I’ve heard and reads lots of positive reviews about inov8 shoes. Majority of my trail running friends swear by them. I do know the brand and have got a couple of Inov8 running jackets but I’ve actually never owned a pair of Inov8s. I’ve always wanted to try them. I finally got a chance – I was sent a pair of their latest trail running shoes called Inov-8 Trail Talon 235.
I’ve covered over 30 miles in them and here are my thoughts…
When I took the shoes out from the box I was surprised how light they were. As the name suggest, they weigh only 235g.
Once on, they felt very soft and comfortable and I knew there won’t be any blister issues. I’ve learned this ‘skill’ going through tons of trail shoes over the past years… I can easily establish (99.9% accuracy) whether the shoe will give me a blister or no just by putting them on.
Back to the first impressions…
The shoe is quite wide which I like. Inov-8 is known for making narrower fitting shoes which might be one of the reason why I’ve never opted for a pair. However, the Trail Talon 235 are wide with plenty of room in the toe box. The upper is completely seamless but what you can notice straightaway is little-to-none toe cap protection.
Inov-8 Trail Talon 235 in short…
Looking at the heel drop, the Trail Talon 235 belong to the minimal trail running shoe family.
- Lightweight and build for speed – 235g – a very tiny bit heavier than the famous Salmon S-lab (220g)
- 4mm heel drop (Midsole Stack Heel 11mm / Forefoot 7mm)
- Extra stability and support is achieved by the external heel cage that wraps around the back of the shoe
- Seamless upper made from breathable fabric
- Footbed 6mm POWER FOOTBED
- Lug Depth 4mm
- Midsole POWER FLOW
- Weight 235g / 8.22oz
Running in Inov-8 Trail Talon 235
I’ve tested the shoes on the trails here in the UK but also in the mountains back home in Slovakia. They feel very light, comfortable and firm at the same time. I find the grip good on hard trails but I yet to test it on muddy terrain. I’d happily race in them in the shorter distances, probably up to 20 miles but again that depends on the terrain. If too technical I’d opt for a shoe with a better toe cap protection as it might hurt if you hit sharp rocks. If you need to be fast, have a good grip and you’re ok with the less underfoot protection then Trail Talon 235 is a great choice.
I’ve also tested Salmon S-lab sense (hard ground) and both shoes are very similar, but I’d opt for the Inov-8 Trail Talon in this case.
The super-lightweight TRAIL TALON 235 is designed for fast running on all types of trails around the world, this update to the Trail Talon series delivers the perfect, flexible fit with increased protection and support. (Inov-8)
First of all, I love the colours!
- The weight!
- Comfortable and very flexible
- Plenty of room in the toe box (great if you’re like me and have wide feet)
- Grip – great even on dry gravel going up a steep hill
As already mentioned there is some protection but…no proper toe cap protection which I’d much appreciate. You can really feel the difference (and my toes too) when running on hard and rocky trails. There is a new welded film toe bumper shields but this is not as firm as I’d expect but then if it was it would compromise the weight.
It’s all about the…lace! The shoe is well designed, super lightweight and the grip is great, but I was disappointed with the laces. I know simply thing, but it does add up. It might be me (very subjective), but I find the laces too long plus they keep coming undone which is annoying. Fortunately, this is a very easy fix and I’d be probably swapping for some Salomon-style lace system.
For all the right reasons, they are elite trail running shoes and the price matches that. Put it simply, you will get high quality trail running shoes for your bucks.
You can get the Inov-8 Trail Talon 235 for £114.99 from Ellis Brigham
or feel free to have a look at other Inov-8 shoes that fits your style and needs
If you need to be fast, have a good grip and you’re ok with the less underfoot protection then Trail Talon 235 is a great choice. I’ve also tested Salmon S-lab sense (hard ground) and both shoes are very similar, but I’d opt for the Inov-8 Trail Talon in this case.
I was given the shoes by Ellis Brigham to review. All my reviews are honest and if I don’t like a product I’ll mention it.