Inov-8 F-Lite 215 Review

f-lite-215FINALLY! A shoe that goes from running to CrossFit and back to running. And, these shoes are made specifically for women, so they truly fit a woman’s foot.

They feel like they have been in your closet for months from the first day you wear them; there is no time needed to “break them in”.

You will be delighted with their “weight to performance” ratio – they are exceedingly light, but just as tough and durable.

I was enticed to buy the Inov-8 F-Lite 215 for a few reasons. Read on, because maybe you have had the same issues. When there is running in a WOD, I bring my running shoes to the box because I don’t find it comfortable to run in my traditional CrossFit shoes.

But, I also bring my traditional CrossFit shoes because the running shoes won’t be ideal for other movements in the WOD. 2 pairs of shoes for one work-out? Really?

It’s silly, cumbersome, and has a high probability of failure. Are you really going to remember 2 pairs of shoes? So, I went searching for a shoe that could transition from running to CrossFit with ease. 

I looked at Inov-8 because I own the Inov-8 Fast Lifts (Inov-8’s Oly lifting shoe) and have been exceedingly happy with them.

They felt like I had owned them for years from the first moment I put them on my feet. I liked that they were women specific – women don’t need to be shoving their feet into a product basically men! And, they are light and flexible, but feel durable and substantial. Inov-8 knows their way around making a supremely comfortable shoe that knows how to DO WORK.

I was drawn to the F-Lite 215 because it is really a running shoe that transitions to CrossFit with ease. From the first moment I took these babies out on the road, I felt supported. But, I also felt the road through the shoes, as you should in a minimalist shoe. They have a 6mm drop, a narrow heel, and a large sole surface providing increased stability and grip. You can see by this description how these shoes would be out-performers in CrossFit.

SO, I was ecstatic with the shoes as running shoes. So, I took them for an outing to the box to see how they could handle a CrossFit work- out. Well, that first day, we had a running warm-up #1, a wall ball and kettle bell swing partner warm-up #2, and thrusters and pull-ups as the main WOD (in a different rep scheme than Fran?!?!?!). The shoes were KILLERS!

We already know the shoes can run, so I felt comfortable and confident on my 800m run. But, get this – it was raining, and the shoes were exceptionally grippy on the road. I come to find out that they were developed using rock climbing technology to provide exceptional grip in wet conditions. This technology also helps when you’re squatting with big weight.

The EVA midsole cushions your feet, so you can actually run longer and more comfortably. The midsole fascia band actually helps push your foot forward for added momentum. My foot felt strong and overly grounded during the kettle bell swings and wall balls.

They had excellent grip and stability. And, they transitioned easily from those movements into thrusters, which require solid footing and into pull-ups where it’s nice to have something light on your feet. These shoes only weigh 7.6 ounces! I was hooked on the Inov-8 F-Lite from the first work-out.

I’ve since done everything in the Inov-8 F Lites, even Oly lifts, and they have done more than just perform. Since it is a running shoe, it is great for all forms of jumping – box jumping, double unders, and broad jumping. They climb ropes like a champ because of the Rope-Tec reinforcement. They perform just as well with lateral movements as they do on a run and you will love the extra grip on things like sled pushes. They are light and breathable and provide comfort on hot and humid days.

Keep in mind a couple of things about the fit of the F-Lite 215. These are in Inov-8’s running shoe line. They are made to be a “trail runner” and are the new and improved version of the Inov-8 F-Lite 230. They fit like a running shoe. I wear a size 8 street shoe, and an 8.5 or 9.0 running shoe. I wear an 8.5 in the F-Lites. Also, they are a women’s specific shoe, so if they fit you, they fit like a glove and you feel secure and supported in the shoe. However, if you have a wider foot, you may need to chose a different shoe. These will be too snug for someone with a wider foot.

I have been doing CrossFit for over 4 years, and have gone through so many iterations of shoes.

I had grown weary of bringing two different pairs of shoes to the box for a single work-out, or perhaps forgetting a pair and having to run in my CrossFit shoes. Or, worse – having to CrossFit in my running shoes. I was in search of a shoe that was versatile enough to do everything; that was supportive and stable enough for CrossFit and flexible and cushioned enough for running. I certainly found all this and more in the F-Lite 215. I highly recommend this shoe for anyone who incorporates running into a functional fitness regime.

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