Trail Monster Running

Visit the official TRAIL MONSTER RUNNING website for information on upcoming group runs, local trails, trail races and more, including the Pineland Farms Trail Running Festival and the Bradbury Mountain trail Running Series.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

FIRST IMPRESSION - Inov-8 X-Talon 190

Some things just look better with a coating of mud. The Inov-8 X-Talon 190 are one of those things. They're maybe just a little too red, but one trip along the TMR TNR took care of that.

This was my first time trying a 1 Arrow shoe from Inov-8, and the 3mm differential was noticable right away. Most of my trail running lately has been in the X-Talon 212 which is a 2 Arrow shoe (6mm differential) and prior to that I was wearing the Roclite 295 which is a 3 Arrow (9mm differential). What I noticed was my achilles being stretched just a little more than usual as I ran, not in a bad way, just an awareness.

Twisty shoes. OK, so my feet don't move like that, is it a good thing that the shoes wouldn't stop my foot from moving like that?

Speaking of awareness, one thing that I love about these shoes is the way you can feel the ground beneath your feet. Not only is there a minimal differential between the heel and midfoot of the shoe, but overall the midsole is very thin and made from a lightweight material that allows for a natural response of your foot to the ground. I've come to realize that there is a reason the human foot has 26 bones, it's to adapt the variable terrain you encounter while running. A shoe doesn't need to control the way you move across the ground, it should allow your feet to do what they were meant to do.

"Sticky Rubber" and wide lug spacing make for a grippy outsole.

Tonight's run was on pretty mellow terrain and at a fairly casual pace. A few small, gently rolling hills, mostly soft trail surfaces, a little mud, a little gravel and some grass, nothing technical. It will be interesting to see how these feel on more technical terrain, with rocks and roots and pointy things to step on, but I suspect they'll feel much like the X-Talon 212 and I haven't had any trouble with them. I wore the 212's at all three of the Bradbury Mountain Trail Running Series races this summer and it doesn't get much more technical than that around here.

This is a seriously flexible shoe. My feet certainly don't bend like that, but if I ever need to roll up my shoes and stick them in my pocket I can.

The uppers of the 190's are mostly a lightweight fabric mesh, which means they should drain well, but since I managed to jump the stream at Twin Brook this evening I didn't get them saturated. These definitely aren't going to be as durable through rough terrain as many Inov-8's are, but that's the price you pay for a 6.7 ounce shoe.

First Run

location: Twin Brook Recreation Area, Cumberland
time: 48:09
distance: 5.5 miles
pace: 8:45


Blaine Moore said...

Wow, this site is much darker than the last time I was here.

When we got home tonight, Erin said she thought the bright red was cool until she realized how muddy I was going to get them. She didn't believe me when I told her that tonight is an exception and that my shoes are usually spicky clean.

middle.professor said...

You had me at "some".

John said...

So this will be the NB MT101's competition? I'll have to find out if the come in a 2E.

Anonymous said...

John. The MT 101's are not even close to a 3mm differential from what I have read. The 790 and 100 have a 10mm differential. Also, NB uses a rock plate, which some folks like, but it really reduces the feedback you get from the trail. Now the NB Minimus, that should be interesting.

Amy said...

All I can say is that was a nice shoes, I like the style, the color and the spiky sole. Nice shoes there!


sally said...

inov 8 footwear is the best shoes in outdoor hangout,it really suits in hiking..Inov 8

pinoyonlinedating said...

I will say this - NOthing beatsInov 8, barefoot running could have been boring without it.

Kevin said...

I wore the 190's at the Bruiser and they worked great. They are an awesome shoe.