Triathlon Magazine Canada - - BIKE -

TGARNEAU TRI X-LITE II HE BEST TRIATHLON-SPE­CIFIC shoes of­fer many of the same fea­tures you’d look for in a high-end cy­cling-spe­cific shoe, but with some key com­po­nents to make them work for triathlon rac­ing. Garneau’s Tri X-line II man­ages to do all that – you get a su­per-stiff shoe with lots of arch sup­port to en­sure ex­cel­lent power trans­fer, all in a com­fort­able shoe that’s easy to get on and off in tran­si­tion.

The best cy­cling shoes have re­ally stiff soles. That’s so all of your energy, as you push down on the ped­als, goes into mov­ing you for­ward. You don’t want any of the power you’re ex­ert­ing to be lost in cush­ion­ing. The Tri X-lite II uses a car­bon composite sole that is re­ally stiff to en­sure you’ll get the most out of each pedal stroke. That sole is ven­ti­lated, though, so you still get some air­flow through the bot­tom of the shoe – some­thing you’ll ap­pre­ci­ate dur­ing hot Cana­dian sum­mers and any time you are rac­ing or train­ing in other hot cli­mates, while there’s also Cool­max in­sole for added com­fort. The Tri X-lite II also uses a “high-per­for­mance fit” with a wide, com­fort­able toe box, that puts your foot closer to the pedal to en­hance that power trans­fer, too.

When you’re cy­cling prop­erly, though, you don’t just push down on the ped­als. You are also pulling up, pulling back and, for a short pe­riod, ac­tu­ally push­ing your foot for­ward, too. So it’s crit­i­cal that the up­per en­able you to do all that. That’s a harder thing to achieve in a tri shoe that’s de­signed for quick and easy ac­cess – some­how you need to de­sign the shoe so that it will fit firmly on your foot in ad­di­tion to mak­ing it easy to get on and off. Garneau has man­aged all that in the Tri X-lite II thanks to a form-fit­ting syn­thetic leather up­per with a dou­ble-vel­cro clo­sure sys­tem that’s quick and easy to tighten on your way out of T1 and loosen on your way into T2. A spe­cially de­signed heel re­ten­tion sys­tem uses a spe­cial anti-slip mem­brane to en­sure you’ll get the most out of each pedal stroke.

There are lots of other fea­tures in the Tri X-lite II that make it a solid choice for triath­letes: the re­pla­ca­ble heel pad will give the shoe some ex­tra life (it’s hard not to have the shoe drag along the ground as you’re run­ning out of or into tran­si­tion), while the spe­cial puller and main Vel­cro strap can be used to po­si­tion the shoe so it’s easy to get into. At just 235 g it lives up to its “Lite” moniker, too.—km

Garneau Tri X-lite II $240

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