Tuesday, 23 November 2010

F-Lite 195 Shoe Review

F-Lite 195 Shoe Review

Worlds Lightest Trail Racer?  I can't be sure that is true but I do know one thing...these new Inov-8 F-lite 195's are worth giving a try.  I didn't try them out until late in my 2010 season but when I finally did break them out of the box I instantly fell in love.

Basically they are a stripped down version of their predecessor F-lite 230's.  Some of the major differences are:  The F-lite 195's feature a 3mm differential between the forefoot and the heel (compared to the 6mm in the 230's) and a 3mm footbed inside of the shoe (instead of a 6mm).  Also this new model protects the underfoot with a shoc-zone of 1 rather than a 2 in the F-lite 230's.  (For more information on shoc-zone's click HERE).  The bottom of the shoes sport the same tread as their predecessor 230 that includes the sticky rubber for wet conditions.

The result of this "stripping down" process is having your foot even closer to the ground in its most stable and natural position like Inov-8 claims.  I must say I can attest to this claim after having run hundreds of miles in the F-lite 230's.  When I put on the F-lite 195's I could immediately tell the difference even before I ran a mile in them. 

In my last race of the season (The Lithia Loop Trail Marathon) I laced up the F-lite 195's and was extremely impressed by the level of comfort and super light weight (just under seven ounces).  In my opinion they are very aesthetically pleasing as well.   If you're in the market for a minimalist shoe for hard pack trails that allow your feet to hug the ground and do what they are supposed to then look no further.  These sleek slipper-like trail shoes definitely agree with my foot.  Here is a quick list of pros and cons:

Pros:  Lightweight, comfortable, very low profile, good for a variety of different trails and roads, very breathable and drain well, aesthetically pleasing 

Cons:  Sticky rubber wears out quickly, not great in soft, sloppy conditions, the uppers have been known to rip by the pinky toe

Enjoy this shoe and if you have any questions or would like to share your experience with them I'd love to hear from you!  :-)


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