The Inov-8 F-Lite 220 PK is a fantastic shoe for “Elite-Fitness” and for urban and hard-packed trail running. The shoe provides a minimalistic feel yet also supports the foot with various innovative technologies.
The F-Lite 220 PK is ideal for runners who don’t heel-strike but want more comfort than a minimalistic barefoot running shoe. The declination between the heel and toe is not completely neutral, so there is still some heel-rise, but it is much more neutral than the Adidas Sambas or Nike Frees, for instance. The sole of the shoe is very thin but absorbs a great amount of shock. The Inov-8 220’s also include the Fascia Band technology on the outer sole, which is just some elastic bands that stretch from the heel to the ball of the foot, which gives the runner a little extra spring on every step.
The F-Lite 220’s are great for POSE running, and you will easily and naturally avoid striking your heel as you run in these, due to their short heels. The sole of the 220 PK’s is made for running on urban surfaces like asphalt, and is a clear/white so that it won’t leave marks on the gym floor.
“Elite-Fitness” / Weightlifting
The Inov-8 220’s are one of the most loved shoes for “Elite-Fitness” or other functional-fitness training, during which the wearer of the shoe must perform multiple and varied tasks, such as lifting free-weights, jump-roping, running, rowing, jumping on boxes, pull-ups, burpees, etc. A versatile shoe is needed to be able to handle this wide variety of tasks, and the F-Lite 220 PK does very well.
Since the heels are mostly flat, the Inov-8 220’s are great for lifting: snatches, clean & jerks, push-presses, overhead squats, front squats, etc. A shoe with too much cushion will dampen the power you are pressing into the floor with your feet (imagine the extreme of lifting weights while standing on a mattress). Conversely, lifting weights with no padding or barefooted might prevent you from quickly driving your feet down to the ground in lifts like the snatch or clean & jerk, simply because the sub-conscience wish to avoid the immediate pain of slapping your feet on the ground. The Inov-8 220’s provide a very good balance between cushion and firmness.
These F-lite’s are also extremely light weight, at about 8oz, which is especially helpful when running or doing double-unders, or any exercise the involves lifting your feet many times. The outsole is nice and wide around the ball of the foot, which provides lateral support for quick direction changes. The clear/white outsole is very grippy and not so jagged that the traction gets caught, i.e. on the corner of a box.
The Inov-8 F-Lite 220 PK’s are an excellent shoe for natural running and for “Elite-Fitness” or other cross-training. They feel great and everyone I’ve met who owns them loves them. To those of you who want an almost completely flat declination between heel and toe, I recommend looking at the Inov-8 F-Lite 195, which looks just like the 220 except it’s flatter.