Today we’re going to take a look at some high-tech weightlifting shoes – the inov-8 FastLift 335. Never heard of inov-8? Founded in 2003, they design high quality, innovative products in both the running and performance training sectors.
We’ll focus on the FastLift 335 – a serious weightlifting shoe. It’s got a raised heel, stable construction, and serious traction. This isn’t a running or CrossFit training shoe – but it gets the job done when doing the Olympic lifts such as the clean & jerk and snatch.
Why Weightlifting Shoes?
First a quick recap – what are the key features and benefits of Olympic weightlifting shoes (also called Oly shoes)? Visually the first thing that catches your eye is the extreme raised heel. These shoes typically have a raised heel – anywhere from .5 inch all the way up to 1.25 inch or more. Why? Because it helps you squat – you can get deeper, stay more upright, and it requires less range of motion in the ankles. And as you probably know the squatting range of motion isn’t just for squats – it’s an integral part of the clean and jerk , and the snatch. Secondly, they’ve got solid heels – no squishy rubber heels here. Why is this? For stability and power transfer – why leak power away in a squishy, deforming heel? A lot of old school weightlifting shoes even use solid wood heels. That’s rigid. And while some still use this material, many newer shoes use equally rigid composite materials. And there’s usually not much of a midsole (the shock absorbing part of a shoe) for pretty much the same reasons. Lastly, the shoe’s overall fit is nice and secure – all over – you’ll feel “locked in”. You can’t lift big if your feet are sliding around in the shoes, especially with the explosive lifts. And to this end you’ll often see a variety of straps, buckles, and hard plastic heel clips – as well as other things.
So that’s why you want real weightlifting shoes to lift big weights. But keep in mind these are not running shoes – they are built for weightlifting and quite frankly you really can’t do much else in them. The extreme rigidness, lack of flex, and awkward heel ensure that. They are usually relatively heavy (for a shoe) as well.
But, having said all that, you really can’t appreciate what a solid, stable weightlifting shoe does for you until you strap a pair on and give it a go. Enough about the theory – let’s talk about what makes the Inov-8 FastLift 335 special.
Inov-8 FastLift 335 Weightlifting Shoes
Let’s start from the ground up (literally) and take a closer look at the outsole – or more simply the sole. This is the part that comes in contact with the ground. There’s a sharp looking inov-8 logo, but also notice the alternating checkerboard pattern to the rubber and the suction cups – yes, suction cups. These shoes are built for secure traction and stability. The Meta-Flex groove in the forefoot provides a natural flex point in the shoe. You can’t miss it – it’s labeled as such.
Now the raised heel. You can see the detail of the Power-Truss heel featuring cylindrical tubes. This forms an incredibly stable base for lifting with a minimum of added weight. Also very obvious in this view – the heel clip creates lateral stability and comfort through the use of rigid materials.
From the three quarters view we can easily see: a wider toe box for toe splay during lifts. VELCRO® brand strap lacing cover for a secure fit and foot placement. It also keeps the laces tucked neatly away. Lastly, the upper is nylon ripstop with a no-seam, welded construction.
So there you go – the Inov-8 FastLift 335 weightlifting shoe packs some high-tech and real innovation into a purpose built shoe for athletes.
- Inov-8 product photos are courtesy of Inov-8
- Some product imagery on this page is property of Rogue Fitness and provided by Rogue Fitness.
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