Saturday, February 18, 2012

Running Shoe Review: inov-8 Road-X Lite 155

inov-8 Road-X Lite 155 Shoe Review

I can’t help myself. 

Some people geek out on the latest sound systems.  Some go into fits over new gadgets.  Me?  Throw some new brand or model of running shoes, tri bike frame or other race gear at me and I will go into spasms. 

I don’t roll my eyes at you for having to buy the only 52.845 inch, 4Dimensional Pot Bellied Pig Plasma Powered TV with enough speaker wattage to broadcast sound to China…so don’t roll your eyes at me!  To each his own!

One of my close running friends has been after me to try shoes made by UK based inov-8 for a while now.  Previously a Newton man and now drinking the New Balance MT101 kool-ade I was open to give em a try.  This friend had done some serious miles in inov-8s, so I figured he had some cred. 

I gave the inov-8 X Lite 155s a 12 mile spin this morning. 

I gotta say, from the time I took them out of the box, I was in love. 

First, they were the lightest shoes I have ever slipped on.  Weighing in 5.5 ounces XL155s are nearly half the weight of "those other" shoes which will likely feel like concrete boat anchors the next time I spin them around the bay.  I literally wondered if I had slipped on another pair of socks they were so light.

Second, they conformed to my foot like a second skin in the right places (top, heel and ankle) and left me room in the places I want room (toe box and around the forefront area).  They were sooooo comfortable.

I took them out on the road and found them to be almost like running with no shoes at all.  With only a 3mm differential, these shoes are nearly as flat as a pancake.  (Differential = the difference between the cushion by the heel and the cushion near the mid-foot).  By comparison, the MT101’s I had been running the last few months are 10mm.  If I were you and have not been running flat shoes, move into these slowly with the miles.  They stress parts of your calf differently than anything you may be used to, so go slow!

Because they are so light and flexible, I did have to tie them a few times at different tightness levels to get it right.  The first time, I pulled the strings a little tight and bunched up the front a bit on the shoe.  The second time, I gave myself a little too much slack and they rattled around on me.  Third time was a charm!

Once I got it right on the tight, I put 12 miles into them and felt like I could knock back a marathon with the inov-8 155s straight out the box with no blisters or rub points.  They were like a second skin.

Finally, at around $100 bucks, they won’t bust your budget.  There are more expensive shoes out there that don’t offer the feel that these do. 

Gents, if you are worried about what your wife will say if you bring home another pair of running shoes, I suggest you take a page from the female play book.  Hide them in the trunk of the car until the coast is clear.  Run in them a few times to rough em up.  Then, put them with the rest of your shoes.  When the wife asks/accuses  "Oh, I see you bought some new shoes?!", you say "Naw, I've had those for a while." 
Ladies?  No advice for already know that trick.   Go get yourself a pair!  He will never know!
4 Shoes on the 4 Shoe Scale!

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