Top Ten Best Triathlon Shoes Reviews: Make Sure Your Footwear Doesn’t Let You Down

From running to cycling to swimming, a triathlete stays busy. More importantly, your body stays busy and you need gear that will keep you safe and comfortable. As a triathlete, I know that the right gear can make or break you.

The thought of competing in a triathlon is something that any dedicated athlete dreams of winning. It’s the holy grail of any die-hard runner. Once you have completed a triathlon, you know that you have done something right with all your training.

What item do you think would be one of the most important things you need in your upcoming event? That’s right. Your shoes. Without a good pair of shoes, you could find yourself lagging behind or worst yet, having to quit the race altogether.

There are several factors that go into finding the best triathlon shoes. From support to cushioning, durability, and style, you want to be sure to find the best distance running shoes to help ensure success.

Believe me, what you put on your feet is one of the most important decisions that you will make. Most certainly, when it comes to participating in a triathlon. To get started on your search, you will want to check out several options before deciding on the perfect pair for you.

Our Top 10 Best Triathlon Shoes Recommendations

The following reviews are about some of the best ones found on the market in regard to price and function. From great styles to dependable outsoles, there are several reasons why these shoes deserve mention. As any triathlete knows, function is what it’s all about when it comes to the best shoe, and these options are sure to meet your needs.

ProductFeatureRating
#1 - Pearl Izumi Men's EM Road M2 v2
Excellent Design
  • Great for triathletes
  • Durable build
  • Attractive appearance
5.0 stars out of 5
#2 - Asics Running GT-2000
Ideal Cushioning For Triathletes
  • Good support to keep your feet pain-free
  • Made from breathable and durable materials
  • Lightweight
4.5 stars out of 5
#3 - NIKE Men's Roshe One
Lightweight And Breathable
  • Easy to slip on and off
  • Attractive, eye-catching design
  • Reasonably priced for their quality
4.5 stars out of 5

1. Pearl Izumi Men’s EM Road M2 v2: Excellent Design

There are several features that make the Pearl Izumi an attractive triathlon shoe. But, what really stands out is the biomechanic design that allows for optimal comfort. The sock-like 3D design ensures a great fit for hours of running.

The seamless upper encourages durability while the synthetic mesh and Puffprint materials allow for breathability. The heel-to-toe offset is great for runners at 1mm initial contact and 4.5mm midstance.

If you’re concerned about comfort and durability when it comes to soles, worry no more. The motion midsole is extremely responsive making this pair highly comfortable for runners. The EVA foam outsole with blown rubber forefoot ensures cushioning and long-lasting use.

Available in different color combinations, you can choose the option that best suits you. With a great form-fitting design and an attractive appearance, they not only look good, they feel good.

Pros:

  • They have a strong, durable build, which is great for triathletes
  • They are comfortable to wear for long hours with great soles
  • They have a bright, attractive appearance, which is great for fashion conscious triathletes
  • They are made from durable materials that allow for breathability, which is great for long runs or triathlons
  • The toe-box is great for preventing blisters and protecting your feet

Cons:

  • Sizing runs small, so be careful when choosing a pair for you
  • They are pricier than some other similar options, which could be an issue for budget shoppers
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2. Asics Running GT-2000: Ideal Cushioning For Triathletes

When you know that you’ll be on your feet for a while, you want a strong shoe. These Asics running shoe have what you need, as they were designed for moderate over-pronation. Their impact guidance system helps to keep your feet safe and sound, whether you run marathons or triathlons.

With FluidRide midsole responsiveness, these Asics will ensure that your feet stay comfortable while running for hours. They also have a DuoMax Support System which ensures extra support for those who may have issues with their feet.

If you’re looking for a pair of men’s shoes that have cushioning, you’ll appreciate the gel cushioning in both the rearfoot and forefoot. The rubber sole and leather and synthetic materials help aid in the durability of these Asics.

The grip and traction on the soles are also ideal for your favorite sport, as they will protect against slippage. When it comes to triathlons, you never know how the weather will be, so a sturdy pair of shoes is always a good idea.

Pros:

  • They have excellent cushioning for long hours of running
  • They offer good support to keep your feet pain-free while long-distance running
  • They are made from breathable and durable materials, which make them an attractive buy
  • They have a lightweight feel, so that your feet don’t feel tired after long hours in them
  • There are plenty of colors for you to choose from, so you can get the perfect pair to match your active gear

Cons:

  • They don’t have the most stylish design, which could be an issue for fashion conscious triathletes
  • They take a while to break in, so you’ll need patience with them at the beginning
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3. NIKE Men’s Roshe One: Lightweight And Breathable

If you live in a warmer climate and want to make sure that your feet stay fresh, you’ll appreciate these Nike Roshe One shoes. They are made from synthetic and mesh materials that make them very breathable. This is perfect for long hours of running.

Because triathletes need great support for their feet, you will appreciate that the Rosh One’s have great heel support. The rubber sole keeps them durable, even after many months of use.

Because spending long hours hitting the pavement can be painful, you’ll appreciate how lightweight this shoe is. While it may lack in some fancier features found on other options, it will feel like air during your run.

This pair also has a great EVA foam outsole with waffle treads, so your shoe receives the impact of the run, not your foot. If you like to have multiple colors of the same shoe, you’ll like the variety found in this pair.

Pros:

  • They are easy to slip on and off, which is always an attractive factor to a good pair of shoes
  • They are lightweight and breathable, so that you can comfortably wear them during warm months
  • They are comfortable to wear and have great support, which are both important features for any triathlete
  • They have an attractive, eye-catching design, which is both trendy and unique
  • They are reasonably priced for their quality and appearance, which is always a positive factor in any shoe

Cons:

  • They aren’t as durable as some other options, which could be a negative for some
  • The shoelaces are a bit too thin, which can cause them to easily untie
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4. RYKA Women’s Hydro Sport: Great For Getting Wet

You want an option that will keep your feet comfortable and safe, no matter how far you run. This pair has quite a few optimal features, making them ideal for triathletes. To start with, their removable foot bed and drainage ports help to keep them fresh and dry for long-distance runs.

Their material is also chlorine-resistant, which is not something that you’ll find in any pair. Because your feet demand support in a triathlon, you’ll appreciate the webbed midfoot cage that helps with both medial and lateral support.

With a synthetic and mesh upper, the RYKAs are both durable and breathable—the perfect combination. The outsoles have sticky rubber on them so that you won’t slip easily—always helpful in the rain. They are also available in several different colors, so you can purchase the design that you like best.

Pros:

  • They have an attractive, trendy design for the fashion-conscious triathlete
  • They can get wet without deteriorating quickly, which makes them ideal for triathletes
  • They are spacious in the toe area, which is great for people with wide feet
  • They have great support, which makes them a comfortable pair to wear for marathons or races
  • They have a lightweight construction, so they are dependable for long hours of use

Cons:

  • They don’t come with the best laces, so you may want to replace the laces
  • They may be too wide for those with narrow feet
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5. Altra Men’s Impulse Flash Sneaker: Great Support For Excessive Pronation

These shoes may have a unique design, but their design is one reason why they are so dependable. Their Zero drop design helps there to be the perfect balance throughout the entire foot. It also ensures great support for your feet as you run.

With complete cushioning, you can trust that they are some of the most comfortable running shoes around. Because you may go running at different times of the day, the Altra’s reflectivity on its upper is highly beneficial.

The EVA/A-Bound blend midsole allows for a responsive feel. As cushioned and comfortable as these shoes are, they surprisingly lightweight. They also have a unique asymmetrical lacing system and a rubber sole.

If you are looking for a low-impact option that will keep your arches and heels comfortable, this is a great option.

Pros:

  • Their reflectivity is great for night runners who want to stay safe
  • They help to reduce the impact you feel while long-distance running
  • The cushioning helps to keep your feet comfortable while running
  • They have generous toe room, so they are ideal for those with wide feet
  • They provide comfort for those who are on their feet a lot, which is great for triathletes

Cons:

  • Their sizing tends to run small, so be aware when choosing
  • Their look may not be everyone’s style
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6. Zoot Men’s Ultra Race 4.0: Highly Responsive

If there is one thing that would make this option stand out, it would be it’s color and design. At first glance, they may look like something out of a Sci-Fi movie, but they are actually great tri running shoes. Their unique design allows for a lightweight feel, which is always important for long-distances.

The midsole is high-response, so you can be sure they will feel great for long-distance running. The ultra-fit upper is durable and comfortable for almost any runner. The ZPU outsole ensures that you can use this pair for months to come.

With a Boa fast lacing system, you don’t have to struggle with loose laces while on your run. The textile and synthetic materials help to ensure the Zoot’s durability. They are reasonably priced for the benefits they offer and in comparison to other similar options.

If you are looking for the best running shoes for Ironman, these are a great choice for a good price.

Pros:

  • They have an eye-catching design that is trendy and unique
  • They are offered at a fair price for quality and great features
  • They are lightweight and are easy to run in for long distances
  • The sock-like fit helps to keep your feet snug and in place
  • They are very easy to slip on and off, making them ideal for triathlons

Cons:

  • They have a narrow design, so they aren’t the best for people with wide feet
  • The sizing is small, so be careful when choosing a pair, especially if you use socks
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7. Zoot Women’s Del Mar Running Shoe: Affordable And Comfortable

An attractive pair of shoe for the female triathlete, these Zoots are a favorite for many reasons. With mesh panels on the side, these Zoots are breathable enough to wear in any type of weather. The lightly padded tongue adds to their comfort.

With a synthetic sole, and textile and synthetic materials throughout the shoe, they are a durable option for the avid triathlete. The BareFit seamless interior helps them to be comfortable enough to wear, with or without socks.

The Z-bound midsole helps to add to the overall comfort of this shoe, but the Injected-ZVA is the winning feature. It does wonders in absorbing impact, so that you can wear these for hours on end without any pain. Last but not least, the traction outsole helps to make them reliable for running in wet conditions.

Pros:

  • They are breathable and comfortable for use in the summer
  • They have a comfortable interior, so you can go sockless if you wish
  • They are reasonably-priced, so you don’t have to break the bank to buy them
  • They have a wide toe-box, making them ideal for people with larger feet
  • They are highly supportive, which is great for runners with issues

Cons:

  • They are a bit too wide for those with narrow feet
  • They have a bit of a shimmer, which may not be everyone’s preference
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8. ASICS Men’s Gel-Noosa Tri 10: Ugly But Great For Transitioning

If it were all about looks, these ASICS wouldn’t have made this list. But, they have some great features that make them some of the highest rated running shoes. Look past their appearance and you’ll love the Propulsion Trusstic System which is great for acceleration and transitioning.

Because, you want to be able to change quickly, you’ll appreciate the elastic laces and heel grips that make it easy to take them off. The rubber sole helps to keep them durable for many months, as does the synthetic material. The sock-liner is perforated, so you can be sure that you can get enough breathability in this shoe.

With an Impact Guidance System and the DuoMax Support system, this pair is truly dependable for long hours of use. Because durability matters for triathletes, the high-abrasion outsole is yet another top feature. The interior is seamless, adding to their comfort, so you don’t have to wear about blisters.

Pros:

  • They have optimal technologies that help to make them supportive and ideal for transitioning
  • They are durable and won’t break easily, making them perfect for all your athletic needs
  • They have unique features and materials that allow for optimal breathability, so you can wear them all year long
  • They are extremely easy to put on and take off, so you can quickly transition during a triathlon
  • They have arch support for added comfort, which is always a plus

Cons:

  • They are a bit of an eye-sore, which could matter to some athletes
  • They don’t have the best padding, which could be a factor for those who like cushioning
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9. Pearl Izumi Women’s Em Tri N2: Ideal For Those Who Need Heel Support

If you love your sports and races, but deal with issues like plantar fasciitis, you must focus on your shoe. This is where the Pearl Izumi may benefit you. With a cupped-heel insole, you can trust them to provide you with the support you need in this sensitive area.

The rubber sole helps to add protection while also ensuring durability. Made from mesh and synthetic materials, they are both durable and breathable. The rear pull on loop aids in making it easy to put them on in a hurry. Plus, the unique single-pull lacing allows for quick removal.

They also have the right amount of traction on the outsoles, so you don’t have to worry about slipping when running in wet conditions. They even have a bit of stretch for those times when your feet swell. All in all, if you want a dependable option for ironman or any triathlon, they are a good choice.

Pros:

  • They have optimal heel support, which is great for those who suffer from issues
  • They are reasonably lightweight, so you won’t feel weighed down after hours of running
  • They are very easy to take off with unique lacing and pull loops
  • They are comfortable enough to wear for long-distance running
  • They are a durable, quality option for long-lasting use

Cons:

  • They require socks, which can be annoying for some athletes
  • They take a while to break in, so have patience
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10. Altra Men’s Instinct 4: Simple Yet Lacking in Features

If you’re looking for a quick fix, the Altra Instinct 4 pair could do. They are relatively affordable and are an aesthetically pleasing option. They have a full rubber outsole that promises durability.

With EVA/A-Bound layer and Innerflex midsole, they provide relative comfort for long hours of use. The synthetic material aids in durability, which is convenient if you end up loving this option.

They have a well-balanced weight, so you don’t have to worry about your feet feeling heavy after using them for long runs. This pair also has decent cushioning, which helps to keep your feet feeling comfortable throughout the triathlon. If you aren’t worried about some of the fancier features such as chlorine-resistance and great traction and support, these may do.

Pros:

  • They have good cushioning for long hours of use
  • They have a good midsole for great support while on the run
  • They aren’t overly pricey, so you can buy them if shopping on a budget
  • They are lightweight enough to wear for long hours
  • They are ideal for those with wider feet, due to their spacious design

Cons:

  • The sizing runs small, so consider going up in size
  • They don’t last as long as some other options
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Why Is The Right Running Shoe So Important For Triathletes?

It’s important for anyone to wear the type of shoe that offers comfort and support. But, when it comes to a triathlete, it is an absolute must to find the best distance running shoes. There are several reasons why you should take your time while shopping as a triathlete. While your typical running shoe may seem fine, you will be surprised at how every little detail matters.

For example, imagine throwing on your pair of running shoes and you get started training. After a while of training, you begin to feel pain in your feet and legs and your shoes begin to feel heavy. This is why weight is something to pay attention to, that maybe you typically wouldn’t.

Remember, you may or may not be using the same pair throughout the triathlon for both the cycling and running portion. If you hope to use the same pair during the whole race, you need to look closely at details. What works for running, may not be the best for cycling, so that’s another thing to consider.

Even the fact that wearing socks or no socks can affect your performance means that there is one more thing to consider when shopping. Triathlons are all about finishing each portion of the race as quickly as possible. Pro tip: Look for seamless interiors in the options you are checking out. This helps to make them more comfortable and will help to prevent blisters.

If your goal is to win the race, then you are going to need to take even the smallest features into account. If you just want to participate in one to say you did it, you could be lax about a couple of things.

Knowing what you need and why you need it will help you to be able to achieve your best time in a triathlon. In the end, a pair that enhances your performance in every possible way is going to be the best choice for you.

What Features You Need To Focus On

More than almost any other type of race and running, triathletes need to pay close attention to their gear. The best designs can help to increase speed and allow for better performance. This is why it is important to understand what the most important features are to focus on, and you’ll get a better idea of them below.

Weight

Think about what you would imagine feeling like at the end of a triathlon. Your feet may ache, your legs will be sore, and you probably will want to take off your shoes as soon as possible. This is one reason why choosing the right weight matters.

A lightweight option will help you to save energy. You won’t have to put so much effort into every step, helping you to minimize the strength you are using. When you see the words lightweight while shopping, this is a definite positive. Just make sure to check out other features too.

Keep in mind that some other components can affect the weight of a shoe.  You’ll want to determine what matters most to you, but always place a priority on “the lighter, the better.”

Support

Because you will be running for quite a while in a triathlon, you need good support. Your feet will be hitting the pavement for long hours, so you need to make sure that you are protecting them. A pair with good support will ensure that you can keep running for as long as possible.

If you have heel issues, make sure to check out shoes with heel support, as they will receive a lot of impact, if not. If you can find options with special technology that help to absorb impact, even better.

Various options have special technologies in the soles, from the midsoles to the outsoles. Consider how much support is provided while also not sacrificing the weight of the shoe.

Laces

One of the things that differs with your regular running pair are the laces. With your normal running gear, you may not mind having to untie and tie your laces. But, with a pair for triathlons, you’re going to want something that allows for a snug fit, but that is easy to get off at a moment’s notice.

Many options have a single-pull lace, which is helpful, as you can easily remove your shoes. They are also easy to adjust, so you can be sure to have the best fit during your race.

Comfort and Cushioning

Comfort is important for triathletes. If you start to feel uncomfortable while on the run, it can affect your performance and performance is everything. While there are special features that help with comfort, always check out soles. Both midsoles and outsoles matter for support and comfort during long-distance running.

Also, you may want to consider some slight cushioning. Just be aware that too much cushioning can make the shoe too heavy for your run. You don’t want to sacrifice cushioning in the areas that you need it, but consider foregoing options with full cushioning, as they may be a bit too heavy.

Materials

You want to be careful about materials when choosing a pair for your triathlon. Breathability is a must for your triathlon gear. Because you will be running for a long-distance, you don’t want to allow the build up of sweat, so look for options that allow for air flow.

Also, you will want to depend on the option you choose for a long time to come. A clean, aired pair that is free of fungi and odor will last long longer than a pair that isn’t. Speaking of durability, search for quality materials such as synthetic and leather that last longer.

Also make sure to check out the quality of the soles, as you want them to last a long time too. A cheap sole won’t last for even one triathlon, so take your time to find options that are made from quality materials. No one wants their gear to fall apart in the middle of a triathlon!

Conclusion

Are you ready to start training? Just make sure not to run out the door without your new favorite pair of tennis. The above options are some of the best for a fair price. They also boast of the top features that you want in your triathlon gear, so you have plenty to choose from.

If you’re an experienced triathlete, you probably recognize some of these options, like the Zoots or the ASICS. If you’re new on the scene, do your research to determine which pair could be the best for your needs. Everyone has different issues with their feet. Many people differ in wide or narrow builds and some people need extra support. No one shoe fits or suits all.

Whether you are all about flashy colors to stand out from your competitors or you like unique laces for easy removal, each pair has something that makes them stand out. Which pair do you think will help you win your next triathlon? Take your time. That win is worth it.

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