Recently I purchased some new running shoes. The Inov8 x talon 212s. I love my New Balance Minimus running shoes, however they are quite what I want for racing. In the last Portland Sprint the NB Minimus had some trouble with grip on some hills and obstacles. I went out looking for some new shoes that had this attribute, but I also wanted the minimal feel and durability. This is where I cam to the Inov-8 x Talon 212.
My first run I attempted with these was the Sierra Buttes run. I was a little worried that my feet were going to be full of blisters after this grueling 15 mile run. There is some major incline as well as decline to test the recommended great grip of these shoes. In addition, the uneven terrain tested the shoes ability to prevent any ankle rolls. I really wanted to see if these shoes lived up to its great recommendations.
After the run, I ended up with very limited foot blisters and no ankles rolls. Also and most importantly, the grip on these shoes are insane. There was absolutely no slippage on the steep uphills and downhills. Furthermore, the traction on the shoes helped me gain more on each step I took.
First, these shoes run a half size too small and they are quite narrow. I have a relatively wide foot and I was a little nervous that the shoes were not going to workout. However, they turned out to be very comfortable. The narrow component helps when you are running side ways on a hill to prevent your foot from turning in the shoe. Also, the talons are a little awkward at first I got over that pretty quickly. The shoes were a little bit heavier than what I am used to so my achilles got pretty sore at times during the run. Yet, once I went on a couple more runs the ankles strengthened for the little added weight.
I have only had the shoes for a couple of months, but so far the traction has not warned down much. There is the typical wear and tear, though nothing major. The large talons on the bottom of the sole seem like they will wear down quickly. So far they have limited strain, but time will tell.
All in all I love these shoes. The tight fit and talons makes it seem like you are barefoot with this special grip ability. I would definitely recommend these shoes, especially for Spartan Races. I will be uses them in the Spartan Championship Race. Hopefully they give me that extra edge to do well!!