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Whoever decided the racecourse should go over the 12,000-foot summit was crazy, but you can still lace up the super lightweight and grippy Inov 8 X-Talon 212 Trail Running Shoe and win it. Thanks to this shoe's breathable mesh upper, low-profile padding, and sticky rubber outsole, you can cruise over tough off-road terrain and win rocky-mountain races.

  • Mesh upper breathes excellently during high-output exercise and includes Meta Flex technology to provide a natural fit and flex all day long
  • Sticky rubber with a X-Talon-studded outsole grips all types of terrain even when it's wet or dusty, and it includes a toe rand to prevent excess wear and toe injury
  • A Two Arrow Shoc-Zone midsole uses a minimal amount of EVA foam padding to cushion your steps and keep your strides quick and efficient
  • Performance Last and TPU Met-Cradle lacing support bring the shoe as close as possible to eliminate movement, hot spots, and blisters
  • Soft heel and tongue provide comfort for long hikes, runs, or races

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Inov 8 X-Talon 212 Trail Running Shoe - Men's

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Here's what others have to say...

5 5

Awesome OCR Shoes!

  • Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
  • Fit: True to size

I have worn these to 2 OCRs in the past month & they have held up beautifully! They drain awesome, keep me from sliding on the muddy hills & are super lightweight. They were super snug on my wide feet but stretched out just fine during the race once wet :-)

5 5

Great Trail Shoe

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
  • Fit: True to size

Previously had the Bare-Grip 200 which are amazing shoes. I got these because the upper on the Bare-Grips split at the outside edge of the ball of my foot at ~400 miles. These are more padded and a little sturdier but don't weigh too much more. Fit perfectly right out of the box. The cushioning is a little marshmallowy at first but breaks in quickly. Did a 50k race a week after getting them. Inov-8s run narrow esp. in the toe-box so they're not for everyone. The rubber has amazing grip. These are great for mud/snow/dirt but feel weird on hard pack or pavement. My only complaint is that the laces have a tendency to come undone a lot.

The size I choose on size options refers...

The size I choose on size options refers to US size or UK size? regards, Bruno

Responded on

Unless otherwise stated we convert all our shoe sizes to US sizes for site consistency.

5 5

Update to past

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
  • Fit: True to size

Inov8 has come a long way with the new Xtalons. The rubber is more flexible. The malleable ability of the rubber allows better toe flex and softer footing. The toe box is really strong on these, though it does feel it. They have brought the heal box up a bit reducing the riser around the ankle. This allows for more ankle room and reduces friction on boney prominences. Next is the lacing system. The laces are thinner and stronger. You can tighten a shoe up better without it coming undone or loosening during a trail run. Lastly the colors are catching up with the times!

2 5

Holds you to the trail, doesn't hold up

  • Familiarity: I've used it several times
  • Fit: True to size

Purchased these for running/climbing Oahu's steeper trails and ridgelines. I've put them to the test several times now, and they've been pretty grippy on both rock and mud (poorer traction than my old NF Hedgehogs on hard dirt though). However, the rubber nubs started ripping off the sole after just two trail runs (Three Peaks and Maunawili Falls). That's simply not acceptable.

Responded on

John, I had the same issue with a set of these and needless to say refunded me. I was convinced to give them another chance as I really liked the shoe almost everyone I know runs in these without problems. Since then I have had 2 pairs which have both been fine. Bad batch of rubber? Who knows...

5 5

The best shoe you will ever buy!

I have been running in Inov-8 shoes for about 10 years now. I really love their super aggressive tread on their trail shoes and the way their shoes breath. You can soak them and they are dry within hours. What I like about the X-talon 212 is this shoe is obviously 212 grams so it is incredibly light. The uppers on these are bordering on indestructable, where as the roclites uppers deteriorate a little quicker with the dainty debris mesh on the tops. The material is really strong and repels anything from rock blasts to the occassional stick attempting to penetrate. These shoes have a low profile ankle making them a little more comfy on longer runs. These are as light as new balance 110 but have a bit more cushion to the sole. There is a lot of flex with the meta flex so these shoes are not stiff. Even though these really pushed the weight to the limit they still have a nice toe kick for protection which is I really need, and the encasement on the uppers around the sole is incredibly durable and strong so you have added protection. The 195s do not have as much protection, so I would suggest these over the other ones with only 17 more grams a shoe its worth it, unless weight is your ultra concern and you don't mind less protection. Last but not least, earlier models of Inov-8 really struggled with the cleats decaying and remaining intact; often they would break off constantly. Well with models past 2010 I have noticed a significant increase in quality and these cleats stay intact for the duration of the shoe. I use mine on uneven loose terrain (rock, and mountain fell) as well as in the woods with loose leaves, sand and loose dirt. They really excel when it is wet out and this stuff turns to mud. As far as distance goes, I have used them on 75 mile runs and used them on 5 mile runs, with shoes it is all personal preference and what your feet are comfortable with. I wear 10.5 in most shoes, and wear a 10.5 in all Inov-8's. Very consistent.

4 5


I wish they made these with zero toe heel drop. They seem perfect in every other way.

Responded on

Chris, I believe that some (if not all) of the drop on these is built into the footbed. I run without the footbeds in mine, but you can also buy the different drop footbeds from Inov8 and they are not expensive.

5 5

light and fast

second Inov-8 shoe and I think I'm hooked. Love the minimal feel, these are so light and have enough cushion for me on moderate trails. Super sticky soles and the fit is incredible and my foot is held on the platform perfectly. I've been really impressed with this brand.

5 5

Best technical trail shoe on the planet!

I've worn a ton of trail shoes in the past 21 years but nothing performs, on all levels, like the X-Talon 212. First of all the low heel-to-toe drop and low stack height (height of your foot above the ground) make the shoe very responsive and sensitive to changes in terrain. The extreme flexibility and wickedly sticky soft rubber compound sole is the best I've encountered for most everything you'll come across on/off trail. The deep lugs along with the flexibility and sticky rubber mean great traction everywhere; the shoe literally deforms around objects to apply more surface area (i.e. friction) for increased traction. Really very impressive. Another often overlooked feature of the X-Talon 212 in particular (over it's lighter brother the 190) is that it isn't all mesh in the upper. Instead it is wrapped around the sides with some much tougher material that holds up so much better to the metatarsal flexing that so often causes tearing of the fabric/mesh at that point in the upper (a real issue with the X-Talon 212 and Bare-Grip 200). I've run well over 1000 miles in multiple pairs of X-Talon 212s (I rotate shoes) including several 50km and 50 mile trail ultras. I have had nothing but success with this shoe. About the only detractors I'd say is that it would be nice if this shoe had a rock plate or was a tad thicker. You do really feel the rocks and roots because it is so thin and deforms, but a simple rock plate over the midfoot/forefoot area would be good. I also wish the toe box was a bit wider allowing a bit more natural toe splay. But all in all if you're looking for a good trail training shoe with a range of up to 50 trail miles look no further. Get this shoe! I started using it a few years ago in my area and now most of my trail running buddies own a pair.

Rob Youngren
Wasatch Speed Goat Mountain Racing Team.