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Review: Innov-8 X-Talon 212

From: Chris Bordenca
Product: Innov-8 X-Talon 212

Review: This is my first pair of Innov-8’s following 3 pairs of Gen 1 Reebok trail shoes (1 pair Sprint, 2 pair Super).

The Innov-8 X-Talon 212 is very comfortable, but a little tight in the toe box going down hill even with the standard fit. There is a precision fit available that is even narrower. As soon as you set eyes on them you can tell they are a high quality, durable shoe with a lot of grip. The lugs are 8mm and seeing them instilled a lot of confidence about going down steep, wet hills.

That confidence was well placed. I’ve logged 21 very technical, wet, steep miles over the course of 2 races in last few weeks. I felt in total control running down some steeper declines that were either wet or just narrow and curvy or both. The 7 Sisters Trail Race and Bone Frog New England both posed formidable challenges and the shoes have come out looking almost new after a hose down.

They are very light, except after full submersion. Without drain holes, water is trapped in the shoes and does not “squish” out while running after. Instead it feels like lugging small wet towels around your feet for a longer amount of time than is comfortable. The benefit of no drainage is that they don’t stuck in lots of small pebbles during submersion like the Reebok’s tend to do. With both brand of shoe you feel uncomfortable either from water or from pebbles in the shoes and only the pebbles in the Reebok’s compelled me to stop and shake out the shoes.

Overall, I highly recommend the Innov-8 X-Talon 212. They are tough, mostly comfortable, and built for speed on the trail. If the drainage issue could be solved they’d be a perfect shoe. If possible try a pair on before buying to see if they are tight around the forefoot.

Rating: 5 star (amazing)

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