What is it? This is the description of the F-LITE 235 V2 from Inov8’s website:“This versatile men’s training shoe is perfect for fitness workouts, performance training, weightlifting, and running. An update to the pure, close to the ground, power training shoe- the acclaimed F-LITE 235, the F-LITE 235 V2 is lightweight, super-fast, with awesome grip. Now even more durable with a snugger more secure fit than the original model. This versatile shoe allows an athlete to challenge any workout with more flexibility, durability and versatility. The ultimate training shoe for ultimate competitors, features 360-degree Rope-Tec for burn protection, a 40% denser heel unit for stability, multi-directional outsole flexibility, a seamless toe bumper for burpee protection and increased cushioning.”
What do I think? I was so incredibly excited when I got my first ever pair of Inov8 F-LITE 195’s back in 2011. They were THE shoe for CrossFit (pretty sure that’s what Rich Froning wore PR – Pre-Reebok). Since that time, I think I’ve owned 6 different pairs of Inov8 shoes in all different styles and varieties. For some reason, I feel like Inov8 has kind fallen to the wayside the past couple of years. I was excited to see them at two of the Regionals I attended and when I stopped at their booth to “talk shop” (and shoes) I found I liked what they had to say. A week later, I got a pair of the new F-LITE 235 V2’s and I’m very glad that I did. My initial reaction was that they are really flat inside. Compared to other shoes I’ve grown accustomed to training in in the past years, I’ve forgotten how flat a shoe like Inov8 feels when you first put it on. Because of the more minimal feel, I would recommend taking some time breaking them in. These shoes perform great in all types of movements. I haven’t done much running in them but I’m sure they would be good for that, once you got accustomed to them. For all other movements, these have been solid. Squats, burpees, box jumps, double unders . . . they hold up nicely. With the reinforced toe box and heel, I don’t predict any problems with tearing in the upper which has been my only complaint in the past with Inov8.
Why do you need it & when should you use it? If you are someone who started out training in Inov8’s, these will be a happy addition. For people looking for a more neutral sole and more minimal feel, the F-LITE 235 V2 would be a welcome return to the training shoe of the early days of CrossFit.
How do you get it? I wouldn’t be surprised if Inov8 started popping up at some more CrossFit competitions or even the CrossFit Games. Until then, order them directly from their site. The new F-LITE 235 V2 retail for $130.