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January 31, 2018 Comments (0) All Posts, Product Insights

The Reviews: X-TALON Running Shoes With STICKYGRIP

Dave Taylor: Review of inov-8 X=TALON 230

“If you want a lightweight shoe with excellent grip and some underfoot protection that is suitable for both off-road training and racing then check out the X-TALON 230.”

That is the view of Dave Taylor (The Fell Running Guide), who has been testing one of our newest additions to the X-TALON running shoe range for several weeks. Read his full review, which includes more photos like the one above, plus videos.

“Not only have inov-8 released the perfect trail/fell/mountain racing shoe, they have well and truly moved the goalposts and changed the game within the trail running community.” A stellar review from trail running blogger David Miller. Read the full review.

“inov-8 have succeeded in improving both the grip and comfort when adding the X-TALON 230 option to this shoe range.” Run 247 put the 230 under its testing microscope. Read the full review.

“The new added protection and STICKYGRIP is most certainly a winner – extra grip is always good, especially on wet rock.” That is the view of Ian Corless (Talk Ultra), who has put 160+ miles into his X-TALON 230 shoes. Read his full review of the X-TALON 230.

Ian has also reviewed the lighter X-TALON 210. He said: “The combination of the light upper, precision fit and new sticky outsole makes them really stand out as a short-distance racing shoe for fell, mountain and obstacle course races. The upper certainly works really well at expelling water, so, if the sport of swimrun is your thing, they will be worth a look.” Full review of the X-TALON 210.

In terms of obstacle course racing (OCR), both the X-TALON 230 and X-TALON 210 have also been put to the test by the guys at Mudstacle, who have a team competing at just about every UK obstacle course race in the calendar! Check out the before and after review by Andy Parry, from Mudstacle, in the video below.

On the other side of The Atlantic, Obstacle Racing Media reviewed the X-TALON 230. They concluded: “I see them becoming an extremely popular shoe for this upcoming obstacle course season. For me, they have the perfect balance of soft landing, with base level protection, grip, and pliability for everything we do on a typical race weekend.” Read the full review.

Two new reviews added: “The 8mm deep lugs locked onto whatever I chose to stand on. Despite their length and soft compound, they don’t flex around and leave you unstable on harder surfaces, or indeed paths.” James MacKeddie, March 2018. Check out the full review, written after his first run in the X-TALON 230 (a 17-miler straight from the box).

“I now understand why inov-8 have been at the forefront of trail and fell shoes for many years. The X-TALON 230 just hold unbelievably tight into soft ground. And these new STICKYGRIP soles definitely do provide traction on hard surfaces, be that wet or dry bare rock, tarmac, or concrete.” Tim Britton (BloggingJogging), March 2018. Read his full review.

Meanwhile, in Germany, the influential Trail Magazin gave the X-TALON 230 the maximum 5 stars in the two grip categories, for traction on rock and also in mud. It was the only shoe out of the 34 the magazine tested for the March/April issue that got 5 stars in both these grip categories.

First launched in 2008, the iconic inov-8 X-TALON running shoe has gone on to become a global success story. In the 10 years since it first hit retail shelves, the X-TALON – with its lightweight, flexible upper and aggressive rubber stud pattern – has propelled mountain runners, fell runners, trail runners, orienteers and obstacle course racers to multiple world championship wins and course records.

inov-8 X-Talon_Evolution_Blog-1

Now, to celebrate a decade at the top, the X-TALON range of shoes has been strengthened with the addition of two new models, the X-TALON 230 and  X-TALON 210. These are our first-ever running shoes to feature new STICKYGRIP rubber technology on the outsoles, delivering increased levels of traction and giving runners and racers the confidence to attack all challenging terrain, be it soft, muddy, hard, dry or wet. (Note: This is NOT G-SERIES graphene grip – that will launch later this year).


We look forward to sharing lots more reviews of the X-TALON shoes with you shortly. For now, you can also read the thoughts of inov-8 ambassador and international mountain runner Ben Mounsey, who has been wearing both the 230 & 210 for training and racing (his full reviews can be read here). He said: “The X-TALON 230 is one I would choose for longer distances, in more extreme weather conditions and when running over challenging terrain. This is mainly because of the strong upper materials and the extra protection of the rand around the sides of the shoe.

“I also immediately noticed that the material is non-water absorbing and this helped to keep my feet drier and warmer during longer training runs. They are most like the current X-TALON 212 but it should be noted that they do feel different and therefore need wearing-in to adjust to their feel and fit. It took me a number of training runs to break them in.

X-TALON 230 running shoes with STICKYGRIP by inov-8

“I’ve thoroughly tested this shoe in every single type of weather condition and on every single type of terrain. Time after time, it delivers the goods. In my opinion, it is the perfect choice for both training and racing. It offers brilliant grip on all types of terrain because of the STICKYGRIP and it gives me lots of confidence to run as fast as I can.”


“The X-TALON 210 is the shoe all previous lovers of the old X-TALON 190 will want to get their hands on. Although it has the same excellent STICKYGRIP outsole as the 230, the 210 has a different feel altogether. I actually raced in them straight from the box, because they felt like slippers as soon as I put them on my feet.”

“The upper material feels much stronger and more durable than the old 190, and because of this I’ve noticed less wear on the upper after considerable miles. My feet also feel more protected from both the elements and the terrain. These will be my racing shoes for fells, mountains and trails in 2018!”


X-TALON 210 running shoes with STICKYGRIP by inov-8

Discover more: What Is X-TALON & What Is STICKYGRIP? | Ten Years Of The Iconic X-TALON | How To Become A Faster Downhill Runner

New X-TALON running shoes in action

Check out some of the fun our ambassadors, fans and retailers have been having in their new X-TALON 230 and X-TALON 210 running shoes:

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