Category Archives: Inov8 Shoes

Best Shoes for College – Men

Entering college often signifies a new stage in your life–and the perfect time to update your wardrobe.  As you grow and learn, your style should also reflect that growth.  Plus, moving from class to class and around campus means you’re spending a lot of time on your feet.  We’ve made a list of some of our favorite shoes for college and university life below.

Chukka / Desert Boots

Add a little class to your casual look. Chukka and Desert boots are laid back and comfortable, but look much nicer than your tennis shoes.  A traditional chukka boot has a crepe sole and two eyelets, but plenty of variations exist. Try a pair from Clarks, Timberland, or Johnston & Murphy.

Dress Shoes

Bruno Magli Shoes

Whatever your price range, it’s important to have a well-maintained pair of dress shoes.  These will come in handy for presentations, interviews, scholarship banquets, and other formal events. A go-to staple is a plain-toe, black balmoral (click here to learn about the difference between a blucher and a balmoral/oxford), which will work at almost every formal event.  A straight tip (cap toe) shoe is a slightly less formal option that is still commonly accepted, but brogues and wing designs are seen as informal. If you already have a staple formal pair, you can feel free to experiment with bluchers, brogues, toe styles and leathers. Try a pair from Johnston & Murphy, Florsheim, Cole Haan, or Bruno Magli.


New Balance Shoes

From division teams to sports clubs to recreation centers to hiking trips, there are plenty of ways to stay active in college. Whether you’re running, training, lifting, or  we have you covered with athletic shoes from New Balance, Reebok CrossFit, Inov-8, Merrell,Vibram FiveFingers, Ecco and more!

Waterproof / Hiking

Merrell Moab Hiking Shoes

Being out on your own in a new place may be a little scary, but it also comes with plenty of opportunities for new experiences. Always be ready for whatever adventure comes your way–or just for inclement weather with hiking shoes and waterproof boots from MerrellTimberland, and Kamik.


Timberland SandalsNaot Sandals

On the opposite end of the spectrum, we have shoes for warm weather.  Depending on where you attend college (and if your dorm room has a/c), the first and last few months of your first year can get really hot. Remember that if you’re walking between classes, you’ll need more support. Save your flimsy flip flops for the shower–sandals from Vionic, Olukai, Timberland, Naot, Chaco, and Sperry Topsider are comfortable enough for all-day wear.

Best College Shoes – Women

Entering college often signifies a new stage in your life–a perfect time to update your wardrobe.  As you grow and learn, your style should reflect that growth.  We’ve made a list of some of our favorite shoes for college and university life below.

Comfy Flats

Cole Haan Shoes - Ballet FlatsSoftSpots FlatsTimberland Shoes - FlatsCole Haan Shoes - Ballet Flats

Comfortable flats from Cole Haan, Timberland, and Softspots are perfect for when sneakers or other casual shoes just won’t do. Wear them to class with skirts and dresses (easy to throw on!) or slip them on with your business casual wear for all-day events.

Practical Heels

Rockport Shoes - HeelsCole Haan Shoes - Heels

Cole Haan Shoes - HeelsSoftSpots Shoes - Heels

Times are changing, and now you are more likely to receive an interview for a job or internship while still in college.  While flats are acceptable in interviews, closed-toe dress heels are more traditional.  Comfortable heels not only feel great, but also make you look more practical.  Try a pair from Rockport, SoftSpots, or Cole Haan (45 or 65 series for lower heel height).

 Supportive Sandals

Naot SandalsOlukai Sandals

Vionic SandalsSoftSpots Sandals

Your summer wear doesn’t have to be restricted to flip-flops.  Rock a more mature look that also helps keep your feet comfortable as you run from class to class with cork-bed or leather sandals from Naot, Olukai, Vionic, or Softspots.

Slip-on Casual

Sperry Topsider Classics - Sperry CVOsCole Haan LTE Shoes

Lace-Ups are comfy, but slip-ons like moccs, loafers, and boat shoes are easy to slide on and off–perfect for those mornings when you don’t really want to get out of bed. Make getting to class on time easy by leaving a pair near your door. Our favorites? Minnetonka Kilty, Sperry Top-Sider classics, and Cole Haan LTE styles.

 Weather & WP Boots

Timberland Tall BootsKamik Boots

Cole Haan BootsSperry Topsider Waterproof Boots

Wet, cold, and crazy weather happens–and it doesn’t always result in canceled classes. Be prepared for whatever with Waterproof Boots from Kamik, Timberland, Sperry, Cole Haan, and Sorel (Coming Soon).


New Balance SneakersReebok CrossFit Shoes

inov-8 shoes FastLift Hybrid Lifting ShoeNew Balance Hiking Shoes

From division teams to sports clubs to recreation centers to hiking trips, there are plenty of ways to stay active in college. Whether you’re running, training, lifting, or hiking we have you covered with athletic shoes from New Balance, Reebok CrossFit, Inov-8, Merrell, Vibram FiveFingers, Ecco and more!

Inov-8: What do the numbers mean?

Inov-8 Shoes

Inov-8 is based in the North Pennines, “England’s last wilderness,” and they are passionate about creating the lightest weight, most flexible footwear in the market for functional fitness and running enthusiasts. They are famous for their durability, glove-like fit, and ability to meet the demands of various different terrains, from the box to the mud to the trail. The numbers they use to name their shoes represent the approximate weight of the shoe in grams. 

We have a ton of Inov-8 styles now on sale (all the shoes featured in this blog are currently 40% off!)… but what’s the difference between the F-Lite 192 and the F-Lite 195? Between the FastLift 315 and 335? We’re here to break it down for you.


Inov-8 F-Lite Series

Inov-8 Shoes F-Lite 195Inov-8 Shoes F-Lite 195

The F-Lite 195 is Inov-8’s signature lightweight functional fitness shoe with a sticky gripping sole, glove-like fit, and Rope-Tec reinforcement. A “one arrow” shoe, the 195 has a 3 mm drop.  Flexible and fast enough for any workout, and stable and comfortable enough to lift in, the 195 is rated for indoor, outdoor, and rope climbing use.

Inov-8 Shoes F-Lite 192

The F-Lite 192 is the second lightest F-Lite available (coming in second to the Women’s 185) with a reinforced medial and lateral sections for rope climbing protection. It is a super fast and stable shoe for functional fitness and running purists. The difference between the 192 and 195? The 192 is a zero drop shoe, letting you get closer and closer to that natural run.

Inov-8 Shoes F-Lite 240Inov-8 Shoes F-Lite 239

The F-Lite 239 (right) is designed especially for the female foot with a natural fit, whereas the F-Lite 240 (left) is designed with Inov-8’s precision fit, which features a narrower toe-box.  The other difference between these two models is that the 239 is a 3 mm drop shoe, while the 240 carries a 6 mm drop. Those new to minimal footwear may want to begin with the 240 for a gentler transition.

Inov-8 Shoes F-Lite 252Inov-8 Shoes F-Lite 262


The F-Lite 252 (left) is the stripped back version of the F-Lite 262 (right), once again with the lower number carrying the lower drop of 3 mm (vs the 6 mm drop of the 262).


FastLift 335 (315)

Inov-8 Shoes FastLift 335 - On Sale Now!Inov-8 Shoes - FastLift 315

The FastLift 315 is the Women’s version of the FastLift 335  released in February of 2013.  The shoe has since been updated with new colorways, and now both the Women’s and Men’s FastLift are named FastLift 335.  The original colors of the FastLift are now on sale for under $89.97, a great price for a Hybrid Lifting shoe.


We think it’s also important to note that while Inov-8 makes its women’s shoes specifically to fit women’s feet, many women may also find the men’s styles comfortable as well. Generally, a woman would size down by 1.5 for men’s sizes.  For example, a men’s size 4 would equate a women’s 5.5.  A men’s size 5.5 would be a women’s 7. 


Inov-8 Sale


Post WOD Recovery


You work hard, and your feet work hard too. After intense exercice, you have to allow time for your body to recover. The sport of fitness involves repetitive impact and ground contact for your feet. Taking care of your feet and allowing them to recover after a WOD feels great–and can help to avoid injury. Here’s 3 ways to treat your feet:

1. Keep Them Clean and Dry – Your feet will certainly work up a sweat during your WOD, but warm, wet spaces are breeding grounds for harmful bacteria and fungus. Wash up as soon after your workout as possible, and slip your feet into a fresh, dry pair of socks. If your feet are very prone to sweating or overheating, you may find a foot deodorizer / antiperspirant helpful. Synthetic socks wick moisture away better than cotton, so select the right pair for both before and after exercising.

2. Stretch Them – Keep your feet strong and flexible by stretching them post-WOD. We have pinned some exercises for stronger feet on our Pinterest board, For The Minimalist. You should also be sure to put your feet up every once in a while to improve circulation.

Pamper Them – A pedicurist or proper at-home pedicure can keep the feet healthy. Trim your toenails straight across to avoid ingrown nails or painful impact. Soaking feet in epsom salt or ice water may help to reduce swelling and soothe aching muscles.

Most importantly, if you feel like you have a foot injury coming on, be sure to take care of it as soon as possible. Untreated injuries can lead to debilitation of the foot, hindering or halting your fitness progress. You can read more about common athletic injuries on last week’s blog.

Here are some of our favorite fitness shoes for working out and keeping in shape!

Picking The Right Shoe Size

Picking (2) When shopping online — or even in store — many people worry about whether or not they are buying the right size shoe for their foot.  While sizing may seem simple, many factors go into the fit of a shoe. Your shoe size can vary between manufacturers, and even between different styles of the same brand. At The Shoe Mart, we carry shoes ranging from sizes 5 to 20 and widths AAA-EEEEEE. What does this mean? Widths from 2A – 6E can be broken down like this :

Very Narrow Narrow Medium Wide Extra Wide
AAA, AA, A B, C D E, EE 3E, 4E, 5E, 6E

To determine size and width, you can be measured by a professional like the ones in our Norwalk Store or you can have a friend help you measure your foot at home using this printable. Recommended sizes are often based on a foot length measurement from a Brannock Device.

Once you have been measured and have a reference size, you must keep in mind that not every shoe will perfectly fit your Brannock measurement size. You may be an 8.5 in some shoes and a 9 in others. The way a shoe fits varies depending on the last (essentially a mold of a foot) that a manufacturer uses to form the shoe. Brands like Alden or Inov-8 have multiple lasts that will fit differently on the foot. You can learn more about the different kinds of Alden lasts on our YouTube Channel.

The best way to determine the right size of shoe for you is to try shoes on. Because your feet swell more as the day goes on, it is best to try shoes on at the end of the day. Wear socks that you would normally wear with the shoes. Always try shoes on inside on a carpeted area in order to allow for returns.  

How should they fit?

First of all, we think it’s important to mention that a shoe that doesn’t fit properly when you first try it on still won’t fit properly after it has been “broken in”.  Poorly fitting shoes can lead to pain or injury, so you should take care in selecting the right size.

There should be just enough room in the heel for you to slip your index finger in and out between your heel and the shoe. When walking uphill, your heel should not rise up and down in the shoe. If walking downhill, your toes should not hit the front of the toe-box. There should be plenty of wiggle room for your toes, and no pressure spots when walking. It is normal for one foot to be larger than the other (even by a full size!). You should always buy shoes that fit the larger foot. When purchasing a pair of shoes, you should also take pronation and the arches of your foot into consideration. Read last week’s blog for more info!

We would love to assist you in choosing the right size. You can reach customer service at (800) 85-7463 or by emailing You are also welcome to visit our Norwalk Store to be fitted or to ask questions!