I've started using Inov-8 XTalon 212, which I bought for a fell race, but will use for XC courses which aren't suitable for XC spikes (because of gravel / stony paths, etc. which we sometimes get.) The rubber lugs on the soles are too soft to consider doing any significant amount of road running so they really are strictly off-road, but they're not minimalist either. There is some cushioning there, just not a lot. You could go even lighter with the 190 but I don't have any experience of those.
BTW the 212 is supposed to refer to the weight in grammes, which is a bit of a joke, since mine are over 250g and I haven't exactly got clowns' feet! Still pretty light for an off-road shoe though.
I'd recommend the x-talon 212 too. Lightweight, good grip on soft ground and enough cushioning for firmer stuff. The 212 is supposed to be the weight for a size 8. However, even without the laces and inner sole they still weigh 230g so not sure where Inov-8 get their figures from!
Depends on what you call "normal trail shoes". I lot of what are marketed as trail shoes will be no good for your average XC; you usually will need something towards the fell shoe end of the market.
Most XCs in my part of the world tend to be largely on grass but there is the odd one with some tarmac so spikes are out for those. I personally use an Inov-8 x-talon which is fine for most XCs and will cope well with a small amount of tarmac. Also has the added benefit of being an ideal race shoe for most trail/multi-terrain races. The down side is that you could probably buy 2 pairs of spikes for the same price!
After many years of struggling with cold, wet feet in the winter, I have come to the conclusion that any sock with a significant wool content is the way to go. They may not be quick drying but do retain warmth when wet. I used to use Hilly trail socks but the quality has gone through the floor of late. Now using More Mile Vermont - 2 pairs for £10 @ startfitness