Gear Review coming soon – Inov8 F-lite 195

I think I need to seek help with my running shoe addiction, plus my wife is getting slightly annoyed at the stock pile of trainers that now dominate the area outside our back door.

But aside from these minor issues, yesterday I took delivery of what I think (and hope) will be the shoe that I’ll wear on the forthcoming Great North Walk 100 miler – the Inov-8 F-lite 195s. Unlike Nike, who don’t seem to listen to our niche little audience, Inov8 it seems have taken heed and produced a shoe that is identical to the Talon 190s, but minus the glugs underfoot.

Don’t get me wrong, the Talon 190s are great shoe, but the reality I think we all know is that anything over 40kms is pretty hard going in them because of the ‘Talons’, which you can really start to feel when you get above this distance. In short, they are a great shoe for the shorter, faster dashes of the likes of Six Foot Track and just about for some 50kms races, but that’s where they stop. Unless of course you know you’re going to be running on a very boggy, mushy course, then I think they can go further, for example The Great Ocean walk 100km is a perfect race for these types of shoes.

Enter however the F-lite 195, same shoe, same minimal feel, same flexibility as the Talons but no glugs. Just a flat undersole with what appears to be some excellent grip. Currently, I’ve only used them for one shopping trip, which as you know is an important test here at Ultra168. I’m off for a cheeky 50km on the GNW tomorrow over what I think will be the best possible test for them, the last section between Mooney Mooney and Patonga. This should give them a proper going over, with some excellent technical trail, along with the flat and hardened plateaus to contend with.

I’m very excited about this shoe. Not only does it look damn sexy, but it looks like it means business. It’s like having a girlfriend who looks like Giselle, but drives a Mazda R8, has two tickets to the rugby World Cup final and who has just volunteered to be your pacer for the last 72kms of GNW, and you just know she’s gonna kick your ass.

Anyway, I’ll let you know how these little bad boys get on tomorrow…

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I'm a mediocre runner who can bat above his average when I train hard. A man of extremes, I do enjoy everything life offers and consider it an absolute pleasure just to be able to put one foot in front of the other and let my mind wander somewhere different.

4 thoughts on “Gear Review coming soon – Inov8 F-lite 195

  1. OK you have my interest. I am looking for a little less heel lift than my Pearl Izumi Synchro Fuel XCs and these will fit that bill. But the PIs are the most comfortable shoe ever so will be hard to replace. Like to know how about toe-box width and overall fit. And if you stop at CP4 can I take your hot pacer with me to Patonga on race day?

  2. I tried these on at north side runners in crowy last week and im pretty sold on them – low heel and super light will make them fast and a snug fit. I was looking for a road version of my MT101s for daily commute. Just need to try on the new version of the nike free in the right size before committing. I’m no shoe guy though… so haven’t worn many to compare with!

    …on trail…
    Sole didn’t have pronounced grip (making them the same as aged kayano’s and MT101s that I wear anyway). It would have good grip for mooney patonga firetrail and rock plateaus as mentioned. Need to see if the feet get too much of a massage from the stones. Might stay in MT101 for trail as long as my second pair doesn’t disintergrate as quickly as my first.

  3. Leave it with me Whippet, I’ll report back tomorrow. Although I’ve just taken them out for a quick 10kms around the Bay in Rozelle. It’s not a real test for them, but the fit really is exactly the same as its cousin, the Talon 190s. They’re not as tight a fit as Nike Frees though. In the Nike Free, I go half a size up, but in these I stay true to me own size and that’s just fine and dandy for these things.

    Just going off tonight’s little jaunt, there’s plenty of room for in the toe box for the toes to splay around, and although they look a little narrow initially, they don’t feel like a tight fit at all. There’s less cushioning on these than the Nike Free, but I’ll have to see how they fair on the technical and rocky trails between Mooney and Patonga tomorrow. That I feel will be a really good test for them. However since I’ve done a lot of my running in Nike Frees, I don’t expect this to be a major issue for me. The sole is pretty spongy on these things, just not as much of it as on the Frees. Anyway, enough for now… I’ll see if I can get a report up tomorrow once I’m back from the trails with Darrel and his endless supply of jokes 🙂

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