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The Best Swimrun Shoes: Inov-8 X-Talon G 210 Under Test

Swimrun is a sport which demands a lot from your shoes. Outdoor equipment specialist, Inov-8 purport to have the answer with the X-TALON G 210 which claims to be ‘fast, flexible and tough’ and specifically designed for OCR and swimrun. Our testers put the shoes through their paces in training and at swimrun events (both team and solo races) to see how they fared on trail, transitions and swims.

Trail – 10/10 

jon littlewood running wearing the x-talons

These are a light and devilishly fast pair of shoes. The aggressive tread allows you to attack climbs and charge down fast descents with complete confidence in both wet and dry conditions. It is rare to find a shoe where you completely trust the grip on steep and technical ground. The X-Talons excelled in this category and shaved off minutes during races. They were acceptable on roads although you wouldn’t want to spend any prolonged time pounding the pavement.

Transitions – 7/10 

jon littlewood running wearing the x-talons in water

Transitions are a dynamic area where typically you would expect the slippiest and most testing of conditions with wet rocks and weeds. The X-Talons were excellent and grippy on mud and rocks but fell down a bit on slippery underwater surfaces, although our testers thought most shoes would struggle with slimy green surfaces.

Swims – 9/10 

jon littlewood wearing the x-talons while swimming in water

These shoes felt light in the water compared to others and drag was minimal. The bright colour of the shoe is good for teams to keep each other well sited, especially important for the back swimmer. Our testers also liked the fact that the yellow colour acts as additional visibility to other water users and helps with safety. There is also a useful loop to tuck laces into which often come undone while swimming.

Drainage Score – 7/10 

The shoes drain relatively quickly but hold a fair amount of water in extra weight. The shoes actually gained 100% weight after being submerged for one minute (using a Swimrun Labs test) and retained most of that extra weight after one and five minutes of draining. This meant that the shoe weighed nearly 500g when fully saturated, 240g when dry.

Comfort & Look – 9/10 

jon littlewood leaving the water wearing the x-talons

The X-Talons have a sharp and unique look, our testers liked them. The shoes are robust and well made and expected to last. The shoes do run a tight fit and those with big or wide feet would find them too narrow. While comfortable on Sprint distance swimruns (up to 21km), having such a light shoe makes a trade-off with comfort and support, worth it for shorter races but likely to be less comfortable for an endurance race over 50km.

Overall Verdict – 9/10

jon littlewood running wearing the x-talons on a technical trail in the forest

This is an impressive all rounder which excelled in many areas. The X-Talons are a fast shoe which sticks to technical trails and you just don’t notice on swims. The vibrant colour is visually appealing and also highly practical. A good choice for beginners and experienced swimrunners alike.

For more information visit inov-8.com: X-TALON G 210.

For our top 10 swimrun shoes: Best Swimrun Shoes.

Fred Newton

Fred is the Editor and co-founder of swimrun.com. He has actively been involved with the sport of swimrun as an enthusiastic participant, race director, volunteer and journalist.

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