Inov-8 X-Talon 210

8.6
8.6 score
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Inov-8 X-Talon 210 Review Facts
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The Inov-8 X-Talon 210 is a precision racing shoe designed for the efficient runner looking to tackle extreme terrain at high speeds. They are a lightweight, low-profile, low-drop trail racer best suited for mountain or obstacle course races. Inov-8 introduces its new STICKY GRIP  rubber outsole, designed to provide a better grip than previous models of this shoe and will help you achieve a sure-footed run over both wet and dry terrain. The upper is impressively flexible and is designed to let air in while allowing mud, sweat, and water to escape with ease. They offer a snug fit and are designed to stay on your feet no matter what your underfoot conditions may be. These really aren’t meant for everyone or for everyday use, but if you want to up your game in the trail racing department, the X-Talon 210 may just be the shoe for you.

Editor's Pros & Cons
Pros
  • STICKY GRIP outsole works on almost any terrain
  • Aggressive 8mm lugs
  • Met-Cradle and welded overlays keep a secure fit
  • Mesh upper allows air in and water out 
  • Low-profile racing shoe design
Cons
  • More of a specialized racing shoe
  • Not very shock-absorbent
Outsole
Outsole

Outsole

The outsole of the Inov-8 X-Talon 210 introduces a brand-new element to the Inov-8 X-Talon line of shoes which has been around for a decade. This classic shoe’s outsole has gotten a reworking to make it even more impressive on the trail. The X-Talon 210 is a lightweight trail running shoe with a surprisingly grippy outsole. This model features the company’s new STICKY GRIP outsole which is a compound designed to help you grip the ground when conditions get more challenging, in particular, when you are running over wet and slippery rocks. The aggressive 8mm deep lugs are already set to grip any terrain you may come across, but with the additional security of the STICKY GRIP compound, you are sure to have a solid footing when traversing over wet or dry land, whether it be uphill or down.
Midsole
Midsole

Midsole

The midsole of this shoe does not have a lot of cushioning, but it does have an EVA Fusion midsole designed to provide comfort. The Inov-8 X-Talon 210 is designed to be a fast-paced racing shoe for the efficient runner so it doesn’t have a ton of response and bounce. As a racing trail or obstacle course sneaker, it is optimal, but for someone looking for heel support, shock absorbency, or extreme cushioning, this shoe is not ideal. However, if you are looking to tackle off-road racing while maintaining a fast pace then these shoes are an excellent option.
Upper
Upper

Upper

This trail shoe’s upper is impressive when it comes to drainage capability. Having a trail shoe that scores high marks for being non-water-absorbing is an important feature for many trail runners to consider. Many users have commented on how well the shoe lets water and sweat escape easily. The lightweight mesh material is fastened in such a way as to let air flow into the foot chamber while allowing water and even mud to flow out. The now standard welded overlays that go over the middle of the shoe and across the laces work in tandem with the Met-Cradle to secure the shoe to your foot and add durability to this lightweight sneaker. The tongue of this shoe is gusseted to the inside of the sneaker to prevent fabric scraping and material deviation and also prevents debris from entering the foot chamber.
Weight
Weight

Weight

The Inov-8 Talon 210 is a very lightweight trail running shoe. This sneaker is engineered to deliver a fast and sure-footed race on either a trail or obstacle course with its lightweight upper and low profile design.
Breathability
Breathability

Breathability

If you are planning to run some trail or obstacle courses while maintaining a quick pace, as long as you aren’t in cold weather conditions, these sneakers may be the ones for you. With their lightweight mesh upper and minimal design, they are meant to provide an excellent airflow for your feet. The company also engineered these sneakers to help drain water and sweat easily so as you can imagine, they are going to be amazingly breathable.
Comfort
Comfort

Comfort

The Inov-8 X-Talon 210 has a low-profile sock-like design and is engineered to hug your feet securely. Because they are made to be a fast-paced trail shoe, the target consumers will be looking for a sneaker that will have a secure, more narrow fit with emphasis put on propelling you forward on your toes through miles of trails. Users have said that they break in very easily and feel great right out of the box. However, it should be noted that these are supposed to feel a little more snug and narrow on the feet since they are designed for racing. The gusseted tongue is also designed to be comfortable because it will eliminate scraping and rubbing of the shoe’s material.
Style
Style

Style

You will definitely be seen on the trail in these sneakers! With their bright orange color, they are unlike many other trail shoes. In fact, they resemble track racing shoes in their narrow and bright design. However, if you are using these sneakers for what they are intended for, that bright orange color will most likely dull down after your first outing out on the trail. They have a sleek, minimal, low-profile design which wraps closely to your foot in all of its orange glory.
Durability
Durability

Durability

The aggressive 8mm lugs on these shoes will definitely maintain their shape and function after multiple wears. However, because the upper is made mainly of mesh with some welded overlays for added durability, they aren’t going to last as long as a more stable trail running shoe. With that said, these sneakers are not really intended for everyday use, rather, they are truly meant for the occasional trail or obstacle race. If they are used for that purpose, they should serve you well as far as durability goes.
Protection
Protection

Protection

Trail running can be a pretty treacherous sport with all of the possible slipping, jagged rocks, tree limbs, and muddy underfoot terrain. However, if you have the right sneakers on your feet, you should stay pretty protected. The Inov-8 Talon 210 will protect the underside of your foot quite well with its STICKY GRIP 8mm rubber lugs. Although the sneaker is pretty low to the ground, which will help you maintain more ground feel, they are equipped with an extremely aggressive outsole. When it comes to keeping your feet dry, they won’t necessarily keep your feet entirely wetness-free, but they will protect your feet from sloshing around in wetness with their non-water-absorbing upper. A number of users have commented on how well the shoes drain out water and mud, as well as sweat. This will protect your feet from getting too wet within your shoes, helping to protect you from chafing and blistering.
Responsiveness
Responsiveness

Responsiveness

The Inov-8 X-Talon 210 is designed to help propel you forward during trail running competitions and is not really designed to absorb a great amount of shock or put a lot of spring in your step. With their low profile design and low drop, they are meant to give you a low to the ground feeling without the discomfort of running barefoot. The STICKY GRIP outsole will help you maintain a fast pace without slipping and is well suited for mountain, obstacle course, or fell racing.
Support
Support

Support

This shoe is designed to have a snug feeling fit on your foot and helps to support you with its welded Met-Cradle overlays that extend from the middle of the sneaker up over the laces. This overlay will help keep the shoe securely in place on your foot. As a matter of fact, one user commented on how on his first run with them, one shoe actually came untied but because the shoe has such a snug feeling sock-like fit, the sneaker stayed on his foot securely before he had a chance to re-tie them.
Terrain
Terrain

Terrain

These sneakers are best suited for the trail. Their aggressive 8mm STICKY GRIP lugs are designed to keep you sure-footed on wet or dry land. They have a minimal drop and will not support you well if you are planning on using them for road-running. Because they do not have much cushioning or shock absorption, they are best used for racing on the trail or obstacle courses.
Price
Price

Price

As far as trail-running shoes go, the Inov-8 X-Talon 210 is relatively fairly priced. They are a little expensive if you consider the fact that you are going to use them every once and a while but if you are looking for a shoe that will deliver trail racing performance while keeping you sure-footed, then they worth the price.
Traction
Traction

Traction

You definitely won’t have to worry about a lack of traction in the Inov-8 X-Talon 210. The extremely aggressive 8mm lugs will be able to grip almost any surface, included wet ascending or descending rocks. They can help you easily trek through mud, rocks, streams, and forests with their STICKY-GRIP rubber outsoles.
Flexibility
Flexibility

Flexibility

Aside from the welded mesh overlays, these shoes have an upper that is made almost entirely of mesh, making them very flexible. They have a low-profile, low-to-the-ground design so there isn’t a whole lot of heavy material making up the midsole and outsole, other than the protruding grippy lugs. These shoes are made to hug your feet snugly and will flex with each step that you take. The outsole is heavy duty, while at the same time it is so low to the ground, that you will get more ground feel than many other trail racing shoes out there.
Stability
Stability

Stability

These are definitely not engineered to be stability running shoes. The minimal midsole and lightweight upper makes them great for what they are designed to do, deliver a fast-paced trail run, but they are not built to keep your foot in place. However, because the sneaker has the Met-Cradle welded overlays over the top, they will keep the shoe tightly on your foot.
Drop
Drop

Drop

The Inov-8 X-Talon 210 is a racing shoe and has a very low drop of 3mm. They will not absorb heel strike very well so if you are looking for a sneaker that will protect your heel, then you may want to consider some other than this. However, the low-to-the-ground feel will help propel you onto your toes for an effectively fast-paced gait.
Key Features
Key Features

Key Features

- Aggressive 8mm lugs
- STICKY GRIP outsole
- Mesh upper allows airflow into the foot chamber
- Injected EVA midsole provides optimal cushioning
- Met-Cradle technology
- Gusseted tongue prevents chafing
Bottom Line
Bottom Line

Bottom Line

The Inov-8 X-Talon 210 is engineered as a supreme trail racing shoe with its lightweight design and STICKY GRIP outsole. It is a flexible, breathable, and non-water-absorbing trail shoe with extreme grip. They are ideal for the efficient trail runner who is looking for a snug-fitting shoe to carry them over almost any kind of terrain, whether wet or dry. Inov-8 grades their shoes as far as fit goes, 5 being the widest fit, and 1 being the narrowest most precise fit. With that scale in mind, Inov-8 has rated these sneakers as having a grade 2 fit, meaning they are designed to be precise and snug on your foot. The welded overlays and Met-Cradle hug the foot securely and help eliminate any slippage during a race. These are actually specialized sneakers and are not necessarily meant for everyone. However, if you are a practiced trail runner and are looking for an excellent racing shoe to tackle mountains, mud, and rocky terrain and you don’t mind a snug shoe, then these are a great shoe to wear for your races and occasionally train in.