Drum roll please for my favourite trail racing shoe, the Inov-8 X-Talon 210. It’s bright, it’s super lightweight and it is grippy which all equal to pretty darn fast.
Initially launched as an OCR racing shoe, this light-weight grippy chap is a great trail race shoe for anyone who likes to feel the ground under foot but with the safety of some pretty gnarly grip too thanks to the Sticky Grip technology.
When I first wore the shoe, I was so apprehensive on longer run days as to whether the comfort would quickly turn to very sore and tired feet, but as a lover of running in road flats this shoe feels like *the* transition for someone who wants to feel light on their feet. The shoe feels like the comfiest glove/slipper for your trail-awaiting feet and the upper is so soft it moulds to your foot shape beautifully. This bodes well for me as I have narrow feet. So whilst the sole is mega flexible and fits into all those craggy nooks and crannies on the mountains and fells it almost feels like I’m wearing nothing.
I’ve raced with this shoe multiple times in the past year from Maverick Snowdon X-Series marathon, to the 65km Ultra-Trail Cape Town and the shoe is resilient and comfortable for the whole race. I have never found a shoe that feels so much like a safety hug for your foot, I could run all day in these beauties. I don’t think I would run every long run in these as, just as I’ve found in road flats, the minimal shoe can cause problems over time but for race day they are mega. Even in the wet they’re so minimal that they dry super fast. As a side note, the training brother to these for me is the X-Talon 212, particularly in winter as it’s so much more substantial for slower long runs and ploughing through winter muddy trails.