When you’re competing in a sport such as a triathlon, you don’t want to have to put up with shoddy equipment or gear.
And the fewer clothes changes you have to do the better - it saves valuable time.
Now you can get some shoes which are great for running and some that are great for cycling.
And shoes that are great for running aren’t so good for cycling. And some cycling shoes take longer to pull on and take off than others.
So, the solution is to get yourself some dedicated triathlon shoes that are built for the very purpose of a triathlon.
And the good news is that we’ve done the hard work for you, checking out some of the best triathlon shoes on the market, so we can present you with our reviews, which are coming up very shortly.
After that we also have a handy buying guide for you which lays out all the key things to think about before you buy.
You can use it as a quick checklist to confirm that you’ve thought of everything.
Then we’re going to top that off with a section where we answer some of your most frequently asked questions on the subject!
And without further ado…
OUR TOP PICK
Here’s another great triathlon bike shoe that comes highly recommended by users.
What makes them such good shoes for triathlon competitors is just how well ventilated they are.
They can be worn with or without socks, and thanks to the open tongue design, much of the top of your foot meets the open air, so your feet will dry out super fast after your swim.
We also love how the supple upper hugs your foot for maximum comfort, and there’s plenty of mesh for breathability.
Another thing we love about these shoes is that there are no garish or over the top color options, it just comes in straightforward black or white.
And this makes it much easier to match the shoes to the color of your outfit.
While cleats aren’t included in the price we were happy to learn that they’re compatible with a range of different cleats, including Shimano SPD-SL, Look Delta, Look Keo, Speedplay, and SPD.
They’re also built for quick and easy transitions, thanks to the large loop at the heel, and the two large velcro straps which simultaneously provide a secure fit, and eliminate the need for laces.
Then there’s the fiberglass reinforced sole, which provides the perfect amount of stiffness to really transfer power from your feet and to the pedals as you ride.
You can ride faster and longer without exerting as much energy.
They’re quite reasonably priced for triathlon shoes, and the manufacturer tries to make out that they’re the best priced triathlon shoes on the market, though we’re not 100% sure that’s the case.
They’re available in sizes 8 through to 14, though sadly apart from the 10.5, there are no half sizes available.
There’s a handy size chart available on the product page, and we’re pleased to report that customers find them very true to size.
But strangely if you are a half size the manufacturer suggests you buy a size down rather than a size up.
They also come backed by a lengthy 2 year manufacturer warranty, we were reassured to learn.
- Very heavily ventilated to dry feet
- Compatible with a range of cleats
- Built for quick and easy transitions
- Stiff fiberglass reinforced sole
- Backed by a 2 year warranty
- No bright colors or reflective strips for better visibility
Have you checked out the official sponsor of the GVT BMC & Ceepo Triathlon Teams? Well, now’s your opportunity.
These are TriSeven’s Premium Triathlon Cycling Shoes, suitable for both men and women.
It’s also suitable for use on both mountain bikes and road bikes, since it’s cleats are both SPD-SL and SPD compatible.
We love just how lightweight they are, coming in at just 285 grams, perfect for cycling long distances at speed.
And they have been designed with comfort in mind. The lining is made with cool synthetic microfiber nylon with a breathable mesh.
So your feet will remain ventilated and cool the whole time you are wearing, and this should also help your feet to dry quicker after the swim.
It has a fibreglass and carbon sole, which is nice and stiff, which in turn means a better transfer of power through the pedals.
And the shoes are designed for quick and easy transitions, thanks to the large heel loop at the back and the wide strap at the front, replacing the need for pesky laces.
There’s also reflective elements on the shoes to give you better visibility in low light. Great safety measure.
It’s available in two different color options. There is the Fluo, which is white with fluorescent green accents and black and red branding, or there’s the Blue, which is the same but replaces the green accents with blue accents.
It’s also available in several different sizes starting at 5.5 and going up to 14, including half sizes.
If you decide to buy this shoe, be sure to check out the size guide on the product page.
It comes backed by a 100% satisfaction guarantee, where if you’re not happy with the shoes for any reason, you will get your money back in full.
- Suitable for both men or women
- Suitable for mountain & road bikes
- Feet will remain ventilated & cool
- Designed for easy quick transitions
- Fiberglass sole for more pedal power
- Premium product at a premium price
These best selling cycling shoes were built with triathlons in mind! And there’s a lot to love about them.
We love the two color options available, they’re very bright and really stand out, especially the green (which is more of a yellow if you ask me).
But what makes them so good as triathlon bike shoes is all the large vent holes designed to better discharge water from your swim through the shoes, and get your feet dry as quickly as possible.
And this means they are super breathable too.
And their soft comfortable lining means that your feet will be perfectly comfortable in them without the need for socks.
They’re also built for quick and easy transitions, thanks to the large loop at the heel, and the two large velcro straps which eliminate the need for laces.
We’re also fans of the ultra lightweight full carbon outsole.
Not only does this mean that the weight of the shoes won’t slow you down, but it also means that the relatively stiff flex helps you to bring plenty of power to the pedals as you cycle.
You can also use them as regular cycling shoes or for Peloton.
They’re available in several different sizes starting at 6.5 and going up to 11, with half sizes included. And there’s a handy size chart right on the product page.
There aren’t so many customer reviews around on the net just yet for these shows, but this is only because they didn’t become available until the very end of 2020.
- Bright stand-out color options
- Lots of vent holes for drainage
- Ultra lightweight carbon outsole
- Soft comfortable inner lining
- Designed for quick transitions
- Not designed for women
- There aren’t so many customer reviews around on the net just yet for these shows
These triathlon cycling shoes also come highly recommended by those who’ve tried them out. And better yet, they’re also available at a bargain affordable price!
We also love that it has a unisex design that can be worn by women and men alike.
Like the Tommaso Veloce 100 we showed you earlier, this shoe also has no tongue, which is perfect for helping to get your feet dry after the swim. And that’s also aided by the breathable mesh.
And they’re perfectly comfortable to wear without socks, thanks to the synthetic microfiber leather upper.
And it makes for quick and easy transitions, thanks to the big loop at the heel, and the two securely fitting velcro straps that do away with the need for any pesky laces.
It features a nylon fiberglass outsole, which has the perfect stiffness for transferring all that power from your feet and to the pedals.
It’s compatible with a range of different cleats, including Look, SPD, SPD-R & SPD-SL cleats.
Sadly this shoe is only available in one color option, but thankfully, that color is black, so you should be able to easily match it with the rest of your Triathlon outfit/s.
The shoe sizes start at 6 and go up to 12.5, with several half sizes available also.
If you’re not too sure which size you need, by all means take advantage of the size chart available on the product page.
- At a bargain affordable price
- Helps your feet to dry quickly
- Compatible with many cleats
- Has a stiff fiberglass outsole
- Quick and easy transitions
- No color options, available in black only
Now, this pair of shoes has been specifically designed with triathlons in mind and comes highly recommended by those who’ve tried them.
It’s a triathlon shoe that ticks all the boxes. We just love the enhanced ventilation thanks to the mesh and Microtex upper.
Great for drying your feet as quickly as possible after the swim.
They’re also great for quick and smooth transitions, thanks to the secure Velcro strap which eliminates the need for any tiresome laces.
And in this case, the heel loop is rubberized, so you can really pull the shoe over your heel.
We also like the moderately stiff R4 outsole, it really helps to transfer power from your feet to the pedals.
These shoes are also rather sleek and stylish and really make a statement. You can get them in white, black and white, or red and black.
They can be worn by men or women, and they’re available in sizes from 6 right up to 47 M EU, and half sizes are available if you need them.
The only real drawback to these particular shoes is the cost. But if you’ve got the budget for them, then why not?
- Sleek and stylish aesthetic
- Has enhanced ventilation
- Makes for quick transitions
- Moderately stiff R4 outsole
- Suitable for men or women
- Premium product at a premium price
- No size chart on the product page
- Some issues with after-sales service
Best Triathlon Bike Shoes Buying Guide
As promised, here’s your buying guide. Let’s walk you through what to look for in a triathlon bike shoe.
The last thing you want is for your gear to slow you down because it's too heavy. So, to that end you should look for shoes that are lightweight.
After your swim, you may not like the idea of putting socks on.
So if you intend to go sockless while cycling or running, then you should ensure that the shoes are comfortable to wear without socks.
Your feet are going to sweat during your triathlon, and you don’t want to be put off from competing or training because of any odors, so materials that eliminate odors would be perfect.
If you intend to change shoes between the cycling and the running parts, then you’ll want speed laces, such as Lock Laces that are elasticated rather than tied.
Or some Velcro straps in their place. You don’t want to have to stop to do your laces up!
You will also need to ensure that the shoes are compatible with your chosen type of cleat.
Suits Your Gait
If you intend to run in the same shoes you do your cycling in, then you need to get the right sort of shoe for your particular gait.
It’s all about pronation. Pronation is the way the foot rolls inward when you walk and run.
If you overpronate then you will need the appropriate shoe for that, and the same goes for if you underpronate.
Your feet are going to be soaking wet when you come out of your swim. But if they continue to feel wet for too long after the swim, it could spoil your experience for you, whether you’re competing or training.
So to that end you should look for fast drying shoes.
If you don’t like the look of a pair of shoes you’re not going to enjoy wearing them as much.
You may also want to look out for shoes with reflective detail to aid your visibility in low light.
Value for Money
Just to give you a quick heads-up, triathlon shoes are usually a little more expensive than regular cycling or running shoes.
And they can really vary in price, with some costing as little as $40, while others can cost as much as $280.
So our advice to you is to check the prices as you go along, and learn what your money can buy you.
Incidentally, we would argue that you don’t really need to be paying as much as $280 for a good triathlon bike shoe.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the best bike shoes for triathlons?
You know what, this is quite a tricky question to answer. All of the triathlon bike shoes that made our shortlist are excellent bike shoes for triathlons.
But I guess if I have to pick just one it would have to be our number one pick, the Tommaso Veloce 100 Triathlon Road Cycling Shoe.
And there are several reasons for picking this particular shoe.
It has an open tongue design for your feet to dry super quickly after the swim, it’s compatible with the widest range of cleats, it has a fairly stiff outsole, so you can transfer plenty of power to the pedals, and it’s also available at a very reasonable price to boot.
Do Triathletes run in bike shoes?
While there are some triathletes who run in bike shoes, most will change into running shoes for the last leg of the triathlon.
There’s nothing to stop you from running in your bike shoes if you are comfortable doing so, but any cleats on the bottom of the shoe will be a no-no.
Do you wear socks with triathlon bike shoes?
Again, this is pretty much up to you and your personal preferences.
But few people enjoy wearing wet socks, and most triathlon athletes will go without socks for their cycling.
They tend to wear triathlon bike shoes that are specifically designed to help their feet dry out quickly after the swim.
Can you wear water shoes in a triathlon?
Again, this is pretty much up to you and your personal preferences.
But most triathlon competitors will go entirely barefoot for the swim. It’s safe to say that even water shoes can add to your drag in the water.