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Inov-8 Bare-XF 210 V3 Review (2024) | Great Barefoot Shoe for CrossFit?

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The Inov-8 Bare-XF 210 V3 has been a staple in barefoot shoe rotation for quite some time. The Bare-XF 210 V3 has a reworked upper construction compared to the V2, and across the board, these changes have had a positive impact on this shoe’s performance.

I’ve enjoyed testing and training hard in this model, and I think it has multiple construction aspects going for it. For example, if you’re looking for a barefoot shoe for CrossFit and functional fitness, then I think the Bare-XF 210 V3 is worth exploring.

Outside of functional fitness, I’ve also made a point of testing and pushing this shoe’s performance for lifting. Of all of the barefoot shoes for training I’ve reviewed, the Bare-XF 210 V3 has one of the most minimalist stack heights I’ve tried.

This gives this shoe an awesome amount of ground feel, and to be honest, I feel like this shoe is pretty slept-on when it comes to powerlifting and recreational lifters.

For the Record

I’ve used the Inov-8 Bare XF-210 V3 for two years and constantly come back to this shoe for workouts where I’m lifting and blending in my plyometric exercises. It’s a good do-it-all type of barefoot shoe in the gym.

  • To date, I’ve reviewed over 60 pairs of barefoot shoes and used my experiences with all of these models to build reviews with more context and nuance. This helps me better suggest shoes for specific asks and needs.
  • My educational background is in Sports Science (MS) and Exercise Science (BS) with a focus on biomechanics. I blend my educational background with my shoe review experience to shed more light on how different shoes can influence performance and movement patterns.

Inov-8 Bare-XF 210 V3 Summary

The Inov-8 Bare-XF 210 V3 is an excellent barefoot shoe for anyone that wants to use them for functional fitness and daily wear. They have a durable upper that limits breakdown from abrasion that can occur in things like rope climbs and burpees.

In addition, the upper breathes really well, so this model feels light and keeps the feet cool. On top of being a strong performer in the gym, this shoe also looks good daily.

If you want a fairly aesthetic barefoot shoe that performs well in multiple settings, the Inov-8 Bare-XF 210 V3 will be a good shoe for you. This model also works exceptionally well for narrower feet, which makes this shoe unique to some of the industry norms.

However, it’s worth noting that this shoe’s snugger toe box can be a negative for those with wider feet. If you like boxier toe boxes that have more room for training, then you’ll want to explore something like the Primus Lite III.

Bare-XF 210 V3 Pros and Cons

Logo

Pros

  • The sole is super minimalist in this shoe which gives you a ton of ground feel when running, walking, and lifting.
  • The upper construction is durable and it does a good job in CrossFit settings where abrasion can be more prevalent.
  • These run a little narrower through the toe box which make them a great pick for lifters and athletes with narrower feet.

Cons

  • Since this shoe has such a minimal stack height, it may not be the best pick for beginners.
  • The tread can fade on concrete if you're running a ton in these but that's the tradeoff with their super minimalist feel.
  • If you have wide feet, you may want to look into options like the Bare-XF from Inov-8 and skip on the V3.

Specs to Know

  • Heel-to-Toe Drop: 0mm
  • Stack Height: ~5mm (with insole in)
  • Removable Insole: Yes
  • Sizing: True to Size
  • Width: Medium

Inov-8 Bare-XF 210 V3

inov 8 bare xf 210 v3
4.8
Stability
4.9
Versatility
4.7
Durability
4.8

Best For

  • Functional Fitness
  • Heavy Resistance Training
  • Daily Wear
  • Shorter and Mid-Range Runs

Falls Short

  • For Delivering Maximal Toe Box Width
  • For Lateral Training

Inov-8 Bare-XF 210 V3 Pros

I’ve found multiple things to like about the Inov-8 Bare-XF 210 V3 throughout my testing process. Below are my four favorite aspects of this shoe.

  1. Reworked Upper Construction
  2. Maneuverable Outsole
  3. Good for Functional Fitness and Daily Wear
  4. Lightweight Build

The first aspect that I like about the Inov-8 Bare-XF 210 V3 is its upper construction. Compared to the V2, the V3 has a reworked upper construction that features more durable and breathable aspects. This model has mid-foot Rope-Tec protection for abrasion resistance, which is awesome for functional fitness-focused lifters.

In addition, the toe has an additional TPU wrap for added durability and friction resistance. The mesh throughout the toe-box and mid-foot also breathes really well and keeps the feet cool even in the hottest settings.

inov-8 bare xf 210 v3 upper

Another aspect to like about the Inov-8 Bare-XF 210 V3 is its sole construction. This model features a 3mm POWER FOOTBED, which provides you with a super close-to-the-ground feeling.

The sole maneuvers well and provides the feet with ample ground feedback for proprioceptive benefits. Speaking to the two pros above, this model is also a really good shoe for functional fitness and beginners wanting to get into barefoot shoes.

At times, barefoot shoes can fall short for functional fitness due to their upper constructions and providing enough durability. Still, this model is one of the few exceptions on the market.

I also like the appearance of this model and think it’s one of the better-looking barefoot shoes on the market. It has a subtle and clean aesthetic is great for daily wear and matching multiple outfits.

inov-8 bare xf 210 v3 pros

The final aspect to like about this model is just how lightweight it is. This is a barefoot shoe that you can very easily forget you have on your feet.

My size 10 model weighs 6.95 ounces, and its low-profile design gives it a sock-like feeling. If you love super minimalist feeling shoes, you’ll like this model.

Inov-8 Bare-XF 210 V3 Cons

As a whole, I’ve really enjoyed wearing and testing the Inov-8 Bare-XF 210 V3, but there are two potential cons I could see others running into.

  1. Toe Box Isn’t the Widest
  2. Not Ideal for Lateral Training

The first potential drawback to this model is its toe box construction. Compared to other barefoot shoes, this model’s toe box feels slimmer at the base of the toes.

When I first put this model I noticed it and that’s because contextually I’m mentally comparing it to other models from Vivobarefoot and Xero Shoes. For most, I don’t think this will be the hugest issue, but it is important to note for anyone who wants maximal width out of their shoe’s toe box.

If you’re used to wearing Vivobarefoot models, for example, then you may find this model’s toe box to feel a tad tight despite having a fit rating of 4 from Inov-8 (5 being the widest).

inov-8 bare xf 210 v3 toe box

The second drawback of this model that could be an issue for some is its performance for lateral training. While I really like the upper construction for its breathability and flexibility, you can sometimes slide in this model when training laterally.

I noticed that I had a little bit of overhang with my foot when driving through the foot laterally. I think this could be more problematic for anyone with a narrower foot anatomy, where you’ll have more potential to slide in your shoes. Conversely, some may not notice this aspect at all.

Inov-8 Bare-XF 210 V3 Performance

To discuss performance in the Inov-8 Bare-XF 210 V3, I’m going to break the following section into three different parts including lifting, versatile training, and runs/daily wear.

inov-8 bare xf 210 v3 performance

Testing the Inov-8 Bare-XF 210 V3 for Lifting

I really like the Inov-8 Bare-XF 210 V3 for lifting. This model’s 3mm POWER FOOTBED gives you a super close-to-the-ground feeling, and you can really dig your feet into the floor and grip them when lifting in this model. I love this for deadlifts and lower body training, where I need more foot stability.

Additionally, this model’s sock-like construction gives it a nice, true “barefoot feeling.” For replicating barefoot lifting for resistance training-focused athletes, this model is one of my favorites, and it has a durable upper construction to accompany its sole construction.

inov-8 bare xf 210 v3 lifting

Testing the Bare XF-210 V3 for Versatile Training

For CrossFit, classes, and other forms of versatile training, I think the Inov-8 Bare-XF 210 V3 performs really well. The ROPE-TEC in this model’s forefoot is awesome for rope climbs.

The additional TPU toe wrap is a nice touch for long-term durability from toe-dragging movement like burpees. Something I also like is that these additional durability features don’t take away from this model’s breathability and lightweight build.

Bare-XF 210 V3 ground feel tests

The sticky rubber outsole and meta-flex construction in the forefoot are also nice touches for providing a really responsive feeling for things like cleans and box jumps where you want a lot of forefoot maneuverability.

Testing the Bare-XF 210 V3 for Runs and Daily Wear

The Inov-8 Bare-XF 210 V3 performs decently well for shorter and mid-range runs. I personally think this model excels slightly better for shorter runs due to its sock-like construction.

It almost feels like nothing on the foot and reminds me of my old track shoes when hitting sprints and short runs in them. On a daily wear basis, this model is one of my favorite barefoot shoes, and that’s due to its appearance.

Bare-XF 210 V3 running tests

This model looks awesome with gym and more casual apparel so you can wear it in a variety of settings. So, if you want to rock them to the gym, then to run errands you can easily do so and they’ll look great.

Inov-8 Bare-XF 210 V3 Sizing

When I first put on the Inov-8 Bare-XF 210 V3 I thought the toe box felt a tad snug in regard to its width. However, after one use they broke in really well and my true-to-size model fits pretty well across the board in regard to length and width.

Most lifters and athletes should be safe going true-to-size in the Inov-8 Bare-XF 210 V3.

inov 8 bare xf 210 v3 sizing

As always, if you have any sizing and fit questions for the Inov-8 Bare-XF 210 V3 feel free to drop a comment below and I’ll answer accordingly.

Construction Details

Below, I’ve listed some of the key construction details that go into the Inov-8 Bare XF 210 V3. This model’s construction is one of my favorites to date for barefoot shoes.

  • Weight: 6.95 Ounces
  • Heel-To-Toe Drop: 0mm
  • Removable Insole
  • ROPE-TEC
  • Meta-Flex Forefoot Construction
  • TPU Toe Wrap
  • Mesh Upper
  • 6 Eyelets (6th for lack-lock)
  • Stick Rubber Outsole
  • EHC Heel System

If you want a visual breakdown of the construction features in this model, then skip to 6:41 in the video above!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q:
Can I do CrossFit in the Inov-8 Bare-XF 210 V3?

A:
The Inov-8 Bare-XF 210 V3 features two key construction aspects that make its upper a better option for CrossFit and functional fitness compared to other barefoot shoes. These two features include the additional TPU toe wrap and mid-foot Rope-Tec support.

Q:
Are the Inov-8 Bare-XF 210 V3 wide?

A:
The Inov-8 Bare-XF 210 V3 has a 5 on Inov-8's fit scale which means they're intended to fit wider per their company. However, compared to other barefoot shoes, the Bare-XF 210 V3 does have a slightly narrower toe box.

Q:
Is the Inov-8 Bare-XF 210 V3 good for lifting?

A:
For lifting, the Inov-8 Bare-XF 210 V3 excels due to its lightweight upper construction and 3mm POWER FOOTBED. If you want to get and feel super close to the ground, then this is a good shoe for your lifting needs.

Q:
Can I run in the Inov-8 Bare-XF 210 V3?

A:
The Inov-8 Bare-XF 210 V3 is a decent barefoot shoe for shorter and mid-range runs. The outsole features meta-flex tech and sticker rubber to provide adequate traction and responsiveness.

Final Verdict

Across the board, the Inov-8 Bare-XF 210 V3 has been a strong performer. If you want to tackle functional fitness, lifting, and daily wear with this shoe, then I think you’ll really like all of the construction aspects of this model.

If you have any questions about the Inov-8 Bare-XF 210 V3, drop a comment below or contact me personally via Instagram (@jake_boly or @that_fit_friend)!

Jake Boly, CSCS, MS Sports Science

Jake Boly, CSCS, MS Sports Science

Jake Boly is the Founder and Editor-In-Chief of That Fit Friend. He's often regarded to as a go-to resource in various performance shoe communities. He’s been formally reviewing shoes and training gear for over 7 years and has hand-tested over 400 pairs of shoes. Jake is known on the internet and YouTube for blending his review process with his educational, strength sports, and personal training background.

Jake has a Masters in Sports Science, a Bachelors in Exercise Science, a CSCS, and he's been personal training for over 10 years helping hundreds of clients get stronger, lose weight, and accomplish their goals. He uses his exercise science brain and personal training background to make curated and thoughtful review content on the fitness gear he's testing.

2 thoughts on “Inov-8 Bare-XF 210 V3 Review (2024) | Great Barefoot Shoe for CrossFit?”

  1. Hey, Jake.

    I’m thinking of snagging the Bare XF 210 and I’m not super sure what size to snag because I teeter between 12.5 and 13 depending on the brand. I’m a 13 in Nobull and Nike, but a 12.5 in Altra and Vivos. I was wondering what your sizes are for reference so I can make a better size decision.

    Thanks,
    Devan

    1. Hey Devan! I’d go with the 13 in the Inov-8 Bare-XF 210 V3. I feel like that would be a good call for you based on sizing context you’ve shared. Keep me posted if that works!

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