(Really) Short Term Review: Inov-8 Fastlift 335

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Inov-8 Fastlift 335

My first run in with the Inov-8 Fastlift was back at OC Throwdown in January.  Except then, it wasn’t called the Fastlift, but rather the Crosslift.  I guess to drop the stigma of it being just a crossfit shoe, they changed the name to Fastlift.   Which IMO, doesn’t quite have a great ring to it.  It even still seems to be marketed as a crossfit shoe anyways.  Go figure.  Anyways, I didn’t get to try it on at the time, so all I’ve been going on was what my friend was saying about the shoe when he tried it on.  Keep in mind, this friend favors Vibram Five Fingers and owns no other Olympic lifting shoes.  His impressions of them were favorable, but then again, he had nothing to compare them against, so while I gave him the benefit of the doubt, I also took everything with a grain of salt.  Since then, my anticipation for the shoe garnered more and more as I would see it pop up on the internet.  Would the Inov-8 stand up as a contender for the Reebok oly’s, as far as a hybrid shoe is concerned?  How would it perform for pure Olympic lifting?  Well, let’s just get down to what I’ve come to think about this shoe with only one day of experience.

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Pretty slick yo.
    • Sizing & Fit:  Normally Inov-8’s in sz 9 (210 & 195) fit me with a little room to spare up at the front of the toes.  Perfect.  With the Fastlifts in sz 9, my toes are right at the front.  Moving around in them actually feels good, but my toes were really uncomfortable doing some light jerks.  I know oly shoes should be snug, but the jury is still out here.  I might exchange them with 9,.5 depending on how they work out this week.  Otherwise, expect a more narrow shoe, familiar to Inov-8 running shoes.
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      Suction cups.
    • Performance & Feel:  Still limited here.  When I first put them on at my house, I thought they felt unstable.  I was worried that since they were a little more narrow than some of the other hybrid/oly shoes, that I wouldn’t feel as planted during lifts.  Wearing them at the gym proved to be another story.  Dropping into the bottom of a snatch felt fast and sturdy at the same time.  It’s actually very easy to move around in these shoes, they don’t feel clunky like the Reebok’s.  I actually feel like I could run in them.  The front of the shoe flexes pretty easily as I whipped through double unders.  I hit a 3RM front squat PR @285#; which honestly isn’t so impressive to me since every other time I tried to PR my FS, I made stupidly large jumps without even trying 285.  Squatting in the shoes felt nice though; I didn’t notice any kind of give in the heel.  Moving around on the oly platforms we have, I noticed the bottoms aren’t  as sticky as I would like.  Then again, the platforms were dusty, and no shoes I’ve tried on them has been able to truly glue themselves to the platform like I would want.
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Power-Truss
    • Design & Looks:  Looks are very much a subjective thing, but I think the Fastlift’s are slick, not to mention one of the better looking oly shoes.  I have the shoe in the black/red colorway, but if I had to do it again, I would get the Again Faster (black/blue) models.  The external heel cage looks cool as it sports a carbon fiber look.  The front of the toe box is a very hard material.  The upper is synthetic, looks like it’ll withstand the rope for climbs, but I’m not about to test that theory out just yet.  The laces are thin and crappy feeling, but easy to tie.  The heel is made out of a (Power-Truss system?) TPU, which I tried to press down with my fingers to see if it gave any.  Along the edges, it didn’t, but towards the middle it did.  I don’t actually think this is such a big issue seeing as how the heel doesn’t give in the most important area.  I’m not so sure about the indentations on the heel actually giving you a suction-cup like action.  I certainly didn’t feel it.  Heel height?  Lower than most others, at 0.65″.  I doubt this is going to affect 90% of the people using this shoe, but it’s worth noting that the majority of oly shoes are 0.75″ in the heel.  The weight is 335g or 12oz, making the Fastlift the lightest “oly” shoe on the market.  Trust me, working with heavy weight, those couple of ounces makes a huge difference when you need to move your feet quickly.
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Heel height differences…not so noticeable to the naked eye.
  • Value:  Retails at $149.99.  I managed to do some wheeling and dealing online to get this shoe for $130 after tax and shipping though.  Price $25 under the Reebok Lifter Plus, the same as the original Reebok Lifters and $60 more than the Adidas Powerlift Trainer 2.0, which really are the only true competitors against the Fastlift.  Up to you here, swim in the mainstream or be a hipster and go with the original brand for functional fitness?  Do you really need that 0.10″ in the heel or does having a more light and agile shoe entice you?
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The Fastlift in sz 9 is noticeably smaller than the other shoes in 9.

So, what do I think?  The Inov-8 Fastlift has a lot of great things going on here.  It looks good, it’s light, it’s stable enough for Olympic lifting/power lifting, you can run in it (short distance), it’s not clunky feeling like most lifters are, and you can get a deal on it, making it cheaper than the Reebok’s. For most people, this is going to be the only Olympic lifting shoe they’ll ever need.  Don’t get rid of your training shoes just yet, as these are NOT designed to run in.   As a hybrid shoe, there’s nothing too new here since the Reebok Lifter did this first.  Most importantly, the Fastlifts just give you more variety as far as getting a hybrid shoe is concerned; which in a market with only about 3 other choices, is a big deal.

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Don’t mind the mound of shoes in the background.

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31 thoughts on “(Really) Short Term Review: Inov-8 Fastlift 335”

  1. Thanks for the review! Can you please post again after a bit more wear/use? I’m looking into a pair of Oly shoes and definitely think I’m going to start with hybrids since I tend to crossfit more than just lift right now and want to get more bang for my buck. I had the chance to try on and size the Reebok’s and was set on getting them until I saw the Inov-8’s and now I’m torn. I’m just getting into Oly lifting and I love it and want to get more serious, buuutttt I participate in crossfit workouts 5 days a week. I just don’t want to/can’t afford to buy hybrids, strict oly shoes, and cross trainers all at once. Thanks bunches ahead of time!

    1. Sorry, I’ve been meaning to get back to posting about these shoes, but my knee has been acting up so I took the last week off of squats and oly. Right now, I want to tell you that either shoe is a great choice for both crossfit and strict oly lifting. The main difference between the two shoes are the heel heights, the Reebok’s being .75″ (pretty much the standard) and the Inov-8’s at .65″. I can tell you that I do indeed notice a difference wearing them, but as far as performance goes, I doubt that .10″ is going to make a huge difference. Another thing to consider is how mobile your ankles are, that increased heel height can actually be detrimental if you’re not flexible in your ankles because it might end up throwing you forward.
      I’m sure you’ll have no regrets with either shoe, and given the choice right now, I’d probably take the Inov-8’s because my ankle mobility isn’t the greatest and I WOD more often than I oly lift.
      Sorry I can’t chime in on durability, but I’ve had my Reebok Oly’s since November last year and they’re holding up great. Hopefully I can get an update in by the end of the week, but I hope some of this helps you in your decision. Thanks for reading and happy lifting!

  2. Did you end up exchanging your size 9’s for a 9.5? Wondering if you still felt the toe box was too tight in the 9’s.

    1. To be honest, I’ve been sandbagging the last week due to patellar tendonitis. I plan to do 31 Heroes in the shoes today, I’ll have a full report on whether or not I’m going to size up later tonight!

      1. 31 Heroes will be a great WOD to test those shoes out with all those thrusters, rope climbs, and box jumps! Thanks in advance for your report out later tonight!

      2. So, I started with the Fastlifts on, but after the first run I changed to my Nanos because my 2nd toe kept jamming into the front of the Inov-8. My right foot is slightly longer than my left so that puts me in between a 9/9.5…I’m going to be sizing up in this case. Same problem I have with Nano 3’s. On a side note, everything besides the run felt fine, even 30″ box jumps were not a problem.

  3. Thanks!! I’m worried about sizing too. I’m a perfect 6.5 women’s in Reebok… I appreciate you responding so quickly and look forward to more posts! Leaning towards the inov-8’s bc I have so so ankle mobility also and the lighter weight seems like a plus!

    1. No problemo! The reason I started this blog is so people could get real world answers about Crossfit gear. Now about sizing, I’m in between a 9/9.5 in Reebok, the Fastlifts fit me snug, too snug for my liking (my right foot is a tad bigger than my left). I’m going to exchange them for 9.5’s. Thankfully Roadrunnersports has a 90 day trial period (and a pretty good discount if you sign up for their VIP program, $2 to save $30). My advice to you, if 6.5 Reeboks are perfect, get 6.5 Inov-8’s. Get the Inov-8’s and don’t look back, they’re great shoes. Maybe somewhere down the road spring for some real Oly shoes if you get more into that route.

    1. Hey Crissilia,

      I’d still put the AdiPowers in the category of a pure weightlifting shoe; it’s just one that is somewhat lighter weight and has decent forefoot flexibility. It’s MUCH more stable than the Inov-8’s, though not as light or as flexible. Also the heel height is .75″ vs the .65″ of the Inov-8. I know many crossfitters that have absolutely no problems using this shoe during WOD’s. Also, it costs more than the Inov-8’s, so that’s something to consider.
      They’re all great shoes, it just depends what you’re looking to do in them.

      1. Awesome! Thanks so much for the reply. Think I’m gonna give Adipower a go. Quite happy with my Nanos to do almost everything in. i’m after purely weightlifting shoes. I run a CrossFit box in Bali and with the heat we also go bare feet often. But with all the hype thought I’d jump in the bandwagon and see if my lifts can really improve that much with proper weightlifting shoes.
        Keep up the awesome work and check out our WODs at s2scrossfit.com if you’re interested.
        Crissilia

      2. Awesome! I too prefer doing most of my work in Nano’s, but having a pair of Oly shoes never hurts either. I doubt your numbers will go down from having them! I’ll make sure to follow your WODs, thanks!

    1. Funny you should say that, I have the same thing. Big ol’ bunion on my right foot. For me, the most comfortable out of the box are the Reebok Oly’s and FastLifts; both fit great (assuming you go half size up for the FastLifts). I started wearing my Adipowers a little more in an effort to break them in and their finally loosening up. My Romaleos are the tightest, since I need more space for my bunion, it pushes my foot right and my pinky toe joint pinches…with the non-competition inserts.

  4. Thanks for that, Mine is from damage to the bone due to gout a couple of years ago. Im glad you said those two as that was the two I had whittled it down too myself. I like to Idea of the Uform in the reebok but I like the way inov-8 are a uk company and its good to support the little fish when possible! I must admit I don’t like that most of the colour ways for the reeboks have a different colour toe as I prefer the look of a normal trainer. Got some good reviews on hear, its good you take the time to hep others.

  5. I comfortably wear inov8 running shoes in 8.5. Should I size up to 9 for fastlifts or still get 8.5s? I won’t have a chance to fit them as I’m ordering from the Philippines.

      1. Here’s how Inov-8’s fit me.
        Precision Line – 195/240 – 9, but could probably get away comfortably with 8.5
        Natural – 252 – 9.5, perfect fit
        Bare XF – 210/260 – 9, but a little snug…should probably go up to 9.5.

        So if you’re wearing anything other than the precision line, you might want size the same. If you’re wearing the precision line, you might need to size up since those shoes just run large.

      2. I have the Road Xtreme 158. The website says it’s a natural fit. So, 8.5 for fastlifts?

        Great site, btw. I always check out your reviews before getting anything as I don’t get to see gear or try stuff out before buying.

      3. Never had an experience with any Inov-8s besides the fitness models but I would assume the sizing is the same. Sounds like 8.5 is the way to go.
        Thanks for reading! That’s the exact reason I started the blog!

  6. thanks for your review! I’m in the market for a hybrid, have been wearing the nano 4.0s, but have been getting into oly lifting and want some heel. I’m trying to decide between these and the Reebok CF Lifters. any thoughts on that? based on my research online and other reviews I’ve read people seem to lean a bit more toward the Inov8s BUT obviously Reebok is a better known household name overall. what do you think?

    1. Hey Ashley, both the FastLifts and the Lifters are great shoes. I like the FastLifts just a tad better but the Lifters have a slightly higher heel (better if you have mobility issues), are a little more stable and are more comfortable to wear. You really can’t go wrong either way, but if you were only going to buy one pair of WL shoes, I would probably go for the Reeboks. I keep the FastLifts in my bag because I personally just like them and not a lot of people have them.

  7. Hey, man. I use a size 9.5 Nano 4.0 for my everyday WODs. I tried fitting on the Reebok Lifters and found that a size 9.0 fit me really well. I’m now confused what size I should get for the Inov8 Fastlifts. Any help?

    1. I would go with 9.5’s in the FastLifts. Those are the same sizes that I wear in the Nano’s and in Reebok Lifters, so I think it would be safe to assume that you’d wear the same FastLift size I do!

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