I purchased these shoes a couple of months ago. I wanted some time to play with these so i can give you my honest opinion about these babies.
First, the boring stuff out of the way – they arrived to me very fast, it took them literally 3 days instead of 7-10 as was stated on Amazon. The colour was even more neon than in the pictures (if it is even possible). Was very happy and excited to try these on and fell in love immediately.
The brand: Inov-8 is a brand I have quite a lot of respect for. All of their shoes at this point are vegan (they had a model that wasn’t, and it was discontinued). They also are very clear about their manufacturing ethics and environment which is a great bonus for me when considering to purchase from a brand. You can read more about Inov-8 at theiw WEBSITE.
Weight: The Inov-8 have their weight on the shoe name, so this model is 370g, so they are lightweight for oly’s, but slightly heavier than the 315/335 models.
Price: The price range on Amazon.co.uk is 82-190£ depending on the seller and the colour. If you ask me, I was happy to pay those 82£ for what I got, but I wouldn’t pay more than 150£ for sure. Maybe when Inov-8 will launch a proper oly model and not brand it as a hybrid (keep reading for more on that), I would pay even more.
BOA: For those of you who aren’t familiar, the BOA system is the lace free wire closure system, you can find out a bit more HERE. After doing some online research I found that a lot of people were disappointed with the BOA system and said the plastic broke after a few times, mine seems to work really well and feels steady. Although some reviewers said it is a useless gimmick, the BOA system actually made my life a lot easier.
Quality: In my personal opinion these shoes feel and look very good quality, and I’m the one that tends to magically spot the most expensive high quality stuff from kilometers. The heel material is some special kind of plastic that makes it very lightweight, and yet very durable. The upper material is also great and the sewing and the adhesive seem very professional.
Sizing: Some said that the sizing runs quite tight, My feet are regular (not wide and not narrow) and I found the size to be very accurate (I am a UK 6.5). Oly’s should feel a bit “hugging” for stability reasons. If you have wider feet I would go half size up.
Heel height: Medium height that is just between the famous Romaleos and the Adipowers (which aren’t vegan anyway, so we won’t buy them ), at 0.65 inches. In my opinion a very comfy in between, as a lot of lifters tend to dislike the too high or too low options.
You can read more about this model HERE.
Working on the playground: Here I am a bit torn. On one hand, after a few sets of Olympic Lifts and squats I am completely in love, plus they’re the only vegan oly-like shoes I found on the market which doesn’t leave a lot of choice anyway. On the other hand the shoe claims to be a hybrid shoe and I don’t really think it does a great job on that. Now let’s go a bit more into details.
The shoe is designed that you have a great stability in the heel and in the arch, and a bit more freedom in the toes. Seriously, I think all oly’s should be this way! It makes it a lot easier to Split Jerk, and you can feel it a bit easier with Cleans and Snatches as well. Now, I am by no means a pro weightlifter, but I do find these more comfy and easier to play with, than the conventional oly’s.
Squatting with these also was great, even noticed a bit of a form improvement (normally my feet stance is slightly wider than a classic squat, and with these it became more of a standard position). I do have to say it takes a few sets to get used to these shoes, but now I can never go back.
For other parts of my workout, I would honestly pass. These shoes may be ok for a heavy low-rep WODs, but I felt very limited while trying to box-jump or burpee with them and also it is totally not fun to run more than 100m with these. Even walking in the gym is kind of not as easy as in trainers. The great thing is that the BOA allows you to change them very easily to other trainers
Overall I would give these a 9 out of 10, just because they don’t function the same as they claim for a hybrid, but these are seriously great lifting shoes and I am planning on living in these!
If you are interested in buying these shoes, here are some links to these on Amazon.co.uk:
Please feel free to comment, follow me here and on social media or contact for any inquiries.