Bike shoes can be a minefield of choice with different clips and styles to wade your way through. We’re aiming to help you navigate your way through this and cut straight to the right choice of shoe for triathlon whether you are buying your first of fifth pair of triathlon bike shoes.
A triathlon bike shoe is light, stiff and easy to get on and off in a furious transition frenzy. You don’t need to have a set of triathlon bike shoes with plenty of newbies smashing it round in trainers, MTB shoes or road bike shoes. But if you decide to splurge on a set the following review gives you plenty of options for spending your money.
Check out our selection of the top 15 triathlon shoes with something for every budget ranging from £45 through to £230. Although be warned that for some reason most of the manufacturers have decided that triathletes must in general be getting dressed in the dark as the colour schemes of offer here are varied and frequently very loud.
DHB Trinity Tri Shoe
Our first entry is the budget shoe from DHB really challenging the more established and premium brands with a shoe for an amazing sub £50 mark. Available in standard white or in shocking orange for those who want to stand out more when leaving T1. Weighing in at 288g the shoe won’t be tipping you over the scales and certainly not a reason not to buy them.
Buy from – www.wiggle.co.uk
We’ve done our best to find you the best prices for triathlon bike shoes at the time of writing this but as ever with Shimano always worth hunting round to see if any better bargains out there. Within Team Trivelo we have a pair of these bad boys and nothing much we can criticise them for. Very good fit although we accept this is a very personal thing. The shoes have a good quality stiff feel to them and you’d be hard pressed to label them as cheap. If standing out from the crowd is important to you then these are unlikely to really deliver but if a good all-rounder is your aim then you are unlikely to be disappointed.
Buy from www.wiggle.co.uk
The entry-level Trivium is a new shoe for Spiuk but is geared up to accept 2 or 3 bolt cleat styles so plenty of versatility. A good looking shoe with plenty of ventilation through the top section with a polyamide sole the shoe is likely to feel comfortable but might be less suitable for those who favour a stiff sole and strong anchoring through the pedal to maximise power distribution without flex.
Buy from www.bikeinn.com/bike
Giro Inciter Tri
Giro’s Inciter Tri shoes are on face value a close cousin of the Shimano shoe offering similar back to basics colour and design cues. Breathability through the upper section somewhat affected by their chunky feel but this may favour some riders who are seeking more of a trainer feel to their bike shoes and also hints that these things are made to last. No problems in fitting 2 or 3 bolt cleats once more so plenty of flexibility for riders. If you are looking at the Shimano probably worth lining these two up side by side and working through which one has a better feel for your foot while practicing a bit of transition in them.
Buy from www.tredz.co.uk
Premium feel while not so premium price tag on these bad boys. To add to a compelling proposition Northwave include a Speedplay plate in the soles as standard so if that is your favoured pedal then no extra costs to stomach post purchase. Plenty of stiffness from these and a roomy fit so possibly worth a look if you suffer from a wider foot and been struggling to find the right shoe for you.
Buy from www.chainreactioncycles.com
Louis Garneau X-Lite II
Louis Garneau’s shoes back in the mix with a new version of their popular X-Lite triathlon shoe. Stiffer designs promised with assurance of reductions in power loss but this has been at the expense of a little extra weight (19g per shoe) but unless you are watching every gram that is unlikely to trouble many. Lots of ventilation through the upper and few excuses for missing the rear loop in transition with it being on the larger size compared to many rivals. They look a bit of an ugly duckling though against some of the others here. Beauty though is in the eye of…
Buy from www.evanscycles.com
Mavic Cosmic Elite Tri Shoe
Single strap shoe from Mavic available again in some bonkers colour schemes including bright red. Lovely. Claiming a unique comfort solution with an ergonomic insole coupled with a carbon sole these offer a good quality shoe from a well established brand. If you can cope with blood red for your triathlon outfit that is!
Buy from www.acycles.co.uk
Bont Riot Tr+ Shoe
Available in black, solid or express yourself with a more bonkers colour scheme and look like you got dressed with no mirror. 230 grams of unique style to help you leap from T1 like a gazelle. Another carbon composite shoe with plenty of technology.
Buy from – www.sigmasports.com
Pearl Izumi Tri Fly Elite V6
There is rarely a Pearl Izumi product that we get sight of in the Trivelo offices that we don’t like and more often than not end up drooling over. The Tri Fly Elite V6 Triathlon bike shoe is a very credible contender in this line up and one of our favourites. It has a Velcro system like many others with a lack of tongue to avoid any fouling in transition and deliver the ventilation needed on while putting the hammer down. A carbon sole ensures weight is kept down while providing a solid foundation for power through to the powers. They may be on the pricier end of our selection of triathlon bike shoes but we think it could be money well spent.
Sidi T-4 Air Carbon
The Sidi T-4 Air Carbon triathlon bike shoe has the look of a conventional bike shoe and come in very much at the premium end of pricing. The uppers offer good ventilation with a Velcro set of straps coming inwards. The sole plate is carbon and very firm without feeling uncomfortable thanks to a well shaped insole. Being Italian by design these are on the skinny fit size so any of you blessed with wide feet they might not provide the best fit for you.
Buy from www.wiggle.co.uk
Gele Mele Tri Shoe
Another random styled shoe following the bumble bee inspired colour scheme from Gele. Weight is the enemy of these triathlon bike shoes with lightweight materials used throughout including plenty of carbon fibre. Uppers use a microfiber fabric promising excellent ventilation and little is any weight. The shoes also boast Aegis anti-microbial treatment to ensure the shoes survive the worst you can throw at them in between T1 and T2.
Buy from – www.wiggle.co.uk
Scott Carbon Tri
Scott has opted for a boa dial system in contrast to the majority of shoes here where they simply rely on a Velcro set of straps. Worth considering if you are eying up these shoes but your transition technique often lets you down. It does mean that they are angling for more of the long distance end of the market over newbies hitting the Sprints. The price to be fair reflects this marketing approach that anyone new to Triathlon is unlikely to be starting here. No tongues to aid ventilation but surrounded by a very stiff upper delivered through hard wearing leather. Going long this year? Possibly worth a look.
Buy from – www.runandride.co.uk
Mavic Mens Tri Helium SSC
Banana yellow technology explosion triathlon bike shoes from Mavic where they have thrown every bit of their experience at it to give you a top end shoe. Granted at over £200 you will be wanting every last drop of innovation in what is a premium shoe. Carbon outsole and heel mean you get locked into a shoe capable of delivering every ounce of your energy through the pedals with very little loss. Low weight, well ventilated rigid shoes from the Mavic factory.
Buy from – www.slanecycles.com
Very French and very stylish is this entry from across the channel. Hard to get hold of with limited UK outlets but a worthy entrant in our list of top triathlon bike shoes. Interestingly, Ekoi’s TR1 uses a Boa dial and a Velcro strap over the tongue that, in theory, should provide a solid closure system. But like the Scott shoes it means that if you struggle faffing about in T1 these might not be an obvious choice for you. With plastic used across the upper in these shoes in many places they feel decidedly cheaper against some of the other premium offerings and equally styling wise they cast a similar shadow the much cheaper and arguably better Shimano TR5’s.
Buy from www.ekoi.fr/en
Specialized Trivent SC
The big boys on the block tipping the cash register at £230. Here you expect the world and for them to be delivered by Unicorns. The SC on Specialized’s Trivent SC shoes stands for ‘short-course’, Lots of rigidity as you would hope and plenty of comfort without the need for any socks. The rigidity can make them a challenge in transition as you battle to wedge your foot into the snug housing. Velcro strap system works extremely well and nothing here to cause anything but pleasure. Buy if you have deep pockets.
Buy from www.tredz.co.uk