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63 of 73 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Shoes really matter - but not for the reasons you think: Why Inov-8 gets it right.
Shoes really matter, but not for the reasons most weekend warriors think. For example, if you spend a lot of time looking for high cushioning and support, or if you buy shoes because a sales guy at the running store put you on a treadmill and video your feet to show you how a certain shoe "corrects" your stride, you might be caught off-guard by the Inov-8 approach...
Published on September 10, 2012 by Joel G.

versus
33 of 43 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars They won't warranty their shoes
I've had my F195 for two weeks. I really liked them and was sold on them for two reasons. First, they are marketed as crossfit shoes. Second, the crossfit websites review these as great shoes, in fact I believe they were the number one rated shoe where I looked. The store where I purchased them also touted them as crossfit shoes.

They are very comfortable...
Published 23 months ago by Ken


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63 of 73 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Shoes really matter - but not for the reasons you think: Why Inov-8 gets it right., September 10, 2012
By 
This review is from: Inov-8 F-lite 195 Shoe (Apparel)
Shoes really matter, but not for the reasons most weekend warriors think. For example, if you spend a lot of time looking for high cushioning and support, or if you buy shoes because a sales guy at the running store put you on a treadmill and video your feet to show you how a certain shoe "corrects" your stride, you might be caught off-guard by the Inov-8 approach.

Here's why:

During recent decades, running shoes have been designed to help initially prevent injuries in poorly conditioned legs and feet by building shoes that replace natural body functions with artificial stabilization and extra cushioning. The resulting problem is that the person using those shoes initially becomes more aerobically fit and starts running faster and longer... without their feet and legs being structurally strengthened to handle the increased demand. Before long, the shoes can't continue to compensate for the fact that the person's feet and legs' inner structures simply aren't trained to handle the running. It's too-much too-soon meets too-little too-late. Consequently, painful "overuse" injuries (shinsplints, knee pain, back pain, stress fractures, tendonitis, fasciitis, etc.) are practically an inevitability for many well-intentioned and dedicated aspiring runners who take up jogging or join a cross country or track team.

A very large number of "overuse" injuries in otherwise healthy people result from a combination of two factors. 1) Weak/underused feet and leg structures, as described above; & 2) Bad running form - it doesn't immediately hurt to run improperly on 2" of cushioning, but bad form will catch up to you as you increase mileage. Really, the problem isn't "overuse" so much as "use" when, thanks to laziness and bad shoes, critical parts of our bodies are only conditioned to "under-use".

The solution is to make the following transition: Stop running in shoes that put us on a cushy path to a painful destination and carefully learn to run in shoes that enable our bodies to run the way we were actually built to run. Most people are completely capable of much more running than you might think, but it takes a little work to correct years of under-use. This transition will require a little patience as you build the strength in your legs and feet to avoid injuries. It will also require learning to run with healthier running form, which is a lot easier on your body as well as more efficient for long distance.

Inov-8 shoes are designed to enable your foot, not to support it to the extent of replacing natural foot functions. In other words, if you are out of shape and decide to start running 20+ miles per week exclusively in this shoe, you are taking a risk. The shoes are designed for the runner who is making or has already made the transition as described above. Inov-8's entire product line is built on a minimalist philosophy. More and more runners and fitness buffs are realizing that the Inov-8 approach is, indeed, a better approach. (Not to mention a darned good shoe in terms of materials and quality as well as design.)

If you have not carefully transitioned to a minimalist running style and built up strong feet and legs for this type of shoe, a sudden switch could injure you. Take the transition slowly because your feet and legs need to get strong enough to actually do what they are built to do.

Inov-8 shoes are generally comfortable, very well built, and perfectly able to carry a fit runner through many hundreds, and even a thousand, happy miles. However, they do not replace under-used arches or compensate for pounding, heel-striking strides. (Contrary to popular myth, flat-footed runners can run just fine in these shoes - if they get their feet and legs in shape. Flat feet are not the running liability many have been lead to believe. Ever watch world-class runner Haille Gebrselassie's stride?)

How can I say all this? I have flat feet, terrible pronation, and am 6'3" tall. I ran four years of cross country in high school and was on the varsity squad for a state-championship team. The whole time, I fought miserable shinsplints, knee pain, and back pain. I popped Advil like tic-tacs. I loved the sport and ran relatively good 5K times but my chronic pain was bad enough to sideline me for all of track season senior year. Any time I increased my intensity or mileage, the problems got worse. Doctors were talking about "scar tissue" and "surgery". Well-meaning doctors told me to stop running. They said my body just wasn't made for it. Shoe-store employees continued to put me into higher support, more motion control, more cushioning to try and "correct" my feet and legs.

It wasn't until college that a former teammate (who is now a professional runner partially sponsored by Inov-8) explained the concept of minimalist running to me. Although I was in good aerobic condition, I spent a month resting and then the better part of three months carefully re-training from scratch, patiently overhauling my form to be more efficient, working my way into exclusively running in racing flats (Inov-8 wasn't available yet), and allowing my feet and legs to get much stronger and more flexible.

Since then, I run further and faster than ever before, with no more "overuse injury" bullcrap. My training mileage has at one point been greater than 90 miles per week. I have competed in a major marathon and placed in the top 4 in my age group. I have won a handful of smaller races. Better yet, I have not been injured or hurt ONCE since I made that transition to minimalist shoes and better running form. I haven't even owned a pair of traditional "trainer" shoes in over 8 years. (Much of my training is in an old pair of trashed racing flats with at least 1,500 miles on them. I prefer to use Inov-8 for more rugged terrain and tougher trails, where they excel, but they have models that make good trainers on almost any terrain. When my beloved racing flats finally die, I'll replace them with an Inov-8 racing model.)

I consider myself a "weekend warrior" and I am a far cry from an "elite" runner. Had I listened to the well-meaning doctors who told me I just wasn't built to run and should give it up, I would have stopped years ago. Inov-8 understands that we humans are literally built to be running machines. Tap into it, and enjoy.
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33 of 43 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars They won't warranty their shoes, January 2, 2013
This review is from: Inov-8 F-lite 195 Shoe (Apparel)
I've had my F195 for two weeks. I really liked them and was sold on them for two reasons. First, they are marketed as crossfit shoes. Second, the crossfit websites review these as great shoes, in fact I believe they were the number one rated shoe where I looked. The store where I purchased them also touted them as crossfit shoes.

They are very comfortable and very light. However, because they are comfortable and light their durability stinks. I tore out the side of the sole on my shoes on my first attempt at a rope climb. Thus, I stopped doing rope climbs immediately. I took the shoes back to my retailer and told them what happened. I was told there is good news and bad news. The good news is that Inov8 will back the shoes. The bad news is I will need to contact them directly for a replacement.

I called the customer service number (508-480-8856) to talk them. They immediately went on the defensive about how these aren't really crossfit shoes but were instead adopted by the crossfit community as a great shoe. They told me any shoe would tear out on a rope climb and thus there is nothing they will do for me. I explained to them that everybody at the gym liked the shoes and knew they tore out and would be anxious to hear about the warranty. I further suggested that since they wouldn't be covered he could be sure nobody out our gym would buy Inov8. Heck, why spend $120 for something you can only use for two weeks? I told him if there was nothing they were going to do that I would just switch to Reebok crossfit shoes. He seemed fine with that and didn't even flinch at the notion that I would switch manufacturers and everybody at the gym would know it. I can tell you first hand the people doing rope climbs that day using ANY OTHER SHOE didnt tear out their soles.

What's crazy to me is they are happy to attach on to the moniker that they sell crossfit shoes and accept the marketing PR that goes with it, but they don't want to back up their product if it fails in that capacity. He did tell me their new shoes were going to have harder soles for crossfit. Hmmm, so are you marketing crossfit or not?

Based on their lack of warranty or concern, I will not buy another pair of their shoes for any reason. I'd be happy to hear back from Inov8 and post an update.

Ken Gross
spenrose9@msn.com
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome, January 18, 2013
This review is from: Inov-8 F-lite 195 Shoe (Apparel)
I love these inov8s!!! I am a size seven in womens and got a 5.5 in men's, fits perfect and very comfortable!! The first thing I said when opening was the colors look better in real life. :).. I've received many compliments at the crossfit gym!! Good buy!!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great for Cross-fit, June 11, 2012
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This review is from: Inov-8 F-lite 195 Shoe (Apparel)
Best shoe I have used for Cross-fit. Comfortable, no slip with lateral movement. They are light weight. Excellent shoe. Give it a go!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love them!, February 8, 2013
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This review is from: Inov-8 F-lite 195 Shoe (Apparel)
Love these shoes...great for crossfitting! They are light, feel great, and the perfect shoe for running and crosstraining. I would recommend them for any serious athlete.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lightweight Trainer...Not just a Crossfit shoe...Running also., September 19, 2013
This review is from: Inov-8 F-lite 195 Shoe (Apparel)
Although I didn't purchase the shoes here, I decided to write a review. I'm a long distance runner. Have been for 24 years. Competed on anything from the 2 mile to 1/2 marathon. In recent years I trained with Asics Landreths, for about 5 years to be exact. On race day, depending on the race distance, I always ran in racing flats. Shoe weight reduction is a big thing on race day.

This past February of 2013 I grew comfortable training in my Asics Piranhas. They are a 3.7oz racing flat. You could call it an almost zero-drop shoe. Not quite a minimalist shoe, but pretty close. Well I got so comfortable running in them, I started doing all my training in them, including easy days. Traditionally a shoe like this is for track and race day only.

Moving forward to September 2013. My knees started swelling after workouts and began giving me pains. At the recommendation of a triathele buddy, he said to try the INVO8 F Lite 195s out. All the reviews on Amazon seemed to be of individuals using the shoe for crossfit. Well I've been using them for all my daily running workouts. I train 5-6 days a week. I'm on the 5k circuit right now, so my typical training days are 5-6 miles of track work or an easy 3 miler at the park.

So far this shoe has handled great. I wear a size 9.5 men's. That's what I bought. I have a wide foot. The shoe had a good toe box, but was snug on my bunyuns. I took a chance and bought them. After wearing them all day, they were "broken in". I can run on them without my toes bunching up. It's a shoe that fits like a glove and offers enough cushion for the pavement. No more knee pain after just 1 track workout and 1 easy run. The shoes weighs in at 6.9oz, which is way better than my old Asics Landreths which were 11.8oz.
The 195s have a 3mm drop, which still qualifies them as a zero-drop shoe(0-4mm) for those that want to improve their natural stride and foot strike. I personally can't go back to traditional running shoes anymore without getting shin splints or stiff calves within the 1st 1/2 mile of a warmup run. I use to always talk bad about minimalist shoes and was never a believer, but not anymore. This doesn't mean I'll ever run in Vibrams or a true minimalist shoe, but will definitely stick to zero-drop shoes like this one.

Hope this was informative, coming from a competitive runner of 24 years...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars my favorite shoes, June 25, 2013
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This review is from: Inov-8 F-lite 195 Shoe (Apparel)
i use these shoes for EVERYTHING! powerlifting AND cardio. these shoes are the bomb, well worth the price.. highly recommend them
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best shoes for Crossfit (my opinion)., May 30, 2013
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This review is from: Inov-8 F-lite 195 Shoe (Apparel)
Lightweight, feet do not sweat--good air flow, good for weightlifting and running and box jumps. Soles are not spongy yet they give some support. Wash up great. Worth the price. Cannot wait for the weightlifting shoes to come out!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good shoes, May 15, 2013
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This review is from: Inov-8 F-lite 195 Shoe (Apparel)
I'm very happy with these. I use them for lifting and HIIT training. I would not recommend these for distance running, but if your sick of shoes that tend to roll out to the side when you squat, clean, dead lift, etc.... These are great. Good for plyometrics or any explosive exercise. If you have foot problems, these shoes are not for you IMHO. They are super light and I think they run a little big. I will get a 1/2 size smaller next time.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome shoe., January 31, 2013
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This review is from: Inov-8 F-lite 195 Shoe (Apparel)
Light. Comfortable. Look great. Same sizing as my Pumas. White rubber on bottom and toe gets dirty quickly. Great product.
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Inov-8 F-lite 195 Shoe
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