Monday, November 22, 2010

Inov8 Footwear

I have been eying these shoes for a while now.  I just ordered this shoe the Inov-8 F-Lite 230.  Inov8's keep coming on my running shoe radar. These shoes are becoming increasingly popular, especially with trail runners looking for a neutral lightweight running shoe.  With their popularity they are becoming increasingly hard to find as Inov8 hasn't quite caught up with the demand.  Trying to find the right style in my size was more difficult than I expected.  It reminds me of last year when I was trying to find some Vibram Fivefingers in my size.  It took a few months and a few orders later before I had a pair on my feet.

When I'm looking for a running shoe I look for a minimal features/design, lightweight, attractive shoe with little arch support and a low profile.  I want to feel the ground underneath me while keeping my feet safe and warm.  These shoes seem to strike a nice balance between barefooting and more supportive shoes.   When I try the shoes out I'll let you know what I think.

Alright, my Inov8 shoes came in the exact day that I needed them to come in so that I could take them with me on my weekend in Portland.  Thank you Zappos!  It took 2 days for me to get the shoes in the mail...isn't that crazy?  

I used the Inov8 F-Lite 230's for the first time on James' Gorge Waterfall's 50K course in Cascade Locks Oregon.  The trail is mostly single track with some really rocky sections and some short river crossings.  The shoes were a pleasure with lots of grip on the rocks.  I had to pick my way though the sharper rocks on the trail as the shoes are very minimal and I could really feel the trail (which is just what I want!).  My feet felt pretty worked by the end of the 30 miles.  The next day i did a 45 minute run and the shoes still felt great.  Highly recommended!

Here are the shoes I am running in right now:
http://www.sportiva.com/products/prod/531
La Sportiva Crosslite, Trail shoe: Just got these shoes and I am loving them, although after 20 miles my toenails start to hurt.  Other than that they are very comfortable.
Nike Free 3.0
I wore my Nike Free 3.0's all of 2010 and I am still wearing them when my feet need a gentle shoe.  Gentle as in they don't rub on any blisters or hurt tender toenails.  I wore them for most of my training in 2010 and most of my races, including 6 ultra marathons.

Fivefingers KSO:
I really love using these shoes on Whidbey trails during the warmer summer months.  I chose to use them on more mild trails with few rocks and mud.  They are excellent for perfecting your running form and building up your calf and foot muscles.  I still have not used them for a trail race, although I ran in them for the Rhody Run 12K in Port Townsend, all on the  road. 

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