Getting the right pair of triathlon bike shoes for your triathlon racing competitions is just as important as getting the bike itself. While you can use your regular road cycling shoes for triathlons, racing shoes will help you pedal better and allow you to get in and out of transition quickly.
All triathletes know the importance of the right equipment. It has the power to completely change your game, and maybe even lead to a new personal record. While the bike is the primary piece of equipment during the cycling leg of the triathlon, triathletes should not forget the importance of proper shoes.
Specialized triathlon shoes will make cycling easy for you if you don’t want to end up doing cartwheels that slice off your transition times. They are designed to allow for a sharp yank as your feet either enter the shoe that’s already clamped into the pedal or laying on your transition towel. They also offer better speed and security system.
In a Hurry? Here are Our Top Choices
The 3 Best Triathlon Bike Shoes
First timers should note that cycling and running shoes are quite different from each other – because of this, you not only need your cycling shoes to help your performance, but you also need for them to be easy to take off. If not, this could bleed into transition time. Triathletes need to keep all this and more in mind when shopping for the best triathlon cycling shoes – fortunately, we’ve narrowed the choices down for you.
Triathlon shoes will also make mounting and dismounting more comfortable and could be the winning key to your next race. With these benefits in mind, let us look at some of the best triathlon bike shoes available in the market right now.
1. Fizik Transiro Infinito R1 Knit
These shoes feature a new design with an upper knit that has been engineered for enhanced ventilation and comfort. The pair gives the perfect balance between stiffness and flexibility that cyclists need while racing.
The shoes are quite comfortable and feel lightweight on your feet. You will find it easy to slide in and out of them without much effort. The outsole is made from full UD carbon making them very sturdy and weather resistant.
Fizik designed the Transiro Infinito shoes with distinct knitting patterns that create vents and mesh openings. These openings make these shoes more breathable that helps in coping with sweating during a long bike ride.
2. Pearl iZumi Tri Fly PRO V3
The new Tri Fly PRO V3 is a significant improvement on the earlier models Tri Fly Octane and Tri Fly Carbon that were previously sold by Pearl iZumi. These are the top of the line racing shoe that are both lightweight and stiff enough to offer optimal power transfer for the cyclist.
The shoes are designed with a Velcro straps based closure system giving you the option for a “wide open” position. This can be very helpful when you do flying mounts. The heel loop on these shoes is designed to be off-center making it easier for the cyclist to adjust the straps even after they have mounted the bike.
The anatomic tri closure system eliminates hot spots and removes pressure from the forefoot. This makes the pair comfortable despite the higher stiffness rating of 13.
If you are planning to go on long rides, your feel will still feel supported with its Dual Density EVA insole that gives you both longitudinal and traverse arch support.
3. Mavic Cosmic Elite
Mavic is another popular company that offers high-quality biking equipment. The company originally started as a pedal manufacturer and transitioned to offer other products including bike shoes. They offer some of the most innovative shoes designs in the market.
The Mavic Cosmic Elite is a fine pair of shoes designed specifically for triathlon cycling. These shoes offer the best transfer of control to pedals as they have a rating of 100 on the energy transfer index. For each push to the pedal, you will get more power and speed than any other shoes in the market.
The shoes use multiple technologies and construction methods that allow the best transfer of power to the cycle. The upper material is made from synthetic microfiber, mesh while the outsole is made of Carbon SLR that allows better energy transfer and stiffness.
Other useful features include wide openings that allow you to easily slip in your feet. They also have oversized heel loops, foot security and easily adjustable Ergo Tri Strap.
4. LG X-Lite II Triathlon Shoes
LG (Louis Garneau) has made significant improvements to its X-Lite II triathlon shoes from the prior models. The new model has a stiffer outsole and stronger hook and loose fasteners that won’t loosen even after a long ride.
The X-Lite II features up-to-date ergonomics that will help your feet stay comfortable while you focus on going faster on the bike.
The shoes are designed with LG’s patented Power Zone technology that offers better arch support and power transfer than the prior model. Your feet will feel very secure on the pedal and transfer as much power to the pedals as you push.
The “Racer Fit” shape used for the shoes will help reduce stack height to the pedal. The design makes your feet more centered on the pedal without causing your feet to become sore.
5. Scott Sports Tri Carbon
It is easy to see an obvious difference between the Scott Sports Tri Carbon triathlon cycling shoes and most of the other cycling shoes that you will find in the market.
For a start, this is the only pair of triathlon cycling shoes that features the BOA IP1 closure. This design offers lightweight, strong laces that are held together with dials that allow you to make incredibly minute and precise adjustments to the shoes.
The wraparound microfiber construction is built for a comfortable, secure fit with or without socks. The breathable, full carbon sole provides efficient power transfer for riders.
It has a stiffness index of nine out of ten which means that the shoes are capable of transferring short, high-powered pushes while still leaving just enough comfort to manage longer segments with ease.
6. Louis Garneau Men’s Tri X-Speed III Triathlon Cycling Shoes
These men’s triathlon cycling shoes brag ultimate comfort that not only helps during the cycling leg of the triathlon, but which also leaves feet unaffected for optimized performance during the running leg of the triathlon. A close fit adds to this comfort and features like a reversed hook and loop strap add to convenience since they help minimize transition time. Additionally, these cycling shoes are some of the most lightweight out there, with a Size 42 shoe weighing only 9.6 oz.
Durability is one of the most important aspects to look at when picking the best triathlon cycling shoes, and the Tri X-Speed III’s do not disappoint. Not only are they made from synthetic leather, but they are also resistant to the toe of the shoe collapsing.
Designed using Power Zone technology, these triathlon cycling shoes support power transfer without compromising on arch support. Comfort is also ensured with extreme ventilation. This is achieved by using a nylon/fiberglass outsole that allows for breathability while still remaining stiff. Buyers should also note that these cycling shoes are compatible with all major road and SPD pedals.
- Relatively affordable
- Easy to put on and remove
- Durable synthetic leather construction
- Compatible with SPD pedals
- Cleats not included
7. SIDI T4 Air Carbon Composite Triathlon Shoe
Not only are they comfortable and durable, but these triathlon cycling shoes are designed to optimize transition time. SIDI includes not one, but two hook-and-loop closures and a large pull-tab so that triathletes can easily put on and remove the cycling shoes.
In addition to shortened transition time, triathletes can enjoy the comfort of these cycling shoes. The shoes have a vented Politex upper and the perforations result in increased breathability. Users are sure to remain cool since there’s plenty of drainage provided.
The shoes also include a stiff carbon composite sole that helps with efficient power transfer. The replaceable heel pad also optimizes pedaling position.
- Reduce transition time
- Ventilation and drainage
- Stiff sole for efficient power transfer
- Replaceable heel pad
- Not suitable for those on a budget
Features to Consider When Buying Triathlon Bike Shoes
When looking for the best triathlon cycling shoes, there are certain features you have to keep in mind. This includes everything from fit and construction to cleat system and are outlined below.
If your cycling shoes don’t fit, you won’t be able to cycle well. Your shoes fitting well, therefore, is extremely important. The more supported your feet are, the better you’ll be able to perform. This cannot be emphasized enough – developing blisters definitely isn’t going to help your timing or performance.
One of the main differences between triathlon cycling shoes and triathlon running shoes is the lack of cleat system in the latter. A cleat system is important since it locks your feet into place and allows for smoother transitions.
The best triathlon cycling shoes are durable but are also lightweight and made out of breathable material. The material shouldn’t be too stiff since it needs to fit the foot perfectly. However, the sole of the shoe should be sufficiently stiff for optimal performance – carbon fiber is a popular material used for triathlon cycling shoe soles. Since the cycling leg of the triathlon comes right after the swimming leg, it’s important for your feet to remain dry and cool – breathability is a huge part of this. Above everything else, ensure that the material is comfortable so that you can perform your best.
Because triathletes aim to minimize transition time, it’s important to make sure that you’re able to slip the shoes off and on easily and quickly. Some ways to reduce transition time include cleat systems, heel loops, and bumpers.
Our Final Thoughts
There is a lot of variety when it comes to racing shoes. You can get shoes from triathlon biking to road bikes. Each pair of shoes offers its own particular benefits from price and comfort to quality.
In most cases, casual cyclists will be able to get by with regular running shoes. People who are more invested in triathlon competitions may want to further invest in the best pair of cycling shoes in the market.
If you regularly take part in triathlong cycling competitions or go for long tours then consider some of the biking shoes in our list.