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The Best Triathlon Running Shoes

author image Jaime Herndon
Jaime Herndon has been writing for health websites since 2009 and has guest-blogged on SheKnows. After graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in psychology and women's studies, she earned a Master of Science in clinical health psychology and a Master of Public Health in maternal-child health. Her interests include oncology, women's health and exercise science.
The Best Triathlon Running Shoes
A close-up of athletes' legs before a race. Photo Credit Halfpoint/iStock/Getty Images


Triathletes need running shoes that have specific design features, according to trisports.com and Zoot Sports. Zoot Sports has studied triathletes and found that triathletes need running shoes that are easy and fast to put on in transition, comfortable sockless-wear shoes, and lightweight shoes that do not retain moisture. Non-triathlon specific shoes can certainly be worn for the running leg, but triathlon-specific running shoes can aid in comfort, speed and stability.

Zoot Ultra TT 3.0

Zoot Sports has researched the triathlon-specific issues that triathletes encounter with running shoes and have developed a line of shoes suited for the needs of this population. The Zoot Ultra TT 3.0 is a structured but cushioned shoe suitable for any distance, from a 5K to a marathon, says trisports.com. BareFit technology is used to create a comfortable sockless wear liner with Dri-Lex fabric that has antimicrobial properties. The upper is made of Airmesh, which cools off the foot and stretches to accommodate any foot swelling due to heat and long distance racing, and the Tri-Dry technology lets water drain and minimizes the amount of water in the shoe. Getting into the shoes is quick and easy, thanks to Zoot's patented Quick-Lace system that enables you to use one hand to simply pull the laces taut and start the running leg of your race. Weighing only 8.6 ounces and retailing at $139.99, this lightweight shoe has the features you need for a great race.

K-Swiss K-Ona

The K-Swiss K-Ona, retailing at $89.99 at trisports.com, was designed based on the racing shoes that the company makes for Ironman triathlon competitors. Running Times describes it as a minimalist shoe for neutral runners who want a breathable upper, cushioning, and a low center of gravity. Trisports.com adds that the Flow Cool system in the upper minimizes moisture in the shoe and helps to keep feet cool during long distance racing. A rigid TPU shank provides stability, while flex-grooves placed in anatomically correct places provide flexibility. Weighing 9 ounces, these shoes are best for racing and performance training, rather than long-distance training.

Newton Distance S (Stability) Racer

Ironman Craig Alexander wore Newton Distance S Racers shoe in the 2008 Ironman World Championship and credits these shoes with helping him with post-race recovery. He also says they help to decrease his fatigue while running, according to all3sports.com. The Distance Racer is designed for use during races and triathlons, but is stable and cushioned enough for long distances, such as marathons. The upper is made of open-air mesh, promoting fast drying of moisture, with bilateral stretch panels for comfort. Support is provided by a medial support post from the arch to under the metatarsal heads to decrease pronation, and the lugs on the forefoot of the shoe promote forefoot striking, which mimics barefoot running and aids in forward motion. This shoe retails for $155 at all3sports.com.

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