Inov8 X-Talon 240

I got the X-Talon 240’s in for test, what, a year ago? And it’s high time I spoke about them.

The Gore-Tex lined Roclite 288’s earned the nickname of Suicide Socks, but the X-Talons are the rightful owner of that title. The upper is softer, and does feel more like a sock than a boot. Add the thin sole unit and your feet feel pretty damned bare. What surprised me though was the lack of lace pressure, the thin tongue held no horrors, and the X-Talons are unexpectedly comfy. This extends to the trail, and the mixed terrain of my Kilpatrick hills routes suits the boots perfectly, the naked feeling is quickly lost and replaced by a sure footed confidence. The myth that you bash your toes and twist your ankles in lightweight footwear is just put about by nayayersto circle the wagons of doubt around their own fears. I’ve had less problems with my feet in the past few years that I’ve had in all my previous lives, other than when I spend 3 years as a centipede in the late 15th century.
But I digress. The sole unit is a cracker, soft rubber and grippy lugs, it will bite securely into soft ground and there’s enough give on the long-ish lugs to make hardpack issue-free. You can feel every detail of the ground under your feet too, boot wearers will take some time to get used to that, and feet will get tired, but fit feet will love the positivity you get from the tangible connection to the ground.

So why get a non waterproof boot when the trail shoe version is available and lighter? One reason is keeping the crap out of your sock with the higher ankle, another is heel fit. A lot of folk have issues with Inov8’s heels, and these boots address that indirectly, you can fit various insoles without popping your foot out of the shoe altogether like you would in the X-Talon 212’s, and have a chance at getting some of the benefits of that sole and flexibility.

Specialist? Not necessarily, if they fit, you’d be in for a surprise on the trail in these.

11 thoughts on “Inov8 X-Talon 240

  1. And on offer for £59 (instead of £85) at Likeys this week :)

    I could almost be tempted but I’ve got the 212s waiting to see more action.

    I’m going to have to branch out in Inov-8 or maybe find something else… I’ve been using the Roclite 315s as my staple for 5 years but I bought a pair of the ‘new’ ones a couple of weeks ago and the fit seems to have become more voluminous – they had to go back :(

  2. Changing footwear around is not a bad thing anyway, your feet will thank you :o)

    It’s a bummer when your favourites either get discontinued or change. Expensive too, it’s at the root of the buy-two rule.

  3. I did buy 2 originally, but I hadn’t expected the latest change to be anything but cosmetic. I’ve still got the 212s and a pair of Roclite 295s in the cupboard to go at, but if I see any old stock of 315s anywhere I’ll be snapping them up.

    My feet still get a fair variety of footwear – the Inov8s, a couple of pairs of 5.10s, some Montrail CTCs for cycling, Salomon Elios (leaky), Meindl Borneos, Kayland Apex Trails, plus a couple of pairs of ski boots – all in all I don’t think they get chance to be too complacent :)

  4. I’ve found the 212s to be the best shoe I’ve used ‘off road’. They fit me better round the heel than the 240s – wouldn’t life be dull if we were all the same!

    As an aside Matt which 5.10s have you got? I’m looking for something a bit less flexible than the 212s for scrambling etc and cannot decide between the camp fours and the LS boulder x – any info on 5.10 gratefully received.

  5. The 5.10s are a revelation in terms of grip and ideal for scrambling. I tried both the Camp Fours and Insight (very similar, same sole unit) but found the complex lacing at the front of the Camp Fours pressed down on my toes, so it is worth trying them on. They are fine to walk reasonable dustances in and well cushioned, but I mainly use them for scrambly routes, where they excel.

    I haven’t tried the La Sportivas so can’t comment on the comparison.

    The Five Tens are quite competitively priced and it is surprising they have a relatively low profile in the UK.

  6. I’ve been thinking of buying these.

    I wish they hadn’t ceased making the 370. I should have bought a few pairs of 370s, at the price that they were last Christmas it was daft (looking back) not to. What stopped me was I’d never used true lightweight footwear, it was a bit of a leap in the dark. I couldn’t be happier with them, though.

  7. I’ve got two pairs of 5.10s, the Five Tennies and the Camp Fours. The Five Tennies are in part for casual but they also do me instead of a pair of rock shoes for the very occasional bit of low grade climbing I ever attempt. The tread is so shallow though that I’d never choose them to go for a hill walk.
    The Camp fours are great, the combination of grip and cushioning is superb. I’ve done Lake district backpacking, scrambling, and used them for a week in the Dolomites where they excelled on rocky trails and I’d be happy to tackle Via Ferrata in them. The one thing I try to avoid using them for is UK ‘gloop’ – with the amount of nubuck and padding they’d become a slow-drying soggy mess!
    (I’ve not had any problem with the toe-lacing)

  8. Cheers for that Matt, much appreciated. Sounds like the camp four does what it says on the tin (I’ve got rock shoes so had already discounted the GT). Just have to see which model fits the best!
    As to avoiding bogs et al given the weight of the talon 212s I might just take two pairs of shoes…

  9. I got myself a pair of Roclite 400s and am (so far) delighted with them!

    They look very similar to these; just in a more boring colour :) At first I found them to be quite roomy at the front (just as Matt mentioned), but sorted that out with a pair of Sole insoles.

  10. Neil, the 370’s were a tough sell, folk didn’t get the concept, and it’s a shame as it was good kit. I’ve worn the 390’s again and I think the sole unit and flex are great.

    Gordon, I’ve just this past week worn the fabric off my original Sole insoles, they’ve been brilliant.
    Good call on the 400’s, they look interesting and I hope they sell well as it’ll encourage development in that area.

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