The Inov-8 X-Talon Ultra 260 Version 2 is a wider fitting shoe offering aggressive grip for muddy conditions.
Inov-8 X-Talons have long been a favourite shoe for runners seeking good grip in muddy conditions but most of the versions are tight fitting and maybe don’t suit the runner with a wider foot. The Ultra 260 is a wider fitting shoe and as its name suggests is designed for longer runs where aggressive grip is required.
Whilst branded as an X-Talon the Ultra 260 V2 doesn’t share the same appearance as other X-Talons. Noticeably the tread pattern is different and it actually looks very similar to the discontinued X-Claw 275 (remember them?) The lug depth is still a super aggressive 8mm, but the studs are wider and more triangular shaped than on other X-Talons. The compound is StickyGrip™ rubber rather than Graphene.
The Ultra 260 have a width fitting of 4 on Inov-8’s scale of 1 to 5 (5 being the widest). This not only makes them wider but gives more volume in the toe box. The heel cup is well padded and there is more underfoot cushioning than on other X-Talons, making the shoe more comfortable on longer runs.
The shoe has a much firmer toe bumper than other X-Talons, offering excellent protection for the toes. Whilst they do offer some flexibility there is noticeably less than on other versions of the X-Talon such as the G235 and 212.
Prolonged wet conditions in the Peak District gave perfect conditions in which to test the Ultra 260 V2s. As expected the 8mm lugs gave excellent grip in the muddiest of conditions and the shoes were a great choice for proper wet, boggy, fell running terrain.
Coarse gritstone rock allows most shoes to grip, so running around the rocky Dark Peak terrain posed no problems. The wet flagstone paths offered a sterner test. I found that for the most part I could run with confidence although every so often a wet, smooth, slightly lichen covered slab was slippy. I don’t know of any shoe that would offer a grip on wet, smooth, greasy rock!
I found that the width 4 fitting meant there was too much room in the toe box for my feet. I prefer a tighter fitting shoe offering more precision, certainly for races or fast training runs. However the extra room in the toe box allowed me to wear a thick, waterproof sock which would otherwise have been a bit of a squeeze in a narrower shoe; this makes the Ultra 260 a good winter shoe for me.
Weight 260g, Drop 8mm, Lug depth 8mm, Compound STICKYGRIP™, Midsole Powerflow Max with stack height 16mm /8mm, Fit scale 4
The Inov-8 X-Talon Ultra 260 V2 is a shoe offering aggressive grip for soft conditions whilst catering for the runner who needs a wider fit. The extra width also allows the shoe to be worn in winter conditions combined with a neoprene or thicker waterproof sock. The new Ultra 260 would be an ideal shoe for longer runs or races on soft, muddy terrain such as the Spine or Marsden to Edale (Trigger). They would also be a good choice for a very long run on wet or soft terrain; the Bob Graham Round for example.
The video gives a quick look at the X-Talon Ultra 260 V2