Inov8 X-Talon 212 Review

Disclaimer: Get professional opinions on running shoes, although this is a little less important for hill/fell shoes that you won't be wearing for ages at a time. Shoes that work for me, may not work for you. 

I've been planning an Inov8 212 review for quite a while now but wanted to wait until after BUCS to comment fully. Straight up: I, like many others before me, love these shoes.

Images from the 360 degree camera on the Inov8 website... mine no longer look like this

The Brand Says... 

"Incredible flexibility, ultra lightweight... More world championship wins than any other shoe in off road running, combining stability, minimal weight and durability. Optimally placed studs avoid clogging and deliver excellent grip in soft and loose conditions."

The Facts...

Weight: 6.3oz/178grams
Colour: Mine are black/yellow/grey (ideal as this is team colours); they also come in a rather extreme black/orange/blue
Aimed at: fell runners, specialty on lumpy, wet, soft, mud so Scottish fell and hill runners are big fans

What I Like...

The uppers are super light so even when they get soaked there's no functional difference. The lugs also don't seem to hold onto mud for long. They're extremely flexible with the foot so are more like a second skin than anything. Super grippy in mud and on wet rock even though they aren't specialized for that. Smaller point: nice laces, capable of going really tight and staying tight due to tiny nubbins on them. 

The thing I love most is the trust. At Braids, people cautiously slowed down on the huge stretches of mud covered sheet rock; at hill races, people lost pace on the downhills; at BUCSXC many girls in road shoes (but also in spikes) slowed coming into the huge deep pools of wet mud or when the downhill into forest land appeared. These were all times where I overtook other runners cause' I could trust my feet. I wasn't going to slip on wet rock due to the rubber soles, I wasn't going to slide downhill, I wasn't going to loose a shoe in thick mud or break an ankle slipping on roots. Being able to trust your feet and just go with it is really very freeing!

What I Don't...

They briefly cramped the arch on the sole of my feet the first time I wore them and they are pretty narrow, however they are now 100% fine. Erm... thats it. I hear the front rubber 'clip' tears on them sometimes but mine has not yet and I heard that from my hill runner mate who gives hers a right battering.

Overall...

Inov8 you have a convert for life. 

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Have you ever been in love with shoes?


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