What about triathlon racing cycling shoes?
While you can use your road cycling shoes for triathlons, racing shoes focus on getting you in and out of transition quickly.
If you’re not willing to do cartwheels to slice seconds or even minutes off your transition times, then cycling shoes will make it easy for you. A pair of nice triathlon cycling shoes make transitions easier, mounts and dismounts more comfortable, and possibly the key to your next PR!
The Top 13 Triathlon Cycling Shoes in 2020
|Fizik Transiro Infinito R1 (Editor’s Choice)||251 g||SPD-SL|
|Specialized S-Works Trivent||280 g||SPD-SL|
|Pearl iZUMi PRO V3||225 g||SPD/SPD-SL|
|LG X-Lite II (Editor's Choice)||235 g||SPD-SL|
|Fizik Transiro Infinito R3||238 g||SPD-SL|
|Pearl iZUMi Tri Fly Elite v6||255 g||SPD/SPD-SL|
|Mavic Cosmic Ultimate||240 g||SDP-SL|
|Sidi T-4 Air Carbon||275 g||SDP-SL|
|Scott Tri Carbon||250 g||SPD-SL|
|Louis Garneau Tri X-Speed 3 (Best Buy)||272 g||SDP-SL|
|Mavic Cosmic Elite Tri||295 g||SPD-SL|
|Fizik Transiro Infinito 4||253 g||SPD-SL|
|Shimano TR9||275 g||SDP-SL|
Best Performance Triathlon Cycling Shoes
1. Fizik Transiro Infinito R1 Knit
The design team created the team to combine stiffness and race-specific features with the comforts of a road cycling shoe.
A shoe that allows the foot to slide in and out comfortably, optimal-level stiffness, and the best comfort to ride without socks.
The top comfort feature is the knitted upper which is created with electric knitting machines so it precisely loops the yarn on the needles and the knitting patterns can seamlessly be changed.
The different knitting patterns create distinct functional areas that create vents and mesh openings for breathability and comfort when your feet swell during the bike leg.
If you’re concerned about the yarn absorbing water, don’t worry!
The yarn will go through water-repellent treatment while the shoe is being created. Doesn’t matter if you’re feet are sopping wet, you won’t experience discomfort on the bike and transition into the run.
To make sure you transfer the most power to the pedals, specific areas of the shoe’s heat-fused PU have additional support. These areas are where you need it the most such as the toe box and arch. This design not only gives you power to the pedals but also keeps the shoe’s weight down and ventilated.
The shoe has two Boa Dials that act independently so that you can get the most precise fit as possible. It also may help if you often secure your heel in the shoe and then constrict your toes.
The shoe’s upper and forefoot area, it was made with highly engineered volume control, which helps balance the tension. This might help if you have problems with pressure points while riding. It can help eliminate them and save your feet for the run.
The closure system complements the Infinito technology in the previous paragraph. The boa dials pull the eyestays inward consistently so that you have a more comfortable fit on your feet.
The Dynamic Arch Support is adjusted with its own boa dial so that you get a customized fit for your plantar arch.
The outsole is made from unidirectional carbon fiber, which makes the sole extremely stiff and gives you the maximal power transfer.
Cyclists who have bought the shoes say that it is comfortable on their feet and really helps give them put as much power from their leg muscles to the pedals. The two boa dials are a plus but if you aren’t used to it, it can be a hassle to adjust two in the heat of T1.
Be warned that these shoes are very stiff and it may take a handful of rides for you to get used to them.
Overall, I’d recommend this shoe for those who have sensitive feet. The knitted upper relaxes the shoe and the Dynamic Arch Support evenly tightens and supports your feet without squeezing them.
Although there are a few features that make the shoe more comfortable, it doesn’t compromise its stiffness. The shoe comes with a Fizik stiffness reputation so you can be assured that you’ll get the optimal power transfer from your legs to the pedals.
2. Specialized S-Works Trivent Triathlon Shoes
For this shoe, Specialized put a lot of thought to make it one of the most highly-engineered triathlon shoe on the market.
The shoe’s best feature is the Tri-Specific Drawbridge closure system, which leaves the heel open for easy entry and exit in the transition area. If you have a hard time getting in and out of your shoes in transition this might make it easier for.
Of course, the shoe has a heel loop so you can slip the shoe on even faster and make the flying mounts more seamless.
The Launch Clip forces the shoe into a level position, which helps you when you set up your bike for a flying mount before the race starts.
To keep your feet dry and comfortable during the bike ride, the shoe has these features:
• Internal lining specifically designed for sockless riding.
• Open tongue to help dry your feet after the swim and helps ventilate the shoe during the middle of the bike.
• Water-resistant Micromatrix upper for additional support for your toes and the top of your foot.
To keep the shoes stiff and supportive Specialized’s patented FACT 12.0 carbon sole uses high modulus, unidirectional carbon fiber and TorsionBox construction. This gives you the stiffness you need so you can be sure that all your leg power is going into your pedals.
Specialized wants you to get the most from your shoes, so they give you replaceable heel hugs and a three-bolt cleat pattern so you don’t have to change your pedals.
The Boa Dials also is backed by the patented Boa Lifetime Guarantee so you won’t have to buy new shoes if the closure system breaks.
Triathletes who have bought these shoes really like the breathability the shoe gives them and it helps “drain” water after the swim. Some have complained that on colder race races the extra breathability causes their feet to feel chilled.
The heel has some rubber and triathletes said it makes it more comfortable to run in it and it helps the shoe last longer!
I’d recommend this shoe if you’re trying to master the flying mount and dismount or simply want to get your shoes on faster during T1. The Drawbridge closure system, heel loops, and Launch Clip will help you fly into those shoes and onto the bike course. The shoes’ stiffness is optimal so you can put the most power in your pedals. The only drawback is the sizing of the shoe so I urge you to try them on in-stores.
3. Pearl iZumi Tri Fly PRO V3
The Tri Fly PRO V3 surpasses the earlier models (Tri Fly Octane and Tri Fly Carbon) as the company’s top triathlon racing shoe. It’s light on your feet and stiff for the optimal power transfer for the best performance and breathability.
The closure system has precise Velcro straps that have the option for a “wide open” position. This would be especially helpful if you do flying mounts. And, the heel loop is designed to be off-center so it’s easier for you to adjust even after you’ve mounted the bike.
The shoe was designed to have the highest stiffness rating (13) so the team used Integrated Carbon Power Plate for the shoe’s outsole.
Don’t worry the shoe is still comfortable, it has an Advanced 3-Layer Seamless Composite Upper (patented) and 1:1 Anatomic Tri Closure which helps the shoe breath, reduces hot spots and adapts to your unique foot shape.
For your long rides, your feel will stay supported with its Dual Density EVA insole, which gives you longitudinal and traverse arch support.
I’d recommend these shoes to any veteran triathlete who wants a light pair to race and train in. The outsole is stiff and you can be sure that all your power to going to the pedals.
Best Value for Money Triathlon Cycling Shoes
1. LG X-Lite II Triathlon Shoes
The new shoes have up-to-date ergonomics so that your feet stay comfortable and just focus on becoming faster on the bike.
If you liked the first model of this series, don’t worry it still is designed with comfort in mind.
The shoe’s patented Power Zone has even better arch support and power transfer than its predecessor so your feet can feel secure and transfer as much power to the pedals.
LG’s “Racer Fit” shapes the shoe so that it reduces stack height to the pedal. Makes your feet more centered on the pedal without causing your feet to become sore.
To help your transition times improve, the shoes have a special puller and retention hook and loop strap at the main strap. This helps if you need to set your shoes on the pedals for a flying mount.
The shoe’s upper is made from seamless PU leather and mesh to keep your feet comfortable and provides comfort without causing hot pressure points.
The design team used Patented Carbon Air Lite for the outsole. This makes it very ventilated and your feet won’t over-sweat on your hot summer rides.
The insole is made from patented CoolMax, which is a moisture wicking material so your feet won’t feel wet after the swim. It’s also breathable and keeps the sole ventilated.
The shoe’s toe box is made from synthetic leather to protect your toes from forming blisters. Synthetic leather is a durable material and it won’t cause toe collapse.
To help make the shoes last longer, it comes with an interchangeable Ergo Air insoles. And, if your bumper falls off, you can easily replace it if you know the reference number.
Finally, for the closure system, the shoe has a double hook and loop strap for an easy and quick transition to the bike.
People who have bought the shoes say that it’s an all-around good shoe for a beginner-level triathlete. There is just enough support to get you through your first few seasons and the stiffness level won’t bother you. After these wear out, you might want to upgrade to a stiffer shoe.
I’d recommend this shoe if you’re going into your first or second season of racing. The shoe will hold up nicely and will “get the job done”, but it’s not a highly competitive one. After, I’d suggest that you look into a shoe with a stiffer sole.
2. Fizik Transiro Infinito R3
Unlike the R1, the R3 has only one Boa Dial for its closure system along with strap at the front of the tongue for extra support and security.
The shoe’s upper is made of a highly ventilated and breathable mesh that supports your feet. The finish the upper, it has a PU lamination on specific areas so that you transfer efficiently all your strength to the pedals.
The shoe’s best feature, and sets it apart from the R1, is its Volume Control System, which lets you adjust the forefoot and instep areas of your foot. This gives you more support and keeps your feet in place while you pedal away.
The Volume Control System is a combination of the Boa Dial and the Powerstrap, which is ideal for any length triathlon. First, the Powerstrap gives you a speedy yet secure closure while the Boa Dials give precision for the perfect fit.
The Infinito feature controls the volume of the forefoot area with its textile webbing, which helps balance out tension and reduces pressure hot spots.
The Boa Dials work a little differently than other shoes. The closure system controls the majority of the upper area. The dials pull evenly the eyestays inwards to make your keep more comfortable and secure during your ride.
The Powerstrap can easily be locked in the open position to make transitions even faster. If you do flying mounts, the heel has rubberized loops to help set-up your shoes on the pedals.
Finally, the stiff unidirectional carbon outsole gives you the best power transfer and this version of the Infinito series has extra wide ventilation cut outs.
Triathletes who have bought the shoe, really like the Powestrap and Volume Control System. They say it makes it easy and fast to get the shoes on and still get a precise fit, even with seconds to spare. The shoes are comfortable on the feet, but the extra ventilation can make it chilly on colder training and race days.
I’d recommend this shoe to those who don’t need as many technologies as the R1 but still like the Fizik Infinito series. You get the same quality of the series but with a simpler set up to get in and out of transition faster.
If you want to learn or perfect the flying mount, these shoes could help you get the hang out it. The shoes are made specifically so that you can easily set your shoes on the pedals and the rubber loops help slide your feet into the shoes.
The shoes also make it easy to get a quick and precise fit in transition. With enough practice, you can master getting your shoes on and fitted quickly. The technologies are there, you just need to learn how to take advantage of them.
3. Pearl iZUMi Tri Fly Elite v6
Out of all the companies on our list, few have as inauspicious founding as Pearl iZUMi, though the quaint origins highlight a dedication that few other companies can claim. While these days Pearl iZUMi may be one of the bigger bicycle manufacturers around with an incredibly well-respected and well-earned reputation but it began with a delivery man simply wanting an easier way to do his job in the 1950s. As such, that philosophy has infused everything that Pearl iZUMi does which leads to products that are often at the top of their market but with prices that are significantly less than some of their highest-end and most prestigious competitors.
A Great Fit
Solid Energy Transfer
With the fit covered, the next most important thing to consider is how well the triathlon cycling shoes transfer the energy from your foot to the pedal. Generally, this is determined primarily by the outer sole as the Pearl iZUMi Tri Fly Elite v6 triathlon cycling shoes feature the Carbon Power Plate which has a stiffness rating of 13. The incredible stiffness provided by the Carbon Power Plate does not impede on the Pearl iZUMi Tri Fly Elite v6 triathlon cycling shoes’ comfort with the inclusion of a thick dual density EVA insole. Keep in mind, the incredible fit of the Pearl iZUMi Tri Fly Elite v6 triathlon cycling shoes also increases the energy transfer, so the 3-layer composite upper that eventually molds to the shape of your foot also boosts this as well.
4. Mavic Cosmic Ultimate
Mavic is definitely an interesting company on our list primarily due to the fact that while this brand may currently specialize in biking equipment, it actually started as simply a pedal manufacturer. That said, even with its current focus, Mavis is not truly dedicated to triathlons the way that some other brands may be, but they do have an impressive history and reputations that allow them to put forth some of the biggest innovations in the triathlon cycling shoe market. Keep in mind that Mavic is a company which manufactures shoes for racers of the Tour de France, meaning that they understand what it takes to make a marathon cycling shoe.
Great Energy Transfer
Whether you are simply competing in a marathon cycling competition or running the cycling leg of a triathlon, the primary need for your cycling shoes remains the same: transfer as much energy from your pedaling legs as possible, so you can conserve energy, put on the jets if you need to, a finish that leg of the race quicker.
Easily one of the best things about the Mavic Cosmic Universe triathlon cycling shoes is because they provide by far one of the best energy transfers that we saw with a rating of 100 on the energy transfer index. This means that you will get more energy from each push of the pedals than you would from virtually any other triathlon cycling shoes that we saw and certainly more than others that we reviewed, regardless of the gender.
Insole and Outsole
A big reason that the Mavic Cosmic Universe triathlon cycling shoes can deliver the kind of energy transfer numbers that it can is due to the various technologies and materials used in the construction of the different soles. For instance, the outsole of the Mavic Cosmic Universe triathlon cycling shoes, the sole that often determines the overall stiffness and energy transfer of the triathlon cycling shoe, is made out of Carbon SLR that provides the incredible stiffness which fosters the high energy transfer index. That said, it is worth noting that this may not be ideal for all people as this is by far one of the stiffest triathlon cycling shoes that we saw and could be uncomfortable for some people, especially if the cycling leg comes second or third.
5. Sidi T-4 Air Carbon
As a company, SIDI is fairly similar to some of the other companies that we reviewed in that it specializes in cycling equipment with a niche focus on mountain sporting competitions. On top of that, SIDI also has a fairly impressive history that stretches back nearly 60 years and does at least have its founding in footwear. These days, SIDI does still specialize in biking gear, though they have definitely expanded the commonly used definition of that term. Specifically, SIDI manufacturers both traditional bicycle equipment as well as motorcycle equipment. Regardless, SIDI’s dedication to footwear of all stripes has paid off dividends.
From top to bottom, inside and out, front to back, the SIDI T-4 Air Carbon triathlon cycling shoes found a way to incorporate carbon into virtually every part of these triathlon cycling shoes. For instance, the outsole, arguably the most important part of a pair of triathlon cycling shoes, is made from a combination of nylon and carbon. The nylon is used to provide water resistance without increasing the weight while the carbon provides durability as well as increased stiffness to help increase your energy transfer index. Beyond the outsole, the SIDI T-4 Air Carbon triathlon cycling shoes also feature an upper made of Politex, a proprietary material that features a unique manufacturing process that layers fabrics and plastics in such a way as to dramatically increase the tensile strength and durability without increasing the weight or restricting breathability.
6. Scott Tri Carbon
Scott Sports is definitely unusual to make an appearance on our list because this company is one of the few that we reviewed which did not begin specializing in cycling products in some fashion and never has. In fact, Scott Sports actually originated as a manufacturer of innovative ski poles, though they have expanded into a number of different sports equipment markets, including, of course, triathlon equipment. That said, Scott Sports definitely does not accommodate all of the particular nuances of triathlon cycling events, something that they seem to be acutely aware of.
A Unique Closure
Insole and Outsole
One thing that is a bit interesting considering that Scott Sports does not actually specialize in triathlon cycling shoes is that they specialized the insole and the outsole, both of which provide focused benefits to different qualities of the ride. For instance, the Scott Sports Tri Carbon triathlon cycling shoes have an HMX Carbon outsole that provides a stiffness index of 9. Though, this actually makes the Scott Sports Tri Carbon triathlon cycling shoes the least stiff that we reviewed which can affect the energy transfer index. That said, a big part of the reason that Scott Sports is less stiff than their competitors is to provide a more comfortable feel, so you do not have to worry about your foot fatiguing as much. In fact, the Scott Sports Tri Carbon triathlon cycling shoes use an ErgoLogic insole which allows you to adjust the insole to provide a customized fit.
Best Triathlon Cycling Shoes for Beginners
1. Louis Garneau Tri X-Speed 3
In fact, with a little under 4 decades of experience under its belt, some may wonder how the brand is able to consistently produce some of the best performing products on the market that are often used by first place professionals. This is largely due to the fact that Louis Garneau specializes exclusively in cycling equipment and that the company’s eponymous founder is himself a Gold Medal Olympic cyclist. That said, it only makes it all the more surprising that the Louis Garneau Tri X-Speed 3 triathlon cycling shoes are our best triathlon cycling shoes for beginners.
Casting a Large Net
Provides a Secure Fit
When you are looking at budget products in a given market, the most important thing to first do is make sure it provides a good quality to whatever is the most important consideration. For triathlon cycling shoes, the most important consideration is the fit, and the Louis Garneau Tri X-Speed 3 triathlon cycling shoes provide a couple of features to ensure that the fit is secure.
Though it should be noted that the Louis Garneau Tri X-Speed 3 triathlon cycling shoes do have a tendency to run a size large, once you find the right size for you, they fit like a glove. The STD FIT system is in part responsible for this as is the HRS-80 heel cup. Combined, they prevent the Louis Garneau Tri X-Speed 3 triathlon cycling shoes from moving at both your forefoot and the heel. On top of that, the Louis Garneau Tri X-Speed 3 triathlon cycling shoes also feature a reversed velcro closure that makes adjusting them on the fly mid-race much easier.
2. Mavic Cosmic Elite Triathlon Shoe
The key benefit is the shoe’s Energy Comp Outsole, which brings your foot’s sole close to the pedal. This design increases your pedal efficiency since you have fewer barriers between your leg muscles and the pedals.
The Ortholite and synthetic microfiber gives you the best cushioning and gives optimal ventilation for your feet. The synthetic micro-fiber also adapts to your unique foot shape.
The wide strap makes it easier for you to adjust the shoe in transition and even once you’ve entered the bike course.
I’d recommend this shoe to anyone who has raced at least a couple of seasons. The stiffness is for veteran triathletes. I also suggest this shoe to short-course triathletes since the shoe is very thin.
3. Fizik Transiro Infinito 4
The Transiro Infinito 4 uses exclusively Velcro straps for a quick and easy way to tighten and loosen your shoes. If you do flying mounts it might be easy to slide your feet into shoes that have Velcro than Boa dials.
The Powerstrap, also found in other Fizik models, is very fast to fasten. All you need to do is put your foot in the shoe, pull the strap, secure the strap, and then roll out of the transition area.
Worried that the strap won’t support your foot?
When you pull on the Powerstrap, it pulls not only on the immediate surrounding area but also the shoe’s upper area. It’s a simple system, but it hugs your foot for a secure fit.
If you do flying mounts or are worried about getting your foot in the shoe fast, Fizik has thought ahead. The Powerstrap can be locked into the wide-open position so you can slide your foot in easily whether you’re doing a flying mount or not. You can be assured that your foot won’t miss the shoe!
For those who do flying mounts, the shoe is designed with a rubberized heel loop, which makes it easier to set-up your shoes on the pedals before the race. And, even if you don’t do flying mounts, the rubberized heel loop helps get your foot into the shoe faster.
To make sure that your feet stay cool during the ride, the shoe’s upper is made of mesh and Microtex. The combination of the two materials keeps your feet ventilated and supported for the entire ride.
The outsole is moderately stiff and is considerably less stiff than the other models I reviewed in this article. The outsole is made of carbon injected nylon, so while it will help you transfer power to the pedals, it will feel more comfortable on your feet. The design’s intent was to meet the balance of comfort and pedaling efficiency.
Triathletes who have bought the shoes tend to be in their beginning seasons. However, all say that it was one of the best shoes to get. The shoe helped them get in and out transition faster and the shoe shares technologies of one with a higher price tag. And, it instilled more confidence for those who were just learning flying mounts.
I’d recommend this shoe if you’re a beginner triathlete and are having trouble using the Boa Dials efficiently in transition. Velcro, while not as precise as the dials, are easier to use and will help get you onto the bike course.
These shoes are also great if you’re just learning flying mounts. It has all the key components such as rubberized heel loops and “wide open” Velcro strap position to help make it easier to master.
If you’re doing sprint and Olympic triathlons these shoes will last you a few seasons, but for half and full Ironman races, I’d recommend a shoe with a stiffer outsole.
4. Shimano TR9
Shimano is an unusual company for triathlon racers looking for triathlon cycling shoes considering it specializes primarily in gears that are used for sporting and entertainment purposes. In practice, this is somewhat limited to bicycles and fishing reels, but that does not mean the company sits pat with its specialty. Instead, Shimano puts its considerable experience of over 90 years to bear on all of the different equipment within its niche markets. That said, this brand does still place a premium on precision and simplicity which is great if you are looking for the most durable triathlon cycling shoes.
Made for Endurance
When running a triathlon, each piece of equipment should be specialized to your particular needs, but the biggest all-around need for any piece of equipment used during any leg of the race is the ability to stand up to the rigors of a race designed to test endurance. Though you may be far more concerned about your own personal, physical endurance, it is also important to remember that your equipment is undergoing the same stresses and rigors. As such, it is a good idea to make sure that not only can your equipment hold up but it can help you hold up under the strain as well.
For the Shimano TR9 triathlon cycling shoes, both of these requirements are met as the Dynalast carbon outsole is designed to withstand whatever stress it may encounter during the race and the air intake vents keep your feet ventilated better than most other triathlon shoes can provide.
Provides Quick Transitions
Unless the cycling leg of the triathlon is the last leg of the race, then there is a pretty good chance that you will have to change out of your triathlon cycling shoes and into a pair of other specialized shoes for the next leg of the race. Regardless of when you have to do this, there are few things that are as frustrating or spirit-sapping as having to struggle taking some piece of gear off to put on the gear necessary for the next leg.
Thankfully, the Shimano TR9 triathlon cycling shoes understand this all too well and provide a couple of different features to make this process easier. For instance, these triathlon cycling shoes feature a T1-Quick strap closure that is reinforced with a hook and loop forefoot strap to make tightening and loosening the Shimano TR9 triathlon cycling shoes quick and easy. On top of that, the asymmetrical, offset heel loop makes pulling the Shimano TR9 triathlon cycling shoes a breeze.
Triathlon Cycling Shoes – Buyer’s Guide
Here is a quick look at the features seen only on triathlon cycling shoes:
- Heel Loops: The heel loop makes it easy for you to get your shoes on fast. Just put your finger in the loop and voila! Your shoe is on. If perform flying mounts, the heel loop is a perfect place to put a rubber band.
- Bumpers: Bumpers are found on the heel and toe part of the shoe. This protects your carbon sole as you run through T2. The bumpers also have rubberish heels so that it makes it easier for you to run.
- Moisture Reduction: Triathlon cycling shoes have added ventilation or possibly a small hole in the hole so that the moisture from the swim will disperse. It keeps feet from rubbing and reduces that chance of blisters before the run.
- Comfort: Race-specific cycling shoes have added cushioning, which also helps reduce irritation and chance of blisters forming before the run.
While the fit of all triathlon gear is extremely important, for the sake of triathlon cycling shoes, the fit is likely the most important quality you can consider when selecting a pair of triathlon cycling shoes.
As such, it is vitally important that you make sure the triathlon cycling shoes fit properly or you are liable to find yourself half a leg or more into the race before you realize that the wrong triathlon cycling shoes can completely shut down your race. It is interesting to note that the importance of this works in all directions as being too large is just as bad, if not worse, as your triathlon cycling shoes being too small.
In fact, it is worth remembering that it is by wearing a pair of triathlon cycling shoes which are too large that you are most likely to develop blisters, a sharp departure from how shoe fit normally works where shoes which are too tight are the ones that cause blisters.
Of course, shoes which are too tight can potentially cause blisters as well, but due to the unique circumstances when pedaling a triathlon bike, a tighter fit is simply more likely to fatigue your feet rather than cause blisters. Because the foot is continuously moving in every direction at a rapid pace, a pair of triathlon shoes which are too large will ultimately have the room to rub against the inner walls of the shoes and almost guarantee the development of blisters by the end of the cycling leg.
One thing to keep in mind is that the fit of the triathlon cycling shoes will change depending on which leg of the race the cycling leg is run. This is because as you run a triathlon, the different legs of the race affect your feet in different ways which will then impact how the shoes you wear for the next leg of the race fit. For example, the best triathlon cycling shoes to use after the swim leg or the race are unlikely to fit differently than the best triathlon cycling shoes to use as the opening leg of the race. In fact, the sequence of the race’s legs is just as important as just getting the best triathlon cycling shoe in general due to the fact that your feet will swell over time as you run the race and the shoes for each leg of the race will fit differently as the race progresses than had they been tried on in a store.
If you are going to go the extra mile to get a pair of specialized triathlon cycling shoes to improve your performance in the cycling leg of the race, then it only makes sense to ensure that the shoes do just that. The biggest contributor to any improvement in your cycling time with the inclusion of triathlon cycling shoes is due to the outsole, specifically, whatever type of plate the manufacturer uses.
Keep in mind, this plate needs to be fairly stiff, so it will transfer as much power from your foot to the pedal as possible without any wasted motion. That said, the plate must also be incredibly lightweight, otherwise, it will ultimately contribute to fatigue and present as more of a hindrance than a benefit. This is why most of the higher-end brands of triathlon cycling shoes make it a point to use either carbon or some type of carbon composite since it is both incredibly lightweight as well as extremely stiff and durable.
How to Transition to the Bike in Triathlon
As we can see, there are simply too many different types of racers, each with their own particular set of needs, for a single pair of triathlon cycling shoes to unanimously be the objective best triathlon cycling shoes for all people. Some people may be a bit more invested in triathlon competitions and willing to further invest in the best pair of triathlon cycling shoes they can find while other people might simply be looking for the best pair that will not also break the bank.
For those looking for the best of the best, we recommend the Fizik Transiro Infinito R1 and the S-Works Trivent triathlon cycling shoes for men and women. Both of these shoes are made of materials devised by their respective companies which perform better than the standard fare that you might otherwise find on a pair of random triathlon cycling shoes. On top of that, each one provides specific benefits that set them apart from the rest of the pack.
Of course, there are plenty of competitors who simply race for fun and may not be comfortable paying multiple hundreds of dollars for a pair of shoes. In this instance, we recommend the Pearl iZUMi Men’s TRI Fly Elite V6 and the Louis Garneau Tri X-Lite 2 triathlon cycling shoes. While both of these triathlon cycling shoes may not strictly provide the best performance, they both do provide an excellent value and are made of high-quality materials while still providing a legitimate benefit to focused considerations.