Inov-8 states that the Inov-8 X-Talon 212 off road shoe is the most popular in the inov-8 range and we can see why.
Top reasons to try:
-Extremely sticky rubber sole
-Drains water and dries quickly
-Lightweight (212 grams, hence the name)
Top reasons to pass:
-Narrow toe box (doesn’t allow for a natural toe splay)
A shoe fit for:
-Anyone who walks on dirt a lot (lucky)
-People who like low profile/minimal support shoes
Okay, so a narrow toe box isn’t a reason to pass on these __enter shoe description__ but we didn’t want these shoes getting too cocky. They are nearly perfect, after all.
For those of you who are used to stability road shoes, you will notice every rock and root on the trail. For you minimalists out there, you will feel like you have more support than most low profile shoes on the market. Please note: these shoes are not made for all-purpose running. They will feel very uncomfortable on pavement! Just walking from the parking lot to the trailhead is a strange few minutes.
The Inov-8 X Talon 212 come with noticeably aggressive lugs. Don’t be intimidated; these will soon be your favorite feature when your feet are gripping all of the wet and muddy rocks with ease. I shaved 2+ minutes off an extremely steep mountain sprint because of these ground-hugging shoes. How in the world? Well, the sheer confidence I had at knowing I would not slip off of any rocks helped me waste less time and energy. My foot stayed firmly in the shoe at all times (to the point where I thought my heel was literally super-glued into the shoe). I didn’t slide around on the steep decent either. Confidence through the roof. I now feel like a trail running goddess.
The upper is primarily woven mesh. Very tightly woven mesh. This allows the shoe to breathe and let water drain. The mesh is tight enough that it will keep most dust and debris out of the shoe. They’ve thought of everything! I tested these shoes on a trail with a couple of stream crossings. The water drained quickly and dried completely within a few hours.
Even the laces are special and well thought out. I’ve never had to re-tie these laces (even when I semi-lightly tied them to see if they would untie). They have tiny knubs in the weaving of the laces that cause them to stay put. Genius. Oh, and they’re just the right length. Not too long. Finally.
The Inov-8 X Talon 212 are the best trail/off trail shoes I have ever owned, no contest! I have been on a never-ending hunt for comfortable, stable, and grippy shoes for the last few years. I’ve experienced blisters on every part of my feet, pain and soreness, and even nerve damage. Finally, thanks to inov-8, I am completely satisfied with a pair of off road shoes and my quest is complete. Well, for now at least. I love shoes way too much to stop for long and I just might have to try all of inov-8’s line of shoes. All in the name of research, of course.Date posted: November 14, 2013