Inov-8 F-Lite 235 v2 Review

Inov-8 F-Lite 235 v2
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The Inov-8 F-Lite 235 V2 is a weight lifting and general cross fit shoe.  It fits tight through the heel for extra support and the mesh middle leaves room for your foot to move. It is a shoe used for lifting, jumps, burpees, running and rope climbing. The versatility of this shoe lends itself to train for obstacles like the rope climb, or simply increase your jump speed. This shoe makes it possible to do a variety of exercises while providing support for the heel and extra protection for the toes. Certainly, burpees are no fun, but the form comes easier wearing this shoe.

Inov-8 F-Lite 235 v2 Features

Sturdy, durable heel  – Great for dead lifting and squatting, also helps with box jumps and step-ups on bench. Great balance for lifting all weights in general, good ability to lock in your heel

Mesh cradle – Very comfortable and looser in the middle of the foot without compromising the stability of the heel to lift with power.inov-8-f-lite-235-v2

Thick front bumper – Great when doing burpees or toe touches on the box. It protects feet and makes your jumps stronger because your toes are secure and fully guarded.

Grip on the side of the shoe – There is a grip for rope climbing on the side of the shoes.

Inov-8 F-Lite 235 v2 Usage

I have done an extensive amount of weight lifting, cross fit and pylometric exercises at the gym with these shoes. They are great for dead lifting and squats; I have also done jumping squats, box jumps, toe touches on box, and burpees. I really like the support they give and have not yet found a shoe that functions as well in different capacities.

In the past I would always have to change out of my lifting shoes to run afterwards. It’s been  awesome to just wear a shoe that does both. I am able to lift, do up hill running, and sprinting on the treadmill for up to 40 minutes with real support and comfortability. It falls into what you would want out of a true crossfit / cross training type shoe.

inov-8-f-lite-235-v2-review

The middle support is very secure and snug which helps keep my foot steady and healthy while sprinting. The way the middle of the shoe is designed with  mesh material helps your feet breath and feel unrestricted. Its the perfect balance between tightness and flatness to lift strong and heavy while there is support for the whole foot to run and jump.

inov-8-f-lite-235-v2-2

Inov-8 F-Lite 235 v2 Durability

These shoes are very well made and the main attributes are durable heels and toes. I think this shoe will be with me at the gym for a long time. It’s even comfortable enough to wear everyday so that should prove as a further test of it’s durability. I will update this if there is any issues in the longer term with the Inov-8 F-Lite 235 v2.

Inov-8 F-Lite 235 v2 Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Ability to lift and run with the same shoe
  • Comfortable mesh through middle
  • Toe protection for jumps
  • Plenty of space for the foot while in motion

Cons

  • Laces are too short
  • Not easy to adjust texture of laces
  • Laces have come loose sprinting

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Inov-8 F-Lite 235 v2 Conclusion

This shoe is adorable, I love the colors and the simple design. It is feminine for a weight lifting shoe which is hard to find. This shoe is absolutely great for lifting weights and doing cross fit. I definitely recommend this shoe if you lift and/or do crossfit. I have been wearing Converse for a long time and this is the first weight lifting shoe that gives me that support to push through the floor with support. It is convenient and practical to be able to run as well as do other exercises to train. I LOVED lifting in  my Converse, and I never thought I’d change my shoe because of the specific form I have with lifting heavy. I’m pleasantly surprised by the performance and security this shoe provides with intense work outs. I highly recommend the Inov-8 F-Lite 235 v2  to anyone who loves to lift and also does regular cardio. These are ideal shoes to train at the gym in the colder weather for an OCR. It “multi-tasks” very well and I’m very happy with the Inov-8 F-Lite 235 v2.


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Stacie Davis

Stacie Davis lives in Atlanta with her husband Matt and their 3 children . Her husband occasionally drags her to an OCR, but she's more of a road race girl. You can find her short stories and the nitty gritty about raising small children at her blog: http://ihadalifebeforeyoukids.com/

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Savage Race: I was a pussy, and I’m okay with that

It was my first Savage Race, so I decided to rest  two days before so I would be able to do my best. We got a sitter which was novel idea. I insisted on just doing the race with my husband Matt and no kids. Taking your kids to a race seems like a good idea, but so does having kids.

The last OCR I did was the Spartan about two and a half years ago. My son was 6 months old and I was still nursing. Needless to say – it was awful. I hated it. I hated it A LOT. I also don’t like to do stuff I’m not good at with lots of people watching. At Spartan, I failed almost every obstacle. I was too afraid to even jump over the fire.

For the record, I don’t like barbed wire, and I don’t like mud. I don’t think getting muddy is fun, or cool,  and I am a clean freak. I am also terrified of heights. Jesus I’m neurotic, this is supposed to be a race review. I do love running, I love challenges and I love lifting heavy things. And I love doing stuff with my husband without our kids so I was fully looking forward to Savage.

Matt is very crafty. He knows me very well, and he just kind of doesn’t “mention” certain things when we do adventures together. What can I say, opposites attract, and I do love an adventure.

So almost 3 years later, after many days of lifting and general training, I was confident I’d do better this time. The race grounds were swarming with people, loud music, bare chests and lots of round butts in black short shorts. There was a lot to look at,  lots of blue and black bling. Loud music, and yelling with glee, but more like cavemen. Is that what “Let’s get Savage ” means? I wondered.

We forged towards our wave.  There were a lot of people, I don’t really like crowds, especially because I’m never as “excited” as everyone else, and I know Matt will rip a huge fart at the worst possible moment.

Then the whole group participation thing started and I’m kind of a closed off person so I don’t like group stuff at all. It makes me feel like I’m twelve again, and I need a drink to loosen up.  The crowd was pretty hyper and most of the men were shirtless, acting like tribal animals. I’m more of a no-nonsense, boring person who just wants to start the race. I could’ve done  without  all the grunting, face paint, and chanting.

savage-start-line

Matt laughed and side-eyed me at the countdown, and we were off.  I loved the trail. I loved trying to run ahead of the crowd. It was a nice first mile, the weather was perfect, the trail smelled earthy, and it was green and beautiful. I was really excited. Not the kind of excited where I grunt and yell things, just in quiet, steady anticipation.

I was also scared. I had the flashing thought : 25 obstacles is a lot . I turned to Matt “25 obstacles is a lot.”  He smiled, ” Just one obstacle at a time.”  I love running races with Matt.

As we kept running and knocking our feet against the roots and rocks, I nearly stepped in a HUGE pile of horse shit. I guess the “moonlight” in Stables  made me forget about the shit that horses make. Other racers were laughing and warning the others, “watch out for horse shit!”  I thought , now this is truly an obstacle race. A place where OCR people can be half naked, race, get muddy and wet AND possibly step in horse shit.  I was tempted to create a new hashtag.

The first few obstacles were cool. There was a wall and something else, but it wasn’t too bad. Then came the fucking barbed wire crawl with mud. Did I mention I hate mud. I don’t hate mud on its own. I hate the feeling of it in my fingers and how it oozes through my index finger to my middle finger. Then my knees slide and I hook myself on the damn barbed wire. Matt was ahead. ” I don’t like this part either,” he yelled back at me. I felt a warm slosh go up my shorts as I slid through the brown, slippery slush.

Seriously, there was way more of that. The worst was the one where it was muddy water and I had to go IN IT. LIKE I HAD TO DUNK MY HEAD UNDER the water filled with silt, mud, bacteria and possible small leeches. I screamed like a 13-year-old girl.  I don’t need to toughen up, that shit is fucking uncalled for, Ok? Why was a small part of me having fun?  Really it was a mystery to me. That while I worried I may contract some disease from water that looked like diarrhea, I was still half laughing. I also wonder if anyone from the CDC has ever done a Savage Race.

savage-muddier-dunk

That “On the Fence” obstacle was fun and just the right amount of hard. I was able to do it; so I felt like a bad ass – especially because I had been such a pussy about the contaminated water. I was mostly crusty by then, mud crust just became part of my skin. My hands were light brown, and I had particles of sand and dirt in my mouth. My teeth felt dirty and coated with small bugs. I had to occasionally tell myself this is only temporary, because I had small panic moments of just needing to take a shower in that red hot minute.

I had pulled a muscle prior to the race, and it started to hurt. I wrestled with the decision but ended up foregoing the monkey bars. That sucked, but I didn’t want to tear my muscle more.

That ice bath was fucking insane. It felt so horribly horrible, awful and horribly freezing. It took my breath away. I too had no idea I would have to immerse my head in that fucking ice water. That was cruel.   Following the brain freeze, it felt great.  I was somewhat cleaned off, but how is that really possible when the ice bath was brown?  Just like any other thing in life, everything is relative.  I started to lose some judgements for the racers who wore no clothes, because damn that wet shirt was a pain in the ass to run in.

The great wall was not great at all.  I was scared to try it because even super fit strong men were slipping and falling. The rope was like the rope in Indiana Jones but completely saturated in mud and water. I ran with focus to try to grab it and slid immediately back. There was one guy focusing like he was in the Olympics; he just kept trying and slipping. The starting line started to crowd with people because no one could get up the  wall.  A few lucky he-men hung on the other side holding their iron hands down to help people over. At that point, Matt and Obs were yelling to me to use their bodies to get up the wall. ” Use your bodies?” I yelled in a question. Then Obs started yelling at me like I was in the army, “USE ME ! USE ME!” This made me feel very panicky and neurotic. Would I hurt them? The army commands continued as if she had a whistle. “COME ON STACIE!” “CLIMB ON HIM, JUST GO!” So I did. I climbed on Matt’s shoulders and laid on Obs and got myself up far enough to grab the iron hands. “I got ya, I got ya,” I heard the nice muddy guys say in very southern accents. Jesus christ I thought to myself, that was kinda crazy. I jumped down. The girls next to me admitted they just couldn’t do that shit. I looked them in the eyes and said, “I understand.” It was five minutes, but time stopped and I thought of nothing, I just focused on getting over that wall. That’s when I started to understand the experience I was having. I was about half-way through the race, and I was thinking of nothing. I was just doing the next thing there was to do. And because most of it involved some shit that was going to be cold or muddy as hell if I fell, I tried my best to do it without fail.

There were so many obstacles, I certainly can’t bore you with every one and what it was like, but I liked a lot of them. Carrying the wood was pretty easy, but that Tree Hugger thing kind of felt like they were calling our bluffs. Like – You all think you’re so strong and fit?  Yeah well, you’re not. And fuck that one with the barrel that you have to go under. Yet another opportunity to contract some mud infested creepy virus. Apparently, Matt said I had to use my shoulders to get under it but that showed he had practiced that shit.

I know it has a Savage Race name but that pea shooter thing was fun. Okay, it was like a black scrunchy looking tunnel. I loved sliding in that thing and it had no mud in it ! I shot pretty far out of that thing and screamed again like a 13-year-old.

I had to pee, don’t ask me why. Holy hell, I thought I was going to have an OCD attack when I pulled down my shorts and saw how much mud was everywhere. I had never seen so much mud and yuck before in my life. I mean could I justify an ER visit just to use their industrial water apparatuses? I had to literally unglue my shorts off and paste them back on my skin.

Then, I took a deep breath. We were almost there. I was almost to the dreaded height obstacle I had been fearing.

People were smiling and jumping. I was not smiling. I had lots of questions and Matt’s reply to most of them was, ” You just have to do it honey. You just have to do it.” “I don’t want to do it,” I said in a terrified murmur. I looked down, to my chagrin it was muddy son of a bitchin’ water . I thought, at least if it was clear I could’ve pretended cleanliness could be a reward at the end. Okay, we held hands. The guy on the side counted, “1…..2…..3…” I froze. “I can’t do it!” I turned and walked away and Matt stayed with me, assuring me I could do it. I had a huge lump in my throat; I wanted to cry. I was scared shitless and mad that people were seeing me this way. I mean way to blow my own cover and be an enormous pussy at my first Savage. So in that moment, Tyra said, ” I was so scared too, just don’t look down, just go.” So I did. I held Matt’s hand and on the count of 3 I went. My stomach lining fell into my legs. It was a long jump. I screamed so loud. It felt great, that I did it, I was so scared and I did it. I can’t say I’ll do that again, but it was cool.

So just to totally call myself out on what a chicken shit I am, I’ll admit the slide also made me shit my pants a little. I know, a slide with water should be fun. My 7-year-old son did it!!!! Oh and Matt reminded me of that when I began to panic and said I don’t want to do that. I know he was just trying to help, but I had already been “pussified” so many times.  It was the lip of that slide. I couldn’t take my eyes off of it. It seemed so high, like if I let go I would get swallowed by something. Swallowed by something? Seriously this is getting embarrassing.  I did the same thing. I just held Matt’s hand and that guy counted, and we went. WOW, that was a fast slide, and I was alive by the end. It was maybe 3 minutes we were there, but time stopped. I only thought about that slide and getting down it. I didn’t think about anything else.

I realized I hadn’t thought about anything during the race but the race. The trail engulfed us while we ran or walked or climbed up hills. We made jokes and just went on to the next thing. We just kept going; even when things sucked, we knew we’d be onto the next thing. No one had a phone, no one had anything with them, just us. Whether I hated the mud or not, it was an unforgettable experience. I think you live a little more when you do an obstacle course race. The extreme conditions force you to be human with other humans. There is nothing to hide behind, and I liked that part. I guess I’m okay with looking like a pussy, and there were some pretty cool people watching.

savage-finish


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4.28.12 Dirty Girl Mud Run Recap

Dirty Girl Mud Run-April 28, 2012- (Aaron’s) Lakewood Amphitheater-Atlanta, GA.

**This review was from 2012, The Dirty Girl Mud Run is now under new management. A more recent review can be found here.

The Dirty Girl Mud Run was mediocre.  I had fun because I was with my friends but the race itself was less than average.  We even got into the spirit of things and had t-shirts made and carpooled down together.  The traffic was horrible once we reached the parking lot and the parking was a cluster fuck.
We arrived at the registration, which had literally one-hour lines, and it was only 8:00am.  These lines were theoretically alphabetical  Our wave was at 9:00am. We all waited for a while until we realized we could sneak into a shorter line. 

It was ridiculous. The woman who checked me in was using a legal pad and a green sharpie (real professional).  There was no “race packet” as promised, they just handed me the next bib number in a pile.  It felt very disorganized and literally thrown together.  There was no actual checklist of racers or names. So technically, anyone (ok, any female) could have walked into the registration line and been given a number.

The music was blasting and there were pink blow up things flying everywhere.  I just thought it was super cheesy, but I’m not into girly girl stuff.  Obviously, it’s a GIRL mud run so that is something I can’t truly criticize.  I can tell you this: If you don’t like “cheesy-pink-girls-can-do-it-all” songs, you won’t like this race.
The actual race itself was fun. The obstacles were pretty easy and the mileage was reasonable. It was 3 miles, and flat. I liked that because they made it accessible for everyone.  It was my first obstacle race so I had nothing to compare it to.  I had run some races, but I hadn’t done obstacles before.  

The climbing wall was cool, it was a little challenging, but I’m not that strong. However, the lack of any nearby volunteers meant total chaos-long lines at that obstacles, and no breathing room on the climbing wall. (this was a theme as there were long lines at each obstacle)
I really liked the rope wall and I did think that was the only challenging obstacle.
There was a hanging tire obstacle that everyone was literally running through, doing nothing.
I wanted to challenge myself and so did my friends, so we tried to climb the tires and swing to each one until the end.  However, once we got on them, they was very unstable and at one point I felt one may break. Again, no staff or volunteers nearby to correct us or notify anyone to fix anything.
The ending obstacle was fun. It was a group climb down a good size hill. the idea in itself was cool, but again, it was overcrowded and not well organized.  My husband and kids came and they had a shitty view. You couldn’t watch anything but the rope climb at the end.  The website promoted this great spectator area that didn’t exist.
DirtyGirlrope
 This was the one obstacle that could be viewed by my family. Note the long line at the top.
The end of the race was cheesy with a little mud water, pretty shallow and anti-climatic.
Thank God I didn’t check my bags because it took some of the women one hour to claim their stuff.  I caught a glimpse of the bag check and it was a nightmare, bags were everywhere.
I don’t drink, but there was a free beer at the end.  Additional beers were 10 dollars because they didn’t bother to get a decent vendor.
The website also promised a really nice shower area where you could get “Clean”.  Ummm, there was a hose, maybe two.
Overall, I give this race a 3 out of 10.
***Editors note- I am that husband who came this race with our kids.  I was there with two other dads and their kids, and we were all disappointed as spectators.  We only saw the women once, on that rope wall mentioned above. I tried to walk onto the course to watch some more, but I was stopped by someone who said “You can’t go down there, women are changing”.
 
You know the bad overpriced food you get at a concert venue-Pizza slice for $7,00, hamburger for $8.00, beer for $10.00.-that was the food offered.
The only thing we could see as spectators was the one rope climb which lasted all of 30 seconds.  
Also, please don’t give me the “We are new, so we are working out the kinks” excuse. I saw the “registration”.  If you can not be bothered to print out a list of registrants names and/or numbers prior to the event, than producing a race might not be the business for you.  I mean a local neighborhood 5k can bother to do that, so why couldn’t you?
 
I really hate to be so negative about the experience, but it was pretty weak sauce. Having said all that, most of my wife’s friends just wanted to run around and have some fun and didn’t seem to mind all of the lack of preparation or professionalism.