Verdict from 14 experts and +100 user reviews

10 reasons to buy

  • Many off-road and obstacle course enthusiasts consider the X-Talon 225 as very comfortable.
  • Several consumers applauded the lightweight nature of this shoe.
  • According to some reviewers, they’d received great quality for the price of this product; they wrote that it was a good investment.
  • It is really responsive, based on the comments of several runners.
  • The 8 mm gripping lugs and the new sticky rubber provided excellent traction and grip, noted those who have tested it.
  • A number of runners have noted that the materials used here were able to dry quickly after being exposed to water.
  • The breathability is superb, as remarked by some.
  • Some runners stated that the X-Talon 225 was exceptionally durable despite being very lightweight.
  • The upper cover system and underfoot platform received positive recognition for being flexible.
  • Ground feedback is excellent in this shoe, reported several reviewers.

6 reasons not to buy

  • The fit of the 225 X-Talon is quite narrow for some.
  • The sole unit felt a bit stiff, according to a handful of testers.
  • The aggressive gripping lugs didn’t make the shoe comfortable or stable on flat and hard surfaces, a few runners commented.
  • Some runners reported that that small rocks got into the foot-chamber via the low-cut collar.
  • A small number of OCR lovers remarked that the drainage system wasn’t very efficient when it came to sluicing out water.
  • Several Inov-8 diehards wished for a Standard Fit for the X-Talon 225; the Precision Fit felt too tight for them.

Bottom line

Inov-8 expands the range of choices for runners in the X-Talon series by introducing the 225. It is built for the fast runner for fell or mountain running. The shoe stands out in the mud, grass, and rock. Obstacle course racers also get another very solid option in this shoe. At a very reasonable price, runners can get unbelievable traction, excellent responsiveness, water-repellent coverage, and decent arch support. Running on rugged and extremely challenging terrain should be quite fun in this shoe.

Tip: see the best trail running shoes.

Expert reviews:

User reviews:

Video reviews

Good to know

  • Inov-8 brings many of its top of the line technologies in the creation of the X-Talon 225. Unlike the other X-Talon shoes, the 225 uses a dual rubber compound that is extremely sticky. The main difference is the tougher rubber in high-wear areas to give this shoe a very durable ride.
  • Featured in this shoe are very aggressive and deep 8mm lugs that offer superior bite on mud, grass, and rocks.
  • In the midsole of this shoe is a TPU material called the Dynamic Fascia Band that mimics how the fascia band works. It gives the runner added zip with every stride.
  • The ballistic nylon upper delivers optimal durability with water-repellent features. It is quite breathable and hugs the foot in comfort and support.
  • A mesh tongue helps with shoe ventilation and comfortable next to skin feel.

Inov-8’s Precision Fit last gives the X-Talon 225 a narrow to standard fit. It is designed for fast running and wraps the foot all around. The heel and midfoot have superb locked down security that is not constraining while the forefoot has just enough room for the toes to splay. It runs true to size.

The Inov-8 X-Talon 225 uses for the first time in this series a Dual C rubber compound for its stickiness and enhanced durability. There are 8mm lugs all over the underfoot for aggressive and no-holds barred traction. Running up and down, taking on mud and rocky terrain is within easy reach with this rubber compound and outsole layout. Giving this shoe indispensable flexibility in the forefoot is a Meta-Flex Groove. The overall performance of this trail shoe is very comparable to the performance of the Salomon Speedcross 5.

An injection molded EVA runs the length of the midsole for average cushioning and responsiveness. The full-length material also helps with the transition from landing to take-off. Inov-8’s unique DFB or Dynamic Fascia Band is a TPU shank that stretches from the heel to the forefoot. This material forks into 5 different strips that follow the metatarsals for natural responsiveness. As the X-Talon 225 is a 1 Arrow Shoc Zone design, it has a minimal cushioning with very a responsive ride.

A ballistic nylon upper delivers breathability, support, and comfort. The Inov-8 exclusive Met-Cradle is a system that really supports the foot without the use of heavy or stitched overlays. Water resistance is made possible by the upper that is coated with water-repellent technology. The Precision Fit of this shoe gives it a racing flat fit that prevents unnecessary movements. A reinforced toe box prevents the toes from getting bruised. The mesh tongue is strategically used to offer more air flow for a cool and dry run.

How X-Talon 225 compares

This shoe: 86
All shoes average: 82
55 94
This shoe: £110
All shoes average: £130
£60 £240
This shoe: 225g
All shoes average: 296g
170g 680g
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Jens Jakob Andersen
Jens Jakob Andersen

Jens Jakob is a fan of short distances with a 5K PR at 15:58 minutes. Based on 35 million race results, he's among the fastest 0.2% runners. Jens Jakob previously owned a running store, when he was also a competitive runner. His work is regularly featured in The New York Times, Washington Post, BBC and the likes as well as peer-reviewed journals. Finally, he has been a guest on +30 podcasts on running.