ZOOT ALI’I 16 NEW BAL­ANCE WOMEN’S FRESH FOAM VONGO ASICS GEL HY­PER SPEED 7

$180 $120

Triathlon Magazine Canada - - FEATURES -

THE FALL IS A GREAT TIME TO WORK ON YOUR RUN­NING, WHICH WILL BE A LOT MORE FUN WITH A NEW PAIR OF SHOES. TO HELP YOU DE­CIDE WHICH PAIR WILL BE BEST FOR YOU, WE OF­FER UP THIS GUIDE WITH SOME OF THE LAT­EST MOD­ELS THAT PRO­VIDE LOTS OF SUP­PORT AND CUSH­ION­ING TO EN­SURE YOU’LL GET THE MOST OUT OF YOUR TRAIN­ING AND FALL RAC­ING.

With its rich Kona his­tory (Zoot got its start on the Big Is­land of Hawaii in the 1980s), Zoot has long pro­duced com­fort­able and fast triathlon-spe­cific cloth­ing and shoes. The Ali’i 16 con­tin­ues that tra­di­tion with a Boa clo­sure sys­tem that al­lows you to lit­er­ally dial in a com­fort­able, snug fit in sec­onds as you hit T2. The moulded 3D heel counter has an in­te­grated heel pull tab to help that fast tran­si­tion and pro­vide lots of heel sup­port. In keep­ing with the triathlon-spe­cific na­ture of the shoe, the Bar­e­fit lin­ing and breath­able mesh up­per make this a very com­fort­able shoe to wear bare­foot. There’s lots of cush­ion­ing all the way through the mid­sole, so you get a plush ride whether you’re heel or mid-foot strik­ing, and the Car­bon Rub­ber tread is very light but of­fers ex­cel­lent trac­tion.

$170

De­signed to pro­vide lots of cush­ion­ing but still of­fer the sup­port you need, New Bal­ance’s Fresh Foam se­ries now adds its first women’s sta­bil­ity shoe to the se­ries: the Fresh Foam Vongo. The one-piece mid­sole pro­vides lots of sup­port, while the breath­able mesh up­per, moulded sock liner and no-sew ma­te­rial ap­pli­ca­tion make this a com­fort­able op­tion for triath­letes who might want to use this as a sock­less-race shoe. The drop of this shoe is just 4 mm, but it’s about as far from a min­i­mal­ist shoe as you can get – the thick mid­sole makes it feel like you’re run­ning on air, a nice feel­ing as you start out on a longer run in a half- or full-dis­tance race. The Vongo weighs in at just 8.8 oz., too, so you get all this cush­ion­ing and sup­port in a very light­weight pack­age.

Asics has long mas­tered the abil­ity to make light­weight train­ing and rac­ing shoes that still of­fer lots of sup­port and the Hy­per Speed 7 is an­other fan­tas­tic ex­am­ple of that prow­ess. The Flyte­foam mid­sole is half the weight of other shoes in this class. The re­in­forced “mem­ory fi­bres” used in the mid­sole quickly re­turn back to their shape, so you get lots of pro­tec­tion in a very light­weight (9.3 oz. in the men’s model) shoe. There’s a de­cent drop – about 8 mm – so it’s very easy to get over onto your toes if you’re try­ing to go fast, and the plush cush­ion­ing and sup­port make this a fan­tas­tic op­tion for train­ing and rac­ing at vir­tu­ally any dis­tance.

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