INOV-8 X-TALON 260 ULTRA
Men’s: 260 g (9.17 oz.) Women’s: 260 g (9.17 oz.) Drop Ratio: 8 mm $230–260
Inov-8 improves upon its predecessor, the X-CLAW 275, with a shoe that’ll withstand most any terrain and conditions you throw at it.
Designed for endurance athletes, the Ultra 260’s Sticky Grip outsole provides ample traction through slippery and technically challenging surface conditions, including 8 mm cleats that aid in preventing mud from clogging the outsole. Distance runners should also like the shoe’s new midsole technology, which Inov-8 reports will provide 10 per cent better shock absorption and 15 per cent improved energy return than standard midsoles. The toe box is also roomy enough to accommodate a variety of foot widths and swelling over longer runs.
The shoe’s exceptional traction and comfort comes at a slight cost, in that the shoe provides lightweight protection against objects such as tree roots and rocks; a modest price to pay for this topof-the-line distance shoe.