CrossFit is a specialised and highly effective fitness training regime, based on high-intensity interval training. It incorporates activities like running, rowing, weight-lifting, gymnastics and rope-climbing. Since it’s all about fitness and not about specialising, CrossFit gear needs to handle a number of varied demands.
The most important kit is shoes. CrossFit workouts are varied and include high-impact sessions, so shoes need to be judged against a number of factors. Here’s how the Inov-8 195 compares against our 7-step selection criteria.
These shoes are tailor-made for CrossFit. The sole is cushioned enough for running but has a carefully positioned groove to allow the foot to flex naturally and feel the floor enough for gym work.
There are also reinforced areas in the middle of the shoe to help with rope-climbing. To be honest, if the shoe could do the workout for the athlete, it would.
For some people, this shoe will seem a little narrow and too long. However, some of this is by design the length is to allow the foot to expand during intense sessions and to avoid banging the ends of the toes.
A few people will find this shoe too narrow, though. One useful feature of the Inov-8 195 is the ability to alter the heel-cup although it’s fine for most wearers ‘out of the box’, it can be steamed and stretched to personalise the fit.
This is always going to be a personal decision. This shoe has features designed to make it comfortable not just for one sport but for whatever is included in the CrossFit Workout of the Day.
The support sections along the outside of the shoe help to hold the foot securely, whatever the wearer is doing, and the mesh material is breathable, keeping the feet as cool and dry as possible.
No shoe is going to turn a regular athlete into a world champion. However, it can’t hurt …
Although the Inov-8 195 is designed as a multi-purpose shoe, it’s in the running phase where it excels. It originally became popular as an ultra-lightweight trail running shoe. Grippy enough to cope with mud, and supportive enough to run on road when needs be.
Although the shoe will be at home in the gym or climbing ropes, it’s out and about that it will really come into its own.
Everything has a downside, right? And maybe, just maybe, the durability of these shoes is a weakness.
The lightweight and technical nature of the soles mean that they are not as hard-wearing as some when used on road, or by a heavier runner but it’s not exactly a disaster. It’s not that these shoes will fall apart in days far from it just that they may not last as long as some others would.
The clue is in the description ultra-light. Coming in at only 195g (or 6.4oz) these shoes will certainly not be weighing anyone down. Which makes them ideal for high intensity workouts, where carrying extra weight will simply lead to quicker fatigue.
Not cheap, not expensive. They’re easily available online for between $95 $155, which is pretty much the standard, going rate.
What are the best bits about the Inov-8 195?
- Specially designed for CrossFit, meaning its suitable for all activities
- Looks great, and is comfortable to wear
- Lightweight. Really, really lightweight.
Read full guide here