Inov-8 Fastlift 335

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Inov-8 Fastlift 335Review Facts

Finding the perfect shoe for both weightlifting and doing different work in the gym is a tough job. But the Inov-8 Fastlift 335 is pretty close to that! Although it is a cross-trainer, it’s more suited for weightlifting, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t give it a go for cardio or Crossfit. You might not want to run in them though, because of the lack of padding and the tight fit, plus taking them outside isn’t such a good idea either, but you can do just about anything in them if you stick to the gym! Read on to discover whether the Fastlift 335 is worthy enough to find a place in your closet.

Editor's Pros & Cons
Pros

Nylon and synthetic upper that is very durable and resistant to all kinds of damage

Removable soft sock liner

Sticky rubber outsole made for all kinds of indoor terrain

Power-truss system at the heel gives extra support

The forefoot is very flexible thanks to the Meta-flex technology

Velcro strap and secure lacing system

Great design

Cons

Not really made for running

A bit pricey

Upper

Upper

The upper plays a pretty important role in the construction of a sneaker made for working out. The upper of the Fastlift 335 is made out of nylon and synthetic. The nylon is featured in the ripstops, making the shoe resistant to tears and abrasions, while the synthetic fibers are woven into the sleek overlays. This blend works with the shape of your feet, adapting to them quickly and creating the perfect fit. The lacing system is quick and secure, and there's a strap present as well that locks you down tightly, which is very important when you're jumping around or lifting heavy loads. An external heel cage is present too, which holds your foot in place even harder, so don't worry about your feet slipping out of the sneaker. The cage is made out of TPU, which is pliable yet firm when you need to rely on it!
Midsole

Midsole

The midsole is sandwiched between the outsole and the upper of the shoe. It's where most of the comfort and support come from, so it's vital that it's constructed expertly. The Fastlift 335 has something called the Power-truss. This is a wedge that can be found on the heels of the shoe. This wedge is made out of TPU, the same material the heel cage is made out of. The pillars from the Power-truss extend into the heel cage, and they together provide you with firm support that you can lean into when you lift. This system is not heavy at all, and it won't add extra weight you don't need if you decide to tackle running. The footbed is soft to the skin and molded to fit the shape of any foot, with a 3mm cushion that gives you just enough padding for any kind of sport.
Outsole

Outsole

Since the Fastlift 335 is a cross-trainer, it needs to have a specialized outsole that can handle both lifting and cardio. The outsole is made out of rubber, just like the outsole of many shoes out there, but this rubber is sticky, which is a kind of rubber developed by Inov8. This sticky rubber grips tightly on any surface you may be working out on, be it wood, concrete, or a regular gym floor. The sticky rubber also allows you to use a climbing rope, just like a sneaker made for Crossfit would, making the Fastlift an excellent hybrid shoe. We also have to mention the pattern on the outsoles. The heels are decorated with circular patterns that actually work just like suction cups would. These "suction cups" anchor you to the ground, so you can lift safely. The outsole also has a wide platform. The front of the outsole has Meta-flex, a technology devised by Inov8, which allows you to flex your foot as you would without wearing any shoe at all, which gives you the chance to stabilize yourself and lift even bigger numbers!
Comfort

Comfort

A comfortable shoe is a must when your safety is in play. A sneaker that is uncomfortable will distract you from the task at hand, and if it does that often enough it opens up ways for you to make mistakes, which is the last thing you need when working out. Inov8 is well aware of that, which is why they worked hard on creating a comfortable shoe. Wearing sneakers without socks is usually out of the question, yet Inov8 fitted the Fastlift 335 with a soft sock liner that lets you have that choice. The shoes have a snug fit, and the power-truss and heel cage we mentioned above secure the fit. Although you can run in these sneakers, some users say that they are a bit too snug for that activity and that they lack padding needed to absorb the impact when you run, so you might want to find a different sneaker for that. They will last longer this way too!

A comfortable shoe also has to be breathable. The nylon present in the upper is what makes that a possibility. Not only does the nylon extend the life of the shoe, but it also allows cool air to enter freely and kick out the hot, moist air. This then dries your feet and keeps you safe from blisters as well. The removable footbed and the mesh lining improve the breathability too. A heavy shoe can also affect the overall comfort because wearing a set of weights around your feet when you're working out can tire you down without you even noticing it. So, a lightweight sneaker is the way to go, and although the Fastlift 335 does have elements that make it heavier, it's still light enough that it doesn't cause any discomfort. The Fastlift 335 has 12 ounces, so it's heavy enough to support you without affecting your performance.
Durability

Durability

As we mentioned above, the very first thing that makes these shoes durable are the nylon ripstops. Ripstops are woven fabrics that are most often made out of nylon, which is the case here. Thick strands of nylon are woven into a crosshatch pattern, and that makes a surface that is pretty resistant to all kinds of tears and abrasions. The Fastlift can withstand tons of abuse thanks to that, and the synthetic overlays are pretty helpful too! The rubber on the outsole and the midsole are pretty tough too. They can survive a lot of compression and they absorb plenty of shock without backing down, so don't worry about these sneakers failing you when you need them the most.
Performance

Performance

A sneaker made for weightlifting has to be supportive. The Fastlift 335 was designed to do just that. The molded footbed, which is removable by the way, if you ever feel like replacing it, is 3mm thick, and it tightens the fit to perfection, giving you plenty of support. The strap that goes over your arches is also exceptionally supportive, and the velcro that serves as the fastening allows you to adjust the amount of support you receive with ease. These sneakers were made for weightlifting, but the sticky rubber does allow them to tackle all kinds of terrain. We wouldn't recommend using them outdoors though, because the rubber is simply not made to carry you across rugged surfaces. But you can use it indoors on any surface you see fit!

The sticky rubber also gives the sneakers plenty of traction, gripping the floor with immense strength. This way, you can safely jump, run, lift, and even climb without spending a second thinking about toppling over. The Fastlift 335 is lightweight, but it's also quite flexible. The nylon ripstops are tough but they are very bendy, and so are the synthetic overlays. The shoe is designed to keep you stable, especially the heel, but the forefoot does have a lot of flex in it thanks to the meta-flex technology. The sneakers will allow you to move naturally, so don't worry about constricted movements. And lastly, a good cross-trainer has to be stable. Thankfully, the Fastlift 335 has a pretty wide platform that gives you a good surface area to lean into. The TPU heel cage and the Power-truss we mentioned were specifically designed to give you support. They grip your feet and keep them in place, no matter how hard you try to rip your foot out!
Drop

Drop

If you ever searched for weightlifting sneakers before, you probably heard or saw people mentioning the heel drop. The heel drop is actually very important, and the higher it is the better. This weightlifting shoe does a very good job of stabilizing your heels thanks to the heel cage and the TPU components, making the drop of this heel 16.5 millimeters, which is quite high for a cross-trainer. This is exactly why these shoes were simply made for weightlifting, but they really don't work that well for running. When you run, you need a shorter heel that allows your foot to drop down as opposed to hitting a raised surface.
Value

Value

One thing we all know is just how pricey shoes made for working out can be. You can find the ideal shoe very quickly, fall in love with it, and then quickly change your mind when you notice the price tag. This is a tale as old as time, and it's unlikely that it will change. The Fastlift 335 is pricier than a hundred dollars, going for about a hundred and fifty, so expect to shell out quite a bit if you want to have them. But think about it this way - if you care so much about your body to put yourself through working out any chance you get, why not pay a little bit more to protect your feet as well? After all, they are the ones that do most of the job, and the Fastlift 335 protects them quite well, so the value you get for the price is much bigger!
The Final Word

The Final Word

The Fastlift is a really good sneaker made for weightlifting. Although it does say that it's a cross-trainer, we do believe that every aspect of this shoe was made to aid lifting. You can probably run in them, but the high heel drop and the lack of padding say otherwise. The sticky rubber outsole allows you to do cardio and rope climbing though, so there's that. The Fastlift 335 is very durable thanks to the amazing material blend of the upper, plus the heel cage and the TPU midsole do an excellent job of supporting you. The forefoot is bendy, and the lacing system is excellent. You will need to pay a bit more if you wish to wear them, but we believe they are well worth the price!