So why do triathletes need something different to the shoes roadies wear? Well, how often does the typical road racer finish his bike and run like a madman with his shoes still clipped in to his bike? Tri-specific shoes typically have few straps (and never have laces) and come with other features designed to help you have a speedy transition. Here are a few tri-oriented shoes that will fit the bill if you’re in need of a new pair this season:
Garneau Tri X-speed
$140 These budget-oriented shoes offer lots of performance at an entry-level-friendly price. The reinforced nylon outsole provides lots of stiffness (which is what you want – you want all your energy going into the pedal and moving you forward, not being absorbed by your shoe) and has some nice ventilation, too. The Tri X-speed is built very much like Garneau’s higher-end shoes – a roomier fit, a synthetic leather upper, a reversed Velcro closure system and a special puller and main strap retention system for speedy transitions.
Specialized Comp Road Shoes
$210 Yeah, we talked about being triathlon specific, but triathletes who like their shoes to feel, well, more roadlike will enjoy the benefits of these Boa dial-closure shoes that are still very easy and quick to tighten up. The Body Geometry sole construction and footbed is ergonomically designed to keep you efficient as you pound down on the pedals. The synthetic upper has mesh venting for a comfortable fit that provides lots of breathability. You can also get these in different widths if you need a wider or narrower last to get the optimal fit.
$190 Shimano has long been a leader when it comes to high-performing, durable and comfortable shoes and the TR5 continues that tradition in style. The T1-quick strap and extra-wide collar makes it really easy to get your foot in and out, aiding in speedy transitions, while the 3D breathable mesh is very comfortable, even for barefoot race use. The lightweight glass fibre reinforced nylon sole provides lots of stiffness to enhance your performance.
Pearl Izumi Tri Fly V Carbon
$250These stylish shoes provide as much performance as good looks. Thanks to the anatomic TRI closure and fully-lined mesh upper, your foot will stay comfy even without socks while training or racing in the Tri Fly V Carbon. There’s a super-stiff carbon sole that’s both light and vented, while also providing lots of anatomic and arch support. The dual-density EVA insole adds to the comfort and support, too.
Scott Road Tri Pro
$230 Thanks to a tongue-less design and an adaptive fit pattern, the Tri Pro offers an extremely comfortable ride in a high-performing shoe. The wide upper strap is really easy to pull to tighten things up as you start your ride, while the lower strap allows you to dial in the perfect fit. The Ergologic insole features an adjustable arch support and metatarsal button, too, making this a great option for those folks who struggle to find a comfortable shoe. The stiff injection nylon glass fibre sole offers a huge range of cleat adjustment, too.
Giro Incitor Tri
$185 With a wide opening that makes it easy to get your foot in or out of, the Inciter Tri has a broad upper strap and an integrated scuff guard at the heel. All proof that this is a shoe designed to take the abuse we routinely hand out as we come into and out of the transition area. The low-profile, custom-engineered nylon composite outsole ensures you’ll get the most out of every pedal stroke. The breathable mesh upper makes this a comfy shoe even in hotter conditions, while the moulded EVA footbed enhances that comfort level.
Bontrager Hilo Tri Shoe
$170 You get a ton of value for the price in this tri-specific shoe. The dual strap design offers comfort and quickness while the Powertruss sole improves stiffness (and also performance) without adding excess weight. The inform Race last offers a slightly roomier, high-performance fit, while the micro-fibre mesh upper is very breathable. There’s an easy to grab heel loop that makes it easier to pull the shoe on while you’re riding and the top strap is specially designed so it won’t pull through so you won’t run into any issues heading out of T1, either.—km
Garneau Tri X-speed Pearl Izumi Tri Fly V Carbon Scott Road Tri Pro Specialized Comp Road Shoes
Giro Incitor Tri Shimano TR5 Bontrager Hilo Tri Shoe