Fall 2013 Trail Running Shoe Buyer’s Guide

Inov-8 X-Talon 212

Inov-8 X-Talon 212, $120

Category: Lightweight Dirt Dancers

Weights: 7.5 oz. (men’s), 6.3 oz. (women’s)

Heights: 11mm (heel), 5mm (forefoot)

Fit: The X-Talon 212 runs narrow and snug from heel to toe. Testers suggested sizing up for the best fit.

Feel: Low slung and close to the ground, these feel fast, firm and ready to tackle the trail. There’s not much between your foot and the ground — and that was just fine with the testers, given that they’re designed to be light and fast — but the knobby outsole offers a bit of protection in the absence of a rock plate.

Ride: Testers equated these to grippy trail cleats that allow you to run rocks, roots, gravel and dirt with the non-slip ease of a mountain goat. The quick-and-nimble race-ready ride, paired with a durable upper, made them the shoe of choice for our mountain-based wear-testers. The lack of cushion and aggressive lugs made the ride rough on roads and hard-packed dirt trails, but the 212 will tackle just about anything else with confidence.

Get our best running content delivered to your inbox

Subscribe to the FREE Competitor Running newsletter

Recent Stories