Inov-8 X-Talon 200 Reviewed

Are they looking for a new pair of shoes for your next mud run or obstacle course? Or maybe you like to hit the rugged outdoors and explore some backroad trails? The Inov-8 X-Talon 200 is an option to consider when looking at trail shoes. The British shoe company,  Inov-8,  is on the rise as being a top competitor in the United States for their reputation to make a trail shoe that meets all the qualities runners are looking for: lightweight, durable, and traction provided by 8mm high-quality rubber. These shoes are begging to be taken out in the mud. The first in the Talon series to have a 3mm drop but don’t let that scare you away. Many runners found a low drop to be comfortable and preferable to a higher drop.

Keep reading our in-depth Inov-8 X-Talon 200 review to find out if it is worth the investment.

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Pros & Cons
  • Wider toes box compared to other Inov-8's
  • Aggressive 8mm rubber cleats on outsole for impressive grip
  • Great shoe for obstacle/mud runs
  • Lightweight, minimalist feel
  • Cons
    • Narrow for those who have wider than average feet
    • No rock plate in the midsole to add extra protection from uneven surfaces
    • Insufficient drainage
    • No variety of color options.
    • Key Features
      Embedded with deep cleats made of durable rubber and rope technology these shoes do not mess around when it comes to off-road running. The 8mm cleats have rope technology, which helps to improve traction. The outsoles are aggressive and provide the runner with a consistent grip through mud, rocks, and ramps.

      Made with obstacle courses in mind, these Inov-8 X-Talon 200’s are praised for being a fantastic shoe for obstacle courses, and mud runs. Runners found the Inov-8 X-Talon 200's outsoles to hold up well under rugged terrain and give them the edge they needed to conquer long-distance obstacle courses.
      Inov-8 has created a midsole that seems to be pretty consistent in most of their shoes, injected with EVA cushioning to absorb shock and a moderate firmness that has a memory foam feel providing comfort for the foot. The moderate underfoot cushioning allows for a more natural feel and allows that runner to control the shoes, rather than vice versa.
      The reinforced synthetic mesh of the uppers is DWR treated for water resistance. The mesh is designed to prevent water and mud from flooding the shoe, while also allowing quick drainage to avoid sloshing and wet feet. While runners felt that other Inov-8’s had better drainage than the X-Talon 200’s, their ability was adequate.

      The rubber toe bumper protects toes from bruising and injury from rocks and large gravel. The TPU overlays, and gripped laces offer a personalized and snug fit for all feet.
      Weighing in at 7.0oz, these trail shoes are lightweight and have a minimalist feel. While many trail shoes are large and bulky, adding extra weight, Inov-8 has managed to create trail shoes that meet the criteria to conquer trails while remaining lightweight.
      The lightweight synthetic mesh that makes up the upper of the shoe is in coated in DWR for water resistance to prevent wet feet. For any water that does get into the shoe, the drainage is average, and some runners commented that the drainage in Inov-8 X-Talon 200 is not as good as others.
      The Inov-8 X-Talon 200’s offer a wider toe box than other Inov-8’s, which accommodates for swelling of feet during longer runs. The standard fit allows toes to play for a natural feel. While more full shoes than others in the line, consumers still suggested sizing a half a size up, especially for more full feet.

      The shoes were commented on repeatedly for their comfortability. Many said the break-in time was minimal and were comfortable right out of the box. Even after long-distance trail/obstacle runs, there were short reports of any discomfort, pains, or injuries.
      Displaying the classic Inov-8 look, Inov-8 X-Talon 200 has a minimalist appearance while still being bold and bright. There is not a wide variety of color options but who needs a lot of color options when they’re meant to be covered in mud! Of the available colors, they are bright and vibrant with the recognizable Inov-8 logo on the side of the overlays.
      The first in the Talon line to have a 3mm drop, Inov-8's usually produced shoes with a lower drop. This low drop puts feet closer to the ground for faster speed while on the trail. While this low drop may take some adjustment, many found they liked the feel and now prefer trail shoes between 3-6mm drops.
      The arch support in these Inov-8’s is neutral, like many in their line, allowing for a more natural feel making them a good option for running shoes for high arches The uppers, with their reinforced TPU overlays, allow for a custom fit for a variety of feet. Many runners said their feet felt secure and did not slip off or cause any irritation.
      Great for off-road running on muddy or rocky trails, fell running, mountains and obstacle courses. These shoes were built to tread some dirt. Inov-8 is known for their ability to create phenomenal trail shoes, and these shoes meet that standard. Runners found that Inov-8 X-Talon 200 is the right shoe for obstacle/mud runs.

      Stating they provided impressive grip when it came to the transition from mud to ramp. Do not plan on taking these shoes on a flat surface though; many said the rubber grips felt squishy and uncomfortable while running on the road; making these Inov-8’s strictly off-roading shoes.
      Ranging from $90-130 these shoes are the average price for Inov-8’s. Some complained they felt the price was too high for a shoe that was going to get covered in mud and take a beating from trails, but Inov-8 X-Talon 200 offers the traction, support, and protection that are needed when running on uneven and rugged terrain to prevent unwanted injuries.
      Traction is the main attraction when it comes to Inov-8’s. While you are out on the trail or running in an off-road obstacle course, you do not want to worry about slipping. Inov-8 has done it again and created a shoe that provides consistent traction with 8mm durable rubber grips on the outsole. Inov-8 has mastered what it takes to make cleats that grip with constant consistency on uneven and muddy terrain. Runners were captivated by the traction the Inov-8 X-Talon 200 gave them during races like the Spartan run.
      Rough terrain can quickly wreak havoc on running shoes, but these Inov-8 X-Talon 200's are durable enough to tackle any rugged terrain. The high-quality rubber that forms that outsole and treads are resilient and long-lasting. Many runners reported that even after 200 miles the cleats still provided excellent traction.
      A fascia band in the midsole protects the bottom of the foot from injury. A 3mm drop brings the foot closer to the ground, encouraging a quicker pace. While for some runners, a 3mm drop may be a big adjustment, many runners found that they liked the lower drop better, which gave them more control.

      The only complaint about the protection was that the X-Talon 200’s did not have a Met-Rock Plate to add extra protection from uneven surfaces and rocky terrain.
      While not known for their responsiveness, the EVA injected midsole allows for shock absorption from pounding feet on gravel ridden paths. The Inov-8 X-Talon 200 is low to the ground, so there is not much bounce back in the cushioning, but the shoes have a more natural/minimalist feel to boost speed.
      Key Features
      • EVA Injected midsole to absorb shock

      • Rope technology in rubber cleats for increased traction

      • Lightweight (7.0oz)

      • 3mm drop brings foot closer to the ground for increased speed

      • Wider toe box to accommodate for swelling

      • 8mm sticky rubber studs provide great grip, even on soft terrain

      • DWR Water Repellant Coating
      Bottom Line
      The Inov-8 X-Talon 200’s have been runner tested, and runner approved. Inov-8 has done it again in making a trail shoe that is lightweight with a minimalist feel, durable under the elements, and protection from rugged terrain. And let us not forget the exceptional traction these shoes provide from the high-quality sticky rubber cleats on the outsole that is perfect for conquering the mud. With the first in the Talon line to offer a 3mm drop to allow for a more natural feel and EVA injected midsole to absorb shock from the lower drop.

      Inov-8 X-Talon 200 has a fast break in time and all around comfort for long-distance runs.
      Where to Buy
      Moosejaw Link
      See Deal
      Road Runner Sports Link
      See Deal
      By Tiffany Howard
      Last updated:
      Brian Price
      Where to buy
      Best offer on: Aug. 02. 2021

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