PRICE: £95
WEIGHT: 256g

The Inov-8 X-Talons are so supple it’s like wearing a pair of aggressively-lugged slippers. The Meta-flex section on the outsole is positioned perfectly where your toes naturally bend: invaluable for clawing your way uphill. Inov-8’s ‘precision fit’ could be on the tight side for anyone with wide, shovel-like badger feet (no offence meant to runners with badger feet), but the fit combined with a very secure wrap-around lacing system ensures that this is a very nimble, precise shoe.

The shoe has a 6mm drop and, despite its low profile, the cushioning is an excellent compromise between comfort and responsiveness. There’s no protective rock plate to accompany the EVA injected mid-sole, so you may feel a few nobbles but it’s hard to complain about that with such a natural running experience. The grip is, as expected, best in class; the 8mm lugs, are widely spaced enough to prevent clogging but numerous enough to provide a good surface area on the inevitably slippery, muddy UK trails all summer long.



Best for MUDDY RACES. The best for muddy, slippery UK trails. We have our champion. I put them on my desk just to look at sometimes…

Grip: 10/10
Cushioning: 7/10
Precision: 10/10