Rating: 4 / 5
At 15.8 oz/pair (shoes and laces, no footbed - size 9-1/2 for a size 9 foot), these trail racing shoes feel like ballet slippers. They provide tremendous sensitivity to subtle trail features and consequently less protection from sharp rocks and toe stubbing. Racing rubber is said to provide excellent grip and last 50-70% as long as their standard sole. Utilizing Inov-8's fascia band technology these shoes support the foot without inhibiting it's natural motion and more efficiently use foot flex to propel the wearer forward.
In her spotlite review of the heavier road rated F-Lite 300, Carol Crooker found the shoe to be very slow drying. The 250 appears to be at the opposite end of the spectrum. In a drying time analysis of 4 trail shoes (which I will post on the "G Spot") the 250's were the fastest drying shoe.
I sized up 1/2 size as recommended which worked well. As Carol also noted the F-Lite series has a very snug toe box. I was concerned at first, but found this feature cut down on rubbed spots on my toes common to my other larger toed shoes.
Due to the delicate structure and slim cut of these shoes, my beloved Superfeet insoles didn't make the cut for this duty. The supplied footbeds are nice, but don't provide the arch support that I like. I fashioned subtle cork arches and barge cemented them to the footbeds for a perfect feel. The complete package with modified footbeds weighs 1lb 1.5oz for the pair.
I bought these shoes in hopes of using them on a JMT run this summer. Unfortunately my soft as a baby's bottom heels need the large, cushy heel pocket of my road running shoes to avoid friction injuries. (You will see these shoes show up for sale shortly).
A successful candidate for these shoes will place low weight above all else; will posess excellent control of delicate foot placements rather than carelessly slamming their foot down wherever it lands; will not be overly concerned about tread life (or will be handy with Shoe Goo retreading high wear areas) and will have slim toes or like a snug fit in the toe box.
In other words: These shoes are for someone who wants to lightly prance like a gazelle up mountain trails with great haste. For this person this shoe will be a "5".