Inov-8 have now added the popular X-Talon to its range of shoes with a Graphene enhanced outsole.
Other shoes in the Inov-8 range including the Mudclaw and Roclite have been available with graphene infused soles since 2018, now it’s the turn of the X-Talon. The X-Talon has had quite a few guises since it was launched in 2008 with slightly different weights and a “sticky grip” rubber compound version in 2018. December 2019 sees the addition of the latest incarnation, the G235.
The new X-Talon like it’s predecessors is a lightweight shoe with an aggressive sole. The distinctive tread pattern has changed little over the past 11 years, the 8mm studs are still spaced sufficiently wide to afford excellent grip whilst shedding mud. The studs give fantastic grip when new but their small surface area means that previously they tended to wear down and become blunted fairly quickly and whilst this doesn’t diminish the grip on rock it means they are less effective on wet grass and mud. I’ve had several pairs of X-Talons and tend to save them for racing then relegate them to a training shoe once the studs have lost their bite! Hopefully the graphene outsole will add some longevity to the studs. What has changed in the G235 is the upper which does away with stitching and is now a seamless, one piece unit constructed from ballistic nylon, with a printed rubber rand adding some protection to the toes. The midsole is only lightly cushioned but a flexible rock plate gives underfoot protection whilst still retaining flexibility. The 6mm drop gives a close to the ground, racing feel and the width size 2 “precision fit” adds to the shoes suitability for running fast over technical terrain.
What struck me, other than the lurid orange colour, is how light the X-Talons are. Admittedly mine are only size 6.5 but 187 grams per shoe is light! The “235” in the name reflects the weight of an average sized 8.5 shoe. As with the previous X-Talon versions these feel “light and racy”, it will be interesting to see how the graphene affects the sole wear compared to previous models.
Average Weight:235g. Drop: 6mm. Stack height: 13mm at the rear/7mm at the front. Outsole: Graphene-Grip rubber with 8mm studs. Midsole: POWERFLOW+technology Flexible META-PLATE adds underfoot protection. Upper: Seamless, hard-wearing ballistic nylon material with rubber-printed rand.
X-Talons have long been a shoe that is popular with fell runners and they would also be suitable for orienteering, cross country and obstacle course racing. I’ll use the new X-Talon G235 as a racing shoe where light weight and running fast over muddy and technical terrain are important factors.
This video gives a very quick look at the G235
Click link for more details about the Inov-8 X-Talon G235