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Inov-8 F-Lite 235 V3 Review (2024) | Good Minimalist Trainer?

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Inov-8 has been long involved in functional fitness with its unique take on cross-training shoes. The Inov-8 F-Lite 235 V3 is the perfect example of a cross-training shoe that takes a different approach to performance.

I’m a fan of the Inov-8 F-Lite 235 V3s for a variety of reasons. They’re stable enough for heavy lifting and also versatile enough to use for things like casual trail runs.

On top of this, I like the Inov-8 F-Lite 235 V3 as it can serve as a bridge-like training shoe for lifters transitioning from traditional built-out trainers to barefoot shoes — more on this below.

F-Lite 235 V3 Pros and Cons

Logo

Pros

  • If you want training shoes that have a more "minimalist" feel then you'll enjoy the pliability of this shoe's sole construction.
  • These shoes feel sock-like on the feet which can be great for giving you an athletic fit for versatile training and lifting.
  • This model's midsole and outsole perform well for lifting, CrossFit, and cross-training workouts. They're a good do-it-all shoe.

Cons

  • If you like more structure with your training shoe's upper then you'll likely want to pass on this model.
  • This model isn't the best for wide feet and for lifters with high insteps. In this context, the sock-like fit can feel aggressive.
  • These won't be the best Inov-8 training shoes for hybrid workouts. Look into the F-Lite G 300 or F-Fly for those asks.

Inov-8 F-Lite 235 V3 At a Glance

The Inov-8 F-Lite 235 V3 is kind of in a class of its own when it comes to Inov-8 cross-training shoes. More specifically and to elaborate on that, this shoe has a super flexible and sock-like fit which is rare from most modern-day trainers.

This shoe’s upper form fits around the feet well and if you like wearing minimalist shoes but want a trainer with a little more cushion in its midsole, then the F-Lite V3 can be a decent option to explore.

For heavy lifting, the Powerflow midsole does a good job promoting overall stability and it’s responsive enough for sprints and HIIT workouts. I also enjoy how flexible this shoe is and if you love lightweight flexible models, I think you’ll like this, too.

  • Heel-to-Toe Drop: 4mm
  • Weight: 8.7 oz (size 10 men’s)
  • Stack Height: 7mm Forefoot/11mm Heel
  • Removable Insole: Yes
  • Width: Regular/Medium
  • Sizing: True to size for most.

Inov-8 F-Lite 235 V3

Inov-8 F-Lite 235 V3
4.5
Stability
4.3
Versatility
4.6
Durability
4.4
Quality
4.4

Best For

  • Agility Workouts
  • Plyometric Training
  • Athletic Training
  • Recreational Lifting

Falls Short

  • For Cost-Efficiency

Check out my video review below of the Inov-8 F-Lite 235 V3s for a visual analysis of this model. Also, check out my cross-training shoe calculator if you’re uncertain which model to use!

Who Should Buy the Inov-8 F-Lite 235 V3?

If you’re someone who loves having flexibility in their cross-training shoes, then I’d highly suggest looking into the Inov-8 F-Lite 235 V3. The dynamic fascia band in this model gives the outsole a more “barefoot” feeling and you can tackle any task in these.

If you’re a lifter or athlete who likes versatility and thrives in shoes that feel “minimalist” in nature, then I think you’ll enjoy training in the Inov-8 F-Lite 235 V3s.

Inov-8 F-Lite 235 V3 Pros

Pro 1: Flexible Dynamic Fascia Band

The first characteristic that I like about the Inov-8 F-Lite 235 V3 is the dynamic fascia band on the outsole. This construction aspect provides the outsole with a more “natural” feeling and is designed to replicate the fascia anatomy on the foot.

Basically, it gives you a grounded feeling when performing activities. This model can be a great transitional training shoe to more barefoot shoes if you’re used to wearing more built-out training shoes.

Pro 2: POWERFLOW+ Midsole Is Versatile

To piggyback off the dynamic fascia band, this model also utilizes Inov-8’s POWERFLOW+ midsole tech. The midsole of this model does a really good job of walking the line between responsiveness and stability.

Pro 3: Lightweight and Highly Flexible

The third standout benefit of this model is just how flexible it is. The midsole and outsole construction on this model is designed to provide you with a very grounded feeling and this is easily noticeable when training in versatile settings. 

The 235 in the name of the shoe stands for this model’s weight, AKA 235g (.51 lbs). My size 10 model weighs about 8.7 oz. Compared to other cross-training shoes, this model is incredibly lightweight which feeds well into the shoe’s versatility.

Inov-8 F-Lite 235 V3 Cons

Despite liking this model as a whole, there are certainly a couple of cons that I could see other athletes and lifters having.

Con 1: Not the Best for Wide Feet

I have an E-width foot and find the Inov-8 F-Lite 235 V3 to fit my feet well. However, I think if you have EE-width foot or wider then you’ll want to tread lightly with this shoe.

For this foot anatomy, you may find that you have some spillover issues in this model when doing lateral work. In the context of this shoe’s sock-like fit, this is where it’s a bit of a give and a take.

Con 2: Feel May Be a Miss for Some

Another potential con I could see others having with this shoe is the more “minimalist” style construction. This shoe feels very athletic and almost like a sock at times, and I know that’s not everybody’s preference in footwear.

If that sounds like you, then I could see you having some issues with how this shoe fits and feels.

Inov-8 F-Lite 235 V3 Performance

I’m going to break down the Inov-8 F-Lite 235 V3’s performance into lifting, agility/plyometric, and day-to-day/shorter run categories below.

Inov-8 F-Lite 235 V3 Performance

Lifting

I personally love the Inov-8 F-Lite 235 V3 for lifting and enjoy the lower-to-the-ground feeling they provide. For me, they feel plenty stable and I’ve trained up to 450 lbs in them with minimal issues with compression.

I think the midsole and outsole construction are thoughtful in construction and they do a fairly good job in compound and accessory exercises. They have similar stability to the F-Lite 260 V2 and F-Lite G 300.

The only potential drawback I could see others having with this model is how flexible they are, as I know some lifters and athletes like a more rigid feeling shoe for lifting.

Agility and Plyometrics

When it comes to agility and plyometrics, this model is one of my all-time favorite cross-training shoes. The dynamic fascia band gives this model an awesome anatomical feel and lets you ground the feet and grip the floor.

In addition, the POWERFLOW+ midsole does a really good job of providing a responsive feeling. If you love more athletic-fitting shoes that feel like socks on your feet, then I think you’ll enjoy this shoe for plyometrics and agility training.

Day-to-Day and Shorter Runs

On a day-to-day basis, this model is okay. It will get the job done for things like errands and some casual daily wear, but it’s likely not going to be the most comfortable option for long-term wear especially if you’re working on your feet all day.

For shorter runs, I think this model is solid. It feeds well into forefoot running and the outsole construction gives you a lot of ground feedback. This model also excels for things like sprints.

Inov-8 F-Lite 235 V3 Sizing

For this model, most lifters and athletes should be safe going true to size. Inov-8 models generally fit pretty narrow, but they gave this model a “5” rating on their sizing and fit scale, which does indicate that this model is slightly wider for their shoe construction.

I would still classify this model as a more narrow-fitting shoe, but it doesn’t feel limiting or “suffocating” in its construction.

Construction Details

Below, I’m going to provide the construction specs and details that Inov-8 provides on their site for this model. If you’re interested in a more visual breakdown of this shoe’s construction, then skip to 5:45 in the video above!

  • Heel-to-Toe Drop: 4mm
  • POWERFLOW+ Midsole
  • Mesh Upper Construction
  • Dynamic Fascia Band Outsole Construction
  • Inov-8 Rubber
  • Weight: 235g

I like the construction of this model and you can tell Inov-8 was thoughtful in how they built this compared to prior models.

Takeaway Thoughts

I still think the Inov-8 F-Lite 235 V3s are one of the better cross-training shoes in 2024 for plyometric and agility training. They do a fairly good job with lifting, too, but where I think they excel the most is in responsive and shoe flexibility-driven exercises.

If you get this model, do note, that they’re going to fit a bit more narrow and athletic, so keep that in mind before investing!

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 F-Lite 235 V3 Review (2024) | Good Minimalist Trainer?”

  1. Hi Jake! How do you feel about the 235v3 compared with the 210v3? I’m really torn between them, so I thought to check with you on your thoughts, especially on:

    – Grip (do they slip on lifting wooden platform)?
    – Toe box width (I notice they’re both rated as 5 by Inov8 but there are differing reviews as to how wide they really feel)
    – Any difference when using them for running, sprinting jumping? I know the 210 is True Barefoot, but the 235’s cushioning and heel drop is so minimal I thought I’d ask anyway.

    Thank you!

    1. Both are solid, but different due to the midsole you get in the 235 V3. That model is more minimalist than most training shoes, but there’s still a big difference between them and a true barefoot shoe.

      1. Neither have slip issues.
      2. Moderate width. Even a 5 at Inov-8 isn’t that wide. I’d describe these as having a neutral width.
      3. Pretty big difference. The midsole despite being smaller in the 235 V3 still gives these more a traditional training shoe feel compared to the 210s. That being said, if you’re not used to barefoot shoes, then the 210s will take longer to acclimate to and adjust to as they’ll provide less cushion for plyos, sprints, etc!

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