Inov8 X-Talon 212 Review

Used X-Talons

The X-Talon 212 is not a new shoe, only new to us at Facewest. The X Talon has also been reviewed in other places which you can read HERE (Scott Dunlap’s blog of trail running), HERE ( and of course in Fell Runner magazine.

I have had a pair of these shoes for about 6 months and have been mainly using them in Open 5 Adventure Races and short fell races. The first thing you notice as you jog away from home is how incredibly light they are. I’m a size 10.5 so they are a bit over 212g but you do really notice the extra spring in your step, feels like a racing flat. When racing as well as the actual physical advantage of lighter feet, it’s a good mental boost as well to feel so† light.

I have pretty average feet so although these are narrower than some Inov8 shoes, I didn’t really notice the difference. I thought the heel cup on the X-Talon was deeper than on the Mudclaw and my foot was held well.† I have changed the laces for something broader because the originals are like cheese wire. Because I use then in adventure racing, and want a quick transition from biking to running, I put the Xtenex Knotted Elastic laces in mine.

The studs on the X-Talon are spaced more widely than the mudclaw or roclite so clogging is not a problem. The rubber is softer than most fell shoes so the X-Talons have the best grip on wet rock that I have ever felt in a fell shoe. There is a trade off in durability but these are ‘racing shoes’ after all. I felt very secure going up and down in all terrain with them, to the point of not thinking about it at all. They traversed well, even with elastic laces in. The sole cushioning gets 2 out of 4 on Inov8’s scale and you can ‘feel’ the ground through them when running. I wouldn’t choose them for a long race with lots of broken rock involved but would use them for most other events. My X-Talons have lasted pretty well considering they are so light, the uppers are holding up well and the studs are pretty much how you would expect them to be.

As you can tell I am very happy with the X-Talon as a race shoe, I try not to use them in training to maintain that psychological advantage when racing but am often tempted.† If I only had one shoe then it probably wouldn’t be the X-Talon, but then who has only one pair of running shoes!

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