My first pair of Inov8 F-Lite 230s finally checked out. They racked up a grand total of 1,001 miles. This was a bit shy of what I predicted after logging 461 miles in these shoes, but not by much, and still a solid lifespan. Also, consider that I took this pair for the entire 100 miles on the Western States Trail, and the entire 50 miles on the Ice Age 50. The part of the shoe that finally went was the left inside by big toe. The fabric ripped away from the base of the shoe. I was extremely surprised at how well the sole of this shoe held up. If the toe box was bigger, or stronger the soles could have gone quite a bit further. I’m excited to see if my second pair of the 230s will commence in a similar fashion, or if I will be able to milk a few more miles out of them. I was very content with the longevity of the 230s. When compared to a typical shoe life recommendation, 1,001 miles approximately doubles what many people expect. In fact, I liked them so much a grabbed a second pair.
My pair of Inov8 155 Road X Lite are still going strong. They are currently holding onto 940 miles. These are a great pair of shoes for smooth surfaces. They have held up great despite their very lite frame (155 grams, hence the name). With a heel-to-toe drop of 3 mm these are great for someone who has some miles under their legs in a low profile shoe, and great for someone trying to work down to a zero drop shoe. I used these for races, workouts, and long runs. My guess is the sole will wear threw before anything else falls apart on the shoe. The fabric and toe box are still in phenomenal shape. In my original blog, Minimalist Shoes, Maximum Durability, I estimated close to 1000 miles with this pair. I am pleased to say I am confident they will surpass that by a healthy margin.
The Inov8 Bare X Lite 150s are a pair I have not reviewed in the past. I have amassed 619 miles in these shoes, since I got them from Revolution Natural Running in Wauwatosa, WI. Like the 155s, I am continuously surprised at the durability of this shoe. It is incredibly lite, and you can crumple the shoe up into a ball. When I first put these shoes on I loved the feel. I thought I would blow through them quicker than the first two minimalist shoes I tried. I am pleased to say that these shoes show no sign of going soon, and will likely last as long as the 155s. They are fantastic for racing and workouts with their feather like weight of 150 grams. The 150s are minimalist throughout with no laces, and a zero drop heel-to-toe. After a few runs with these you will be able to literally slip them on hands free and hit the road. I have used the 150s for races, workouts, and long runs. However, they are a road shoe, so it is wise to stay clear of sharp rocks. I have taken these on trails, but have found I have to tiptoe through the nasty stuff, so I typically stay on the pavement with these shoes.
I was really excited when Kyle at RNR told me he wanted me to try out the Skoras. I knew very little about them, but Kyle said I would love them, and so far all his suggestions have been great to me. They are a bit heavier than the Inov8 150 and 155 shoes, but they look, and feel extremely durable. They also have a lot more protection for the heal and forefoot. There is enough there to absorb small stones. This has allowed me to take them on the trails. In fact, I raced the JFK 50 Mile in them, which has some technical trail (Appalachian Trail), and a gravel tow-path. I never had any sharp shots to the foot when running on the gravel or technical sections. I really noticed the first time I took these out on the roads. They have a unique rubber sole (see specs below) that really grips the pavement well. I love these for speed work on the roads. It almost feels like wearing spikes on the track. The sole seems to be quite resistant to wear as can be seen in the picture. With 300 miles on them you can’t see any wear on the actual sole. The comfort in these shoes are top notch. In fact, I have probably walked as many miles in these shoes as I have run in them. So these shoes probably have over 500 miles of overall movement in them. My estimate is that these shoes will easily eclipse the 1,000 mile mark (running miles, not counting the walking miles I have and will do in them).
- REALFIT™ last
- Pittards® Armor-Tan® Goat upper
- Pittards® WR100X® Sheepskin lining
- Asymmetrical lacing
- Anti-slip microfiber heelpad
- No-tongue design
- Elastic heel strap
- Reflective details
- 4mm Ortholite® sockliner
- High abrasion rubber
- Zero-drop construction
- Stitch-down construction
- 9mm forefoot/heel stack height (13mm with insole)
- 8.2 oz/235 grams
As always, please post any questions, comments, or personal experience you have in regards to the topic of minimalist running.