One of the most popular brands in OCR and trail running, Inov-8 is known for designing shoes that will give you traction in even the thickest of mud. Offering a wide lineup with different weights, drops, and lug sizes. It can be hard to know which is the best choice for you. For most people looking in Inov-8 it’s safe to say that a good place to start is by looking at their 2 most popular shoes. The Inov-8 X-talon vs Mudclaw. The Mudclaw was the originator and found its home in the hearts of obstacle course racers and mud runners because of their incredible grip on thrashed courses. Then came the X-talon. Designed with just the right amount of grip for faster courses. So what is the difference between the Inv-8 X-talon and Mudclaw?
After a bit of research and trying both first hand I thought it would put together a quick check list of the differences to help you make the right choice based on your needs.
Inov-8 X-Talon vs Mudclaw
- Inov-8’s Mudclaw has a lower drop than the X-Talon. The Mudclaw features a 4mm drop on most models except the 300 series.
- The X-Talon drop depends on the model, so make sure you check. The drop on the X-talon can range between 3-8 so make sure to check before ordering.
- The Inov-8 model number is the weight. Meaning the X-talon G 235 weighs 235 grams and the Mudclaw 260 weighs 260 grams.
- X-talon models offer lighter options. The X-talons come as light as 200 grams while the Mudclaw offers options up to 300 grams.
- The official Inov-8 store on Amazon has great discounts. Prices on shoes as low $50 when on sale. A great price on high quality shoes.
When all is said and done the most important part of the Inov-8 X-talon vs Mudclaw debate is their performance. I’ve had a chance to try out both of these shoes and have a good idea of what Inov-8 was going for with the two models.
The X-talons feel lighter and faster on the course. The bigger drop has you wanting to go fast which is perfect for good trail and short to medium courses. The light weight comes with a lack of padding that I would miss on longer runs. Especially on the OCR course. The Mudclaw on the other hand doesn’t feel like a fast shoe. And if you’re not used to a 4mm drop shoe it can feel a bit flat at first. That 4mm drop is pretty standard for ultra distance shoes helping make these comfortable for extreme long hikes & runs in extreme conditions. But what they lack in sporty feel you get in overall comfort, durability, and traction. I’ve run multiple races including the World’s Toughest Mudder Atlanta in the Mudclaw and can attest to these shoes being able to stand up to most muddy conditions.
I like both of these shoes but do have a preference depending on the need. If I’m an OCR runner looking to run fast, running a good trail up to 20 miles, and there is no rain in the forecast I’m probably going with the X-talons. For long events, deep mud, or multi day hiking trips then I’m going with the Mudclaw. The lower drop and added cushion will be more comfortable for a longer period.