Can You Just Have One Pair of Trainers?

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I remember when I first started running, everyone said how accessible it was – all you need is a pair of trainers and some old clothes and you can run. Which is true, unless you want trainers for distance. Trainers for speed. Trainers that stop your arches collapsing. Trainers that return the energy from your footstrike. And what about if you want to do a HIIT class? Or lift some weights?

Inov8 have just brought out their latest pair of trainers, the All Train 215, which come with the claim that you can use them for pretty much anything. So can you really just have one pair of trainers for all activities? I got a pair from [Kit]Box to find out.

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inov8 All Train 215

The Technical Stuff

One of their lightest shoes yet, the inov8 All Train weighs just 215g (or a whopping 240g if you’re a UK size 8.5 like me!). The lacing pulls in a cradle around the sides of your foot, locking you in and supporting side to side movement. The sole has triangular shaped cleats to help with grip in any direction. A firmer heel and reinforced heel cup support you during lifting and squatting. And a meta-flex groove provides the flexibility for plyometric movements.

Firstly, I’ll say that Inov8 have comfort down to a T in all their shoes. Every pair of Inov8 shoes I’ve owned (including my lifters) have been incredibly comfortable and the All Trains are no different. These guys know how to do feet! Having said that, I do find them a bit of a pain to get on – you have to loosen the laces quite a bit to be able to slip your foot in the back without squashing the heel cup down. But, once they’re on they really do feel like a supportive second skin.

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In Action

I wore the All Train 215 trainers to CrossFit to test them out with a variety of movements (moderate-weight power snatches, skipping, wall balls, etc.) and also running along the river in quite muddy conditions.

Personally I wouldn’t wear these for dedicated lifting as I always prefer the extra stability of a pair of lifting shoes, but in a workout where you’re mixing lifting with other exercises they hold their own on the platform pretty well. I found I shifted forwards onto my toes quite a lot when snatching, but this might be because they’re so light. For wall balls (squatting with a medicine ball and throwing it to a target overhead) I found them really good – they helped my feet stay grounded while giving me enough freedom of movement to easily jump to throw the ball.

For running I loved them – they are super light and comfortable and felt grippy even in the mud. I wouldn’t recommend them for heavy heel-strikers as the firmer heel and minimalist feel probably wouldn’t provide enough cushioning. However, if you want to get yourself away from a heel strike then these may be a good way to help reinforce good running patterns! I’m a forefoot striker so these were perfect for my running style.

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When I’ll Wear Them

I’ll be slipping on the inov8 All Train 215 shoes whenever I’m going to a class that has a mix of cardio and strength exercises, such as Re-Shape at 1Rebel, Barry’s Bootcamp classes, F45, Grid, etc. I’ll probably still go for my dedicated CrossFit shoes for CrossFit classes – purely because they have a flatter sole that I think just has the edge for lifting – but I’ll definitely keep these as the trainers I take to work for lunchtime workouts or runch!

Does One Shoe Fit All Activities?

So, can you just have one pair of trainers? If you’re a fitness class addict or love variety in your training but don’t want dedicated pairs of trainers for each workout style, then the inov8 All Train 215 shoes are a really good choice as an all-rounder that will support a little bit of everything.

With the best bits of all trainers; the inov8 All Train 215 is a running shoe you can lift in, a lifting shoe you can dodge and weave in and an agility shoe you can hit the trails with.

Pick up a pair of the women’s in0v8 All Train 215 (the ones in this post) or the men’s variety, from [Kit]Box for £84.99 (price correct at the time of writing!).

Photos taken with my Olympus PEN E-PL7*, 17mm f1.8 lens* and 30mm f3.5 macro lens*.

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Disclaimer: I was given a pair of inov8 All Train 215 trainers for review by [Kit]Box. As always, my opinion is my own and not affected by payment, or items/services gifted to me. To find out more about my policy on this and other matters, see my Disclosure page. * Affiliate link. Affiliate links do not affect the price that you pay, but any commission earned helps me to pay the costs of running this site. To find out more about my policy on this and other matters, see my Disclosure page.

What do you think?