Inov-8 X-Talon 230 Trail Shoe | Review - Outdoors Magic

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Trail and Scramble Shoes

Inov-8 X-Talon 230 Trail Shoe | Review

Possibly Inov-8's best trail shoe for some years...

At a glance of the name alone, the Inov-8 X-Talon 230 sounds like something that is going to rise up against the human race in a sci-fi B-Movie.

We can assure you though that the X-Talon 230 is indeed a trail shoe. And while it might not change your life and everyday living in a submit-to-your-new-robot-overlords kind of way, there’s a good chance the new release from Inov-8 might just change your trail running habits for the foreseeable future.

What Inov-8 have done here is take what was already a classic, stellar trail-running shoe and add little updates to the materials and design to ultimately make a trail shoe with very few (if any) obvious flaws.

At the forefront of the updates is the new Sticky Grip rubber on the outsole, which provides better traction than its predecessor on both wet and dry grounding, and along with the toothy 8mm studs and underfoot protection that has been added in for the model as well, you can be assured that grip, comfort and stability are not factors that you’re going to have to worry about while you’re wearing these shoes.

Sticky Grip rubber provides better traction than its predecessor on both wet and dry ground. Photo: Chris Johnson
The midsole is of a similarly high standard, with upgraded comfort through the Powerflow+ foam. Photo: Chris Johnson.
I found the upper fabric like armour for your feet. Photo: Chris Johnson

This means that no matter what the conditions, you can run in your own stride, at your own speed, and much more easily establish a strong, consistent pace while you’re running in the wild, whether on hard, soft or medium terrain. It really is a shoe that’s designed for those who love to run and love to race in the great outdoors.

The midsole is of a similarly high standard, with upgraded comfort through the Powerflow+ foam which increases the shock absorption, something always essential for any serious fell runner, cross-country warrior or trail enthusiast. It also supposedly increases the energy return when compared to most other midsoles. Inov-8 say that their midsole delivers 10 per cent more shock absorption and offers a 25 per cent better return on energy, which is really quite remarkable.

“You can be assured that grip, comfort and stability are not factors that you’re going to have to worry about while you’re wearing these shoes”

The shoe is non water-absorbing when it matters, meaning it’ll stay lightweight throughout, no matter what the underfoot conditions, and if necessary, it handle an all-terrain gaiter from Inov-8 which is sold separately.

This, all-in-all, is a shoe purpose-built for outdoor trail running, and one that delivers everywhere you go.

Tester’s Verdict

The Inov-8 X-Talon 230 men’s trail shoe is a force and possibly Inov-8’s best fell running shoe for some years. The sole and the new sticky tread ensures steadfast grip on the loose trails, I found the upper fabric like armour for your feet. It seems the original shoe and design just got a whole lot better. Ian Finch, OM Tester.

Price: £115

Weight: 230g (shoe)

More info: inov-8.com

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