Tough trail shoes for isolated runs

A lot can change in a day, or over a few months. From new year celebrations, gearing-up for a year of participating in exciting races and the spectacle of world record chasing marathons, and the Olympic Games, to COVID-19 lockdown, self isolation, social distancing and cancelled events.

In the UK, like most of the rest of the world, the country is experiencing a national emergency with measures imposed to limit the severe spread of COVID-19, including restrictions on leaving home and social distancing.

Living in London, exercising outdoors (once a day) and understanding the law of the jungle, I’m constantly maneuvering to avoid folk who typically walk head down, resolutely sticking to their track, and out for blood of anyone infringing their protective zone.

In these times, it pays to be fast and fleet-footed; run away and get off the beaten track.

While my current favourite road shoes are Mizuno Wave Emperor 3 and Saucony ISO 2 – mixing-up light and ultra fast with easy, comfort and cushion.

The outright winner for moving seamlessly from urban roads to trails, in my recent experience is Inov8’s X-Talon G 210.

These lightweight, super-flexible running shoes are designed for racing at high speed over all kinds of soft and extreme terrain including mud, mountains, fells, and trails as well as swimruns.

The lightweight shoes weigh 210g and feature durable graphene-enhanced rubber grip that’s stronger, more elastic and harder wearing than most other trail shoes.

Graphene being about 100 times stronger than the strongest steel, and with its density being dramatically lower than any steel – makes it the thinnest and strongest material on the planet.

I took the opportunity to head out in torrential rain to find as much mud as possible.

The X-Talon G 210 fared extremely well, with the shoes maintaining flexibility, breath-ability and lightness. My leggings on the other hand were all kinds of mess.

The shoes held firm, secure and responsive no matter the terrain. The 8mm studs made light work of both compact and soft terrain and were also comfortable over road and concrete pavement.

Given the current COVID-19 lockdown restrictions and with my local terrain combining road, pavement, track, paths, mud and hills, it’s great to have shoes that can handle the combination of city, urban roads, hilly dirt trails, forests and fields.

Lug depth8mm
MidsoleInjected EVA FUSION
Midsole stack9mm / 6mm
Sole compoundGraphene Grip
Product weight210g
Inov8 X-Talon G 210

These snug-fitting shoes will definitely make the most of rain, mud and out of the way trails as the seasons change in the UK from torrential rain to April showers.

For an overall score from 1-100 to summarize my opinion, I rate Inov8 X-Talon G 210 90/100.

What are your shoe recommendations for the current lockdown, avoiding walkers and other folks out stretching their legs?

Published by Zealousrunner

Faye is a London-based British Athletics registered athlete, coach, volunteer and licensed Leader in Running Fitness (LiRF), Movement and TRX Suspension Training. She regularly participates in endurance sports and is a member of Fulham Running Club.

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