Inov-8 X-Talon 212
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: £95
Great off-road running shoes, lightweight, good fit, really nice to run in. Not so good if your runs involve longer sections on tarmac.
- Nice fit
- Not great on tarmac or hard surfaces
The fit is really nice. I did as suggested and steamed them before I first put them on so they'd fit my foot shape better. Very comfortable to run in on the right surfaces.
They seem to be really well made, and use good materials. They're usually pretty muddy, but I'm sure they'd be like new if I cleaned them.
They're not designed to be water resistant, but water runs freely out of them and they dry quickly. Great if you're running through streams or boggy ground.
Grip is excellent both in mud and on wet rocks.
They're minimal and lightweight and you feel like you're in full contact with whatever surface you're running on.
I generally run between 8-25k on a range of surfaces, grass, trails, rocky paths and sections on tarmac. I've also run a few trail races in the Lakes which are usually about 15K. And I probably do up to about 120k a month.
The only fault with these (and it might just be down to my foot shape) is that because they are fairly minimal shoes without much cushioning and have very knobbly soles, they can become painful when running on harder ground. There's one stud on the sole in particular which I land on right in the centre on the ball of my foot behind my second toe, if the ground is hard then this really becomes uncomfortable after about 8k.
As I say it might just be my foot shape. Having said that the stud seems to be wearing down and the shoes are becoming more comfortable.
Price Paid: US$90
I took these out for a 25 km canyon run. Terrain was very uneven, lots of rocks, uneven ground, scree. Ran along the canyon rim where plant and hold followed by a quick, effortless release was essential.
Performed great. No problem with grip or traction - so I felt very confident throughout the run.
Shoe extremely light but still offers protection from stone bruising. Breathes very well. Binds the foot tight so there is no slippage of the foot in the boot, but the shoe is so flexible that the foot can move naturally without feeling restricted or limited.
Very low heel-forefoot elevation profile makes this great for midfoot strike.
Materials: Nylon upper, sticky rubber sole
Use: Short-distance Cross Country Racing, Mud
Break-in Period: None
Weight: 212 grams (7.5 ounces)
Price Paid: 0.00 (won in a contest)
The new Inov-8 X-Talon 212 is an excellent shoe for certain conditions. I’ve used it over a grassy, fairly hard cross-country course and found it comfortable and very, very light. I’m looking forward to trying it in other conditions as the weather changes and (hopefully) brings more rain.
The shoe runs true to size, and fits a little snugger than a training shoe. I found that the fit helped prevent my foot from sliding inside the shoe when running along a cambered slope and provided a high degree of control. I was surprised that the heavier 6 mm foot bed was used versus the 3 mm, but I was able to feel the surface I was running on quite well and the additional thickness added a bit of padding. The feel was close to that found running barefoot but without the risk of stone-bruising or losing one’s grip on the ground due to slippery conditions.
The light weight, aggressive outsole, and snug fit of this shoe make it well suited to short-distance cross country racing or in sloppy conditions and the uppers breathed well. I haven’t tried them in a water-crossing yet, so I don’t know how well they drain, but I think they’ll perform well there also.
The X-Talon 212 wouldn’t be my shoe of choice for long races, but for 5 km or 10 km distances in specific terrain conditions, they are ideal. I’m glad to have another great inov-8 shoe in my arsenal.
212 G / 7.5 OZ
5.5-13 (HALF SIZES)
7-11 (HALF SIZES)