Inov-8 X-Talon Origin: X-Talon 212 & 190

The Inov-8 X-Talon 212 was originally intended as a cross country racing shoe with studs that were spaced out enough as to not clog with mud. It was flexible enough to mould to the ever changing shape of the ground you run on during a cross country run or race. The shoe was light, with a mesh upper that prevented water being absorbed, making you uncomfortable and weighing you down. The shoe had a fast and responsive feel and yet was shortly followed by the stripped down, even faster racing version–the X-Talon 190.

“The X-Talon 212 is now a fell running shoe… stiffened up a bit so you can’t feel too many rocks coming through….”

As these shoes where so light and comfortable, runners loved wearing them and as such often used them for types of running that they where never designed for. As a result Inov-8 extended the range somewhat to cover other off-road running activities. 

Current X-Talon Range and Quick Overview

The X-Talon 212 is now a  ‘dedicated’ fell running shoe. It has been stiffened up a bit so you can’t feel too many rocks coming through the bottom of the shoe and the upper has been made a little tougher to cope with scree and coarse heather that often shred less hardy shoes.  The outsole is still made of sticky rubber studs to give the best grip possible.

Shop for the X-Talon 212 if you run in the muddy stuff.

The X-Talon 200 has been designed to cope with the challenges of obstacle course racing. It is made on Inov-8’s standard fitting last which means that it is broader then the X-Talon 212. It is also a 3mm differential between the height of the heel and the forefoot making it a flatter, more stable shoe. The X-Talon 200 is also a bit more flexible than the X-Talon 212. So, although it is designed with the obstacle course racer in mind it would be ideal to the runner looking for a more minimal wider fitting X-Talon for fell or cross country running.

Shop for the X-Talon 200 if you have broader feet and/or have obstacle course and other challenges in mind.

The lighter, ‘racier’ X-Talon 190 has been replaced by the X-Talon 225. The 190 has become a bit of a cult classic to those that love it. It is much more flexible than the 212 and 200 with a lighter upper and thinner midsole, giving it a more ‘barefoot feel’. Although we still have stock of these shoes they have been replaced by the X-Talon 225.

Shop (be quick!) for the X-talon 190 for an incredibly lightweight and flexible cross-country/mountain running shoe.

The X-Talon 225 offers a bit more protection from rocks underfoot yet remains nearly as flexible. The other essential difference is the toughness of the upper. As the 190 was designed to cope with the mud of cross country the upper didn’t really have the toughness to deal with course heather and scree. Although it does have a lovely comfortable glove like fit. The X-Talon 225 has been designed to be a it more versatile by having a very tough durable upper. This does make the upper stiffer, but we think it still has a comfy fit. In fact I would say that the X-Talon 225 is the nearest shoe in the range to the original X-Talon 212. In that it is responsive, flexible and light with the essential X-Talon grip.

Shop for the X-talon 225 for superb protection (and durability) on the rough stuff  that retains a comfy, flexible fit.

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