The rumors are true folks – The Inov-8 weightlifting shoe is coming and the design is going to be revolutionary. Dubbed the Inov8 FastLift 335 for men and 315 for women this shoe is scheduled to launch sometime in July of 2013. I don’t have all the details yet, and I don’t have a pair in hand to perform a true review but I will try and give everyone a good idea of what to expect based on my preliminary research.
First off, these shoes are expected to drop sometime in July to coincide with the 2013 CrossFit games which start on July 22nd. This is the same time frame in which Reebok launched their new line of CrossFit footwear in previous years. It will be interesting to see how many competing athletes wear the Inov-8s. Keep in mind that Inov-8 was one of the most commonly worn shoes for Crossfitters before Reebok became a title sponsor.
Now for the shoe details.
The shoe was originally call the Inov-8 CrossLift but they renamed it to the FastLift because they didn’t want the shoe to have a “CrossFit Stigma”. In other words they are looking to promote the shoe in other markets as well, which is a great thing because I’m sick of seeing people squat in basketball shoes.
These will be available in two models, the Mens Fastlift 335 and the Womens Fastlift 315. Like all Inov8 shoes, the model number indicates weight and these are being touted as the lightest olympic lifting shoe ever with the men’s size 9 weighing in at 335 grams or 11.8 ounces and the women’s size 7 weighing 315 grams or 11.1 ounces.
For reference, here are the weights of some of the most popular weightlifting shoes:
Reebok Oly Lifter – 13.9 ounces / 394 grams
Adidas PowerLift Trainer – 14.8 ounces / 420 grams
Adidas Power Perfect 2 – 15.6 ounces / 442 grams
Risto Olimpico – 16.2 ounces / 459 grams
Adidas AdiPower – 16.2 ounces / 459 grams
Nike Romaleo 2 – 17.1 ounces / 485 grams
If the final production model holds true, the Inov-8 will certainly be the lightest of the bunch at around 59 grams lighter than their closest competition.
The construction of the shoe will be unique to anything else available right now as well. The shoe is much more like a trainer melded to a lifting shoe heel. This starts with the upper which is made of a nylon ripstop material in lieu of leather. This should give the shoe much more of a trainer feel throughout.
It looks as though the FastLift has taken a queue from the Reebok Nano and added some additional abrasion protection in the form of a toecap. They’ve also utilized their own frame “webbing” construction on the sides and a heel cage across the back of the shoe for added stability.
The toebox is said to be wide, although that is a little vague. When we get a pair in our hands and write up a proper review I will measure the toebox and see exactly how these measure up to other
The upper also features seamless construction that is normally found on more minimalist style shoes, whereby there are no aggravating seams on the inside of the shoe rubbing your foot. It is yet to be seen if the selection of a lighter upper material will negatively affect overall stability and performance of the shoe for lifting.
Another area where Inov8 has made slight modifications is the heel. They’ve opted for a power truss supported heel similar to that found on the AdiPower shoe, but they’ve added widened edges for more surface area contact like that found on the Romaleo model. So their midsole design is an blend of two of the most successful models currently on the market… not a bad idea. The height is suppose to be around 0.65″ making it slightly lower than most other models – but I’m not 100% sure on this specification yet.
Finally, the sole of the shoe is also unique featuring a suction cup design in the heel and cross hatch checkerboard across the rest of the foot. I have no idea how well this combination will work for grip when lifting and training.
Available colors are currently unknown but the prototypes we’ve seen where black and red for men and black and pink with green insole for women. There will likely be various color-ways available when the shoe launches.
My preliminary thoughts are that this shoe will be exactly what the company aims for: Innovative. With an upper designed more like a running shoe and a lower modeled around two all-time favorites, Inov-8 may just have a game changer here. However, not all innovations are as practical and useful as they are ground breaking. In the case of the FastLift, we won’t know anything until they’ve been in customers hands for awhile.