Triathlons are an increasingly popular sport among fitness lovers, they combine three of the most popular cardiovascular activities (swimming, running, and cycling) and add that competitiveness that helps people enjoy it even more. For a long time, most people just wore their regular running clothes for triathlons, but recently amateur tri-athletes have started to look at more triathlon specific clothing.
What makes running shoes good for triathlons? Well they should be lightweight, suited to 10km runs (the standard distance for the running section of a triathlon), and most importantly they should be quick dry. Why is that? Well triathlons start with a swimming section, and are followed by a cycle, before finishing with a run. Often tri-athletes find that they have still not dried off properly by the time they get to the running section.
Finding a pair of running shoes that are very breathable and that dry out quickly while you run is a great advantage that you can have. Also making sure that they are well cushioned is important because unlike any other race, the competitor will be tired before they even put the shoes on!
In this article we are going to take a look at five of the best triathlon running shoes that are currently on the market. We will assess them on their ability to dry quickly, how breathable they are, and their durability. We will also look at how comfortable they are to wear during long runs.
5 Best Triathlon Running Shoes
|Value For Money
|Newton Distance V
|ASICS Gel Nimbus 19
|ASICS Gel Noosa Tri 11
|Pearl Izumi EM Tri
|Saucony Kinvara 8
Best Triathlon Running Shoes #1: Newton Distance V
Newton are a small scale shoe company that are growing in popularity due to their approach towards innovation. Their shoes are always featuring new technology, often groundbreaking. Their Distance V shoes are no exception. They are quite expensive compared to some on this list, but you are paying for a high quality pair of shoes.
These shoes are particularly good at road racing, which nearly all triathlons involve. The shoes are very light weight, and they utilise the Newton Metatarsal Panel. The shoes are designed to push you onto the front foot while running, and this will definitely help increase your speed. Perfect for a fast 10k run to finish your triathlon.
They are well made, and will last you a long time which is why we’ve scored them so high for durability. They use an engineered mesh which is completely seamless. This will really help with breathability and will also help the shoes dry fast afterwards. As this is quite a light running shoe, it’s not amazingly comfortable, it’s not uncomfortable, but others on this list will be more comfortable in comparison.
Overall these are a great pair of running shoes for a triathlon. They are light weight, comfortable, quick drying, breathable, and will last you a long time. The price is the only slight issue, but remember if you are looking for a long term investment, the price per year will be lower.
Best Triathlon Running Shoes #2: ASICS Gel Nimbus 19
ASICS is a fantastic company for racing shoes, specialising in longer distance shoes such as these ones, the Gel Nimbus 19. Like the Newton Distance V these shoes are a little on the pricey side, but will last you a long time (estimated at over 350 miles by some experts). They are also quite breathable, and very comfortable.
The shoes are very well cushioned (the Nimbus range is well known for this) and the shoe benefits from a Flytefoam midsole. The mesh on this shoe is a lot denser, which means it is not going to be quite as breathable as the Newton Distance V shoes, but it’s still excellent.
The shoes are also very supportive with a secure hold in the heel and a tight fit in the inside of the shoe. The midsole is really supportive due to a firm stack at the back of the foot.
Another benefit of the Gel Nimbus 19 is the traction, particularly along the outside of the sole. This will really help you keep your distance on wet and slippery roads.
This shoe is one of the most comfortable 10k distance shoes around, with great cushioning and support. For the runner who wants to travel fast but with as much comfort as they can get. The rear and forefoot cushioning system will reduce almost all shock while pounding the streets. A great overall shoe.
Best Triathlon Running Shoes #3: ASICS Gel Noosa Tri 11
This is another ASICS Gel shoe on this list, and what’s more it’s an even more expensive one! But these shoes are made to be triathlon specific, so well worth including in this list. The first thing that strikes you about the ASICS Gel Noosa Tri 11 shoes are the laces. They are elastic, which allows for a quick transition. This is essential in a triathlon race where every second spent putting your shoes on is vital.
The shoes are very durable, and will survive many a tough road race. The shoe is completely seamless which means that you can wear the shoes without socks. This is a huge advantage for tri-athletes because it will save them time during the changeovers. The fact that the shoe is still comfortable when not wearing socks is testament to how well these shoes have been made.
The shoes are quite breathable, not as much as some on this list – but they benefit from not wearing socks. Aesthetically, these shoes are very nice looking using a sort of camouflage motif and bold colours, they’ll look really good to your competitors as you race straight past them!
These shoes are a great choice for the tri-athlete that is serious about winning. They have been designed to be put on as fast as possible, and without requiring socks. This will give you an extra 10-20 seconds spare (depending on how long it takes you to put socks on and tie laces). This could make a huge difference to your time, and potentially your finishing position.
Best Triathlon Running Shoes #4: Pearl Izumi EM Tri N2 V2
Pearl Izumi is an American and Japanese company that was founded in 1950. They are known for their bicycles and sporting apparel. They specialise in triathlon equipment, and their running shoes in particular are perfect for this discipline. The Pearl Izumi EM Tri N2 V2 shoes are a great example of what this company is all about.
The shoes are very durable and are perfect for medium to long distance races, a triathlon involves a 10km, while some variations can involve even longer distances. This is another shoe that uses a seamless upper, and is probably the best shoe for breathability on this list. The shoes have 3D seamless print upper technology and they also contain an energy foam heel for amazing comfort. There is also cushioning around the forefoot.
The shoes also have an E Motion midsole which is great for improving running gait and improving shock absorption during a run. This shoe is very comfortable, will last you hundreds of miles, and is very breathable. Pearl Izumi have created an excellent triathlon running shoe.
Best Triathlon Running Shoes #5: Saucony Kinvara 8
The last shoe on this list is the Saucony Kinvara 8. Saucony are a fantastic shoe company that are well loved among runners due to their excellent performance shoes. The Saucony Kinvara series has been incredibly popular with runners, particularly tri-athletes due to their cushioning, their versatility, and their ability to dry quickly. The Kinvara 8 shoes continue this trend by being the most light weight shoes yet (allowing you to run at a faster pace and while expending less energy).
The shoes contain an Everun topsole and a flexfilm midfoot support system. Combined these two aspects of the shoe contribute to a really well cushioned piece of footwear. They have an internal strap that helps keep your foot secure throughout the run. What’s really special about these shoes is that they contain so much cushioning but are still incredibly light in weight.
These shoes are perfect for any runner who cares about running as fast as possible, these are true racing shoes. The price of these shoes is fairly similar to most of the others on this list, towards the higher end of the market. But due to their incredible performance, durability, and cushioning, the value for money is very good.
The last shoes that we looked at, (Saucony Kinvara 8) are probably the best all round racers. The ASICS shoes are excellent too, while the Pearl Izumi shoes are definitely the easiest shoes to transition into during a race. Any of the shoes on this list will absolutely help you to deliver your best triathlon yet.