tom addison downhill

Top-10 Tips For Faster Downhill Running

Peter Maksimow inov-8 blog about Pikes Peak Marathon. Photo by Christian Murdock

Pikes Peak: Running At Altitude On America’s Mountain

August 16, 2016 Comments (0) All Posts, Product Insights

Trail Running Shoe Reviews: TrailTalon 250 & 275

inov-8 trail talon 250. photo by ian corless
The TrailTalon 250 is joined in the range by the TrailTalon 275 and TrailTalon 275 GTX. Photo: Ian Corless.

When it comes to running over hard-packed trails, the TrailTalon is the number-one choice. New for Autumn/Winter 2016, the three shoes in this new range have been specifically designed for training and racing over stony off-road trails. Whether those trails are in the park, down the valley or on the mountain, the TrailTalon will always deliver.

The TrailTalon 250 is the lightest in the range weighing 250g (UK size 8). If you’re looking to run fast but also want lots of underfoot cushioning, then this is your shoe. The TrailTalon 275 is slightly heavier (275g) but features extra technologies that increase the levels of comfort and protection, making it perfect for long and ultra distance trail runs. The TrailTalon 275 GTX is a waterproof version of the TrailTalon 275 featuring the latest in GORE-TEX product technology to ensure your feet remain dry on the trail. All three shoes come in both men’s and women’s colours.

‘They’re lush to run in’

New review from Run Ultra UK: “I’ve now logged 200 miles in the TrailTalon 250. They are practically the same as out of the box. Brilliant. I like them more and more. They’ve lost no grip, feel as cushioned as when I first ran in them and continue to handle the trails well. Get some!” Read the full review.

‘Comfortable straight from the box and a joy to wear on long runs’

The guys at Run247 put the TrailTalon 275 under the test microscope and stacked it up against the previous Race Ultra range. They wrote: “The TrailTalon is a great all-rounder. They are comfortable straight from the box and a joy to wear on long runs. They grip well on all but the most difficult terrain and they are still comfortable enough to cope with some boring tarmac. I see them becoming my shoe of choice for dry trails, they are certainly a worthy successor to the popular Race Ultras.” Read the full review.

The perfect shoe for UTMB’s hard-packed trails

The TrailTalon was also the shoe of choice for Jasmin Paris, Nicky Spinks and Damian Hall at this year’s Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc (UTMB). This is the world’s biggest trail running race and sees competitors battle it out over 104 miles of hard-packed mountain trails in The Alps. Jasmin finished 6th woman and Nicky 12th, while Damian made the top-20 men in arguably the most stacked field of the year. See photos below of all three at the UTMB. Also check out Damian’s post-race UTMB blog post in which he writes about his experience and the performance of the shoes.

Jasmin Paris. UTMB 2016. inov-8 TrailTalon 275. Photo: James MacKeedie

Jasmin Paris. UTMB 2016. Photo: @MyOutdoorsRun

damina hall utmb 2016

Damian Hall. UTMB 2016. Photo: @MyOutdoorsRun

nicky spinks utmb 2016

Nicky Spinks. UTMB 2016. Photo: @MyOutdoorsRun

‘The new TrailTalon is all that the RaceUltra was and so much more’

Hugely-influential running blogger Ian Corless put both the 250 and 275 to the test, having previously also tested our former RaceUltra running shoes. In his independent review, he wrote: “The RaceUltra when first released by inov-8 turned heads. It was certainly a departure for the brand who had built a history and reputation for out-and-out fell running shoes. For the brand to release a shoe that appealed specifically to the ‘ultra’ market was an interesting move.

“I have to say, the first incarnation of the shoe was pleasing to look at and although it gained rave reviews, I didn’t like it. It felt sloppy, lacked feel and in all honesty, it was a shoe I didn’t want to use. The second incarnation was a huge improvement and it has become a regular shoe for me when running long on flat, relatively un-technical and non-muddy trail. It was a shoe that proved hugely popular at races such as Marathon des Sables for example and the combination of two options, 4mm and 8mm drop; the RaceUltra suddenly became a really popular shoe.

“I was therefore somewhat surprised when inov-8 told me that the RaceUltra 270 (4mm drop) and 290 (8mm drop) are no longer in the range as of AW16. Really? I have had many emails from runners in the community expressing a concern about this. Yes, the RaceUltra really has become ‘that’ popular and as such, many are asking, but what shoe an I know going to wear?

“Take a breath, take out your credit card and go and order yourself a pair of TrailTalon 275 (8mm drop) or TrailTalon 250 (4mm drop). Yes, folks, stop worrying, the new TrailTalon is all that the Race Ultra was and so much more.” Read Ian’s in-depth review.

TrailTalon: From Pacific trails to the UTMB

Running Hunsruck, a respected German running blogger, has been running in the TrailTalon 250. He wrote: “This feather-light shoe makes you want to run fast, it tempts you to let rip on the trails and is a joy to run in. Runners will have a lot of fun with this shoe.” Read the full review in full.

But the TrailTalon is not just about speed, far from it. US ultra runner Yassine Diboun, who has always liked low drop shoes, wore the TrailTalon 250 to complete a supported Fastest Known Time, running the 453-mile Oregon section of the Pacific Crest Trail in 8 days, 12 hours and 5 minutes. Yassine said: “I really like everything about this shoe for longer and multi-day events. I had lots of room in the toe box, while the breathability and drainage of this shoe when it gets wet is top notch. I also really like that there is more cushioning and support in the TrailTalon, the grippy tread pattern and the protection from the rand in the forefoot area.”

Ultra runner Nicky Spinks, who earlier this year became the fastest person to run a 132-mile Double Bob Graham Round, prefers shoes with a higher drop and wore the TrailTalon 275 for this year’s Ultra-Trail du Mont Blanc (UTMB) race in The Alps. She said: “It’s the comfort combined with the support and the grip that make it the ideal shoe for long distance ultras such as the UTMB.”

TrailTalon 275 review by soq.de

The TrailTalon 275 put through the sternest of tests. Photo: Soq.de

It has the potential to be first choice for medium to long ultras

* NEW REVIEW from Soq.de, one of Germany’s leading online magazines for the outdoor, endurance and sports market. It wrote: “The TrailTalon 275 is a shoe for all distances because despite all its comforts, it still feels light and dynamic. It has the potential to be the first choice for medium to long-distance ultras for a broad target group of XC, fell and trail runners. Given the chance to prove itself the TrailTalon will not disappoint.” Read the full review.

A great high mileage hard-pack trail shoe

* NEW REVIEW of the TrailTalon 275 from the hugely-popular Ultra Running Community site. It reports: “inov-8 have got this one right. The TrailTalon 275 is a great high mileage hard-pack trail shoe. It’s good off road as well so would be a great all round trail running shoe and should prove quite durable as well. Read the full review.

Also, the Czech Republic’s biggest online running magazine Rungo.cz has put the TrailTalon to the test. In terms of the TrailTalon 275, it wrote: “I’m not sure I’ve ever tried a shoe as comfortable as this from inov-8.” Read the full review.

More reviews: AccelerateNorthern Runner | Wes Gisbon – For The Run Of It | Trail Grip | Fell Running Guide

Leave a Comment

Back to top Back to top