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Another Shoe to the Rotation

I’ve posted a few times about things the running store has taught me.  Before working there, I knew about brands of shoes I ran in.  I knew the differences of under and overpronating as well as a neutral shoe, etc.  I knew some shoes were better for certain occasions and some were not.  It has really opened my eyes that there are different brands of shoes that might work for me.  A few weeks ago I posted about the Glycerins and now that I’ve added a few miles to the Inov-8, I feel comfortable to say they are another shoe I like. 

For instance I have run plenty of trails in Newtons.  Newtons aren’t good for trails and yet I still did…until about 5 months ago… I rolled my ankle on a root once but just thought it was because I was clumsy.  I didn’t think it was because Newton technology is made for running on pavement.   Long story short, different shoes are made for different things. Now that I am working at a running store I can finally see that even more in action.

One shoe I’ve always been interested in but never could justify the price tag was the inov-8.  Tim loves this shoe and trained for a couple years solely in this shoe.  Actually our first running date, he ran in this shoe.  When I asked him for his input for the blog he said: I ran in this shoe for two years, it was a good minimilist, firm, flat shoe.  (Then said: I can’t be a blogger because my posts would be one sentence).

inov8lite

So when I saw an opportunity to try these running shoes for a cheaper price tag on The Clymb, I thought… why not.  Inov-8’s have been advertised as a minimal trail shoe and I knew quite a few people who run in them.  If I hated them they were a neutral light weight shoe that wasn’t obnoxious so I could walk around in them.

I don’t know why I decided to purchase the Inov-8 lite.  As someone who normally runs in heavier shoes, it didn’t even make sense.  They were a nice black pair of shoes and if nothing else I thought I could get away with them for casual wear. (You can’t do that with Newtons either).  I put them on and the shoe felt firm and flat.  Tim had said it would feel a little less snug then a racing flat but a lot lighter then any of my shoes.

Since it was beyond different from anything I have worn, I ran half of my run with them the first time.  The run itself was 12.4 miles but I ran the same loop around the lake twice (a perfect 10k in them first).  The first lap I wore the Inov-8s and then took them off and ran the second half in a pair of Glycerins.

One of my biggest worries for shoes is trying them too quickly and ramping up the miles in a new brand and model to fast (ie causing injury).  So far I’ve run about 200 miles in the Inov-8s, mostly on trails in the forest.  Although I’m not generally a minimalist person, I do like these shoes a lot when I know the majority of my run is on trails.

The Inov-8s are low to the ground so you don’t have to worry about rolling your ankles.  As much as I love my heavier shoes, I’m petrified of rolling my ankle on trails and roots.  I don’t think they’ll ever be a time I’m comfortable with running trails in Hokas.

Questions for you:

Have you ever tried Inov-8s?

What shoes are in your shoe rotation?

Right now I have Newtons, Inov-8s and Glycerins (and of course my racing flats).  This is the most I’ve had.

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19 responses

  1. I’ve heard of these shoes and read about them online but never tried them. In fact I don’t think I have even seen them in a store, only online. But it’s neat to read about how you’re trying different shoes, that’s a great thing because when I shop at a running store I like to hear from someone who’s worn the shoes on a few runs at least (I like all the techie stuff too but there’s nothing like putting a shoe on and running in it).

    I run in Mizuno… I have the Wave Elixir (2 pair), Wave Precision, Wave Rider, Wave Inspire, and Wave Ronin. I got hurt in the Ronins on the track so I’m prolly gonna throw em out (superstitious). Also since they discontinued most of my shoes I’m debating trying another brand entirely. I have the Brooks PureFlow that I wear for gym/lifting though. I actually tried on some Skechers in the outlet store the other day, since they have been in the news so much, and the shoes felt good, at least in the store. Didn’t buy them since I can’t try them out on a run right now, but they were so cheap that even if they didn’t run well I could just wear them casually and get my money’s worth.

  2. No, it’s not advised to run trails in Hoka’s lol 🙂

    I’ve never tried that switch up of the shoes you did mid-run. It makes sense, I’m going to do that next time I’m breaking in shoes.

    Would love to get your thoughts on how to pick new shoes to try too. I’m always worried I’m paying for a shoe that might be less suitable to me than another shoe in a store.

    • I actually give myself one new pair of shoes a month. I’ve budgeted it in.

      I’ve been lucky that the two shoes I’ve tried so far have been good! I know there will be a shoe I’ll try eventually and it won’t work for me.

      I know certain models aren’t even worth trying (knowing my personal preference).

  3. I’ve heard of and have seen those shoes but I haven’t tried them yet. Right now in my rotation I have my Mizuno Elixirs, Sayonaras and Inspires.

  4. I run with a running store and oh my god, every time I’m in there I have the urge to just buy everything. I don’t know how you can have such a strong willpower to not clear the store out haha. I unfortunately haven’t tried the shoes as 90% of the shoes in my rotation = Asics Nimbus

  5. Glad to read this Hollie. I have never tried Inov8, but I do have 3 different brands of shoes in my rotation as it is healthy for your feet. I like hearing that others do a similar thing. I love my Kinvaras the most, but they need a break every other day 🙂 Glad working in the running store is bringing you so much happiness….and new knowledge!

  6. I’m so boring. I wear one shoe, Mizuno Wave Paradox. I’m terrified of running in anything less stable, but would love something lighter for speed days. Guess I just need to try and see what happens.

  7. I’ve ran in innov-8s but they got destroyed pretty fast in a muddy trail race last year. Now I have skechers goultra for trails and skechers gospeed for flats.

    For long runs and marathons I’m still using my mizuno waveriders 16s but hoping to transition into racing flats soon.

  8. I want those based solely off how sharp they look. I’m a sucker for a pair of black tennies…

    unfortunately after $180 olympic lifting shoes I think a pair of shoes just ’cause’ is out of the question for a while… le sigh

  9. I need trail shoes, but I have no idea where to start, and I hate spending tons of money on a shoe that won’t work out. But I’ve got a trail race or several coming up, and my regular road shoes won’t hold up to the kind of beating the trails offer. I run only in the Saucony Mirage, mostly because I don’t want to get hurt trying to find different shoes that might work; been there, done that.

  10. Mizuno inspires or asics kayano are my shoes. I got injured 3 months in to running in too-minimal for me shoes and won’t go back to the minimal route. I’ve been traumatized. I need to stick to my clunky supportive shoes!

  11. I just started wearing Brooks Pure Flow 2’s recently, and I love them so far. They’re so different from other running shoes I’ve tried, and I can’t wait to buy more pairs. Other shoes in my rotation: Brooks Adrenaline, Asics GT 2170 (I’ve been wearing the Asics GT series since 2005. My first pair of running shoes were the Asics GT 2110, and when I started running again, I got the GT 2160. Didn’t get the new GT 2000 series though. Am a Brooks convert!)

  12. Woohoo for shoe-geeking out! We’re bringing in some Inov-8 shoes soon. A few of my coworkers run in them regular, so I’ll be interested to test them out.

  13. I have way too many shoes. I use Altra Olympus, a zero drop maximal, Altra Instinct, and Altra Lone Peak for trails, and those are all for training. For racing, Altra The One, Inov-8 Road X-Treme 178, Inov-8 X-talon (for short muddy races) and the Salomon FellCross 2 arrives today (for longer mountain and soft trail running, since that’s what I’m racing the rest of the year.)

    I have a few other pairs I throw in occasionally for specific purposes like strengthening with Vibram five fingers, but very rarely.

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