Brand New Inov-8 Range – A Quick Introduction

It’s all change at Inov-8.  

It is hard for any brand to make the perfect off road running shoe as everyone’s off road has different types of terrain within it. Add to this the fact that all brands are now global and trying to sell the same shoe all over the world and it gets even more difficult. However, most of the runners in the world live in urban areas so their trail is a mix of road and off road which doesn’t replicate the fancy marketing pictures we see of runners venturing out the front door and running up a knife-point ridge on their way to the local peak. Where they gaze at the lovely blue sky before returning home for tea.

Most runners’ trail running shoes are in effect what we would call road to trail shoes. With this in mind, Inov-8 have changed the focus of their Race Ultra range and named them Trail Talon. The range includes three shoes:

Trail Talon 275 is the replacement for the Race Ultra 290. Although the heel to forefoot is still 8mm, making this a shoe more for the heel striker, that is where the similarities stop. The Trail Talon 275 will rival the Scott Kinabalu as a great road to trail shoe.  The Trail Talon 275 is made on Inov-8’s Standard last aka Standard Fit, which is broader and has a more relaxed fit. The midsole is made of Power Flow, which is what Inov-8 use in their Roadclaw 275 road running shoe. This has a slightly softer feel than the midsole material used in the Race Ultra 290 yet still remains responsive. The Trail Talon 275 also feels more flexible, which adds to the responsive feel you get from the midsole, as does the Dynamic Fascia Band.

All in all it’s an easy shoe to run in. As you would expect from Inov-8 the outsole is made of a very grippy rubber. The lugs are 4mm deep which makes them deep enough for dry trails with the odd bit of mud and still comfortable on tarmac. A gusseted tongue will prevent debris from falling into the shoe. The shoes also have the gaiter pockets so you can easily attach an Inov-8 Race Ultra Gaiter if you wish.

“The Trail Talon 275 will rival the Scott Kinabalu as a great road to trail shoe.”

Trail Talon 275 GTX is the same shoe as the Trail Talon 275 but, with the addition of a Gore Tex upper. Whether this is an improvement to the shoe depends on what you want to use it for. The shoes are warmer so if you get cold feet in the winter then this might help.  If early morning runs over grass fields with the dog are your type of thing then these shoes would stop you getting wet feet. However, if you are planning on doing lots of miles in the summer then the non-Goretex version of this shoe would probably be a better option.

Trail Talon 250 is the replacement for the Race Ultra 270. This is a step back to the original X-Talon shoes. They were very minimal and flexible to give the runner more of a feel for the terrain and to allow the foot to work unrestricted. In the years since these shoes first came onto the market they have become stiffer and less minimal. The Race Ultra 270 was a 4mm heel to forefoot but, it was stiff with very little feel for the trail. With a return to form, the Trail Talon 250 has a much thinner midsole and is far more flexible. For those wanting a more minimal feel these shoes will be superb.  The Standard Fit, power flow midsole and dynamic fascia band all add to the package. As with the Trail Talon 275 the Trail Talon 250 also has pockets that fit the Inov-8 Race Ultra Gaiter.

“For those wanting a more minimal feel these shoes will be superb.”

Reviews Coming Soon!!!

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