Jamie, if you don't mind I would appreciate your views of the Mudclaw 265 vs. the X-Talon. I need to buy me one of those (or maybe an I-Rock), I wonder about your views. I've done my research and of course need to try them (I have the X-Talon 212 but it is wearing out and would not mind something more agressive, as long as it is not too stiff or water sapping), but most of the resources online hardly talk about Orienteering use.
Forgive me for wading in - from experience, rough terrain dramatically reduces the life-span of Inov8s. I save my freshest for Fell Racing, but have still had heel failure in my last 2 mudclaw pairs I have O'd in (265 and 300 yellow ones) and a recent pair of 212s.
Yes, lifespan is a concern, but there is a limited selection on what IMHO works well also, when you don't want studs but still need a shoe that has traction, comfortable, reasonably light but still protective enough, doesn't move about when contouring but not too tight etc, etc. It is a compromise.
I recall Murray Strain writing that VJ iRocs are better than Xtalons as an all-round fell/O shoe...
I agree with ba-ba.
All pairs of x-talons and mudclaws I've bought have fallen apart fairly quickly. I now use VJ's for orienteering (and they still fall apart but last a bit longer). Forgot to take them home over christmas though so was left these mudclaws which I'm trying to save for fell races.
However when it comes to cost, you can get mudclaws for around £60 if you look at the right time online, whilst I've not seen VJ's for less than £100. So maybe there's actually not that much in it?
Apart from how lasting they are and cost aspects, what is the experience using them out on course though?
The current mudclaw 265/300 grip isn't as good as the old 300s (the yellow ones) - weight saving appears to have shaved depth off the tread and I found even a brand new pair a little slipper than I'd like. Apparently the new 300s (Blue/Red ones) actually only weigh 265ish - according to Ultrasport anyway.
However, the 'classic' yellow 300 design with the original deep grip are back, in a different colour and currently only at Pete Bland Sports: https://www.peteblandsports.co.uk/products/inov-8-...