Inov-8 F-Lite 220 Shoes

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Manufacturer Description

Elite lightweight running shoe for use on hard pack and urban terrain.  Low profile midsole with a non marking translucent rubber outsole.  Ideal for Freerunning and Urban racing.  The stable, low profile 2 arrow Shoc-Zone and lightweight upper makes the 220 perfect for CrossFit.

Features

  • Performance Last. Precise fitting last ensures minimal internal movement when contouring, ascending and descending.
  • All our footwear incorporates a meta-flex groove which is anatomically aligned in front of the metatarsal heads to provide a natural fore foot flex
  • The upper webbing support in our footwear is anatomically positioned to cradle the fore foot behind the metatarsal heads and provide a secure foot hold.
  • A replication of the plantar fascia ligament to increase propulsion efficiency and reduce fatigue
  • F-Lite Flat Sole
  • Our translucent outsole as used on most of the PK models uses a non-marking rubber compound
  • TPU Lacing support
  • Built on a last based off an average runner’s foot giving a good fit for both male and female
  • Size 9 measured
    • Weight – 220 g (7.7 oz) each
    • Stack Height – Heel(17.5 mm), Toe (10.5 mm), Drop (7 mm) including insole
    • Forefoot Width – 100.1 mm
  • Retail – $105

YMMV Review

Inov-8 is a brand out of the UK. They have been making minimal style footwear for some time now. Originally starting out with trail and fell running, they have now branched out into road running as well.

Design ★★★★☆

The Inov-8 F-Lite 220 shoes are a transitional shoe from standard running shoes to minimal shoes. It is a lightweight shoe with a fabric upper.   While this does not breathe as well as mesh, it does keep debris out and does not get wet as easily as a mesh upper would. The sole is definitely on the thinner side with no protection plates. This allows the foot to feel the ground more.

Translucent Sole

The sole was a translucent rubber that is non-marking for urban use. There is not much traction on the sole. Inov-8 used a large flex point at the metatarsals for flex and a fascia band on the out-sole for efficiency. The shoe is definitely flexible, lending itself the more minimalist style.

Fit ★★★★☆

Initially I found the shoe fit to run a little snug. I was worried that they were a bit too tight through the mid foot.  After all these shoes are designed to work for both men and women. From my experience we have entirely different feet. Soon there after the fears subsided.  After a couple of runs, the width broke in very nicely and they fit great now. Length was true to size. Toe box width was perfect for my feet which is average width.  the heel is on the slightly narrow side to hold your foot in place. The shoes as a whole fit tight but not too tight through the mid-foot. They just feel fast like a racing flat.

Performance ★★★★☆

If you take a look at the sole of these shoes, they have a translucent sole which is rather different to what you normally see. I was worried about this but after a couple runs in them I have not noticed any difference in wear. I will check back on this after I have logged a lot more miles in these. The Inov-8 f-Lite 220’s are made to be an urban racer but able to run on non technical trails as well.

Top View with Blue Laces

This has been my experience as well. I have used this on all types of surfaces and the shoes excel on roads and non-technical trails. They do lack the traction for muddy trails, steep climbs, and snowy landscapes but Inov-8 has many shoes for that purpose. With not much sole underfoot you can feel the ground well which I like. They also don’t seem to have a lot of cushion in them which s typical of most minimalistic shoes.

Overall ★★★★☆

Overall I have liked these shoes quite a bit.  They are semi-minimalist and fit great after breaking in. They also look cool which does not hurt things. They are ideally suited for roads and non-technical trails. I have also heard of people using them for cross-fit. I look forward to trying out some more Inov-8’s in the future and would recommend these as a lower drop lightweight shoe. At $105 I feel like these are appropriately priced. As with all my reviews, your mileage may vary.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Lower Drop than standard shoes
  • Good for Mixed surface running (Road/Trail)

Cons

  • Bit snug at first
  • Not built for technical trails where traction is paramount

Long Term Check-In

I have now put over 450 miles on these shoes. They have been comfortable for use during the Eugene Marathon and on long non-technical trails. My only gripe is that where the upper meets the sole has worn a bit faster than the rest of the shoe.

Cracking Near Sole

Water can seep through there and get my feet damp on wetter days.

Other than that, the shoes have been great. The soles have held up great and since I am more of a minimalist runner, I have not been worried about any breakdown in cushioning, not that there is much. Overall I still hold by my 4 star rating.

Adventures

About the Author

I am an avid runner, cyclist, swimmer, hiker, climber, skier and many other activities that would make this list too long. I started Your Mileage May Vary Reviews in Early 2011 to combine two of my passions: sports and gear.

One Response to “Inov-8 F-Lite 220 Shoes”

  1. It was really interesting to read your review of the 220. I too found that they were a surprisingly good all-round shoe – surprising because Inov-8 don’t seem to have ever advertised them as such. I reckon they’re missing a trick, personally.

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