After purchasing a pair of rather bright inov8’s one month ago, a lot of attention has been drawn to my feet! I have trained everyday in them since and here are some thoughts on CrossFit shoes!
Shoes are super personal, everyone has a different hoof. Some are flat footed (me!) some have really wide feet, some have looong feet, its all super individual. Something I have found people do have in common is that, we are all being told that we need shoes with a lot of support, heaps of cushioning to reduce impact on the joints, certain gels should be in the sole of the shoe and you need the most expensive looking pillow shoe to have the best of the best. This is something I totally don’t agree with, I believe our feet are meant to build muscles of their own for whatever it is you are trying to accomplish. A marathon, squats, box jumps all of these movements are exercises our feet should be totally able to do. Its just like the CrossFit mentality; we don’t use machines we become one. CrossFitters don’t want something to be strong for us or assist us, we want to work on those muscles so that we are fully capable. That’s why I love minimalist shoes and I don’t believe anyone does it better than inov8. No, I am not sponsored by them nor will I get paid for this post. I only talk about the products I love, believe in and use myself! The following is from invo8’s website and may help you see why I love their product!
“We believe in natural running. Natural running involves taking running back to its most innate form, letting nothing alter the natural biomechanics of the foot and body. Natural running relies on the strength of the runner’s feet and legs rather than the cushioning or support of a shoe. The foot controls the shoe, not the other way around.”
“All our products are designed to be lightweight, minimal and functional. They give runners the confidence and freedom to run hard through any environment and over any obstacle. The aim of our footwear is to keep the foot close to the ground so that runners can feel and adapt to the terrain beneath them. We offer a range of soles and cushioning. Each shoe provides the optimum grip and comfort for the terrain — from road to rocks, mud to sand, the mountains to the box.”
As CrossFit grows inov8 has entered the CrossFit scene, creating shoes specifically for functional fitness. Their Functional Fitness caters for versatility, light in weight, rope climbing protection and a natural fit that is stripped so that our feet naturally grip the ground beneath us as they were designed to!
In 2012 I ran my first Half Marathon in bare minimalist Inov8’s F-Lite 230 (pictured below) I trained all the way up in these inov8’s and loved these bad boys until I well and truly wore them out!
I have now gone for even more of a minimal shoe in the Bare XF 177 (pictured below) and YES I love them! I can actually feel my feet working and strengthening when I lift, jump, run and lunge! They are crazy light, with a zero drop and no midsole. Rope Tec by Inov8 provides supportive protection and 360 degree durability for rope climbing. A sticky rubber outsole offers a stable platform when lifting weights. Its safe to say these will be my new go to’s not to mention the colour and design is bright and actually makes you go faster!
These are shoes are definitely the type you need to grudually get accustomed to, for example the Inov8 Flite 250 or 230 is a great place to start if you’ve never worn a minimilist shoe before. Just like any muscle your feet may take some time to adjust so give it some time and Im not saying these are for everybody, but for me, they’re the perfect fit!
Now, since I have dreamt of doing a Half Ironman this year I have been hitting the pavement more than I believe we were naturally designed to. I am currently running up to 15km a hit, then including sprint/ interval runs in each week. In total I am currently running approximately 5 hours a week and unfortunately the majority of these runs are on the concrete so running in minimalist shoes for this amount could be seen as ignorant! I would run anywhere up to 5km in my inov8’s and in fact totally recommend that for strengthening of the feet. That being said, I have searched high and low for a shoe that provides some protection from impact however not enough to change the way your foot is naturally supposed to strike the pavement.
So, for the runner in me Im with Mizuno! In particular the Wave Enigma 3, which provides cushioning and enhanced neutral stability for the neutral runners looking for a smooth ride. It has great protection for your knees and ankles but with normal pronation.
I hope you were able to take something from this post! Let me know if you grab your own pair of inov8’s and hashtag #reviejane so that I can see you rocking them! And please comment what else you’d like me to post about! Find the links below for the shoes discussed in this blog.
You can purcahse a huge range of inov8’s here.
Or to learn more about inov8’s here is their website.
If you’d like to learn more about Mizuno here is their website.