Inov-8 is a shoe company that creates and designs multiple types of shoes for a variety of fitness activities. Within their weightlifting shoe line they have a few standout shoes under the “FastLift” model. Their shoes catered towards lifting are known for their cross training and minimalist design.
There are a few things that make the Inov-8 models different from other lifting shoes on the market. First, the FastLift 325 has a .65″ heel, which is great for improving this shoe’s versatility. Second, these shoes weigh around 11.7 ounces, so they’re much lighter compared to other models. The FastLift 370 BOA has a signature double BOA system, and also weigh a mere 13 ounces.
How do the Inov-8 FastLift models stack up against other hybrid models and Olympic lifting specific shoes?
Image of Inov-8 FastLift 325 courtesy of RogueFitness.com.
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The Inov-8 FastLift models actually earn their name due to their total weight, as in, each shoe’s individual weight combines to make their model number. The FastLift 325 shoe weighs 11.725 ounces (325 grams), and the FastLift 370 BOAs weigh around 13 ounces.
Both of these models are lighter than other lifting shoes on the market. The FastLift 325 is one of the lightest lifting shoes offered with an elevated heel. This makes it a great fit for those doing functional fitness workouts and need a lightweight shoe. Additionally, the FastLift 370 BOAs are on the lighter end of weightlifting shoes at a weight of 13 ounces.
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Light shoes are beneficial for versatility, so there’s never a block like feeling on the foot. Some heavier shoes like the Reebok Legacy Lifters can sometimes feel overbearing, especially if you’re trying to use them for any form of functional fitness workout. The lightweight nature of these shoes may also help a lifter’s foot turnover under heavy weight, but may inhibit one’s ability to firmly plant their foot.
Effective Heel Height
The effective heel height of the Inov-8 FastLift 325 is .65″ or 16.5 millimeters, and the Inov-8 FastLift 370 BOA is .75″ or 20 mm.
Image of Inov-8 FastLift 325 courtesy of RogueFitness.com.
The norm in today’s lifting shoes is a .75″ heel, and that works for a variety of athlete’s needs and sports. Inov-8 370 BOAs have the normal .75″ heel, which make them a good option for multiple activities. Some athletes use .75″ heels for functional workouts, while others use them for weightlifting specifically. An athlete will have to assess their needs and activities before knowing if the .75″ heel is right for them.
The FastLift 325 has a .65″ heel, which make them slightly different than other lifting shoes. A lower heel will be better in a couple different scenarios. First, a lower heel will make it easier to transition through a variety of movements. It provides stability, but doesn’t change mechanics as dramatically. Second, the lower heel may be better for those who want a pair of shoes for low-bar squats, or have a wider squat stance.
The Inov-8 FastLift models utilize a high density TPU PowerTruss heel, which is used in other lifting shoe models such as the Adidas AdiPowers and Nike Romaleos.
Image of Inov-8 FastLift 370 BOA courtesy Amazon.com.
TPU heels are the most common heel used in modern lifting shoes. This style heel is durable and dense, so they don’t compress easily under heavy loads. For this reason, a lot of lifters turn to TPU heels when they want a low maintenance, highly durable shoe. Another characteristic that makes a TPU heel beneficial is its lightweight nature, and that’s a key characteristic of the FastLift models. The PowerTruss design of the FastLift models give this shoe a stable pillar base, while keeping the shoe lightweight.
The downsides of TPU heels typically come down to personal preferences. For example, if you’re someone who wants a softer heel, then a high density EVA heel may serve you better. Athletes who want to really feel the platform under them may not like the TPU’s synthetic feeling, and may want to reach for a wood or leather heel.
Upper Shoe Material
Both the FastLift 325 and 370 BOA contain lightweight mesh that make this shoe flexible and breatheable. The upper shoe material is one of the key contributors to why the FastLift is one of the more versatile lifting shoes. They’re flexible, so you won’t have to spend a decent amount of time breaking in leather, or a stiffer shoe. Additionally, the outer mesh allows the foot to breathe, even in more cardio-esque movements.
Image of Inov-8 FastLift 325 courtesy RogueFitness.com.
The front of the shoe has toe grooves and is constructed a little wider for an athlete’s toes to fully splay in lifts. A lot of lifters like this because it allows them to grip the floor better, plus the toe box will be easily maneuverable in versatile workouts. A downside to this shoe’s material is the long-term durability that comes with it if you’re someone who desires a stiffer, possibly more durable heavier shoe.
The FastLift 325 shoe comes with your standard upper to mid-foot strap. It’s not as thick as other single strap options like the Position USA models, but it will provide the shoe with a fair amount of security. Since this shoe is designed for versatility, the single strap is great for keeping the shoe’s weight light, and design minimalistic. If you desire a ton of foot security, then you may want to reach for a different model.
Image of Inov-8 FastLift 370 BOA courtesy of Amazon.com.
The FastLift 370 BOA has a double BOA lacing system. One BOA is on the shoes upper to mid-foot strap and there’s another BOA at the tip of the tongue. BOA lacing systems are often sought out when a lifter wants to minimize the amount of time they spend on tightening their shoes. Additionally, lifters reach for these shoes to create an even level of tightness around the shoe. There’s one downfall of BOA systems and that’s the issue that comes with them progressively loosening up throughout a workout.
Inov-8 FastLift 325 Price
The Inov-8 FastLift 325 weightlifting shoe starts around $160.00 on Rogue Fitness. This price is right in line for what this shoe has to offer. They contain a lightweight mesh, TPU heel, and single strap, so they’re very similar to some of the similarly priced big brand models. If you need a lightweight, affordable shoe with a durable build, then I feel the FastLift 325 is a good option.
Inov-8 FastLift 370 BOA Price
The Inov-8 FastLift 370 BOA varies in price greatly and starts around $80.00 and reaches as high as $200.00 on Amazon. If you’re a fan of .75″ heels and BOA lacing systems, then these shoes are fair for their price compared to the Adidas Leistungs that feature BOA systems. Granted, that’s dependent on if you find this shoe at a discounted price. I feel the price can be fair if you find a discounted pair.
Image of Inov-8 FastLift 325 courtesy of RogueFitness.com
The Inov-8 FastLift models both offer a few key characteristics that make them great shoes for the functional fitness athlete. They’re lighter in weight than most shoes, and are constructed to be both flexible and breatheable. Additionally, the FastLift 325 offers a lower .65″ heel, which can be desirable spec for the athlete needing versatility.
The downfalls of these shoes lie in the same characteristics that make them different. If you want a weightlifting specific shoe, then you might not like the lightweight flexible material that make up the FastLift models. Also, some might find the lower .65″ heel a turnoff, especially if they have trouble with mobility and sitting under weight.
The Inov-8 FastLift 325 and 370 BOA shoes both have a lightweight minimalist design that make them a suitable option for the functional fitness, or weightlifting athlete.
Feature image of Inov-8 FastLift 325 courtesy of RogueFitness.com.