Comments: There are simply no better OCR race shoes on the market. Flat, fast, drain well, grip everything and take a beating. They will be my race shoe until they are no longer made.
From: Kevin, Bethel, CT, USA. March 18th 2015
Comments: Great shoe! I am glad to see that the new ones have reinforcement (plastic, rubber) on outside near little toe. The old red ones always ripped in that spot. I love the feel of these. They are a bit wider than the talon 212 and a whole lot more comfortable. the 212 is much narrower than the 190 for me.
From: Paul, Marquette, MI
Comments: Sadly had to order this shoe elsewhere as Running Warehouse doesn't seem to carry sizes equivalent to what the average women or youth runner wears (sizes 6.5 to 8). However, have worn the red version of this shoe for several years as have my kids. We have gone through perhaps 21 pairs of this shoe in the past 3 years. This new orange version out-of-the-box was narrower and had less volume through the toe. It did stretch out some with a few hours of wear, however they are still a bit narrower and definitely have less volume than the older version.
Comments: Robbie's comments are spot on. The X-talon 190 is a fantastic race day shoe. My big test for these was the awesome Conestoga trail run in PA. The shoes provide unmatched grip and just the right amount of cushioning to run fast without fear of stepping on a rock or root the wrong way and crushing a metatarsal. Wet performance is excellent - the race had several stream crossings, even up to my knees, and the shoe drains immediately when you come out. No blisters, no problems from the first time you put them on.
The shoe feels like a comfortable slipper. There are basically no control or support elements in the shoe which is also very flexible, so probably best for people already running in or transitioning to minimalist shoes. To me, the only issue with some road running on these is concern for the life of the outsole lugs, not the runner.
For comparison, I run a lot in NB trail minimus on rocky trails where you can really hurt your foot if you land the wrong way on something
sharp. These have just enough cushioning (mainly from the lugs I think) that this is not a problem.
Lastly, note this is a completely different shoe from the x-talon 212, sharing only the outsole. These are cut very different and are
thankfully wider in the toe box. My regular size 12 in this shoe felt too roomy when I first put them on, however I gave it a try and had zero foot movement inside the shoe over some of the steepest and most technical trails around, so just enjoy the slipper-like feel of these!
From: Garth, Cary, NC, USA
Comments: Wow, what an awesome shoe!! After breaking toes on the trail in VFF's, I needed a minimalist shoe with a toe box. After a lot of research I picked the x talon 190's and it's been a great choice. Here's why: Traction-Unmatched. I ran a 16 mile trail race while it rained 2+ inches and I never slipped in the mud. Of course dry terrain no issue at all. The only time I've slipped is on bare wet rocks, but I have yet to see a shoe that grips on them. Comfort- basically the same comfort as VFF's, but with a toe box and tread. They are very minimalist, which is awesome if you're a minimalist runner. They are very flexible so you'll really get a feel of the trail, which also makes it very stable and sure-footed. I used to roll my ankles all the time, but haven't yet in these because of the flexible sole. Downsides - little ankle protection. I prefer my shoes like this but I know many people would not like that. And the only real downer is they are no good on pavement because of the thin sole and aggressive tread. Bottom-line - if you're a minimalist trail runner, buy these shoes!
From: Robbie, PA, USA