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Inov-8 F-Lite 260 V2 vs F-Lite G 300 vs F-Lite 235 V3 (2024)

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Over the year last two years, Inov-8 has made some seriously awesome cross-training shoes. Three of their most popular current models include the Inov-8 F-Lite 260 V2, Inov-8 F-Lite G 300, and the F-Lite 235 V3.

To the unknowing eye, all of these models may seem very similar, but there are some stark differences between each. This article aims to break down the construction and performance differences between the F-Lite 260 V2, the F-Lite G 300, and the F-Lite 235 V3.

I want you to to walk away feeling confident in which model you should grab. Each shoe performs, fits, and feels slightly differently on the feet, so understanding their differences can be incredibly important for making the best buying decision. Context matters.

Testing and Using the Inov-8 F-Lite 260 V2 for Deadlifts

Inov-8 “Shoedown” Summary

After countless workouts, I’ve come to rotate my Inov-8 cross-training shoes based on what I’m doing. I only started doing this after I had enough context from training in each of these shoes for various sessions.

For the record, all of these shoes can work for cross-training, CrossFit, and lifting, so if you’re looking for a shoe for those asks then I wouldn’t stress making a “bad call” between these shoes, per se. No paralysis by analysis!

Before diving into my performance quick take summary, I think a big difference to note with these models and something to keep in mind with your shoe choice is their heel-to-toe drop differences.

  • Inov-8 F-Lite 235 V3: 4mm
  • Inov-8 F-Lite G 300: 6mm
  • Inov-8 F-Lite 260 V2: 8mm

While there are some construction similarities between these shoes such as the PowerFlow midsole used in the 235 V3 and 260 V2, there are also a lot of differences that influence these shoe’s feels. I’ll cover those construction details in-depth below.

Performance Summary Quick Take

  • F-Lite G 300 vs 260 V2 vs 235 V3 for Lifting: Inov-8 F-Lite 260 V2. For the record, all of these shoes work great for lifting and I don’t think stability will be an issue for most lifters. I’ve trained up to 455 lbs in all of these models without compression issues. I chose the 260 V2 here because it has a “weightlifting shoe-esque” platform to it.
  • F-Lite G 300 vs 260 V2 vs 235 V3 for CrossFit: Inov-8 F-Lite G 300. This model feels the most well-rounded and has good durability for the demands of CrossFit while being comfortable for WODs with short runs as well.
  • F-Lite G 300 vs 260 V2 vs 235 V3 for Versatility: All of them. Every one of these shoes can work for versatile workouts. I like the 235 V3 when I want something minimalist-feeling and the G 300 when I want more structure.
  • F-Lite G 300 vs 260 V2 vs 235 V3 for Short Runs: Inov-8 F-Lite G 300. This shoe’s midsole feels the best for short runs and it’s not as dense as the other two picks.
  • F-Lite G 300 vs 260 V2 vs 235 V3 for Daily Wear: Inov-8 F-Lite G 300 or 235 V3. Both of these shoes are comfortable for walking and all-day wear.

Overall Winner: I think the Inov-8 F-Lite G 300 is the most well-rounded training shoe between these three models. The 235 V3 is also fantastic for minimalist-lovers and I often language that shoe as a good “bridge” option between barefoot shoes and training shoes.

Inov-8 F-Lite 260 V2 Vs G 300 Vs 235 V3 Performance

To discuss performance in each of these Inov-8 cross-training shoes, I will break this section into how these models perform with stability in lifting and CrossFit workouts, how they do with versatile training, and how they fare with shorter runs and daily wear.

Stability When Lifting and Doing CrossFit

With the Inov-8 F-Lite 260 V2, F-Lite G 300, and F-Lite 235 V3, you shouldn’t have any issues with stability in either of these models. Each model is designed for tackling lifting and CrossFit workouts, so they’re all built with the intention of limiting compression. In each model, I’ve trained between 455-505 lbs and have noticed very minimal compression.

In the Inov-8 F-Lite 260 V2 and the F-Lite 235 V3, you will get Inov-8’s signature Powerflow midsole. This construction aspect delivers a nice blend of stability and responsiveness, and I’m a fan of the Powerflow midsole whenever Inov-8 utilizes it in their cross-training shoes.

inov 8 f lite 260 v2 vs g 300 vs 235 v3 for lifting

In the F-Lite G 300, you’re getting a blend of medium and high-density foam throughout the midsole. All of the midsoles in these shoes are solid for squats, deadlifts, cleans, and more.

Higher heel-to-toe drops in cross-training shoes will give them more “heel” and will put your ankle in a more positive position. Basically, they’ll put the foot into a slightly more plantarflexed position which can then contribute to altering lower body mechanics when training.

I know that can sound complicated so in regard to the context of this article and these shoes. If you like having a slightly higher heel when training, then you should go F-Lite 260. For those who love having a flatter foot position, then go F-Lite 235 V3, and for a hybrid go F-Lite G 300.

inov 8 f lite 260 v2 vs g 300 vs 235 v3 for crossfit

There’s no right or wrong heel-to-toe drop for lifting and CrossFit, they’re just a matter of personal preference per your movement mechanics wants and needs.

Winner: Tie. They’re all solid for both lifting and CrossFit. I’d suggest instead considering the heel-to-toe drops listed above and cross-referencing them with your wants and exploring the sizing section below!

Inov-8 F-Lite 260 V2

inov-8 f-lite 260 v2
4.6
Stability
4.6
Versatility
4.7
Durability
4.6

Best For

  • CrossFit Workouts
  • Recreational Lifting
  • Versatile Training
  • HIIT and Agility Workouts

Falls Short

  • For Wider Footed Athletes
  • For Cost-Efficiency

Versatile Training

For workouts that include plyometrics, athletic-focused work, and things HIIT all of these models will excel once again, however, for slightly different reasons. Personally, I love the Inov-8 F-Lite 235 V3 for versatile training due to its lightweight sock-like fit and its Dynamic Fascia Band throughout the outsole.

Honestly, the Inov-8 F-Lite 235 V3 has almost a barefoot-esque feel to it in regard to its fit and maneuverability. The Inov-8 F-Lite 260 V2 also provides a lightweight fit and build with the Dynamic Fascia Band which also makes it a good contender for versatile training.

inov 8 f lite 260 v2 vs g 300 vs 235 v3 for versatile training

The only caveat to this model is that it has a pretty narrow midfoot construction, so with its higher heel-to-toe drop some lifters and athletes with wider and flatter feet may find this shoe uncomfortable for plyometrics and other bounding activities.

The Inov-8 F-Lite G 300 has a knit bootie construction that gives a lightweight feel and has meta-flex construction throughout the forefoot on the outsole. This gives the toe box a nice level of maneuverability, however, this shoe’s midsole and outsole are not malleable as the 235 V3 and 260 V2.

inov 8 f lite 260 v2 vs g 300 vs 235 v3 for hiit

That being said, all of these models excel for versatile training, but I personally would give the edge to the F-Lite 235 V3 or F-Lite 260 V2 due to their high level of maneuverability. If you like having a slightly stiffer model with a bit more midfoot support, then I would recommend going with the F-Lite G 300.

Winner: Inov-8 F-Lite 235 V3 or F-Lite 260 V2. Go with the F-Lite G 300 if you want a bit more midfoot support.

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

Shorter Runs and Daily Wear

Like with most cross-training shoes, these models will work for shorter runs and daily wear, but only to an extent. In all of these models, I’d suggest capping your mileage for one session to 2-3 miles.

Since these shoes all provide a decent level of stability, they may not be the most comfortable ride for those trying to tackle runs longer than the mileage above.

Plus, with each shoe’s different heel-to-toe drops, each model will perform slightly differently per the context of your running style. For example, if you have more of a mid-foot to slight heel strike, and it’s inevitable with your running, then going for the F-Lite 260 V2 or F-Lite G 300 could be a smart and safe call.

inov 8 f lite 260 v2 vs g 300 vs 235 v3 heel to toe drops

For daily wear, these models are all fairly comfortable, but I do like the F-Lite G 300 most due to its supportive build and Graphene construction. This model will fair best with long-term outsole durability if you plan to use these models as daily drivers.

Winner: Tie. For daily wear, though, go for F-Lite G 300 due to durability.

Inov-8 F-Lite G 300

Inov-8 F-Lite G 300
4.6
Stability
4.6
Versatility
4.6
Durability
4.7
Quality
4.5

Best For

  • Versatile Training
  • Recreational Lifting
  • Shorter Runs
  • Plyometrics

Falls Short

  • For Cost-Efficiency

Inov-8 F-Lite 260 V2 Vs G 300 Vs 235 V3 Construction

To make this construction section a bit more concise and digestible, I’m going to break down individual constructions between each Inov-8 cross-training shoe below.

Outsole

The Inov-8 F-Lite G 300, F-Lite 260 V2, and F-Lite 235 V3 all have full rubber outsole construction. Each model had adequate grip and a variety of surfaces. The Inov-8 F-Lite 235 V3 and F-Lite 260 V2 both have Inov-8 signature Dynamic Fascia Band running throughout their outsoles.

This construction feature provides these models with a super maneuverable feel and the band is intended to replicate the plantar fascia in the foot providing a more “natural” fit.

inov 8 f lite 260 v2 vs g 300 vs 235 v3 outsole

The Inov-8 F-Lite G 300 has an outsole that’s infused with Graphene which is a highly durable material that gives the G 300 its “G” in its name. This model features meta-flex grooves in the forefoot for additional forefoot flexibility.

Midsole

We briefly discussed midsole constructions above, but you can expect each of these model midsoles to include medium to high-density foams. The F-Lite 260 V2 and F-Lite 235 V3 both utilize Inov-8’s Powerflow midsole technology to provide a blend of stability and responsiveness.

inov 8 f lite 260 v2 vs g 300 vs 235 v3 midsole

In the F-Lite G 300, you’ll get a thicker midsole build that includes higher-density foams. Additionally, all of these models feature Inov-8’s Rope-Tech, which is an outsole layer that wraps up and covers the midsole in each shoe’s midfoot. This is a nice perk for additional stability and durability for rope climbs.

Upper Construction

One of the perks that I like about and that comes with most Inov-8 training shoes is their lightweight upper constructions. In the Inov-8 F-Lite 235 V3, you will get a super lightweight and breathable upper construction made with mesh and light synthetic layers for additional durability.

The Inov-8 F-Lite 260 V2 also features a mesh upper like the 235 V3 but has slightly more strategic additional upper layers. This model features a heavier toe cap for abrasion resistance and durability and has a thicker rope-tech midfoot construction. You can tell this model is designed specifically for tackling CrossFit workouts.

inov 8 f lite 260 v2 vs g 300 vs 235 v3 upper

The Inov-8 F-Lite G 300 has a bootie construction that features a lightweight and stretchable knit material. To provide additional security, the G 300 has a midfoot TPU cage for providing durability and overall foot security.

Laces and Tongue

The Inov-8 F-Lite 235 V3 and F-Lite 260 V2 both have separate tongues with additional loops to help secure the tongue from moving when training. The F-Lite G 300 has a bootie construction so there is no separate tongue and the anterior part of this model’s boot has an additional loop for pulling this model on the foot.

inov 8 f lite 260 v2 vs g 300 vs 235 v3 laces

The Inov-8 F-Lite 235 V3 has six eyelets and seventh for lace-lock. The F-Lite 260 V2 has five eyelets with a sixth for lace-lock and the F-Lite G 300 just has five eyelets. Overall, I enjoy these models’ lacing systems and how they lock down the foot when training.

Insole

All three of these models feature removable insoles. The Inov-8 F-Lite G 300 features a durable cushioned ETPU which is different from the F-Lite 260 V2 and 235 V3 insoles which are standard foam insoles.

inov 8 f lite 260 v2 vs g 300 vs 235 v3 insole

The Inov-8 F-Lite 260 V2 and F-Lite G 300 have slightly deeper constructions, so they may be better models for custom orthotics and inserts. The F-Lite 235 V3 is a fairly shallow model that could feel limiting with thicker insoles.

Inov-8 F-Lite 260 V2 Vs G 300 Vs 235 V3 Sizing

If you’ve never worn Inov-8 shoes, then I think it’s important to note that typically their shoes run a bit more narrow in regard to their fit. Inov-8 has a fit scale that runs from 1-5 with five being the widest in regard to shoe width.

We’ll discuss how each of these models fits below, but I want to disclose that even a “5” on their fit scale isn’t wide enough for some lifters and athletes.

inov 8 f lite 260 v2 vs g 300 vs 235 v3 sizing

  • Inov-8 F-Lite 235 V3 Sizing: True-to-Size. Inov-8 fit scale of 5. This model has a sock-like fit to it.
  • Inov-8 F-Lite 260 V2 Sizing: True-to-size. Inov-8 fit scale of 5. This model’s higher heel-to-toe drop and narrow midfoot give it a very interesting fit. It may feel uncomfortable for those with wider and flatter feet.
  • Inov-8 F-Lite G 300 Sizing: True-to-size. Inov-8 fit scale of 5. This model provides the most midfoot support and would be a good option for folks who like having a bit more arch in their shoe.

If you have additional questions about these models and their sizing, I have detailed analyses on my YouTube channel and you can also drop comments below and I can help accordingly.

Inov-8 F-Lite 260 V2 Vs G 300 Vs 235 V3 Durability

Concerning durability, all of these models have done a pretty good job of not breaking down quickly. I’ve rocked the Inov-8 F-Lite 235 V3 for gym sessions, trail runs, and daily wear, and they’re still holding up well.

Similarly, the Inov-8 F-Lite G 300 has also done a really good job at resisting abrasion, and the outsole has been an absolute tank on concrete. The Inov-8 F-Lite 260 V2 is my newest model and thus far it’s done a really good job at resisting breakdown in my lifting and cross-training sessions.

inov 8 f lite 260 v2 vs g 300 vs 235 v3 durability

I think if you use these models for how they’re intended to be used, then they should go the distance for you in regard to durability.

The only potential caveat that I could see breaking down with any of these models is the heel’s midsole in the F-Lite 260 V2. Since it’s a higher drop, I could see the Powerflow midsole showing signs of creasing faster than the other models.

Price Breakdown

The Inov-8 F-Lite 260 V2, F-Lite 235 V3, and F-Lite G 300 all have somewhat similar price points and they’re not the most-efficient models out there. The F-Lite 235 V3 and F-Lite 260 V2 have price points that hover around $140 USD.

The Inov-8 F-Lite G 300 costs $150 USD when not on sale. Personally, I think these models are worth their price if you use them for their intended purposes, but they’re definitely not the most budget-friendly cross-training shoes on the market.

Takeaway Thoughts

I personally enjoy training in all of these Inov-8 cross-training shoes and for slightly different reasons. The F-Lite 235 V3 has a nice sock-like minimality feeling.

The F-Lite 260 V2 has a nice blocky heel giving it a great platform for lifting if you love training with a higher drop, and the F-Lite G 300 provides a nice level of midfoot support and works great for CrossFit.

If you have any questions about these Inov-8 cross-training shoes, drop a comment below or reach out to 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 F-Lite 260 V2 vs F-Lite G 300 vs F-Lite 235 V3 (2024)”

  1. Hi Jake, which of these three Inov8 models would fit best for an athlete with a slightly narrow heel with low arches and a wider forefoot (due to having low arched feet). Currently in Altra Soltice XT2s and those fit well but soles are falling apart. Thanks!

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