Author Topic: Innov-8 F-Lite 230 Review!  (Read 6119 times)

Offline Adam McC

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Innov-8 F-Lite 230 Review!
« on: June 19, 2010, 06:59:38 PM »
Hey everyone! I recently got a hold of the new Lite 230 Innov-8s. I decided, since I couldn't find a good review anywhere, to make one. I've been wearing them consistently for about three weeks just to get over that initial amazement of a new shoe, so now that I've spent some time with it, here it is!



FIT:
On a scale of 1-10, I give these shoes a 9 on fit. They are extremely form fitting, very comfortable around the foot. It's the type of shoe where when you first buy it to put it on, you freak out because you can't get your heel in and you think you got a size too small. But once you stretch them out, they slip on every time. Another bonus is the soft, meshy material that runs all around the shoe. Because of it, you won't get that achilles or side of the ankle irritation that I felt from Ariakes, as well as new 5.10's. They feel soft and broken-in from the first second.



FLEXIBILITY:
On a scale of 1-10, I give these shoes an 8, in terms of flexibility. The best way I can describe this shoe is a Feiyue with a rugged sole. This shoe is flexible enough to roll up into a ball, or fold up in half, or even in three parts. The shoe consists of a thin rubber sole, and a soft, meshy material, thus it really bends whatever way you want. When I stand on a rail, the sole very visibly bends around the rail, giving me so much more control and feel, versus the 5'10s I typically train in. Again, I liken this shoe to the Feiyue, only built in a more rugged and trail-shoe-like design. Follow this link to see how the mesh top of the shoe bends according to the foot. http://i175.photobucket.com/albums/w134/a1s8k0/Adam/IMG_3191.jpg



WEIGHT:
On a scale of 1-10, I give these shoes an 8 in weight. They are incredibly light. Really, you don't notice them on your feet much at all. After wearing these shoes for about a week, I couldn't believe how thick and clunky the 5.10's felt on my foot. As before, I compare these shoes to the Feiyues. I am currently holding one in each hand, and the Innov-8 is just barely heavier.



GRIP:
On a scale of 1-10, and 10 being the grip level of the Fiveten Freerunner, which is the best I've experienced, these shoes get a 7. I find the grip on these shoes perfectly acceptable, but not outstanding, like the Fivetens. On a brick surface, they stick well, probably about the level of the Ariakes, slightly better than the Feiyues. Certainly, levels above that of the typical Nike sneaker at the shoe store. I tried a wall-up that I can usually nail with the FiveTens, and I came up about an inch shorter than usual, in my best try. They definitely stick less than Fivetens, but only a marginal amount. On rails, or smooth surfaces, I find them to be very effective, if not better, than FiveTens. I actually feel more comfortable on rails in these shoes, than in Fivetens. That may be due to the flexibility of the shoe as well, which makes landing easier than the stiffer Fiveten, but I also find, doing some Oleg-style rail work, that they stick nicely if you just give them a dust-wipe. Finally, they defeat my big pet peeve of the FiveTens, which is slipping on wet or damp grass. Because of the smooth surface of the Fivetens, I found it difficult to run hard on wet grass, as the shoes slipped everywhere. These shoes have a track-like bottom, which digs into the grass the way a typical trail shoe does, which gives me confidence when striding and running on grass. Overall, I think the grip is well-above satisfactory, but not as good as FiveTen rubber.



BREATHABILITY:
On a scale of 1-10, these shoes get a 10 for breathability. With the mesh top, my foot feels completely cool and aired out. Despite being a form-fitting shoe that moves with your foot, there is definitely some airflow in there that keeps my foot comfortable. You know that feeling where, after a long day of training, it feels wonderful to take off your shoes? I've never experienced that with these shoes. They always feel great. I do not notice them on my feet at all. I'm actually quite tempted to wear them casually, because they are so comfortable on my foot.



CUSHIONING:
On a scale of 1-10, I give these shoes a 5 for cushioning. They are definitely thinner, lighter shoes. Doing any kind of very high impact movement on concrete, or hard ground, and you will feel it in your foot. However, these shoes do supply more cushioning than I expected, when I first saw how thin the sole was. The rubber on the sole is much harder than expected, especially after spending so much time in the super-soft Feiyues, and so I was pleasantly surprised at how much impact I could take with such a flexible and light shoe. But nonetheless, I wouldn't go doing any 8 foot drops onto a curb with this shoe. The cushioning is, to pick a word, minimally acceptable. It fits my training method perfectly, but if you are used to a shoe with more cushioning, it may be a bit of a surprise. I would say that if you're trying to be lighter with landings, this is a good shoe for transitioning from heavy cushioning to Feiyues/Vibrams/Bare feet. It makes you softer without hurting you.



Durability
On a scale of 1-10, I would give these shoes a 7 for Durability. It's hard to say, as I've only owned them for a month, but after some significant use, I'm seeing no wear, except the rubbing off of the tiny bumps that come on the bottom of the rubber. The ball of the foot area is now flat rubber, but that's been the case for every shoe I've bought, from FiveTens all the way down to Feiyues. I wouldn't say they have exceptional durability, as I have seen some wear, but nothing worse than any other Parkour shoe. The simply fact is, we put these shoes through hell. It'd take one obnoxiously tough shoe to show no wear from what we do.



Price
On a scale of 1-10, I give these a 4 for price. Simply put, they are expensive. They run $95-100$, brand new. If you're already buying FiveTens and shoes upwards of $80 dollars, they are worth looking at, and, in my opinion, a solid contender amongst the top brands. However, if you just want some cross-trainers for starting your training, I'd buy some cheaper shoes and save up for these.



GENERAL COMMENTS:
Overall, I give these shoes a total of an 8/10, as a shoe. This is the same score I would give the FiveTens, which I have been wearing for over a year. The trade off is this. FiveTens give more cushioning and grip, while the Innov-8 are WAY more comfortable and way more light, look hella sexy, and just fit my training method these days, as I like thinner, lighter shoes. Basically, I'm a big fan of these. I own Ariakes, Fiveten V1s, FiveTen V2's, Feiyues, and now these. These are my favorite shoes.




The Bottom Line:
This seems repetitive, but the bottom line is, I highly suggest these shoes. I really like them. If someone said should I spend the money on them, and they were willing to put out that much money on shoes, I'd say, get these. These are exactly the shoes you want if you want to be able to perform most movements, but would like to focus on control and sensitivity and feel.

Pros:
Lightweight
Flexible
Breathability
They. Look. Sexy.
Fairly Durable
Sensitivity

Cons:
Grip is good, not amazing.
Not a lot of cushioning
Expensive.




Let me know if you guys have any questions!

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Offline Ashley McCauley

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Re: Innov-8 F-Lite 230 Review!
« Reply #1 on: June 20, 2010, 12:34:00 PM »
It's a sexy shoe. :) Thanks for the review Adam. :D
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Re: Innov-8 F-Lite 230 Review!
« Reply #2 on: June 20, 2010, 01:09:14 PM »
Thanks for the review! :)

Offline David Jones

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Re: Innov-8 F-Lite 230 Review!
« Reply #3 on: June 23, 2010, 06:52:09 PM »
When judging the Grip, what do you think overall has the best grip, (basically, what has more of a consistantly good grip ranging from all surfaces). With this review and having owned multiple pairs of 5.10's myself, The F-Lite 230 seems to have the upperhand.

Offline Adam McC

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Re: Innov-8 F-Lite 230 Review!
« Reply #4 on: June 23, 2010, 06:58:47 PM »
When judging the Grip, what do you think overall has the best grip, (basically, what has more of a consistantly good grip ranging from all surfaces). With this review and having owned multiple pairs of 5.10's myself, The F-Lite 230 seems to have the upperhand.

It's really hard to say overall. 5.10s have a clear upper hand on brick and rock surfaces, but these hold up well on smooth surfaces. I'd say they are pretty evenly paired. I'm not sure you can generalize one as better than the other. If I had to, though, I'd guess that the 5.10 rubber is slightly superior.

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Offline ~Tiger~

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Re: Innov-8 F-Lite 230 Review!
« Reply #5 on: June 23, 2010, 07:20:03 PM »
Man... Those Inov-8's look nice Adam.  ;D

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Re: Innov-8 F-Lite 230 Review!
« Reply #6 on: July 01, 2010, 05:45:15 PM »
hey so would you compare the grip to the ariakes? i really like these shoes and im not a fan of lots of cushioning however im not a fan of the absolute zero of some other shoes, my ultimate shoe would be grip of ariakes and the feel of the onitsuka tigers, the ariake follows stealth in terms of rough grip but on metal (for me at least) the grip is comparable to the grip of stealth on rough stuff....are they in between five fingers and ariakes in terms of smooth grip or what...thanks :)
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Offline Adam McC

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Re: Innov-8 F-Lite 230 Review!
« Reply #7 on: July 01, 2010, 08:25:22 PM »
They are far superior to the grip of the Ariakes. I own both, and I can tell you for sure, they are better. The only shoe with grip that tops these are the 5.10s, and that's only on rough surfaces.

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Offline Tex__

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Re: Innov-8 F-Lite 230 Review!
« Reply #8 on: July 01, 2010, 08:57:31 PM »
where did you get your adam? i can;t find any in my size
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Offline Adam McC

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Re: Innov-8 F-Lite 230 Review!
« Reply #9 on: July 01, 2010, 09:03:31 PM »
where did you get your adam? i can;t find any in my size


I got em in NauShoes.com/pk

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Offline Tex__

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Re: Innov-8 F-Lite 230 Review!
« Reply #10 on: July 01, 2010, 09:32:09 PM »
i have a 10.5 ariakes, what size should i get?
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Offline Adam McC

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Re: Innov-8 F-Lite 230 Review!
« Reply #11 on: July 02, 2010, 08:02:32 AM »
They size the same as any shoe. I wear size 9 shoes, and I bought a 9, and it fit.

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Offline Tex__

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Re: Innov-8 F-Lite 230 Review!
« Reply #12 on: July 02, 2010, 12:28:05 PM »
thank you for the help adam.
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