Which xc/trail racing shoes

Have a bit of chrismas money and thought I 'd splash out on a new pair of xc/trail racing shoes as I usually race in my trainers - either Inov-8s or Mizuno Harriers. Most races I tend to so are hilly off-roaders up to 20K.

Have only ever tried walsh fell shoes but they have now branched out into trail shoes. The "spirit lite" appeals to me but I have not heard much about them.

I have had various inov-8s in the past and so the shoe I would most likely go for in their range are the x-talon 212s. 

Any comments/experiences on either much appreciated (and also any suggestions for other models.)




  • Spirit lite are (imho) a trail shoe rather than a fell shoe so won't do you any favours in very rough terrain, not that they aren't a good shoe but just better for trails.

    I tend to race in Harriers for moderate terrain with some Tarmac sections and Walsh PB for rough terrain. The Walsh PB I find pretty lightweight anyway so it serves well. You can get a Walsh racing shoe here. But if you fancy Inov8 ones I would go for the x-talon 190 as I've heard very good reports about them as well, and at that price you can't really complain.

  • Went for a plod in my new Spirit Lites today, on a snowy moor. They don't seem quite as grippy as walsh's out-and-out fell shoes, but I didn't expect them to be, although they are still fairly good.. A good bit roomier in the toe, still nice and low to the floor. I'm pleased with them, as I've got them for longer off-road runs which involve bits of road now and again (starting with Rombald's stride).

    Shorter, not-quite fell runs will see me in mizuno wave harriers, possibly my favourite shoe for most things.

    Unless you're doing serious fell runs, I'd stick with the Wave Harriers. Having said that, the grip on Walsh fell shoes (I have some ultras) is second to none, and will probably fill you with the confidence to run down stuff that you trod warily before!

  • Thanks for the advice, chaps!

     As I was unable to track down a pair of walshes in my size locally, I went for the x-talons. 

    Incredibly light and as grippy as my mudclaws. Very pleased with them so far.

  • Just for the record: I've been very happy with my Walsh Spirit Lites. Got me through recent snowy spell (not the accompanying icy spell though) and through plenty of mud, bog and sand. They should make road shoes, they could corner the market in unfussy, untechnical, proper long-lasting plain shoes.
  • Have had walsh PBs in the past as fell shoes but I know there sizing can be a bit on the small size so not willing to risk it without being able to try them on.

    Its good to see they are branching out though, as they have always made a great no frills, quality shoe. In light of the competition from Inov-8, road shoes wouldn't be a bad idea. I'd buy them (if I ever ran on roads!!)


  • Quick update re my Spirit Lites; went out today up Firth Fell and Buckden pike, as I can see them from my usual haunts above Silsden and they didn't look too snowy - well, they were! Once above the treeline the snow made the tracks invisible and the route just about walkable but definitely not runnable for the most part. So I ended up doing 13 miles, 3000ft and I must say I was still pleased with the Spirit Lites, which coped pretty well with both up and downhill deep snow. I have a bit of a hotspot on one heel now, but I think that is a hangover from my last run and not the fault of the washies. So, I'm looking forward to wearing them for all my longer distance jaunts now, confident that the grip will keep me upright and the lowish sole unit will keep my feet nicely in touch with the terrain underfoot.
  • I'm considering a pair of the walsh spirit lites but wonder how the fit is. I tend to go for a 13 in the walsh pb trainer but a 12 in most inov 8 shoes (and almost all road shoes). Will i get away with a 12 in the walsh spirit lite?


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