By MTD Athlete Jetpack Jules
Drum roll please for my favourite trail racing shoe, the Inov-8 X-Talon 210. It’s bright, it’s super lightweight and it is grippy which all equal to pretty darn fast. Initially launched as an OCR racing shoe, this light-weight grippy chap is a great trail race shoe for anyone who likes to feel the ground underfoot but with the safety of some pretty gnarly grip too thanks to the Sticky Grip technology.
A muddy pair of Jetpacks 210’s after a training run.
When I first wore the shoe, I was so apprehensive on longer run days as to whether the comfort would quickly turn to very sore and tired feet, but as a lover of running in road flats this shoe feels like *the* transition for someone who wants to feel light on their feet. The shoe feels like the comfiest glove/slipper for your trail-awaiting feet and the upper is so soft it moulds to your foot shape beautifully. This bodes well for me as I have narrow feet. So whilst the sole is mega flexible and fits into all those craggy nooks and crannies on the mountains and fells it almost feels like I’m wearing nothing.
I’ve raced with this shoe multiple times in the past year from Maverick Snowdon X-Series marathon, to the 65km Ultra-Trail Cape Town and the shoe is resilient and comfortable for the whole race. I have never found a shoe that feels so much like a safety hug for your foot, I could run all day in these beauties. I don’t think I would run every long run in these as, just as I’ve found in road flats, the minimal shoe can cause problems over time but for race day they are mega. Even in the wet they’re so minimal that they dry super fast. As a side note, the training brother to these for me is the X-Talon 212, particularly in winter as it’s so much more substantial for slower long runs and ploughing through winter muddy trails.
Jetpack Jules Racing the Maverick Snowdon X-Series Marathon. Wearing the Inov-8 210’s
Maverick Musings | Roclite 290 with Graphene Review | By MTD Athlete Jetpack Jules
The Inov-8 Roclite 290 with graphene grip shoe is an absolute beauty. It’s strong, it’s supportive and it’s damn good looking. The shoe of choice for Wonder Woman Jasmin Paris on her epic Spine Race win just shows how awesome this shoe really is.
I have such a variety of trail shoes for so many varied conditions (always an excuse…!!) and had never tried the Roclite, regardless of it being a firm favourite among the MTD. I always thought it looked a bit heavy and maybe clunky, not narrow and precise like the X Talons or Terraclaws so I went out for my first run in the Roclites a little sceptical on how “heavy” my legs would feel. I felt like a real pro with my top matching my tights which both matched my shiny new shoes beautifully but the question was still on the comfort of the run in this unknown model. I was proved to be very, very wrong about these shoes.
The Roclite 290 is a sturdy shoe, yes. It’s stable. It grips with graphene like an absolute beast. It is also pretty light weight. No heavy legs or dragging my feet along the South Downs Way - I love to be proved wrong. This has now been my shoe of choice for all my longer runs building up to my next big race (the South Downs 50) and not once have I had need to complain about this shoe. Box fresh it was comfortable, not need to break them in they were out and onto the New Forest trails for a 20 miler straight out the gate.
The shoe has a lower drop than the Roclite 290 at 4mm so probably why it feels more familiar to my foot but this doesn’t compromise on protection and support that you expect from a Roclite model. The addition of graphene grip just makes it even better, stronger and more durable so no worrying that it won’t withstand those heavy winter months of relentless mud, rain and slippery rock. The shoe dries quickly, so any river/puddle traverses and mishaps are no problem meaning you can tear up those good old English winter trails with no worries at all.
A new firm favourite and the best all-rounder shoe I have ever tried. This shoe could fit to nearly every trail run (except maybe deep snow) but we’re 99% of the way to a 365 shoe for UK weather in particular. Go, give them a go because you will NOT be disappointed!
Roclite 290’s with G-Grip