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Photo of Sam Parham from Parkour crew, Team 101   BY
BRAD WENDES
STREET TEAM

   






BRAND INOV-8
PRODUCT f-lite 301/305/320
PRICE £60 approx
WHERE www.inov-8.com

FEATURES

The local lads have been pressure testing the latest batch of Inov-8 shoes. Firstly I’d like to say that the Inov-8 f-lite pk range are the BEST shoes any of us have used for Parkour bar none. Even the ‘other’ fancy shoes aren’t a patch on the Inov-8’s. I’ve encouraged all the local practitioners to go out & get a pair. In the Essex Parkour scene they’re something of a ‘must-have’.

I still make use of my battered 320pk shoes that are over a year old. They really stand the test of time!

The 301’s improve on the only area of the 320’s that needed any attention, and that was the slightly bulky look & weight. That’s not to say they’re any heavier than rival shoes, but they looked a little bulky.

The 301’s are beautiful to look at, and appear to be more of a lightweight running shoe.

ROADTEST
COMFORT
I wear them everywhere now. The 301’s are rarely not on my feet if I leave the house. They are as comfortable as any other trainer, and practical enough to wear socially, for some heavy training, or to go for a long run in.
4/5 - don’t do the locking laces up too tight!

FUNCTIONALITY
Superb feedback from pretty much every surface you care to jump on, off, or around. Grip is better than any other Parkour shoe around. Surface area & compound seems at an optimum to ensure good grip on all surfaces regardless of dust & damp.

Not one of the guys testing the shoes have managed to roll an ankle in the 301’s.
Impact protection is as good as any running shoe I’ve used, but there is no loss of sensitivity that came come with increased impact protection. Abrasion resistant pads in the right places around the toe ensure they won’t wear through like many other shoes.
The meta-flex assists when wall-running & climbing. The meta-flex hinge ensures the correct area of the shoe is making contact, but the shoe will always return to its original shape.

All inov-8 Parkour / Freerun / Urban adventure shoes have clear, non-marking outsoles.
5/5 – can’t fault them

STYLE
Personally I prefer the darker look of the 305 GTX to the big flashes of white on the 301. But feedback on the style & colours has been nothing but positive.

They’re attractive enough to have become something of a fashion item locally, even in non-practitioners.
3/5 – They’re pretty for a running shoe, but still a standard shaped running shoe.
OTHER NOTES

I found the 305GTX to feel odd on my feet to begin with. I’ve never used shoes that incorporate Gore-Tex before.
The wind goes straight through the shoe, and felt like I was wearing sandals.
Once I got used to this unusual feeling, I found the shoes to be as functional as the 301 / 320 models, but sweaty / wet feet is never an issue.

While I prefer the colours of the 320 & 305 GTX, then 301’s are my favourite model to train in.







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