Four pairs of the best triathlon-specific running shoes reviewed to help you through T2 quicker
Pearl Izumi Em Tri N 1
£89.99 (279g – UK10)
There’s a real smoothness to running in the N 1 shoes – heel to toe they roll well, offer good comfort, a bit of support where it’s needed and put you in a fast midfoot position for a quick, efficient turnover. They’re speedy in transition too, being easy to slip on. The elastic laces work well to hold the foot, though the large opening means more slippage than some other shoes. The upper is seriously airy and lined throughout for barefoot running.
Inov8 Tri-X-treme 275
£120 (284g – UK10)
The Inov8s were fast to pull on and the elastic laces hold really well without pinching – a Velcro tag stopping bouncing. The neutral footbed and flexible sole means limited support, but they feel fast and comfy. The wide toebox allows good toe spread and there’s a seamless membrane for barefoot friendliness. Ventilation is great and the side of the sole has drainage holes to avoid squelchiness after water stations but without them drawing water up from wet ground.
ZOOT Ultra Race 4.0
£130 (258g – UK9.5)
An easy spot in T2, the Zoots are fast to get into while the BOA closure system works really well with the snug upper to keep feet locked in without constriction. There’s a smooth inner layer making barefoot runs a breeze – they come up small with socks on though. The fairly stiff soles come complete with drainage holes too. The Zoots are seriously fast shoes with decent support, but the ride is a little harsher than the others.
Scott T2 Palani
£100 (247g – UK9.5)
Despite being the most traditional trainers here, the Scotts are the lightest and have a good level of comfort thanks to the company’s Aero Foam. Support is good and the rocker-shaped sole – complete with drainage – encourages a fast turnover. Seams on the inside of the upper mean they’re not as comfortable barefoot as the others though. You’ll have to buy your own laces too – but the Scotts are good value for training and racing.