Since the launch of the G-series from Inov-8 last year people have been asking when the X-Talon was due for the graphene treatment. Well it’s finally here, the X-Talon G 235. The X-Talon has long been a favourite of the OCR community, with the 212’s, 200’s, and 210’s seen driving people through mud and over obstacles every weekend.
Over the last few weeks I have been lucky enough to put these latest graphene infused to the test. The wonderful British weather at this time of year has meant that I have been able to push them through almost any conditions you could possibly expect to encounter while on a run. There has been wind, rain, hail, frost and just a little sun meaning that I have managed to get a full feeling of what they offer.
You definitely won’t be missed out in these, Inov-8 have kept the bright eye catching orange of the 210 model for the first generation of the G 235. They look fantastic, I always like a brightly coloured shoe so as soon as I opened the box I started to like them.
The upper has been toughened up and is now made from a single seamless ballistic nylon which means there is less chance of splitting and snagging on rocks or briars. Over the weeks I have been testing I have seen no degeneration or wear to the uppers, which I did find was an issue in the 210’s. There is also a rubber overlay around the toe box for a small amount of added protection as you run. While not as extensive as the toe bumper seen on the X-Talon 200’s it saves on weight and saves your toes from overly aggressive thorns and rocks.
A feature taken from the Terraultra G is that of the anchor points for ankle gaiters to help stop any small rocks, silt or nastiness getting into the shoe as you run. I don’t have the ankle gaiters myself so wasn’t able to test the effectiveness of this feature but i know those with the Terraultras say it works well.
The X-Talon G 235 is a precision fit but it's not as restrictive as that sounds.
I went up half a size and found it to be the right choice, the fit was snug in the heel and forefoot, hugging my foot comfortably and securely while having enough room for my toes to spread. It’s a shoe built for racing and going fast and attacking the terrain, quick nimble and responsive. On the run the comfort remains, the seamless upper meaning I found no hotspots or rubbing in the shoe and my feet felt secure at all times.
I have pushed them through wet sloppy mud, up grassy hills and down speedy rocky descents and at no time have I had a feeling that I couldn’t trust them to deliver. The classic X-Talon tread pattern with it’s aggressive 8mm lugs has always been a great strength of the shoe and I am glad to see it has remained. Wet rock has been an issue with previous versions of the X-Talon and I am pleased to say that the Graphene infused soles grip better than ever in that regard, no shoe will ever be immovable but I definitely have more confidence flying through streams now.
A Flexible Meta-Plate has also been added from the 210 t give increased underfoot protection over rocky and hard terrain. I really welcome this as on longer runs sometimes the soles of your feet can take a real pounding, thankfully it doesn’t come at the expense of ground feel. You still feel a fantastic connection with the terrain while you run, the G 235 is as responsive as an F1 car allowing you to react quickly and with confidence. So far I am about 150 miles in on these shoes and the sole is showing no signs of wear despite having been pushed over hard ground, road, rocks and mud. I can see these lasting for a long time which is what we all want from a new set of trail shoes.
Inov-8 have produced a phenomenal shoe and a worthy continuation of the legendary X-Talon line. They are a joy to run in, providing comfort, and durability in one bright orange package. If you are in the market for a new pair of shoes for next season or have that someone special in your life this Christmas I can think of few better things to find under the tree on December the 25th.
The X-Talon G 235 is released today and available from Inov-8 here
Stack height:13mmat the rear/7mmat the front.
Outsole:Graphene-Grip rubber with 8mm studs.
Midsole: POWERFLOW+technology delivers10% better shock absorption & 25% better energy return. Flexible META-PLATE adds underfoot protection
Upper: Seamless, hard-wearing ballistic nylon material with rubber-printed rand