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 normal, high or medium high arches. See the best neutral shoes.

    Stability / overpronation / normal arch

    Shoes for runners who need mild to moderate arch support (Around 45% of runners). Best for runners with a low 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.

  • Use

    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
    $125
  • Weight
    Men: 8.1oz
    Women: 8.1oz
  • 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.

  • Heel height
    Men: 13mm
    Women: 13mm
  • Forefoot height
    Men: 7mm
    Women: 7mm
  • Width
    Men: narrow
    Women: narrow
  • Release date
    Nov 2017
Show more facts

Summary

We spent 7.5 hours reading reviews from experts and users. In summary, this is what runners think:

5 reasons to buy

  • Several reviewers welcomed the sturdy yet lightweight nature of the Inov-8 X-Talon 230’s upper unit.
  • The water-repellent quality of the upper was lauded by testers, who stated that it efficiently staved off mild splashes.
  • The general durability of this running shoe received praise.
  • People were happy with the gripping capability of the outsole unit, stating that it prevented them from slipping on mud and other wet surfaces.
  • The underfoot platform was touted to be more comfortable than the previous iterations of the X-Talon series.

3 reasons not to buy

  • Several runners felt that the platform of this running shoe was too stiff.
  • The Precision Fit design, which has a slimmer fit construction, didn’t agree with some who had a medium or wide foot-dimension.
  • A reviewer wasn’t happy that the upper wasn’t as breathable as some options in the Inov-8 line.

Bottom line

Those who have tried the Inov-8 X-Talon 230 were happy with its performance. They welcomed the water-repellent capability of its upper unit, the comfortable underfoot cushioning system, and the guaranteed traction given by its trail-ready outsole. But some testers lamented its stiffness, the tight construction of the Precision Fit design, and the tightly woven upper.

Rankings

Expert Reviews

Experts are runners, 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.

86 / 100 based on 8 expert reviews

  • 82 / 100 | Mudstacle

    Kicking rocks [on] the bottom of streams isn't going to be an issue because it's got a big toe guard.

  • 90 / 100 | James Mackeddie

    All in all I was very pleased for my first 17 miles in inov-8’s new X-Talon 230, it had been worth the wait. The X-Talons were not put to the ultimate test or a trial by fire, but they stood up to everything that lay before them and left me wanting to take them to more extreme areas.

  • 86 / 100 | Fell Running Guide

    They offer a little more protection and thus are a little heavier and a little stiffer so might not be the shoe for the runner seeking a very light, low and responsive fell racing shoe. If that is you then the stripped down, speedy little brother the new X-Talon 210 is probably for you.

  • 80 / 100 | Gear Institute

    The Inov-8 X-Talon 230 is a rugged, go fast in the worst possible conditions kind of shoe. Hands down the best grip in this group thanks to its 8mm deep lugs. But also, one of the least comfortable. This is your shoe for mountain running, OCR, fell or snowshoeing. When grip and speed are at a premium, you can’t go wrong with the X-Talon 230.

  • 90 / 100 | Obstacle Racing Media

    In the past I was an avid fan of Inov-8’s Trailroc Series shoes. They were versatile, had a good grip, and performed well in all weather but lacked protection, and a good landing surface for heavy footed runners like myself. The X-Talon fills those gaps and more.

  • 90 / 100 | David Miller

    Out on the trails I was cutting through boggy puddles with ease! Wearing these shoes felt invigorating and they seemed to be injecting confidence with every step. It was like riding a legal high, no more stopping to walk around large muddy obstacles!

  • 90 / 100 | Trail Life

    I’m going to be honest and say I was apprehensive about trying these shoes. I have very wide feet and these are inov-8’s most precise fitting shoe, coming in at a 1 on their fit scale meaning they are the narrowest shoe they make.

  • 84 / 100 | Run247

    Inov-8 have succeeded in improving both the grip and comfort when adding another option to this shoe range. The only compromises that I could tell were a very slight increase in weight and a slight reduction in flexibility, although this improved with use.

  • First look / Unboxing | Fell Running Guide

  • First look / Unboxing | Ellis Brigham Mountain Sports

  • First look / Unboxing | RoadTrailRun

Show moreless reviews
Apply to become an expert

Updates to Inov-8 X-Talon 230

  • The Inov-8 X-Talon 230 is a running shoe that’s designed to take on the trails. It features an aggressive outsole configuration to make it more efficient on both technical and squishy terrains. 8-millimeter gripping lugs dig into soft trails and clamp onto hard rocks. It’s a showcase from a company that specializes in outdoor activities.
  • Responsive cushioning is still one of the things that can improve and accommodate the performance of any trail runner. This running shoe makes use of a full-length foam that aims to absorb impact shock and give energy back to the foot and leg. Extra protection is provided by a rock plate wedged between the outsole and midsole.
  • A water-resistant upper graces the X-Talon 230. It allows the runner to be more confident when tackling wet or muddy ground. The tightly woven top is built to be lightweight and safe from dirt and debris. The medial and lateral sides also have gaiter pockets for those who want some extra attachments.

Inov-8 X-Talon 230 size and fit

The Inov-8 X-Talon 230 is true to size. It makes use of standard measurements that follow the preferences of consumers. Inov-8’s Fit Scale ranks this as a Grade 1 creation, which means that the fit is narrower compared to the regular width determinants. It caters to those who have low or medium foot-dimensions.

Outsole

The outsole unit of the Inov-8 X-Talon 230 makes use of a sticky rubber compound. The purpose of this material is to provide traction over the surfaces. It also serves as a shield against wear and tear.

Gripping lugs pockmark the surface. They have a height of 8 millimeters. They act like hooks that hold onto various types of terrain, fundamentally amplifying traction.

The Meta-Flex is a single groove that runs horizontally across the area where the metatarsals initiate the bending motion. It encourages flexibility for a springy and enabled toe-off.

Midsole

The Inov-8 X-Talon 230 employs a 2-Arrow Shock Zone, which means that it offers a modest amount of cushioning. The drop from the heel to the toe is 6 millimeters.

The Powerflow+ is a cushioning unit that runs the entire length of this running shoe. The brand claims that it offers 25% more efficient energy return and shock attenuation that is 10% better than the regular foam materials on the market.

The Fascia Band is a discrete layer in the sole unit that acts as a foundation for the tendons and muscles of the underfoot. It bends along with the metatarsals and reverts back into shape during liftoff, causing the forward motion to be more energized.

The Meta-Plate is a flexible layer that is placed between the outsole and the midsole. Its purpose is to protect the foot from any sharp surfaces or abrasive debris.

Upper

Synthetic mesh composes most of the Inov-8 X-Talon 230’s upper unit. It has a close-weave construction that prevents debris from entering the foot-chamber.

The façade has been treated with the DWR or Durable Water Repellent coating. It staves off splashes and mild water infiltration without sacrificing breathability.

A synthetic web is fashioned on the mesh material. This Met-Cradle add-on secures the midfoot, keeping it in place and preventing accidental shoe-removals.

The rand of this running shoe features a layer that doesn’t absorb water. It protects the toes from getting bruised by the elements of the trails.