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Photo credit: Alice Morrison.

Inov-8 Trail Talon 275 running shoes review

05-Jan-17

Last updated: 20-Aug-18

By Alice Morrison

The blurb for these Inov-8s says “for long miles on hard packed trails”. I tried them out on trail/mountain bike routes in the Peak District (UK) and also on a couple of longish days on hard-packed sand trails in the Agafay desert in Morocco.

Features

  • Weight 275g
  • Drop 8mm
  • Footbed 6mm foam
  • Multi-directional 4mm deep studs
  • Two-piece POWERFLOW delivers 10% better shock absorption and 15% better energy return than standard midsoles. 
  • Heel 25.5mm – Forefoot 17.5 mm
  • Wider fit
  • ADAPTERFIT met-cradle
  • Integrated gusseted tongue

PROS: What’s good about the Inov-8 Trail Talon 275

The first thing that struck me about the shoes when I put them on was that they had a good, roomy fit around the toe box without being sloppy around the mid section. My foot felt comfortable in them and remained so.

I am (unfortunately) heavy on my feet so I automatically prefer a more cushioned shoe and I liked the 8mm drop and also the cushioned footbed.

These shoes were absolutely great on the harder packed sand/stone trails of the Agafay desert. The trails are not technical but they go on endlessly and as you get tired it is easy to slip on the descents. I didn’t in these shoes. They kept my legs energised.

They also performed well in the much muddier conditions of the High Peak. I hadn’t run in mud and on slippery rocks in a while and I was a bit nervous descending, particularly though woodland. I found the grip good, and it also forced me to be a bit lighter on my legs, rather than pounding down.

They didn’t clog up with mud too badly.

CONS: What’s not so good about the Inov-8 Trail Talon 275

Inov-8 make good shoes and these are good shoes. There were a couple of minor points.

One was the lacing system. I had to stop a couple of times to re-lace as they loosened up on the descents for me.

The balance between support and rigidity is an endlessly difficult one. I liked the cushioning on the shoes and I could still feel the ground pretty well, but they did feel a bit stiff.

As my legs got tired and I was heavier on my feet, the comfort factor definitely went down but one of the things I liked a lot about this shoe was that I felt it helped me be lighter on my feet.

CONCLUSION

I think these shoes do exactly what they say on the box – they really are suited to long miles on hard-packed trails. For me, they would be a really good staple shoe and I am looking forward to using them as the days get hotter.

Score  
Features 8/10
Design 8/10
Value 8/10
Performance 8/10
Total 8/10


Other ultra running shoes you may want to consider:

Brooks Cascadia 11 GTX 
La Sportiva Mutants 
Saucony Xodus 6.0
 

All images unless stated: Alice Morrison.

About the writer: Alice is a slow runner – definitely to the novice end of the spectrum. She spends most of her time in Marrakech so does her daily runs in mainly dry conditions but the mountains offer scope for very technical work and lots of wet and snow in the winter.

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“These shoes were absolutely great on the harder packed sand/stone trails of the Agafay desert”

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