Inov-8 X Talon 200 Review

Ready for the spring of 2015, and for a new season of Obstacle Races Inov-8 have announced a new addition to the X Talon shoe range.

By Rob Foulkes
on 5th October 2014

A unisex, standard fit option, weighing in at 200 grams the X Talon has features built specifically built for obstacle races.

Until now, most Inov-8 shoes have been a precision fit, which meant that those with wider feet struggle to feel comfortable in them. Inov-8 are known for their minimalistic shoe, promoting a natural running style with all shoes offering less protection on the heel.

Inov-8 may have just cracked it with this version, I think over the next few years the 200 will be the shoe of choice for Obstacle Racers around the globe.

Joining the 190 X Talon and 212 X Talon, the X Talon 200 is the first X Talon to feature a 3mm drop (height from heel to ground) in a standard fit. Those mud addicts with wider feet but want a minimal shoe with superb grip may find this is the shoe they’ve been waiting for.


Key Facts:

  • 12g lighter than the X Talon 212
  • Standard fit option for those with wider feet
  • First X Talon to offer minimalistic feel (3mm drop) for those with wider feet
  • Improved material to last longer
  • New rubber toe box for added protection

Key Benefits:

  • 8mm teeth on the sole dig into mud offering stability and grip
  • Lightweight and low heel drop to promote natural running style
  • Quick drying from mesh material to allow water in and out quickly

Video


The standard fit offers a wider toe box allowing the toes to stretch out, increasing comfort over longer distances where the feet tend to swell. So what’s really different about these? Firstly, the colour. They come in a red and yellow combination made from a breathable mesh which allows quick drainage and breathability. Taking these out for a test run and as with other Inov-8’s they performed well in this area allowing water and out with no problems.

Inov-8-200-OCR-shoe

From initial glances and tests, I would say that the 200’s will be the most durable X-Talon. The others are superb shoes but they are not designed for off road thorny areas and the material isn’t cut out for the randomness of the hardcore Obstacle Racer.

The 200’s new material featuring a Ballistic Nylon Upper on two thirds of the shoe which Inov-8 claim was built specifically for Obstacle Racing with added protection from rope burns and off road running. In a time when other shoe brands are taking note of Obstacle Racing and designing specific shoes, this is a wise move and clearly a step to maintain their foothold on the OCR shoe market.

Improved Durability Again

For me the shoe felt like a cross between a Mudclaw and X-Talon 190, with the sturdier feel from the Mudclaw and superb lightweight speedy features from the X-Talon. It’s not as flexible as the 190, but i’ll take that over improved durability knowing that they’ll hang around for a few more birthdays.

The durability features continue though with a rubber toe ‘bumper’ at the front which adds protection from rocks, the clumsy racers amongst us, the floor when doing burpees and from stumping against obstacle walls. A great move as this is where the shoe can take some knocks.

Superb Grip and Obstacle Specific Features

The grip remains excellent as always with 8mm in depth teeth that chew through mud and propel you forward, particularly useful for wet muddy hills and getting in and out of streams where there is no grip. We are simple people really and as long as we have grip with durability we’re happy. Inov-8 may have just cracked that with this version going head to head with Reebok to create an Obstacle designed shoe for the masses.

The much loved 212 X Talon and the 190’s (the shoe of the Elite’s) are hard to beat but I think over the next few years the 200 will be the shoe of choice for Obstacle Racing, offering a suitable sturdy lighter alternative to the Mudclaw with much more durable shoe that will give you better value for the hard earned pounds.