Inov8 X-Talon 212 & Debris Gaiters, a wee swatch before they get muddy

These are some badass looking shoes.  They’re about as minimal as you’ll get, but there’s a sole on there that means I can charge forward with confidence, although I’ll be checking the wear pretty often as the compound is soft. That’s fine, I’d rather have grip than slidey shoes that last for years everytime.
They’ve got a rand that covers the usual wear points and the best heal-cup fit I’ve had in a low-cut Inov8 shoe as well.

I was going to have first look at these after I’d used them to break the just-out-of-the-box monotony, but as I sit here in my dressing gown, sipping a Lemsip I’ll say for the moment that they fit me fine at my usual shoes size with a thin-ish sock and grip carpet and floor tiles very well. 212g a shoe? Crivvens.

Inov8 also sent me these interesting wee doodahs, the Debris Gaiters. I don’t fancy their debric sock so much, fine for a run or a race, not so good for backpacking as the crap will be on your sock and it’ll get in your sleeping bag and there will be tears, yes there will.
The wee gaiters though I like, they fit nice and snug and the sockesque cuff is skin friendly.

I’m dying to get these out on the hill, and will do as soon this bloody cold abates a little.

29 thoughts on “Inov8 X-Talon 212 & Debris Gaiters, a wee swatch before they get muddy

  1. While you’re malingering with your man-flu box up those Inov8 slippers and send them over here, I’ll give them a right proper testing for you! Ha ha! They look sooo comfy but I fear they’re ‘Performance’ last may be a bit tight for my plates of meat. Pity, I haven’t coveted a pair of shoes so much since a pair of Nike Air Jordans when I was about 14.

  2. I think it is a new sole, and it’s also a supersoft compound that they use in on a few shoes (I think they said…).
    It is very like a melted Roclite sole, and it’s thin as well. It seems to have some cushioning in there, but we’ll need to see how my feet are after a day in them.

    The fit is quite narrow, but there’s enough toe room. It does have a “racey” feel. And also a “tight carpet slipper” feel.

    I’m desperate to try them properly.

  3. Just to say I’ve been using the Debris Gaiters with my Terrocs for about 4 months now. They stay put once on and are just right for keeping detritus out of your shoes. With some Smartwools and a pair of Gore-Tex socks for the wet they are all you need for a comfortable trip. However, in the usual Inov8 way the lace hook on one of the first pair came adrift and I had to get a replacement pair. I’ll let you know if my second pair give out as quickly.

  4. I would have thought so. Putting aside the hook failure, the rest of the gaiters are looking ‘as new’. I’ll be interested to see how the underfoot straps last on your pair – I’ve had no problems, but have read of a fair few.

  5. Aye, they’re dead thin. The Dirty Girl gaiters have no strap, but you do have to stick a bit of velcro on your shoe to keep them in place.

    I’ve use Outdoor Research mini gaiters on and off and they had a bungee under the foot that would last a couple of trips. Inov8 must be reasonably confident in their version?

  6. I rate the Integral designs eVent shortie gaiter quite highly. (only when I’m wearing lined shoes though)

    They use a length of standard shockcord which is still surviving in mine and obviously easily repairable.

  7. Catching up after a fab long weekend on Rum….

    ….and I’ve just taken delivery of a pair of the X-talon 212s :))
    (along with some Roclite 295s and trusty Roclite 315s too – wallet says “aarghh” ;)

    They look and feel great (ha, not been on my feet yet as I’m at work). Definitely a different sole (it would be as that’s Inov8’s naming convention – sole type + weight of a single size 8). I’m planning on wearing them sparingly, but one major use, in my ‘not-so-lightweight-as-ptc*’ style, is as spare footwear on longer backpacking trips, particularly those which involve trains and planes, or nice French restaurants, or Norwegian huts, as well as mountains. Until now I’ve had spare shoes weighing 300g the pair that are ok in civilisation only, so 424g for something that can also take a stint in the mountains if necessary seems like a good plan.

    The debris gaiters look like a decent idea. I’ve got something similar by Raidlight but not used them enough yet to report on performance – anybody else got them?

    And on a downbeat note, I can report the death of my disappointing Roclite 390 boots. It took a long while to get the fit sorted but I’d finally begun to like them. No sooner that than the goretex gives way and my feet are sodden inside. Even worse, on Sunday they also trashed an ankle, a heel and a toe, so I reckon they’re consigned to gardening from now on! In the last 12 months MoS and I have suffered failures with these, some Salomon Elios Mids and 2 pairs of Keen Targhee Mids!! I conclude that membranes in light footwear are just pish! Well, I kind of knew that before but was tempted to give it another try. No more – too much money wasted. Which leaves Sealskinz(???), goretex socks(?), Smartwool and wet feet, or back to good quality but heavy-ish leather boots for the winter months. What a dilemma….

  8. I’m starting to agree there with you Matt about the liner in shoes. My TNF Hedghogs started to leak on the WHW. I’m also not a happy chap at the mo as regards my other hill shoes TNF Coopers hill. They are showing signs of wear which isnt the prob. The prob is that when I had a look to see about getting some replacements for when the current ones expire, I discovered that TNF have stuck a GTX liner in.

    So my winter shoes leak and my rest of the year shoes have an unnesscessarry liner in now. Thanks TNF ;0(

    I think I shall now be looking at the X-talons, La sportiva cross thingys and pretty much everything from Ice-bug

  9. Funny, those Icebugs that I wore last winter only leaked at a lace hook that I nearly pulled out. I treated them plenty rough. Some kind of own-brand membrane as well.

    Now though, if I can have stretch Gore-Tex socks, why can’t I have a stretch Gore-Tex linging in my shoes?

  10. Enjoyed the review in this months Trail.

    Have you used Salomon Speedcross. I have been used a pair for running and fell racing since June.

    They are feel like carpet slipers with studs.

    The only downsides are; the padding takes some drying out, they are fluro yellow and grip on wet rock.
    I have even found them ok in snow.

  11. The Speedcross sole shoiuld be on a winter XA!

    When Salomon aren’t looking we should go in and swap about their designs.

    That’s the Crosslite/X-Talon head to head I did that’s in the mag? Cheers, I really did try to burst them both. Great shoes in their own way.

  12. I am interested in buying X-Talons but i am not sure about the size i need. I haveRoclite 370 8.5 size, what size would you think i need for the Talons? Thanks.

  13. I take the same size in both, but I think the X-talons are perhaps a little neater fitting. the length and width are pretty much the same, but the volume of the X-Talons is much less.
    I wear a light trekking sock with ethe 370’s and a thinner running-type sock with the X-Talons and I get on fine.
    Footwear is so difficult though, you just never know until you’ve tried them!

  14. I’ve found that the fit of New Balance varies an awful lot, the two test pairs I’ve got are totally different. One is slim “fell running” shape, and the other has a wide forefoot and room for swelling feet over a long trek.
    But, the X-Talons are definitely more in the slim-fit vein, with a very low cut ankle and quite a low volume. I think they’re a shoes that will either fit you or not, and I got lucky.
    It is a nice shoe though, and tougher than I thought.

  15. I tried the X-Talons yesterday. Vey lightweight indeed. I think Inov8 could have made them even lighter by using mesh in the upper, as with Roclite 370.

  16. It’s probably for strenght, as it is the laces are really pulling at the upper, and I think a thinner mesh would just get torn apart.
    I’m surprised how long they’ve lasted, especially the sole. I’ll probably do an update after summer, they’ll be trashed by then.

  17. I was surprised when I found out that New Balance US is totally different to the UK bunch. It’s a pity, as some of the US models are fantastic, my mate brought a few back from a study trip there last year.

    I’d like a look at those NB100’s.

  18. I wear them a few times in the house to get used. I think they are too tight and the toebox is too narrow. My fingers are not able to move freely, especially after 3 hours of wearing them i fell the need to walk without shoes the rest of the day because my feet felt like being in prison :)

  19. Thought I’d treat myself to a pair of debri gaiters.

    Started the weekend with all four bubber bands, ended the weekend with none!

    At this rate, they are going to cost me £2 a shot.

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