Who should buy the Inov-8 F-Lite 290 

The Inov-8 F-Lite 290 bears features and design to satisfy the needs of the cross-training community. It is a solid option if:

  • You are into a broad array of training activities such as sprints, cardio-focused activities, CrossFit, and weight training.
  • You are looking for a shoe that can be worn with confidence on all types of surfaces even wet ones. 
  • You need a trainer optimized and durable enough to withstand the requirements of rope climbing. 

Inov-8 F-Lite 290 Logo1

Multisurface outsole traction

The F-Lite 290 inherits the Sticky Grip rubber outsole from the previous versions of Inov-8 training shoes. It is created with the use of climbing rubber technology which is capable of providing excellent traction on all types of surfaces, including wet ones. This material is also made to be durable and withstand abrasion associated with rigorous workouts.

A Meta-Flex groove is added at the forefoot. It further enhances the sole pliability to allow more freedom of movement.

Inov-8 F-Lite 290 Outsole1

Parts of the outsole rubber extend up to encase the midsole on both the lateral and the medial sides. They protect the midfoot area from the wear-and-tear caused by rope climbing.   

Inov-8 F-Lite 290 Outsole2

The shoe also uses the Dynamic Fascia Band (DFB) technology in its outsole, making the unit resemble a foot skeleton. Such design helps the sole flex and bend easily to deliver unhindered movement.

Inov-8 F-Lite 290 Outsole3

Shock-absorbent midsole

The Inov-8 F-Lite 290 utilizes the Exteroflow midsole for cushioning. It is a foam compound which serves to absorb shock from the constant impact of a workout session. With its 4-mm heel-to-toe drop, the Exteroflow falls under the brand’s “one arrow” shock category. It means that this unit has an average level of cushioning, offering more responsiveness instead.

Inov-8 F-Lite 290 Midsole1

At the back of the trainer, the Powerheel technology is used. It is made to be 40% firmer than the rest of the midsole to give the wearer more stability in the heel. This compound is harder to compress than the regular foam, providing a benefit for weight training.

Inov-8 F-Lite 290 Midsole2

Breathable upper

The midfoot and the forefoot sections of the F-Lite 290 are made up of a structured mesh. It creates a breathable and flexible coverage for the foot. Synthetic overlays are added on top of the mesh in the key areas to enhance support and durability.

Inov-8 F-Lite 290 Upper1

The Inov-8 F-Lite 290's heel support

A thick synthetic material wraps around the rearfoot section. It works together with the TPU (thermoplastic polyurethane) heel clip to give the heel a secure brace.

Inov-8 F-Lite 290 Heel Clip

Secured footing

A firm foothold is ensured by the combination of the Met-Cradle technology and the lacing system. The Met-Cradle is embedded into the lateral and medial panels of the shoe and comes out on the instep in the form of webbed eyelets. It helps to pull the sides of the shoe together when the laces are cinched.

Inov-8 F-Lite 290 Lacing System

Facts / Specs

Weight: 290g
Drop: 4mm
Use: Crossfit / Gym / Cross-training
Heel height: Men 11mm
Forefoot height: 7mm
Width: Normal / Normal, Wide
Release date: Jun 2018

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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.