Inov-8 F-Lite 195 V2 Review Facts
The Inov-8 F-Lite 195 V2 is the second version of the brand’s famous Inov-8 F-Lite 195. It comes with a changed upper and midsole and is suited for all sorts of various workouts, like CrossFit, HIIT, running and lifting weights. The new version offers an updated upper structure and has great flexibility and breathability. Its main problem is that the upper is prone to tearing after only a few months, which doesn’t make this shoe any more affordable.
The Inov-8 F-Lite 195 V2 makes use of the same compound as the original 195 – the Sticky Rubber. This rubber is created using the climbing rubber and its purpose is to provide good grip and traction on various surfaces. The outsole of the 195 V2 is also very flexible and will provide both a smooth heel-to-toe transition and a pliable climbing experience. The inner midfoot area of the outsole features the durable Rope-Tec rubber, which, as its name suggests, is meant to make rope climbing a breeze. The outsole is filled with vertical and horizontal grooves as well as differently-shaped lugs, providing good grip and elasticity to the sole.
Rather than opting for injection-molded EVA foam midsole, the Inov-8 F-Lite 195 V2 utilizes the Powerflow midsole, as many of the newer Inov-8 shoes do. This midsole provides 10% more shock-absorption at the heel, as well as 15% more responsiveness in the forefoot area, without losing the cushion. You can conclude simply by looking at the construction of the midsole from the side that it doesn’t accentuate arch support and it doesn’t have a high drop, catering to those users who make ground feel and stability a priority.
The upper of the Inov-8 F-Lite 195 V2 has been changed and now sports a thin, breathable nylon mesh cover that covers all the technology packed beneath it. The heel counter is integrated into the upper and now provides more stability due to its increased firmness. The counter reduces heel wobbling and prevents the heel from slipping out of the shoe box. Directly underneath the nylon mesh are the Met-Cradle overlays that provide essential lateral support. These changes made to the heel counter and the Met-Cradle technology aim to provide a snug fit full of support
while keeping the shoe lightweight and sleek. The lacing system is traditional, but the eyelets have been improved and are now made of metal, which prevents fraying of the upper material, increasing the longevity of the shoe.
The Inov-8 F-Lite 195 V2 weighs the same in both men’s and women’s version, and its weight of mere 195 grams or 6.8 ounces puts it directly into the ultra-lightweight category. Most training shoes weigh somewhere between 7 and 10 ounces, in order to encourage speed training without tiring the foot. The 195 V2 succeeds in its mission, making you forget you’re even wearing shoes, to begin with.
As one would expect from a nylon mesh upper, the breathability of the Inov-8 F-Lite 195 V2 is amazing. The upper material allows for constant airflow in and out of the shoe box, creating a healthy foot environment while keeping your feet fairly dry in the process. Needless to say that this is not the kind of shoe you’d want to wear outdoors while it’s raining, or snowing, for that matter. However, if you need a summer training shoe
, this is the shoe that fits the job description perfectly.
Where there’s a narrow shoe, there will be angry people saying that it isn’t comfortable
. However, the Inov-8 F-Lite 195 V2 is intentionally narrow and accommodates narrow-footed people perfectly. A great number of people have reported that they were more than satisfied with the fit and comfort that the 195 V2 provided. Going a size up in order to get a shoe with the perfect width wouldn’t be a good idea with this one, because its length already runs larger, so sizing it up for the width will result in length that simply wouldn't be manageable for most people. The toe box looks tight, and that’s exactly how it feels. If you like the feeling of a tight forefoot, you’ll enjoy the build of the 195 V2s, but if you’re big on having a training shoe with no pressure points and any discomfort, this might not be an ideal choice for you.
The main problem regarding the design of this shoe is that it isn’t modern and trendy in the slightest. Furthermore, it’s designed so that it looks like it only lacks soccer cleats instead of a regular sole, and you’ll have yourself a professional soccer shoe. This just might be your cup of tea, but most people have stated that the design of the Inov-8 F-Lite 195 V2 isn’t all that good. We would agree completely, although, in the defense of this shoe, the presumption is that no one will wear it for casual outings, so style was the last on the list of the brand’s priorities. The colorways are disputable and the design, although minimalist, lacks both the elegance and the calmness that this style usually brings with it.
The argument about the durability of the Inov-8 F-Lite 195 V2 is still ongoing. Several users have said that the shoe lasted them for a long time and that the materials from which it’s made are high-grade, while others hold the position that the nylon upper is the wear link in this construction. The upper material is known to burst at the seams of the regular gym-goers. However, a person has noted that these shoes have lasted them for over a year, although he didn’t use them for intense speed training.
The previous version of the shoe flaunted the IMEVA midsole, while the 195 V2 has gotten an upgrade and now boasts a Powerflow midsole with increased heel cushioning by 10%. The heel area of the midsole is focused on shock-absorption and dispersing the impact forces, which it does with success. However, the Inov-8 F-Lite 195 V2 is still far from a cushioned running shoe that alleviates any shock impact that might occur during the run or training session. One obvious thing is missing from this training shoe, and that is the toe bumper, that will not only protect your feet even more but also increase the durability of the upper itself. The outsole rubber does continue on the top of the toes, but that isn’t nearly as much protection as the Reebok Nano 8
or Nike Metcon 4
The Powerflow midsole provides 15% more forefoot responsiveness on paper, and these numbers really do translate to a feeling of getting more energy-return from the shoe, on par with CMEVA soles. The forefoot offers a satisfactory amount of bounce to the stride, and the combination of heel cushioning and forefoot responsiveness
provides a smooth ride with heel-to-toe transitions.
The Inov-8 F-Lite 195 V2 is a shoe made for people with high and medium-high arches. You’ll notice that we’ve left out people with normal arches, although technically they, too, wear neutral shoes. This is due to the fact that the arch support of this shoe really is minimal and is unable to accommodate the needs of all neutral pronators. However, this is something that can usually be fixed by buying an orthotic insole separately, although this solution could be hard to realize due to the low-top design of the shoe. The lack of arch support was one of the main things that customers were unhappy about, but in all honesty, this is something to be expected from a minimalist shoe. The nylon upper, along with the Met-Cradle and the integrated heel counter, offers a snug fit on the top of the foot, providing substantial lateral support.
One of the strengths of the Inov-8 F-Lite 195 V2 lies in its versatility. This is a shoe that can do just about anything imaginable by your typical gym rat. You can run, sprint and weightlift in it, as well as do rope climbing, plyometrics, CrossFit, HIIT
and other straining circular sessions. With all the activities you can do in it, it’s safe to say that the 195 V2 is one of the best shoes on the market in this regard.
The main issue with the price of the Inov-8
F-Lite 195 V2 isn’t that it’s too expensive, but it’s expensive enough to invoke certain expectations that must be met. The quality of materials, along with the below-average upper durability, does not deliver on their promise and has left a lot of customers feeling like they wasted their hard-earned money. On the other hand, there are people that are immensely satisfied with the shoe and feel like they couldn’t invest money into a better shoe. Unfortunately, there is no definitive answer to the question of whether the price of the 195 V2s is worth it, but it’s worth mentioning that another important aspect of this shoe is that it doesn’t come from a brand that has achieved worldwide recognition so some mistakes that could have been overlooked with Nike aren’t as overlooked with a brand that is much less recognizable that the big shoe companies.
The combination of the Sticky Rubber outsole and the Rope-Tec rubber on the midfoot provide great traction on various surfaces. The Rope-Tec is especially praised on its performance when rope climbing
. The vast majority of users agree that the grip and traction this shoe provides is great, both in the terms of lateral, swift movements, and speed.
The Meta-flex technology of the outsole, along with the other flex grooves, encourages the natural flexing of the foot, while the nylon mesh upper provides a snug, yet flexible feeling for the entire time the shoe is on your feet. The meta-Cradle technology offers support without restricting movements, making you feel free and secure in the Inov-8 F-Lite 195 V2, all at the same time.
The integrated Y-lock heel counter adds greatly to the shoe’s balance and stability, while also ensuring the heel does not slip from the counter at any moment. The Inov-8 F-Lite 195 V2 is a great shoe in terms of stability, due to the fact that the stability features do not go against the comfort of the shoe, but rather encourage it. One of the downsides to the shoe’s stability is the narrow foot platform – so narrow, in fact, that the shoe is a 1 on the scale from 1-5 posted on the brand’s website. This means that, rather than leaning on the width of the platform, you’re more or less left to your balance for lateral stability.
The official heel-to-toe drop measures 3mm, while most people measured a heel stack height of 14mm and the forefoot stack height of 10mm, resulting in a 4mm differential. This nuance doesn’t change the nature of the drop, though, and this is definitely a low-drop shoe that allows for a natural, flat foot position in order to guarantee the same support and stability throughout the various movements and activities you’re (presumably) going to do in it. The 4mm drop also minimizes the possibility of your foot wobbling around, losing balance and lateral stability
, which is especially important if you plan using the Inov-8 F-Lite 195 V2 for weight lifting.
● Sticky Rubber outsole with Rope-Tec rubber
● Meta-flex technology
● Powerflow midsole
● Nylon mesh upper
● Met-Cradle overlays
● Y-lock heel stability counter
● Extremely breathable
● Comfortable, with a narrow fit
● Durability issues with the upper
● Price would be worth it if the durability was better
● Training shoe
● Extremely flexible
● 4mm drop
● Suitable for running, rope climbing, plyometrics, CrossFit, HIIT
● Satisfactory responsiveness
The Inov-8 F-Lite 195 V2 is a mixed bag that has some great stuff in it, but also some potential red flags and deal breakers. Everything concerning the shoe is good, save for the design, durability, and support. The design isn’t a deal breaker, but it could have been (so) much better, while the tearing of the upper is, in fact, a deal-breaker, unless you manage to find the shoe on a mean discount. The arch support
is lacking, but if the durability was a non-issue, we probably wouldn’t be this nitpicky.