Inov-8 Mudtalon Speed | Review - Outdoors Magic

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Inov-8 Mudtalon Speed | Review

A lightweight and fast feeling shoe with some serious bite to it

The Inov-8 Mudtalon Speed is designed for really muddy running – think Lake District fell races or those narrow footpaths in January that are churned up by suburban dog walkers.

Its lugs are a whopping 8mm deep and that’s about as aggressive as you’ll find. For perspective, Arc’teryx’s new Sylan trail shoe has 6mm lugs and that’s generally considered to be pretty gnarly.

The other day, I was at the world famous cheese rolling in Gloucestershire. I wasn’t stupid enough to take part, but I found myself thinking that if I was then I’d definitely choose to wear these. We’ve had a wet spring here in the UK and they’ve served me very well on all of my most recent runs, which have mainly been on bridleway slop. On that kind of stuff, they really do inspire confidence like no other shoe.

Design and Performance

Fortunately, all of the lugs shed mud extremely well and that’s likely due to the fairly large amount of spacing between them. My local trails are notoriously sticky due to the amount of chalk, but I’ve come back from runs in these with the outsole completely unclogged. I particularly like the fact that the lugs curl up the heel and the toe slightly as this adds just that bit of extra grip on sharp ascents and descents. The rubber compound does have some sticking ability on dry rock but it has its limitations, like most trail running shoes, on rocks that are greasy with moisture.

The midsole has a rock plate and a very light bit of shock absorption and cushioning – if you’re used to running in On or Hoka shoes, think the opposite of them. As such, these aren’t really the kind of shoes I’d want to run in for long on any hard trails – definitely not on road. On road, I actually could feel the lugs bending and wobbling under my feet and felt guilty about the wear and tear that this would be creating.

The upper is made from a translucent ripstop nylon that’s reinforced with a TPU. This has some durability to it but it’s still extremely thin and you therefore don’t have much protection from hard stuff protruding from the trail. OK, it’s not a shoe that’s made for rocky trails but I found that even on soft, muddy trails, the odd rock or root on the trail posed a risk and every now and then I’d feel a bit of a jab into the upper, particularly around my big toes. You do have protection around the heel, however, and that’s thanks to the stiffened heel counter. The tongue also has a fair pit of foam padding that protects the very top of your foot and there’s a bit of foam on the ankle cuff, which, in the sample I had, was pretty shoddily finished at the edges.

With the kind of running that these shoes are designed for, drainage is an absolute priority, and the Mudtalon Speed does get things spot on there. Your feet of course get wet in these, but I’ve never felt water building up, slopping around inside the shoe or causing them to get heavy.


The Inov-8 Mudtalon Speed comes in two different fits at the toe: precision or wide. I tried it in a wide fit, which gave a fair bit of wiggle room for the toes. I was a little worried that I’d have the same experience running in these as I did running in the Altra Lone Peak, which I found way too wide for me, but actually they fitted well and I felt secure and stable, even when contouring.

My foot is fairly standard in size so I probably could’ve got away with a narrow fit. The decision you make there will simply be down to your foot shape and the amount of precision you want at the toe.

Inov-8 Mudtalon Speed Verdict

This is a very fast feeling shoe that’s exceptionally light and reliably grippy. If you tend to run on very muddy hillsides or footpaths then I think it will serve you very well. If you’re looking for something that’s versatile enough to take on big distances and a variety of surfaces then I’d say this is a little too much of a one trick pony for that. If that is what you’re looking for then you’ll probably be better served by something in the Inov-8 Trailfly collection instead.

Inov-8 Mudtalon Speed

Selected for the Outdoor 100 Sping/Summer 2024 guide
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