Review: Inov-8 X-Talon trail shoes

A brilliant pair of run shoes for all distances and speeds

Our rating 
4.5 out of 5 star rating 4.5

The best advertisement for a trail shoe comes from success in the brutal world of fell-running… and as Simon Bailey’s just shattered his own record to win the British Champs using X-Talon 212s, its credentials are strong.


Inov-8’s known for its minimalist efforts and, at 271g, that’s reasonably true here. A 6mm drop means you can feel the ground beneath you – a feeling heightened via the tooth-like studs that afford maximum grip in the mud.

Further trail-specific concessions include a ‘Durable Water Repellant’ coating. It’s not fully waterproof but helps the 212s to drain swiftly.

They provide a fantastic ride, potentially down to ‘Meta-Flex’, a groove in the forefoot that releases a natural flex in the shoe. You feel like you’re running au naturel but with enough support for long distances.

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