A triathlon is one of the most thrilling, fulfilling and addicting endurance sports available. However, getting started requires more equipment than when taking up swimming, cycling or running alone. More than anything, triathletes usually need good shoes to compete in the three different parts of triathlons. Read on to find how to shop for the perfect pair of beginner triathlon shoes
Donnie Perri from Runner’s Lab says the initial investment in triathlon gear is a frequent obstacle for people looking to get into the sport. However, the first piece of equipment you should invest in is triathlon shoes. You can work your way toward more gear as you gain more experience in the sport.
This article covers everything you need to get started when choosing the right triathlon shoes, whether you’re on a tight budget or looking to splurge.
Choosing The Right Pair Of Shoes
The final leg of any triathlon requires a solid pair of shoes. Despite their seeming simplicity, choosing the right pair can be a confusing task for beginners due to the plethora of brands and models, each with competing promises of performance and comfort.
Whether you go for bare-bones trainers or a pair loaded with padding, getting one that fits well is crucial. Your feet will expand during the race, so experts recommend trying on footwear late in the day. You can also measure your feet after a long bike ride also works, but doing either gives you an idea of what size your feet will be during the race.
Here are the most important qualities of triathlon shoes you must look for:
- The items must be portable.
- They need to be soft and supple so that you can wear them without socks (if that’s your preference).
- The shoes must be made from a material designed to prevent foot odour.
- It has a pair of speed laces (also known as lock laces) to change into and remove quickly.
- The design of your running shoes should work with your stride.
- The fabric must dry quickly. Your foot might still be moist if you’ve just gotten out of the water.
- Choose shoes with decent grip as you can expect the weather to change throughout the day.
Most importantly, choose the shoes that fit your feet perfectly to avoid injuring yourself during the event.
Choosing The Best Shoes For Each Event
Shoes can be difficult to put on after the swimming event due to excess moisture. Therefore, picking a pair that allows air to circulate easily is a must. Keep in mind that you’ll be running without socks. So choosing a pair of triathlon shoes that fits you like a glove is also something you mustn’t forget.
If your shoes don’t fit, your performance can suffer due to blisters on your feet. However, you can avoid blisters and chafing with a liner. Moreover, most triathletes will likely sport the same gear they use during training. Try jogging without socks while training. Doing this can help you get used to your shoes before the event.
Fortunately, popular, well-known shoe manufacturers often design these styles to represent a wide variety of skill levels, from beginner to expert. Here are the two shoes you need for the event:
Cycling Triathlon Shoes
The primary distinction between your standard cycling and triathlon shoes is that designers and manufacturers design the latter for quick changing. Time is of the essence in triathlons. Designed with input from elite triathletes, these shoes are an excellent fit for an athlete’s unique requirements who put in three times the normal amount of work.
Triathlon cycling shoes are surprisingly easy to wear contrary to popular belief. But here are a few things to remember when you wear them during the event:
- Once you attach the shoe to the pedal, an elastic band will keep the shoe in a horizontal position through a loop at the heel.
- Triathlon cycling shoes have a larger entry through which one’s foot can pass with relative ease.
- A clamping mechanism, often comprised of two Velcro straps or a micrometric wheel, is designed to enable foot insertion and adjustment of the setting throughout the race.
- More airflow means your feet dry more quickly.
- A soft interior that allows you to ride without socks.
Additionally, the added safety features of triathlon-specific cycling shoes are a major plus to help you save time during the event.
Unlike cycling shoes designed for triathlons, there are no specially designed triathlon running shoes on the market for the running event. Running the long distance to the finish line with a pair of running shoes that fit you perfectly can help you avoid injury and finish better. Here are some things to consider while buying shoes for your next triathlon:
- Know your gait (pronator, supinator or neutral/universal).
- Understand your foot’s unique structure
- Ease of putting on, with fewer seams inside for comfort.
If you don’t know your gait or your foot structure, visit a podiatrist. They can help you choose footwear based on your unique characteristics.
The Final Verdict
Finding a pair of running shoes that works for your gait and ensuring proper support and stability are crucial in a triathlon. Moreover, a pair that you can change into quickly in transition can have a greater impact on your overall time. Therefore, you should seek models that you can wear or remove quickly. Consulting professionals can also help you find the right pair for your event.