Inov-8 X-Talon 190 vs X-Talon 212 TESTED + REVIEWED
The X-Talon by the British footwear company Inov-8 is a unisex shoe, comes in just one color and is all about three things; grip, lightweight and drainage. Both the 190 and the 212 offer an identical outsole with XX slightly directional lugs that provide excellent grip while running uphill, bombing down hill, in mud and on snow. The lugs are spaced far away from each other, so you’re not going to have any dirt collect in between. They’re also very flexible and provide you with good protection against protrusion.
A men’s size 9 190 X-Talon weighs in at only 6.5 oz, or 190G while the 212 weighs 7.5 oz or 212G and in case you didn’t notice name of these two shoes
represents their weight in grams. The added weight in the 212 is the result in a slightly higher 6mm footbed that gives you twice the Injected EVA as the 190 along with more structure in the shoe’s upper. The 212 has a 6mm drop along with some added synthetic suede around the toe cap, sides and back for more structure then the 190 and what I would consider medium protection.
The 190 on the other hand offers no protection whatsoever on the upper and toecap due to it’s stripped down construction and is made for speed workouts, hill sprints fell running and of course obstacle races.
The 190 feature Inov-8’s precision fit, which fits a little more snug and narrow then the 212 which features their standard fit, however the toebox is very flexible and forgiving. The all mesh construction of the 190 breaths better then the 212. The 212 fit slightly longer and wider however despite the added protection, it’s not too ridged in the toebox.
That 1 oz of weight reduction makes a huge difference in the feel of the 190. Even with the added protection and cushioning of the 212, I wouldn’t even thing to pass up an opportunity to race my X-Talon 190s even for long distances. However if protection from toe stubs is important to you, if you have a wider foot or if you just don’t race and are looking for excellent grip in a still very lightweight offering, the X-Talon 212 is an excellent choice and I will mention that I know quite a few people who love racing in their 212s. I will also mention that these are not the standard laces that come with the 190. I modified these with Lock Laces.
Finally the drainage that both the 190 and the 212 provide is excellent. The feeling of water evacuating out the sides of the X-Talon just seconds after exiting out of a muddy puddle is very satisfy and will make you feel less weighed down while wet then with other softground trail shoes.