Facts

Terrain

Road

Shoes best for road, track and light gravel. See the best road shoes.

Trail

Shoes best for trail, off road, mountains and other unstable surfaces. See the best trail shoes.

Good to know

As long as you stick to the road or path, and if you want just one running shoe, buy a road running shoe.

Arch support

Neutral / cushion / high arch

Shoes for runners who do not need any additional arch support (Around 50% of runners). Best for people with high or medium high arches. See the best neutral shoes.

Stability / overpronation / normal arch

Shoes for runners who need arch support (Around 45% of runners). Best for runners with a normal arch. See the best stability shoes.

Motion control / severe overpronation / flat feet

Shoes for runners who needs a lot of arch support. Best for runners with flat feet. See the best motion control shoes.

Good to know

- Rule of thumb: If in doubt, buy neutral shoes to avoid injuries.
- More about arch support in this video.
- Find your arch type by following steps from this video.

Daily running

Cushioned shoes for your daily easy running. Great comfort. See best shoes for daily running.

Competition

Lightweight shoes good for races, interval training, tempo runs and fartlek. Here are the best competition running shoes.

Good to know

If you want just one pair of shoes, buy a shoe for daily running.

Price
$120
Weight
Men: 7.5oz
Women: 7.5oz
Heel to toe drop
Men: 6mm
Women: 6mm

The height difference from the heel to the forefoot, also known as heel drop, toe spring, heel to toe spring or simply drop.

There are many opinions about what a good heel drop is. We do not recommend any in particular. Lean more in this video.

Show more facts

Road

Shoes best for road, track and light gravel. See the best road shoes.

Trail

Shoes best for trail, off road, mountains and other unstable surfaces. See the best trail shoes.

Good to know

As long as you stick to the road or path, and if you want just one running shoe, buy a road running shoe.

Neutral / cushion / high arch

Shoes for runners who does not need any additional arch support (Around 50% of runners). Best for people with high or medium high arches. See the best neutral shoes.

Stability / overpronation / normal arch

Shoes for runners who needs arch support (Around 45% of runners). Best for runners with a normal arch. See the best stability shoes.

Motion control / severe overproanation / flat feet

Shoes for runners who needs a lot of arch support. Best for runners with flat feet. See the best motion control shoes.

Good to know

- Rule of thumb: If in doubt, buy neutral shoes to avoid injuries.
- More about arch support in this video.
- Find your arch type by following steps from this video.

Daily running

Cushioned shoes for your daily easy running. Great comfort. See best shoes for daily running.

Competition

Lightweight shoes good for races, interval training, tempo runs and fartlek. Here are the best competition running shoes.

Good to know

If you want just one pair of shoes, buy a shoe for daily running.

The height difference from the heel to the forefoot, also known as heel drop, toe spring, heel to toe spring or simply drop.

There are many opinions about what a good heel drop is. We do not recommend any in particular. Lean more in this video.

Summary

We spent 7.4 hours reading reviews from experts and users. In summary, this is what runners think:

6 reasons to buy

  • The shoe is very flexible and fast, based on some reviews.
  • Some runners found this shoe very versatile.
  • Runners were impressed with the grip of the shoe, which is effective on soft and hard surfaces.
  • The Synthetic mesh in the upper, coupled with a Met Cradle webbing, secures the foot well while maintaining a well-ventilated interior environment.
  • It has the DWR coating that’s water repellant, keeping the foot dry while running on wet surfaces.
  • The mid-sole unit delivers responsive cushioning and propelling mechanics to make each step more empowered.

3 reasons not to buy

  • The X-Talon 212was too narrow to some testers.
  • It has a slightly expensive price.
  • The medium level of cushioning left some runners wanting more because they apparently experienced discomfort during extended use.

Bottom line

The Inov-8 X-Talon 212 is a racing shoe that can handle both soft and hard terrain. Aside from being a reliable mid-range racing shoe, this shoe doesn’t disappoint when it comes to hiking and obstacle running. It offers a good combination of durability, speed and protection that’s reliable and competent.


Rankings


Ratings

4.5 / 5 based on 193 ratings

5 star
81%
4 star
1%
3 star
1%
2 star
13%
1 star
1%

My Rating

Expert Reviews

Experts are running shoe geeks, who post reviews at youtube, directly at RunRepeat or at their own websites. Each expert is categorized from level 1 to level 5 based on expertise. See stats on expert reviews and how we calculate scores here.

Are you an expert? Apply to contribute here.

84 / 100 based on 33 expert reviews

  • 75 / 100 by TheGingerRunner • Ethan Newberry • Level 5 expert

    I get the question a lot, of which shoe is great for Tough Mudder or other obstacle course races, and I have to say, of all the shoes that I've reviewed this one's definitely up there. And I think that's why it was designed and who it's geared for.

  • 80 / 100 by The Running Shoe Review • Nick • Level 3 expert

    It's their narrowest shoe, and for a lot of runners, that could be a problem. But aside from that, it's a fantastically grippy, hard-wearing shoe.

  • 90 / 100 by Ian Corless • Ian Corless • Level 4 expert

    The X-Talon 212 really is a top quality shoe with a very specific use.

  • 85 / 100 by Ian Corless • Ian Corless • Level 4 expert

    It’s a winning shoe that combines minimal weight, low drop, stability and awesome grip for when conditions are muddy, boggy, slippery or basically just downright awful.

  • 90 / 100 by Obstacle Racing Media • Dario • Level 3 expert

    You almost couldn’t ask for any more as far as durability is concerned. These shoes take a beating and keep coming.

  • 90 / 100 by 220 Triathlon • James Witts • Level 3 expert

    You feel like you’re running au naturel but with enough support for long distances.

  • 89 / 100 by Running Shoes • Running Shoes • Level 3 expert

    Inov-8 X-Talon 212 is a running shoe that makes sure you are comfortable while running, it also offers a great fit, cushioning and stability support.

  • 81 / 100 by Obstacle Racing Media • Dario • Level 3 expert

    It is durable, has some cushion (not much), drains water fairly well, and has pretty aggressive lugs.

  • 70 / 100 by Ginger Runner • Ethan Newberry • Level 3 expert

    I was expecting a comfortable grippy shoe perfect for ultramarathons and super long distances. What I got was almost anything but.

  • 70 / 100 by The Running Shoe Review • The Running Shoe Review • Level 3 expert

    It is a very flexible shoe, allowing you to have a real feel for whatever ground is underneath your feet. 

  • 94 / 100 by Running Competitor • Allison Pattillo • Level 2 expert

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

  • 92 / 100 by iRunFarMedia • Travis Liles • Level 2 expert

    It securely holds the foot in place on a very low platform. It’s a great shoe for going out there and going fast, although some ultrarunners use this model for all of their training and racing.

  • 89 / 100 by Run And Become • Jennifa Uddin • Level 2 expert

    The Inov-8 X Talon 212 is very lightweight and extremely grippy. It securely holds the foot in place on a very low platform.

  • 85 / 100 by Trail Monster Running • Ian Parlin • Level 2 expert

    I consider this to be an exclusive trail shoe, meaning I don’t like to wear it on road. The main reason for this being that I don’t want to wear out the soft outsole on pavement, I want to save it for the trail.

  • 85 / 100 by Get Out There • Get Out There • Level 2 expert

    It’s lightweight at just 212g, and with its renowned grip, and flexible sole it is a shoe that delivers not only on soft extreme terrain but is super-fast on dry trails too.

  • 85 / 100 by Acro Trail • Acro Trail • Level 2 expert

    For steep downhills, for muddy races, for obstacle racing, for heavier and for lighter runners with an efficient foot strike. If you want to use the shoe for longer races… this would be a good option, still.

  • 82 / 100 by Functional Running • Will Lind • Level 2 expert

    Built tough, they are constantly itching to take things further and will have you hankering for muddy trails. 

  • 100 / 100 by Muddy Race • Jon Albon • Level 1 expert

    The 212’s are, in my opinion, the most durable and best performing off road trail shoe around.

  • 100 / 100 by Cross The UK • Mick Fenwick • Level 1 expert

    All in all, this a superb off road shoe offering excellent durability, weight and grip.

  • 100 / 100 by Cross the UK • Michael Stones and Michael Fenwick • Level 1 expert

    After the first 5Ks, they're still feeling particularly comfortable." (Fenwick) "I've been extremely pleased with these. A superb pair of off-road shoes.

  • 90 / 100 by Simply Hayley • Hayley • Level 1 expert

    The type that grip mud really well so that I don’t spend my race looking like bambi on an ice rin.

  • 88 / 100 by Endurance Buzz • David Hanenburg • Level 1 expert

    I have ran on short segments of sidewalk and will run in them in the grass at parks but this shoe really lives, breathes, and belongs, in the dirt world.

  • 87 / 100 by Get Out There Gear • Adam Kwitko • Level 1 expert

    If protection from toe stubs is important to you, if you have a wider foot or just don't race and are looking for excellent grip in a still very lightweight offering, the X-Talon 212 is an excellent choice. And I will mention I know quite a few people who love racing in their 212s.

  • 87 / 100 by Cotsworld Outdoor • Cotsworld Outdoor • Level 1 expert

    This is a great shoe for those who want to make more progress with their trail running, but also for anyone who'd like to start some competitive racing.

  • 87 / 100 by British Military Fitness • British Military Fitness • Level 1 expert

    At home in any terrain.

  • 86 / 100 by Tested to Destruction • Tested to Destruction • Level 1 expert

    However, that small sizing issue, which doesn't bother me, but it might well be quite an important point for a few of you with slightly heavier set feet.

  • 86 / 100 by iRunFarMedia • Travis Liles • Level 1 expert

    Extremely lightweight, extremely grippy… held my foot in place pretty well. A good shoe for going out, for going fast.

  • 84 / 100 by FitnessFootwear.com • Andrew Burton • Level 1 expert

    This shoe… one of the best shoes for off-road running. All I would say to that is it's time to get them on your feet and get out there and enjoy the trails.

  • 84 / 100 by Pro Lite Gear • Brad • Level 1 expert

    So, for someone who likes really precision running--kind of when that trail dances as you run downhill--this is the shoe that I would recommend highly.

  • 83 / 100 by Evan Davies Outdoors • Evan • Level 1 expert

    Overall, I really like this shoe. It's super grippy, light, more durable than I could've hoped for. Been absolutely amazing this winter.

  • 81 / 100 by Top Shots Brad • Top Shots Brad • Level 1 expert

    In my opinion, this is the best trail running shoe on the market at the moment.

  • 79 / 100 by Battle Corps Shoe Review • Shannon Bote • Level 1 expert

    You will feel some of the rocks because the shoe is pretty thin, but I never experienced any real pain from it. 

  • 70 / 100 by Trail Running Canada • Trail Running Canada • Level 1 expert

    The large lugs make for some slightly awkward running, but some runners may actually like the effect, which is a bit of a bouncing effect as the lugs depress on the impact and give a bit of a rebound on the release of the foot from the ground.

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Updates to Inov-8 X-Talon 212

  • The all new Inov-8 X-Talon 212 features a combination of fast, light and natural running experience. It weighs only 212 grams and it has enough amount of flexibility. The overall design of the shoe delivers an increased speed for different running distances.
  • The upper of the shoe uses a durable water repellent (DWR) coating that keeps water from entering the shoe without affecting the overall breathability feature of the shoe.

Inov-8 X-Talon 212 size and fit

The X-Talon 212 has a standard running shoe size. The heel, midfoot and forefoot are of standard measurements, comfortably accommodating those with regular foot shape. The brand offers two widths fitting. One is the precision fitting or the narrow fit and the standard or the wider fit.

Outsole

The outsole unit of the X-Talon 212 delivers an impressive all around grip. It is designed to hold on soft terrain and grip firmly on harder terrain. The aggressive lug pattern made the shoe ideal for loose rock or muddy surfaces. It also comes with Meta-Flex groove that is strategically located in the forefoot area to encourage natural foot movement, giving flexibility during toe-off.

Midsole

The brand’s 2 Arrow Shoc-Zone was used in the midsole to provide medium underfoot cushioning. It offers a combination of underfoot protection and responsive cushioning. The midsole also uses the Dynamic Fascia Band that efficiently releases energy in every step, helping runners to run faster and more efficiently.

Upper

The upper is coated with a durable water repellant coating, providing a water-resistance capacity without sacrificing breathability and comfort. The shoe also utilizes the TPU Lacing System that provides added support and a more secured fit. It added to the solid and stable feel of the shoe.