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Inov-8 X-Talon G 235 trail running shoe: gear review

The Inov-8 X-Talon G 235 is one of the best-selling trail shoes out there, and now it's been reinforced with the brand's G-Grip, graphene enforced outsole for extra toughness – here's how it tested

Inov-8 X-Talon G 235 trail running shoe: what is it?

A light, fast and supremely durable running shoe by the trail- and fell-running masters at Inov-8. The X-Talon range has been the brand’s best-selling off-road footwear range for more than a decade, and now it gets the G-Grip treatment, adopting a high-tech, revolutionary outsole reinforced with super-tough graphene that was first launched by Inov-8 in 2018. We’ll explain more in a sec, but basically, it translates to you getting next-level grip on soft muddy ground, wet rock and slippery sections of the trail.

Inov-8 X-Talon G 235 trail running shoe: why do I need it?

That graphene grip, duh. Closely related to better-known graphite (the one found in pencils), graphene is both the thinnest and strongest material on the planet, at roughly 200 times tougher than steel and a mere atom thick (Don’t believe us? It’s true). It’s also extraordinarily flexible, meaning it can be bent, twisted, folded and stretched without breaking. After painstaking research with experts at the University of Manchester, Inov-8 has infused the new X-Talon G 235’s soles with graphene, meaning you’ve got a solid combination of sticky, flexible grip (helped by aggressive 6mm studs) and serious durability.

But the graphene’s not the only draw, in fact you might not notice it at all beyond the longevity of the shoes, so features like the POWERFLOW+ midsole – a thin and responsive yet shock-absorbing layer between your foot and the floor – the lightweight, ballistic nylon upper and the snug-fitting, grit-shielding tongue take centre stage when you’ve actually got the shoes laced up.

Inov-8 X-Talon G 235 trail running shoe: should I buy it?

If you’re looking for a tough shoe for blasting trails confidently and at speed, these are the ones for you. They excel on soft and challenging ground and provide ample feeling under foot while still giving you a good level of energy return and shock absorption. That said, they’re definitely for the more serious trail, fell or swim-runner, given their talon-like sole lugs and precision fit.

The Inov-8 X-Talon G 235 trail running shoes is available now, £140. inov-8.com

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