In a triathlon, every second matters. Triathlon specific running shoes are built to save you precious time in the transition area. Let’s breakdown some of the features that make up a great tri running shoe. For this, I’ll be looking at the Zoot Men’s TT 7.0.
The last thing you want to do in the middle of a race is fumble around with laces trying to tie your shoes or having a shoe come untied during the run and watch other racers pass you by while you deal with your shoe.
Triathlon specific running shoes feature lacing systems that make securing the shoe simple and fast. These systems typically involve pulling laces and using a lock mechanism to secure the laces in place. Take a look at the shoe above, you’ll see plastic tabs on the ends of the laces that make it easy to grab hold of them. Once you grab them, simply pull until snug, yank up, and you’re laces are locked. It doesn’t get any easier than that.
If you are just starting out in the sport and you aren’t ready to commit to a tri specific running shoe, you can find a variety of quick lacing systems sold separately and convert your regular running shoes. These systems inexpensive and will save you lots of time.
Quick And Easy To Get On
Another time saving feature of tri shoes are loops to assist you with getting the shoes on quickly. What I like about the Zoot shoe shown above is that it has a loop on the heel and the tongue which makes it super quick and easy to get these shoes on. No more stomping or wiggling required to get your shoe all the way on.
If you ever decide to dabble in duathlons these loops also make it easy to get the shoes off prior to hopping on your bike.
Putting on socks is another time buster in the transition area. Especially if your feet are wet or damp coming in off the swim. If you have cycling shoes that can be worn without socks continue the trend with your running shoes. Tri shoes are designed to be worn without socks. They often feature a seamless internal liner and are well ventilated to keep your foot cool and dry on the run. Both features also aide in the prevention of blisters.
I know what you’re probably thinking, “I can wear any running shoe without socks. What makes tri shoes so special?” Try this, put your running shoes on without socks. Now see how comfortable they feel. Do you feel seams rubbing against any part of your foot? Is the shoe snug on your foot? Depending on your shoe, you might be able to get away with it on shorter races, but you could be asking for trouble on longer ones. Like all race day decisions, you should experiment and practice with it prior to race day so you know what to expect.
Triathlon specific running shoes will definitely shave some time off of your next race. In this post we looked at some features of the Zoot Men's TT 7.0. While I try to stay unbiased regarding brands, I will say that Zoot makes a solid shoe and they've been in the game for awhile so they know what they're doing. That said, there are other manufacturers out there with tri shoes in their product lines. Head to your local running or triathlon shop, check them out, and see what works best for you.