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Discussion: X Talons

in: gg; gg > 2015-11-24

Nov 24, 2015 4:14 PM # 
Cat T:
any thoughts would be good as a similar option - quite minimal, flexible soles? it's been a while since i looked about at stuff but maybe a good time to start...
Nov 24, 2015 4:25 PM # 
You're using them wrong - you buy a pair and wear them for 2/3 mudstacle races a year. They last about 5 years then, no problem!
Nov 24, 2015 4:31 PM # 
You guys use them a lot more than I do, but for what it's worth, after this weekend I just concluded that I need to relegate my X-Talons to just short distances / easy terrain. It destroyed one of my toes in the spring (which I thought was my fault), but my toe now hurts again after this weekends OK Nuts Trophy where I went back to the Inov-8 from some VJs for the first time in a terrain based run since early summer. I know you complain about their durability and that is different than why I am changing. On that front, the main elements are still sticking together on mine (after about 150km or so), but bits of what I consider only decorative elements are now falling off.
Nov 24, 2015 7:30 PM # 
forest grump:
I've just brought (and run once in) my first Inov8 shoes ever and they were X-talons 200 (standard fit) that say they are for mudstacle races. They seem OK and better fitting than the last ones I tried on (about 5 years ago). They seem to have so many in their range now and bring out new ones so frequently that I'm not surprised they skimp on the "proper" testing of them. I reckon they were good in the past because they appealed to a niche market, but now they are "mainstream" they just churn out any old shoe. It will be interesting to see how long they last. For a comparison my VJ falcons always seem to last 2 years of Oing as I always get new ones at the 6days!!
Nov 24, 2015 10:06 PM # 
As they've expanded manufacture has changed to a bigger factory, which isn't as good.
I know Nails has an old pair of unused amber 212s, and that a look inside shows twice as much stitching as in the current model.
Nov 25, 2015 11:46 AM # 
Bought a pair of X-Talons in March, and had one disintegrate at the top of the final descent on Day 6 at Glen Affric. I think that's the shortest lifespan of any shoe I've owned.

At one point I had a pair of Mizuno fell shoes which were totally awesome to run in and lasted for ages (I bought them at the running shop in Bridge of Allan having turned up early for a Dumyat night race and realised my shoes were still in Glasgow). I've hunted through the Mizuno site but they don't seem to exist any more - the Wave Hayate 2 is the closest I can see but definitely not the same tread pattern. After many years avoiding them I've gone back to VJs as I know at least they'll last a good while.
Nov 25, 2015 12:22 PM # 
Nothing beats Winnit Navigators ;-)
Nov 25, 2015 1:08 PM # 
I usually get 700-1000km out of a pair of VJ's, the only Invo8s I've ever had died after less than 350km. Plus I find that the dods are much better and there is more protection in the shoe. Maybe just use Invo8s for racing?
Nov 25, 2015 1:41 PM # 
I need to get a proper pair of dobs, inov8 uppers aren't made for forests really.
Nov 25, 2015 2:36 PM # 
Cat T:
all well and good but other metal O shoes are heavy and less flexible, i get achilles problems from not being able to move feet enough (on the other hand can run a lot on any surface in x talons no problem). have accepted that it will be lots of pairs of O Rocs for the forest, but what about for trails, hills, mixed easier terrain/tracks? is there anything a little better manufactured but lightweight and flexible?
Nov 25, 2015 4:12 PM # 
Salmon Fellraisers are worth a look. 450km and only one bust lace, good build quality. Try them in the Bridge of Allan Run4It shop, gg.
Nov 25, 2015 4:29 PM # 
Reports I have are that Fellraisers are more than useless on wet rock (more so than everything else) but good trails-training shoes, viable in some terrains. Can get them fairly cheap.
I've been told the latest iteration of the Salomon FellCross (3 I think) is now much better on wet rock than previous versions. Pricey, some bargains to be had though.
LaSportiva Anakondas look OK, Adam Perry once told me they were good for training in. I think.
Nov 25, 2015 6:38 PM # 
Big Jon:
I've gone over to Icebug O shoes (green colour). recommended by Rick at Compass Point. Apart from bad blisters the first time worn they have been great - very grippy, light weight, dry very quickly and decent protection. Seem to be well made - I bought 2 pairs this spring - in order to be able to rotate them and dry fully before next use. First wear was Compasssport Cup match at Balnagowan and they are still as new.
Nov 25, 2015 6:59 PM # 
Icebug acceliratas (Sp) non fobbed are light and good tread. Doug likes them. I tried to get a hold of some but they may have stopped making them....I think they'd be a good alternative to inov8s
Nov 25, 2015 7:19 PM # 
@Cat T: Salomon Sense Ultras are light & very comfortable, the SGs (the red/black ones) have plenty of grip for wet trails, hills, etc. Current model (4) is expensive but you can get version 3 for half-price or better.
Nov 25, 2015 10:06 PM # 
I heard Salomons aren't good for contouring?
There are some Brooks trail shoes with decent grip in Run 4 It too.

Tempted to try some Icebugs.
Nov 25, 2015 10:25 PM # 
I'll just throw the VJ iRocs in there as an xtalon alternative. Got mine at the jk after roclite really didn't cut it in the sprint. So far I've used them for woc sprint, a good number of long hill runs, racing two brews & skyline, surviving my stag do and I even got married in them. Much better and more versatile than I ever expected. Only worry is that the rubber might be a little soft and is wearing down a bit.
Nov 25, 2015 10:53 PM # 
Every pair of X-Talons I have had have lasted over 700km and every pair of O Rocs over 600km. They aren't as rugged as other shoes but thats probably why they are so responsive and comfortable. I keep trying on others but the level of comfort is not there. Inov8s cushioning (aka concrete) in their road/trail shoes is abysmal though.
Nov 26, 2015 9:57 AM # 
I don't really do running shoes any more but I was getting really fed up wiith them all. When I do go for a run these days its a choice from a selection of half used pairs that I had hoped might be the answer. Nothing apart from o-shoes really does what you want it to or lasts. Most of the possibles that I tried for fell running turned out to be no poor - just trail shoes and invariably the rubber was shite for grip. gg - I would agree that Salamon do not contour well - because fundamentally they are trail shoes.

The answer though is out there
Fells - Walsh
O'ing - Jalas, VJs or similar

old school rules

luckily I've taken up bike racing and its much easier to decide which is the best equipment, none of it ever wears out, plus its all so cheap.

@Lard - the problem with Winnits was the little clumps of mud that stuck to the laces...
Nov 26, 2015 10:05 AM # 
I've never worn a shoe with as good a grip as Walsh, and once they are broken in they're like a velvet racing slipper. You go through them pretty quick, but they are cheap comparatively.
Nov 26, 2015 1:52 PM # 
Aye, Walshes or VJ Iroc are the only real alternative to x-talons.
Icebugs are nice but hammer your achilles, so if you're vulnerable, not worth it.

Even obstacle racing master Jon Albon switched from inov8 to VJ because he thought the x-talons were getting too shit and that's with inov8 aiming the shoes at his market!
Nov 26, 2015 9:12 PM # 
Icebug Acceleritas 4. Really tough upper. V lightweight, flexible sole. I have stocked up on three pairs. Grip I good and seems to last well.
Nov 26, 2015 9:15 PM # 
I got them through Rick at compass point, don't think he stocks them as standard.
Nov 27, 2015 8:40 AM # 
Cat T:
thanks for the recommendations! some shopping about to be done :-) frustrating about Inov8's manufacturaing quality, they're nearly perfect but it's too many pairs per year..!
Nov 27, 2015 8:51 AM # 
Do they still sponsor orienteers?
Nov 27, 2015 9:59 AM # 
Inov8? They sponsor OJ and Rhys....
Nov 27, 2015 10:00 AM # 
So that's a no then
Nov 27, 2015 10:03 AM # 
When I got kicked off, it seemed that it was fell runners and 'mates' only.
Nov 27, 2015 10:58 AM # 
even more reason not to buy them
Nov 27, 2015 12:11 PM # 
Oy, I'm still an orienteer. I don't like the tone of your ellipsis.
Nov 27, 2015 1:05 PM # 
No ellipsis tone offence intended....
Nov 27, 2015 1:30 PM # 
ha ha, was waiting for that!

What I meant was, it's your fell/mountain running feats over the last few years that make you a sponsorable athlete, rather than orienteering
Nov 27, 2015 2:23 PM # 
Cat T:
i got it cos Steve Vernon was good at chatting up sponsors at WOC 2013. always felt like they were reluctant though, and now it's finished. they seem(ed) to sponsor more orienteers in Scandinavia, i guess naturally as there isn't as much running and orienteers have a higher profile.
Nov 27, 2015 5:51 PM # 
Someone should go and point them at this thread though. One of there sponsored athletes really. As it's something they should be paying attention to...
Nov 27, 2015 5:52 PM # 
If it hurts the bottom line, they will pay attention. Just like all sports shoe companies, good runners are not their target market. They make money off of punters who don't know any better.
Nov 30, 2015 2:07 AM # 
do other people get put off by the sheer amount of choice in the range (apart from Brooner who's just bought every pair). I wanted new trail shoes and even deciding which inov8 I wanted there were then 3 different pairs and I couldn't tell the difference. Bought some and turns out they've changed the width sizing so realised after first mountain run they don't fit. Going to try out the new la sportivas.

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