The Inov-8 F-Lite 260 Knit Trainer is a cross training shoe designed with a slightly higher heel-to-toe drop. Compared to the popular Inov-8 F-Lite 235 V3 Trainer that offers a 4-mm heel-to-toe drop, the 260 Knit Trainer boasts an 8mm heel-to-toe drop. This higher drop makes this shoe slightly more approachable for users who enjoy having a bit more heel in activities and lifts.

In this review, I took the Inov-8 F-Lite 260 Knit Trainer through a variety of tests to see how it performed compared to the best cross training shoes on the market. There are three stand out construction characteristics that I think this cross training shoe has going for it.

  • Breathable and Durable Outer Construction. 
  • Dynamic Fascia Band Outsole and POWERFLOW Midsole
  • ROPE-TEC Throughout the Mid-Foot

One thing I really enjoy about the Inov-8 F-Lite 260 Knit Trainer is the durable knit outer construction matched with the Dynamic Fascia Band (DFB) outsole.

Inov-8 F-Lite 260 Knit Trainer
Inov-8 F-Lite 260 Knit Trainer
Inov-8 F-Lite 260 Knit Trainer

The Inov-8 F-Lite 260 Knit Trainer offers a strong, maneuverable outer construction and has a 8mm heel-to-toe drop to support lifting performance. 

Why I Like About the Inov-8 F-Lite 260 Knit Trainer

  • Dynamic Fascia Band allows the foot to truly grip the ground.
  • POWERFLOW+ midsole provides reactivity in the heel and forefoot.   
  • 8mm heel-to-toe drop provides a stable heel to sit back on.  

What I Didn’t Like About the Inov-8 F-Lite 260 Knit Trainer

  • Higher heel height may be off putting for some users.  
  • Slightly expensive. 

Construction

Outer Construction, Mid-Foot, and Heel

The outer construction of the Inov-8 F-Lite 260 Knit Trainer is composed of multiple materials. Throughout the toe and mid-foot, Inov-8 has equipped this model with their knit material, which is form fitting, lightweight, and breathable. The knit moves with the foot well and provides the outer construction with a reactive feeling.

On the toe, there’s an additional synthetic leather layer that wraps around the toes to promote durability and prevent toe lipping. The mid-foot has reinforced synthetic strips that extend from the midsole and wrap up the sides to the shoe’s first four eyelets. These reinforced strips provide the mid-foot with a “locked-in” feeling and promote the shoes durability with movements like rope climbs.

Inov-8 F-Lite 260 Knit Trainer
Inov-8 F-Lite 260 Knit Trainer

There are six eyelets in total with the final sixth eyelet for lace lock. From the mid-foot throughout the heel, there’s a thicker, synthetic material that provides a stable boot. Extending from the mid-foot, there’s a plastic wing tip to provide the boot with additional stability.

Midsole and Outsole

The forefoot and heel utilize Inov-8’s POWERFLOW midsole. This midsole’s construction is designed to improve shock absorption in the heel and promote energy transfer in the forefoot. In regard to performance, the POWERFLOW midsole is supportive under sub-maximal loads and reactive when jumping and running. In this model, there’s an 8mm heel-to-toe drop.

Inov-8 F-Lite 260 Knit Review
Inov-8 F-Lite 260 Knit Review

The outsole is one of my favorite features on this shoe and is, in my opinion, the star player of the Inov-8 F-Lite 260 Knit Trainer. Inov-8 uses their Dynamic Fascia Band (DFB) throughout the outsole in this model, which replicates the plantar fascia to provide a close-to-the-ground feeling.

Performance

In every cross training shoe review I perform three consistent tests (among many others). The first test is the commute test. I walk between 2-5 miles a day, so I like to feel out how a shoe performs in a day-to-day setting. For the second test, I load up a barbell and squat and deadlift to check the cross trainer’s stability. In this test, I want to know if the shoe has any give under various amounts of weight. The last test I perform includes an agility based workout to test the midsole and outsole’s comfort and reactivity.

Below, I’ve made a chart of some of the movements I use to assess comfort, stability, and performance. Every category receives a 1-10 score with 10 being the best of the best for a section.

Movement TestRating + Note
Back Squat (Up to 315 lbs) / Deadlift (up to 455 lbs)8.4/10 — 8mm Great for squats, but a bit high for pulls
Box Jumps and Side Shuffles9/10 — Lightweight and highly maneuverable
Sprints (HIIT Workout)8.9/10 — Outsole grips the ground for reactive training
Walking to Work9.2/10 — Comfortable Ride

Inov-8 F-Lite 260 Knit Trainer Performance Perks

Overall, I was a big fan of the Inov-8 F-Lite 260 Knit Trainer in all of my tests. In squats, I thought the 8mm heel-to-toe drop provided a solid base to sit back on and was a good in-between of elevation and completely flat (less than a lifter, but more than a 0mm drop). In agility and short runs this shoe performed well and I thought it was reactive and comfortable. In a day-to-day setting, this trainer provides an overall comfortable ride. The midsole offers a decent amount of cushion and isn’t unbearable to walk in.

Inov-8 F-Lite 260 Knit Trainer Performance
Inov-8 F-Lite 260 Knit Trainer Performance

Inov-8 F-Lite 260 Knit Trainer Performance Drawbacks

The only real performance drawback with the Inov-8 F-Lite 260 Knit Trainer, which will subject to the user, is the 8mm heel-to-toe drop. The higher heel-to-toe drop could be problematic for movements like heavy deadlifts where the goal is eliminating the movement’s overall range of motion.

Durability

The Inov-8 F-Lite 260 Knit Trainer has held up really well throughout all of its uses and tests. The knit doesn’t stretch out with excessive use and the ROPE-TEC construction does an adequate job at preventing durability issues caused by abrasions from things like rope climbs. In addition, the extra layer of material covering the toe protects the outsole from lipping due to toe dragging movements.

Inov-8 F-Lite 260 Knit Trainer Price
Inov-8 F-Lite 260 Knit Trainer Price

Price

The price of the Inov-8 F-Lite 260 Knit Trainer comes out to $140.00, which is on the higher end for cross training shoes. The Inov-8 F-Lite 235 V3 is  $10.00 less and offers a lot of the same features as this model. What differentiates this model from the 235 V3, however, is the knit upper and 8mm heel-to-toe, so if you love those two construction characteristics, then the price can be justified.

Inov-8 F-Lite 260 Knit Trainer
Inov-8 F-Lite 260 Knit Trainer
Inov-8 F-Lite 260 Knit Trainer

The Inov-8 F-Lite 260 Knit Trainer offers a strong, maneuverable outer construction and has a 8mm heel-to-toe drop to support lifting performance. 

Wrapping Up

All-in-all, I was a fan of the Inov-8 F-Lite 260 Knit Trainers and think they’re a versatile cross trainer. They somewhat encompass the best of all worlds in the gym setting and are decently comfortable in a day-to-day setting. The only real potential downfall to this model is the 8mm heel-to-toe drop, and that will come down to how one wishes to use the shoe most. For many, this shoe will fit their workout needs very well.

If you love Inov-8 cross training shoes and want a versatile shoe with a knit outer construction, then the F-Lite 260 Knit Trainer will be a good fit for you.

Inov-8 F-Lite 260 Knit

140.00
8.9

Construction

8.9/10

Performance

9.0/10

Stability

8.8/10

Durability

9.1/10

Price

8.5/10

Pros

  • Maneuverable Knit
  • POWERFLOW Midsole
  • Dynamic Fascia Band
  • ROPE-TEC

Cons

  • Slightly Expensive
  • Not the Best for Deadlifts