The Roadtalon 240 is a flexible, high-contact shoe that advertises high-feedback and low interference with a natural gait. The actual experience is not exactly as the company promises.
Invo-8 is a young company that not every runner may know about. Founded in 2003, Inov-8 has a wide range of inventive shoes for all types of activities.
Having first seen their line in an outdoor gear store, I became intrigued instantly due to the look of all of the shoes in the line and their incredible flexibility (for a traditional, non-minimalist shoe). The Inov-8 Roadtalon is no exception.
I chose the gray/teal color scheme for a classic vibe, but the black and pink brings 80’s energy hard. At the first unboxing, I was impressed by the shoe’s quality, breathable mesh upper, flexibility, and look. This shoe is sleek, if somewhat narrow.
The Inov-8 Roadtalon 240 is a light, flexible, road-runner. The “240” refers to the shoe’s weight, 240g. Note that these road running shoes run small.
While the US Women’s 8.5 is advertised as comparable to UK 40-41, it runs a size smaller than that. I had to return my initial order for a US Women’s 9, and the shoe is still not exactly roomy in the toe box.
These shoes have an old-school look and feel, and running enthusiasts who miss the shoes of the late 1990s and early 2000s may find nirvana in these shoes.
The breathable mesh upper of the Roadtalon 240 is exactly what the runner ordered for hot summertime treks. This shoe remains comfortable at long runs in 95-degree-plus weather.
The thin, coated stripes below the laces running to the sole provide some added fit to prevent slipping without compromising too much breathability. The toe features a guard on the very edge, as many running shoes do, and more stability coating.
As I mentioned, the toe box fits fairly closely, and future editions may do well to ditch the coating in favor of increased breathability. Many runners may value more room at the toe box and a little more room.
About three weeks in, the shoe still looks brand new. This upper seems fairly durable and unlikely to ravel or wear.
The laces that come with the shoe are quality as well. Many runners have a favorite or go-to lace, but these high-quality firm, no stretch laces seem fine to me.
The sole of the Roadtalon 240 is old-school, much like the overall look of the shoe itself. The sole and shoe remind me of early 2000’s Asics. They are light on the rubber and stability features and heavy on the foam.
As this is not a stability shoe at all, these features aren’t unexpected. This shoe features a 4 mm drop from heel to forefoot and features little excess padding. It is advertised as an exceedingly smooth ride, and it does tend to “roll” nicely.
My complaint about this sole is the forcing of the foot to roll a bit from outside to inside. As a midfoot striker, this addition to my gait is unwelcome.
A heel-striker may find these shoes perfect, but there is a hair too much outsole on the outside edge of the shoes for my taste.
The 4mm drop promises a minimal gait interruption to a “normal” gaited runner the shoe fails to deliver on. The shoe rides not uncomfortably, and the interruption to one’s stride is minimal, but at the outset of a run, it is noticeable.
The road grip of these shoes seems fairly substantial. On an average road, the grip and feedback are sufficient enough to prevent slips and avoid ankle injuries.
On a slick surface, the mainly flat, foam sole may prove slick, though the rubber outsole is strategically placed.
The Roadtalon 240 promise to be fairly durable. However, the increased flexibility the foam sole allows sacrifices some long-term wear.
Many similar shoes I owned in 2004 had a long life of road running, even with the breakdown inherent in a foam sole shoe. The issue on similar shoes is not so much sole failure, or ravelling of the upper, but breakdown of the shoe support.
This is part of the natural “breaking-in” of many shoe models but continues to a point many runners find to be too much impact and too little support.
The Roadtalon 240 have excellent toe support and have not even begun to be “broken in” at 20+ miles. This is a little frustrating but probably indicates a long life.
The heel cup is not as close as I hoped. The right shoe seems to allow a lot of movement in the heel, and this is not only distracting but could be a blister cause for very long runs.
The left shoe cups just fine. The difference is hard to gauge, but in any case, a closer heel feel may be something runners with this shoe are left wanting.
Good to know
- The Inov-8 Roadtalon 240 is a lightweight running shoe that’s created for those who have neutral pronation. It features a fabric upper that’s laden with ventilation pores. Though the material is soft and cloth-like, it still aims to keep the foot secure and in place.
- The sole unit was crafted to accommodate the flexibility of the runner’s foot. The minimal cushioning and an insubstantial midsole thickness cater to minimalist runners and shoe enthusiasts, ensuring a close-to-the-ground feel.
The Inov-8 Roadtalon 240 uses standard measurements to accommodate a regular running shoe length. It caters to the preferences of consumers when it comes to size. The available width for the women’s version is B – Medium; for men, it’s D – Medium. Its semi-curved shape follows the natural curve of the human foot.
The Tri-C Compound is made up of three differing rubbers. The purpose of these components is to provide traction, abrasion protection and heightened performance on dry and wet surfaces.
The first compound is Soft Sticky Rubber. While being able to provide grip on both wet and dry ground, it’s also designed to encourage flexibility and reactive steps.
Hard Sticky Rubber is added to the high-wear areas. Its strong disposition allows it to provide increased protection against wear and tear.
Endurance Rubber covers the rest of the outsole’s surface. It’s designed to last longer and not peel off easily.
The META-FLEX™ is a single horizontal groove that’s situated near the metatarsal area of the foot. It permits the natural bending of the forefoot joints, thereby energizing the toe-off phase.
The 1 Arrow Shoc-Zone is Inov-8’s determinant for a medium level of cushioning. The heel-to-toe drop is small, but not at the expense of responsiveness and underfoot support.
PowerFlow is a full-length unit that’s used for the Inov-8 Roadtalon 240. As it cushions the foot, it also absorbs impact shock and returns the resulting energy to the foot of the wearer. Such a purpose keeps the foot energized and enabled to take each succeeding step.
A Dynamic Fascia Band runs from the heel to the front section of the platform. Its goal is to support the underfoot and set it up towards a springier and more propelled liftoff.
A breathable mesh makes up the majority of the Inov-8 Roadtalon 240’s façade. It has aeration pores which accommodate air into the foot-chamber.
The ADAPTERWEB is made up of synthetic overlays that have been printed directly onto the mesh material and fabric strips that are fashioned on the midfoot section. This add-on’s goal is to hug the foot securely and keep it in place. The fabric strands connect directly to the lacing system, so whenever the laces are adjusted, they go along with them.