With 3mm drop, massive grip and a tough upper, the Inov-8 X-Talon 255 blend simplicity with performance.
- Ferocious grip
- Decent value
- Could be too much volume for shallow feet
The Inov-8 X-Talon 255 is the wide-fitting version of Inov-8’s legendary X-Talon shoe – a classic in the British fell-running scene, where you’ll hear the adage, ‘Mudclaws for winter training, X-Talons for race day.’
- Feel the trail beneath your feet with the best barefoot running shoes
- Explore all the best trail running shoes with our buying guide
- Discover how to avoid trail running injuries with our advice
Some will see this wide version as spoiling the precision feel of the slimmer X-Talon, while others will feel these add a longer-run versatility and toe-splay fit. Inov-8’s Stickygrip outsoles are famously clingy, and on the X-Talon a tough upper should see you through a long lifespan.
• RRP: $155 (US) / £120 (UK)
• Gender availability: Men’s, Women’s
• Weight (per shoe, men’s UK11): 304g / 10.7oz
• Colors: Blue & Green
• Drop: 3mm
• Compatibility: All trails
On the trails
The extra width brings plenty of toe-wiggle room for those wanting to feel the strength of their feet through the toe-off stage of their gait. Lacing over the mid-foot and a secure fitting heel cup ensure a solid lockdown although runners with shallow or medium width feet may find there’s more volume up front than required. They still manage to contour well – there’s never any feeling that they’re cumbersome. They feel as light and nimble as you’d expect for a racing fell shoe.
You’d also expect grip, and Inov-8 do not let us down – 8mm sticky rubber lugs bite into soft terrain superbly, and stick to hard rock with equal tenacity. And when your trail takes you on short, hard-packed sections the thin midsole – from 5mm under the forefoot to 8mm under heel – is compliant enough to carry you on comfortably until the route turns fell-ward again, and the X-Talon’s are back in their happy place.
Ground feel is plentiful without being painful. I found the width a touch wider than I might need but, more critically, I found the shoe’s volume seemed expressed through height. The collar came up a little high and bothered my ankle bones a bit.
But get these on peat bogs and they come alive; they make you feel like a fell slaying pro!
Mid-pack fell-plodder Paul has been writing about his outdoor adventures for about ten years. Initiated by a move from Coventry to the Peak District in 2010, Paul quickly evolved from jogger, reluctant gym-goer and occasional camper to full-blown fell-obsessed trail runner and wild camping adventurer. Paul’s 2016 attempt at the Cape Wrath Ultra was only curtailed (on day six!) by an infected big toe; the story of its Vesuvius style release, with supporting photos, is something Paul is too keen to share.
All the latest inspiration, tips and guides to help you plan your next Advnture!
Thank you for signing up to Advnture. You will receive a verification email shortly.
There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again.