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Best Triathlon Cycling Shoes 2020 – Ultimate Buyer’s Guide

Triathlon Cycling Shoes

Choosing the right cycling shoes for your triathlon competition is as important as getting the right bike. This is as important as choosing the best entry level triathlon bikes.

Though you can use your road cycling shoes at the triathlon competition for best results you have to wear high-quality cycling shoes made explicitly for a triathlon. Premium-quality triathlon shoes can make your transition, mounts, and dismounts easier during competition. 

13 Top-Rated Triathlon Cycling Shoes in 2020

Best Performance Cycling Shoes for Triathlon

Fizik Transiro Infinito R1 Knit

Fizik Transiro R1 Infinito Knit Black/White - 44
  • Knitted upper: engineered construction for enhanced ventilation and comfort
  • R1 full UD carbon outsole: ultimate stiffness and lightness tuned for maximum power transfer
  • Infinito: advanced volume control of the forefoot area
  • Dynamic Arch Support: customized fit of the plantar arch
  • Volume Control: independent fit adjustment for instep and forefoot

Last update on 2020-08-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

These high-performance cycling shoes by Fizik designed with new knitted upper by using latest technologies. These are made to give the perfect combination of stiffness and race-specific features. 

These shoes offer the best level of comfort to your feet by allowing them to slide in and out of the shoes easily. 

The main feature of these shoes is their knitter upper created with the use of best electric knitting machine that has changed the knitting pattern. 

The main reason for making these distinct knitting patterns is that they create vents and mesh openings. And that makes these shoes more breathable that helps in coping with swelling during a bike ride.

There will be no discomfort or trouble of yarn absorbing water due to water-repellent treatment. Also, to bring a higher level of performance, these shoes have heat-fused PU. The design of these shoes is made to keep the weight down while creating an optimal level of ventilation. 

Plus, to offer a more precise fit while securing your heel, these shoes also have Boa Dials. The shoes’ upper and forefront area features proper volume control that can eliminate all the problems with pressure points. 

To offer more stiffness and allow the athletes to transfer maximum power, the outsole of this shoe made from unidirectional carbon fiber. 

Most of the athletes who have bought these shoes always say they feel more comfort and better transfer than any other shoes. 

Finally, these shoes are perfect for sensitive feet. The knitter upper and Dynamic Arch Support provides comfort and support to the feet without squeezing them.


PROS

  • These shoes offer the precise fit with its Boa Dials feature.
  • These are very lightweight as the outsole made of carbon fiber.
  • These shoes are highly breathable and comfortable because of its knitted upper.

CONS

  • The knitted mesh absorbs water when you have drenched feet.

Specialized S-Works Trivent Shoes

Best Triathlon Cycling Shoes

These shoes are designed to make bike riders capable of achieving their goals even if a second can set them apart from podium placing. 

These are the highly-engineered shoes that come with Tri-Specific Drawbridge closure system. This system designed for making in and out during transition easier. 

For making flying mounts easier, these shoes also feature heel loop.

Features

These shoes made with an inner lining that helps a lot with sockless riding.

To promote ventilation and to keep the feet dry after the swim, these shoes also feature open tongue.

These shoes are made with water-resistant Micromatrix upper to provide extra support to toes and fee.

For making the shoes stiff, these shoes made with unidirectional carbon fiber, high modulus, and TorsionBox construction. 

Also, the manufacturers offer replaceable heel hugs and a three-bolt cleat. With this, you can get the maximum benefit of your shoes as there will be no need to change the pedals. Here is a Guide On Cycling Cleats & Pedal.

In case the closure system breaks, there is no need to buy a new pair of shoes, as the lifetime guarantee backs the Boa Dials. 

Most of the users of these shoes feel that they offer the right level of breathability and also allow better drainage of water. However, during cold weather, the extra level of breathability can make your feet cold. 

The rubber heel makes the shoes more comfortable. 

These shoes are recommended for those athletes who want to master the flying mount and dismount. The heel loops, launch clip, and Drawbridge closure system of these shoes help to fly into them very quickly.


PROS

  • These shoes are very easy to in and out during the transition phase.
  • These shoes offer the right level of breathability.
  • These shoes are very comfortable and lightweight as well.
  • These shoes have best-quality sole and arch support.

CONS

  • These shoes can make you feel quite cool during cold weather.
  • You have to buy a size bigger than usual as these shoe sizes run small.

Pearl Izumi Tri PRO V3

Sale
Pearl iZUMi Tri Fly Pro V3, Lime Punch/Black, 39.0
  • 1:1 Anatomic Tri Closure eliminates hot spots and removes pressure from your forefoot (patent pending)
  • Advanced 3-Layer Seamless Composite Upper oFULL FINGERers exceptional breathability and eliminates hot spots by adapting to your unique foot shape
  • Unibody construction eliminates traditional lasting board to deliver super low 5mm stack height for maximum pedaling eFULL FINGERiciency
  • 1:1 Integrated Carbon Power Plate delivers feather-light stiFULL FINGERness (stiFULL FINGERness rating of 13)
  • Dual density EVA insole provides excellent longitudinal and transverse arch support

Last update on 2020-08-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

These shoes are very lightweight and stiff as well that offer an optimal level of breathability while enhancing performance level. 

Its closure system is very beneficial for flying mounts as it comes with precise Velcro straps. For making adjustability easier, the heel loop of these shoes is made to be off-center. 

These shoes feature an integrated Carbon Power Plate that offers a high level of stiffness. 

For making the shoes entirely comfortable and to reduce the hot spots, these are made with Advanced 3-Layer Seamless Composite Upper. 

These shoes perfect for those athletes who are looking for lightweight shoes. 


PROS

  • These shoes are perfectly visible in the fog.
  • These shoes feel very light on the feet.
  • You can easily adjust them on the bike with an off-centered heel loop.

CONS

  • The insole of these shoes is quite flimsy.

Triathlon Cycling Shoes that Offers Best Value for Money 

LG X-Lite II Triathlon Shoes

Louis Garneau, Men's Tri X-Lite Triathlon 2 Bike Shoes, Black/Bright Yellow, US (11.75), EU (46.5)
  • Upper Material: synthetic leather
  • Closure: 2 hook-and-loops straps
  • Footbed: CoolMax Ergo Air
  • Sole: carbon composite
  • Cleat Compatibility: 3-bolt

Last update on 2020-08-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

These shoes have with loose fasteners, stronger hook, and stiffer outsole that work well during a long ride. These shoes provide a right level of comfort to feet as these have up-to-date ergonomics. 

These shoes offer better power transfer and arch support as than others as these have patented Power Zone. These shoes feature with “Racer Fit” of LG that will help to keep you more centered. 

Also, these shoes have a loop strap, and puller and retention hook to improve the transition time. 

 The upper of the shoe is made of seamless PU leather and mesh to avoid hot pressure points.

To provide a right level of ventilation and to prevent over-sweet, the outsole of these shoes made of Patented Carbon Air Lite. 

Also, to protect toes from blistering, the toe box is made from synthetic leather, which is a highly durable material. 

Finally, for offering quick and smooth transition, these shoes come with closure system of loop strap and double hook. 

Most of the athletes who have bought these shoes say that these are good for beginner-level triathletes. 

These shoes recommended for the first and second session of racing. Though they are not a competitive one, they will do the job correctly.


PROS

  • These are very affordable shoes.
  • These shoes are easily visible on the road as these shoes made of bright color.
  • They provide high-level of comfort to feet.

CONS

  • These are not very stiff.
  • Athletes with wide feet can get cramped toe during long bike rides.

Fizik Transiro Infinito R3

Last update on 2020-08-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

This pair of shoes specially designed for combining outsole with a quick foot in and out. 

This shoe comes with one Boa Dial and straps for its closure system that provides extra support. 

These shoes also offer the right level of ventilation and breathability. Plus, to allow better transfer of power to the pedals, these shoes are made with PU lamination at some particular areas. 

The best feature of these shoes is its volume control system that offers more support to your feet. 

This system made with the perfect combination of Powerstrap and Boa Dial that offers speedy closure and ideal fit. 

To make the transition faster, you can easily lock the Powerstrap in the open position. Finally, for best power transfer, the outsole of the shoe is made of stiff unidirectional carbon. 

Most of the athletes who have bought this pair of shoes get great benefits from its Powerstrap and Volume Control System. 

These are perfect shoes that offer quick and precise fit.


PROS

  • These shoes make practice and flying mounts quite more comfortable as they come with Powerstrap and rubberized heels.
  • These shoes allow more power transfer with their stiff outsole.

CONS

  • These shoes can make your feet cold as they offer extra ventilation.

Pearl Izumi Tri Fly Elite V6

Sale
PEARL iZUMi Men's Tri Fly Elite v6, White/Black, 39.0
  • 1:1 Anatomic Tri Closure eliminates hot spots and removes pressure from your forefoot
  • Unibody construction eliminates traditional lasting board to deliver super low 5mm stack height for maximum pedaling efficiency
  • Advanced 3-Layer Seamless Composite Upper offers exceptional breathability and eliminates hot spots by adapting to your unique foot shape
  • 1:1 Integrated Carbon Power Plate delivers feather-light stiffness
  • Dual density EVA insole provides excellent longitudinal and transverse arch support.

Last update on 2020-08-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Pearl Izumi has become one of the largest manufacturers of bicycles in the world. It has gained immense recognition and reputation by offering high-quality products. Though the company provides top-quality products in the market, still their price is quite less than other big brands. 

Perfect Fit

The most important thing that matters a lot when choosing a pair of triathlon shoes is its right fit. The right fit is essential for performing well in all the legs of the race. Mainly, during the long-distance race, the perfect fit of shoes help in preventing soreness and discomfort. The number of seams is very less in the shoe as they made with unibody construction. 

The best thing is that these shoes made of 1:1 Anatomical Tri Closure that helps in preventing foot fatigue and blisters during the race. 

Powerful Transfer of Energy 

Another highly important thing to consider is that a good-quality pair of shoes must allow better transfer of power to the pedal. The outer sole of these shoes made of Carbon Power Plate that helps in providing a higher level of stiffness. These also offer a right level of comfort as the insole of these shoes made of thick dual density EVA. The perfect fit of this pair of shoes helps in boosting the transfer of power.


PROS

  • These shoes come with 1:1 Anatomic Tri Closure.
  • These shoes made with unibody construction and carbon power plate.
  • These shoes have an oversized and offset heel loop.
  • They come with replaceable heel bumper.

CONS

  • These are quite expensive shoes.
  • These are very heavy in weight.

Mavic Cosmic Ultimate

Last update on 2020-08-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Mavic is also a highly reputed company that is well-recognized for offering high-quality biking equipment, but it commenced its journey as a pedal manufacturer. Though this brand not dedicated to triathlon, it does offer some of the most significant innovations in the shoe market. This company understands the need for marathon cycling shoes as it manufactures shoes for racers of the Tour de France. 

Better Energy Transfer 

The better transfer of power to the pedals is the essential factor for both triathlon cycling and marathon cycling competition. These shoes offer the best transfer of control as they have a rating of 100 on the energy transfer index. For each push, you will get more power than any other shoes available in the market. 

Insole and Outsole

The main reason behind the best transfer of power or energy of these shoes is the use of multiple technologies and construction methods. The outsole made of Carbon SLR that allows better energy transfer and stiffness. However, these shoes are not optimal for every triathlon player as these the stiffest shoes on our list.


PROS

  • These shoes are very lightweight and breathable.
  • They come with Ergo Tri-Strap.
  • They have a 100 Index Energy Transfer.
  • These shoes also offer Energy Lock Carbon Comp.
  • These also have an Ortholite insole.

CONS

  • Costly triathlon shoes.
  • These are quite stiff shoes.

 Sidi T-4 Air Carbon

Sidi T-4 AIR White/Black 45.0
  • TWELVE Carbon Composite Sole: 3k weave Carbon Fiber Insert/Injected Carbon Fiber reduces weight without sacrificing stiffness and efficiency
  • AIR-perforated Triatholon-specific Politex upper with plush, brushed interior and minimal seams for sock-free comfort; Perforated for air low and water drainage
  • Notched top strap opens away from drive train; Large heel loop for fast transitions
  • External, reinforced heel cup for superior fit and power transfer; won’t break down over time; Replaceable heel pad

Last update on 2020-08-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

This company manufactures cycling equipment, especially for mounting sports competitions.  This company also holds an excellent history and working correctly from the last 60 years. In the current time, the SIDI manufactures high-grade biking gear in a wide range. Mainly, this brand manufactures both motorcycle and bicycle equipment. 

Barefoot Racing

Most of the triathlon athletes like to wear shoes without socks, and this is the essential thing that needs to consider while buying shoes. Thus, the manufacturers of SIDI have designed these shoes to avoid rubbing and seams so that it does not damage your feet when you wear them without socks. The internal design of the shoes made with a brushed finish that helps in avoiding the creation of hotspots while offers soft touch. Moreover, to provide the best level of ventilation, these shoes are made with perforated design. Finally, to prevent rubbing against the skin, these shoes are made with tongueless design. 

Best Materials

These SIDI shoes are made of excellent materials as these shoes have carbon in almost every part. The outsole made from the subtle mix of nylon and carbon, which is the most crucial part of shoes. The carbon makes these shoes more durable, and nylon offers excellent water resistance. Moreover, carbon also helps in increasing power transfer and stiffness as well. Also, the upper part of these shoes made of Politex. This helps in increasing the durability and tensile strength without creating any hindrance in the breathability and without increasing the weight.


PROS

  • The heel pad of this shoe is replaceable.
  • These shoes have a polyurethane heel pad, which is replaceable.
  • They also have PVC insole.
  • These shoes have a tongueless and brushed interior.
  • They also have SIDI heel cup and Politex upper.

CONS

  • These are the most substantial triathlon shoes.

 Scott Tri Carbon

Scott Sports Mens Tri Carbon Triathlon Cycling Shoe - 242135-4755 (Black/neon Yellow - 44.0)
  • Upper Material: microfiber, 3D nylon airmesh
  • Closure: BOA IP1, hook-and-loop strap
  • Footbed: Adjustable ErgoLogic removable insole
  • Sole: HMX Carbon
  • Cleat Compatibility: 3-bolt road

Last update on 2020-08-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Scott Tri Carbon is the one company on our list that’s not specialized in creating cycling products. Scott is a manufacturer of innovative ski poles, but now it has started making other equipment as well including triathlon equipment. 

Different Closure 

There is a quite difference between the Scott triathlon shoes and other shoes of different brands manufactured in this list. These are the only shoes on our review list that comes with BOA IP1 closure. Also, these are very lightweight shoes and come with durable laces that allow precise and quick adjustments. This means you can quickly make the shoes tight and loose to get the best fit. This type of closure offers the easiest way to put shoes in and out. These shoes can and quickly fall off your feet with just the press of a button. 

Insole and Outsole

This brand does not only specialize in triathlon shoes but also offers the best insole and outsole for the quality ride. These shoes provide the stiffness of index 9 with the use of HMX Carbon outsole. However, these shoes offer the least stiffness level as compared to other shoes on this list. Thus, there would be no issue of foot fatigue and blistering. Moreover, these shoes offer customized fit as these have ErgoLogic insole.


PROS

  • These shoes are made with wrap fit technology.
  • These are available at a very affordable price.
  • The upper of these shoes have 3D nylon air mesh.
  • These shoes come with hook and loop strap.
  • They also have ErgoLogic insole.

CONS

  • These shoes are quite challenging to put on.
  • These shoes run a bit small in size.

Most Suitable Triathlon Shoes for Beginners

Louis Garneau Tri X-Speed 3

Last update on 2020-08-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Louis is a company with experience of only four decades, and it is effectively manufacturing the best quality products for the professionals. This is because it is mainly focused on creating cycling equipment. Moreover, the founder of this company is a Gold Medal Olympic cyclist. Thus, he understands the deep technicalities and needs of triathlon sport. 

Larger Net

An excellent and well-renowned always enter into the budget market to make buyers to pay more for quality equipment. This brand always attracts both beginner and professional cyclists by offers amazing deals on high-end gear. These are highly compatible shoes that you can use with pedals of many different sizes. 

Secure Fit

The most important thing that you should consider when buying a triathlon cycling shoes is that offers quality and secure fit. These shoes provide the most reliable and perfect fit for the athletes. 

However, these shoes usually run large, and thus, you have to find the right fit for your feet carefully. The main thing behind their perfect fit is STD FIT and HRS-80 heel cup. These help in preventing the shoes from moving at your heel and forefoot. Also, these shoes come with reversed Velcro closure that helps in their better adjustment.


PROS

  • These are very affordable, triathlon cycling shoes.
  • These shoes use reversed Velcro.
  • These shoes feature the Power Zone design.
  • They are highly compatible with the pedal.
  • The upper is made of synthetic leather.

CONS

  • These shoes create a pressure point.
  • The size of these shoes runs large.

Mavic Cosmic Elite Triathlon Shoe

Mavic Cosmic Elite Tri Cycling Shoe - Men's
  • Details:Mesh Upper with quick drying materialEnergy Comp Outsole: Fiber Glass and Nylon for stiffnessErgo Fit 3D Ortholite InsoleErgo Tri Strap will cut your transition times down

Last update on 2020-07-25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

These shoes offer a higher level of flexibility as compared to other shoes mentioned in this review guide. This is because these shoes are not made of carbon and feature mesh upper along with over-sized heel loop. 

The main factor of these shoes is their Energy Comp Outsole that helps in keeping the sole near the pedal. This helps in boosting the efficiency of the pedal as there is no barrier. 

These shoes are made of Ortholite and Synthetic microfiber that can quickly adapt to the shape of feet. 

You can easily adjust the shoes with its more full strap during the transition phase. 

These shoes recommended for experienced athletes. Plus, these are also suitable for short-course triathletes as these are very thin shoes. 


PROS

  • These are perfectly designed shoes that help to give the best performance.
  • These shoes are very comfortable to wear both with and without socks.
  • These are very easy to put on and take off.
  • The outsole of these shoes is very stiff.
  • These shoes are easily visible on the road.

CONS

  • These shoes can cause soreness during a long ride because these are very thin.

Fizik Transiro Infinito 4

Fizik Men's Transiro Powerstrap R4 Triathlon Cycling Shoes - Black/White (Black/White - 44.5)
  • Upper Material: Microtex, mesh
  • Closure: hook-and-loop Powerstrap
  • Sole: carbon injected nylon
  • Cleat Compatibility: 3-bolt
  • Claimed Weight: [size 42] 508g

Last update on 2020-08-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

These shoes designed for short-distance triathletes. These shoes come with 4 Velcro straps that help in tightening that makes it very easy to wear the shoes quickly.  The Powerstrap of these shoes is very easy to pull and give your feet a secure fit. 

These shoes are also perfect for flying mounts as these shoes offer easy slide of the foot into shoes by their Powerstrap that can lock into the wide-open position. 

These shoes will also keep your feet cool during long rides, and hot weather as the upper made of Microtex and mesh. 

The outsole of this pair of shoes is moderately stiff than other shoes mentioned on this list. These shoes will help to transfer more power while providing an optimal level of comfort as the outsole made of carbon injected nylon. 

These shoes are perfect for beginner triathletes and for learning flying mounts as well. 

These shoes are recommended for beginners and for those who find Boa Dials use difficult.


PROS

  • These shoes have a wide-open position of Powerstrap that helps a lot with flying mounts.
  • These shoes are effortless to set on the pedals due to their rubberized heel straps.
  • They also offer the right level of ventilation along with stiff outsole.

CONS

  • Their Velcro straps are not much precise.

Shimano TR9

SHIMANO SH-TR9 Cycling Shoe - Men's Blue; 45
  • Asymmetrical heel loop makes it easier to get your finger through the loop to quickly secure the shoe during transitions
  • 3d breathable mesh for optimal ventilation
  • Anatomical toe cap with air intake maintains rigidity and breathability
  • Lightweight; super-stiff carbon fiber composite sole efficiently transfers power
  • Dual density cup insole

Last update on 2020-08-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Shimano is not specifically a triathlon shoe manufacturing company; instead it is specialized in manufacturing gear for sports. The main focus of this company is a bicycle and fishing reels. However, this brand is also well-recognized for offering precise and most durable cycling shoes for a triathlon. 

Endurance Level 

When choosing a triathlon cycling shoes, it should always be optimal for covering all your particular needs. However, the most important thing to consider is its ability to stand firm during most robust races.no matter what type of shoe or any other gear you use; it always has to undergo the severe conditions of great competitions. The Shimano TR9 shoes are perfectly capable of withstanding the harsh conditions as the outsole of these shoes is made of Dynalast carbon. Also, the proper air vents help in providing the optimal level of ventilation. 

Quick Transitions

There are always chances that you have to change the triathlon shoes between the different legs of the competition. No matter when you have to change your shoes, there are always a few things that make it quite difficult for everyone to quickly alter the shoes during the transition. 

Keeping in mind all those difficulties, the manufacturers of these shoes added some different features that make the transition quick and more comfortable. These shoes come with T1-Quick strap closure that helps in tightening and loosening the shoes effortless and fast.


PROS

  • These shoes have T1-Quick strap and air intake vents.
  • These also have hook and loop forefoot strap.
  • They come with full cleat adjustments.
  • They have Dynalast carbon sole.
  • The upper has 3D mesh.

CONS

  • These are heavy shoes than others.
  • The straps of these shoes are quite uncomfortable.

Buyer’s Guide to Buy Best Triathlon Cycling Shoes

Buyer’s Guide to Buy Best Triathlon Cycling Shoes

These are some of the essential features that you must look in triathlon shoes. 

Heel Loop

The heel loop is a handy feature as it helps in quickly getting into shoes. This feature is also beneficial in doing flying mounts in a better way. 

Bumpers 

Bumpers are essential to protect the sole from damage during the run and placed on the toe and heel part of the triathlon cycling shoes. 

Comfort 

All good-quality triathlon shoes always come with additional cushioning that in preventing blisters and irritation in feet. Make sure that the shoes will not create any discomfort as it will put an adverse effect on your performance. Choose the shoes which are not too tight as tight shoes usually cause blisters on the feet. Moreover, the proper level of ventilation is also essential to keep feet cool. 

Fit 

The perfect fit of the triathlon cycling shoes is the most important thing to consider while buying. It is essential to get the perfect fit as if the fit is not right; then it can put an adverse effect on your race. 

In most of the cases, when athletes wear large and tight shoes, they get blisters on their feet. Also, tight shoes cause more fatigue in your shoes. This is because the large shoes have enough space inside that makes your foot skin rub against the inner shoe wall. 

Thus, make sure to choose the shoes depending upon the leg of your competition. The need for a shoe for every leg is different, and you should always choose them carefully to avoid swelling after swim or blisters after cycling. 

Outsole

The main factor that plays a vital role in increasing your efficiency in the cycling race is the outsole of shoes. Just make sure that it is quite stiff and helps in optimal transfer of power to pedal. Also, the plate should be lightweight to prevent fatigue.

Conclusion

The choice of triathlon shoes depends upon the needs of different athletes. Some athletes can invest in high-end shoes, whereas others look for shoes under budget. 

However, in our opinion, the Fizik Transiro Infinito R1 and S-Works are the perfect shoes in the market right now. Both these shoes offer the best benefits that most of the other brands do not provide. If you do not want to spend heavy on shoes, then go for Pearl Izumi Men’s TRI Fly Elite V6. 

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