The shoes can be an all-in-one solution for a fast running pace on trails. When compared to other shoes such as the Roclite 305, they are different in how they feel on the feet. It is why they are recommended for those with narrow feet who also want to get moving and start running faster, even when on the trail.
At the same time, the shoes are also 100 grams lighter than the Roclite 305, which can only be seen as an extra reason to consider them for higher running speeds.
The Inov-8 X-TALON 200 running shoes are among the lightest performers in their class. Running on trails is not specifically fast by nature, but with only 200 grams of weight, the shoes are recommended for any type of trail and the good news is that they come with an outsole to match the low weight as well.
It’s clear the outsole is the most important characteristic of the shoes. Made with 8mm lugs, it is arguably one of the best in its class. Of course, these types of lugs are not the best on rocks or hard surfaces. But on soft surfaces and most trails, they are really hard to match. For this purpose, the shoes are highly recommended when it comes to extra traction and durability. Furthermore, they work at high standards when it comes to outsole durability as well. Since they are not versatile and not made for flat surfaces, the only thing that could eventually be ruining the lugs is actually running on flat hard surfaces.
Made with injected EVA, the midsole is in line with some of the most modern alternatives in this class. It comes with a 3mm heel to toe drop which makes the shoes quite aggressive but supportive at the same time. The foam is generally considered to be lightweight and as the name of the shoes suggests, it has a light impact on the overall 200g weight. Of course, the midsole could also be improved. It could be tied better with the upper using a mudguard but most runners can feel the design is enough on normal trails.
The upper is another strong point of the trail running shoes. Made with mesh materials, it continues to be breathable even a long time into the running session. Made with decent lateral support, the shoes also feature a protective rubber toe bumper which can be of great use when hitting rocks or other hard surfaces.
The lacing system is also different as it has a narrow profile, perfect for a very tight fit. But with thick padding around the ankle, it doesn’t mean the tight fit needs to come with discomfort as well. A few small drawbacks are also worth noticing in the upper. The shoes don’t come with a heel pull tab and they could also see an improved support in the heel area. But apart from these small inconveniences, they can be comfortable even for overpronators.
Size And Fit
If the fit of the shoes is tight, they are recommended for those with narrow feet. At the same time, they can work for those who want a bit more freedom of movement which can only come with stretchy materials such as the mesh of the upper. A few drawbacks in fit such as the lack of a hell pull tab can take away from the experience and putting the shoes on can take a while if the lacing is not loosened properly. This being said, the tight fit is highly recommended for fast running which is enhanced by the large outsole lugs.