The new addition to the Inov-8 range is the Trail Talon 250. It fits into the range as what seems a replacement for the much loved Trailroc. I have had these shoes for few weeks now and have been absolutely blown away by them, they are seriously good.
Look and Specs
They look good, I like the colours, styling and layout. As with all Inov-8 shoes the number represents the weight and at 250g these are light but pack a serious punch for their weight. The fit is true and follows the wider standard fit option which is perfect for longer runs where allowing for foot swell and toe spread is important. The feel is very close to the ground and at a 4mm drop may require some transitioning into for those new to the minimal world of running. The Power Flow aspect of the shoe sole paired with the Dynamic Fascia Band gives comfort and support under foot while return from the ground is super responsive and pleasantly surprising.
I have managed to give these a test in most terrains on a mix of packed dirt road, fire trail, single track, steep climbs, grass and road. Compiling around 80km with 3000m of climb in wet, dry and muddy conditions. I have broken my views into areas of focus;
The grip is very good performing across all surfaces well, I didn’t slip or slide often only on packed mud or very wet descents. The grip was a good mix of grabbing into the surface without the feeling the aggressive lugs that you would find in the X-Talon shoe. This is a great feature as in an event such UTA or STS where you transfer across a variety of surfaces this shoe will perform well in all situations. The wider lugs and varied shaping cleared the dirt quickly, particularly in the wet, and offered traction across a range of angles and slopes, which is awesome for confidence on steep climbs when travelling both up and down. With that said I don’t think they are perfectly suited to going down a super steep hill, that’s the job for the X-Talon range in my view.
This is the area I was most surprised by, how good they felt on the ground. They are light and it’s noticeable especially when picking up the effort on the flats or up an incline, this is great news for racing. The feel close to the ground and are very responsive rewarding a quick transfer gained from running efficiently. They are also pretty supportive and offer good protection from the nasty bites of sharp rocks/sticks/etc. and this is also a win for those looking to take them on a longer run where considerations include keeping the sole of the foot and toes intact. I did a large amount of running in the rain and they drained water from puddles, wet plants/grass and creeks (new ones that I didn’t know existed until the recent heavy rainfall) very quickly indeed.
The layout of the sole is very good and really makes this shoe a must for those looking at getting something that will perform on most trail situations in Australia. It offers grip, responsiveness and support providing a great high mileage training and racing shoe that I feel fills the void left by the Trail Roc.
I am really impressed with this shoe and I can see it being used often in my training and in upcoming events such as the Canberra Trail Ultra where it will be at home in the trails and mountains around the nation’s capital. I love the feel and how well it performs at effort while it is still generous enough to give the support and comfort desired in a longer or easy run. The loss of the Trailroc has been softened by the emergence of the Trail Talon and the saying, the end of one good thing leads to start of another is true in this case.
Thanks to Barefootinc. for their support in providing me with these shoes for my training and racing.
Image Credits - Barefootinc.