mark Rippetoe, Carlo Buzzichelli, Dave Tate, Ray Williams, and Joel Seedman.

nick@runrepeat.com