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With cycling, you need the right shoe to turn your power into the most efficient forward propulsion. Every rider needs to create the appropriate connection between the machine and themselves. For triathletes, having the best cycling shoes is the number one factor in their quest to achieve optimum performance and comfort.

The challenge comes in when you have to try to find those best cycling shoes. In this article, we're going to try to make buying your next cycling shoe hassle-free. We reviewed some of the best cycling shoes for triathletes on the market. We hope that this comprehensive review will help you find a cycling shoe that will admirably serve your cycling needs for comfort, durability, and performance.

Product FAQs

1. WHAT ARE CYCLING SHOES FOR TRIATHLETES?

2. WHAT DETERMINES THE BEST CYCLING SHOES FOR TRIATHLETES?

3. HOW ARE BEST CYCLING SHOES FOR TRIATHLETES UNIQUE?

4. WHERE CAN YOU BUY THE BEST CYCLING SHOES FOR TRIATHLETES?

5. DO I NEED A PAIR OF  RUNNING SOCKS?

How We Reviewed

We understand how challenging it can be to find and buy the best cycling shoes for triathletes. We invested our efforts, therefore, to carry out in-depth research to provide you with a dependable list of various models of these shoes to make it easy for you to choose the best. We considered several factors such as the price of these shoes, the pros, and cons, features, and the availability of a warranty.

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Overall Price Range of This Product (and Similar Products)

This variation is influenced by the differences in the size, brand, design features (bumpers, straps, carbon sole, heel loop), weight, stiffness, breathability, comfort, transition time and overall functionality of the shoes. For a higher price, you can expect to get a highly breathable, comfortable and durable shoe.

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T-4 AIR WHITE/BLACK 42.0
  • Upper Material: vented Politex
  • Closure: 2 hook-and-loop straps
  • Sole: Twelve Carbon Composite

FEATURES

One of the key features of the Sidi T-4 Air Carbon Composite Shoe is that it offers you a range of options in the shoe’s size—between 38 and 48 for men. It comes with a lightweight twelve carbon composite sole for smooth pedaling. This light weight coupled with the reverse two-strap closure system with gripper tabs placement and heel tabs facilitate quick T1 transitions.

The blend of the carbon and nylon makes the shoe highly breathable. In addition, it can withstand a sudden weather change as you transition from dry land to the water.

PROS

  • A durable carbon fiber design
  • Highly breathable
  • Wide size range
  • Lightweight
  • Allows for quick T1 transitions

CONS

  • For men only
  • Expensive
Louis Garneau Mens Tri X-Speed III
  • Ever stroke counts, so power through the course in the sleek and speedy performance of the Louis Garneau Tri X-Speed III...

FEATURES

The Louis Garneau Tri X-Speed 3 Triathlon Bike Shoes feature a robust nylon outsole that endures many triathlon races. It has a breathable and well-ventilated insole that protects all the foot’s pressure points from impact-related injury. Its reversed hook and loop strap is an excellent accessory for quick T1 transitions.

The upper side of the toe area is made of hard synthetic leather that will not collapse and hurt your toes while cycling. It has steel inserts that fit most bicycle pedals. The shoe is available in bright yellow and white/drizzle colors and in a US size range of 38 to 50.

PROS

  • Robust ergonomic design
  • Very comfortable
  • Durable
  • Affordable price range

CONS

  • Limited color selection
  • Only available in US size range

FEATURES

This top-of-the-range triathlon shoe from Shimano includes generous front toe sections with enough ventilation holes for breathability. This provides excellent airflow and water drainage throughout the race. The Shimano SH-TR9 Cycling Shoes come with carbon soles for excellent power transfer. It has rubber pads on the front and rear ends of the shoe that makes it long lasting.

The shoes have two reverse straps with metal retaining bars that are easy to open and close for a quick transition. It has a double loop at the rear end and a top loop that makes it easy and fast to wear the shoe. The lower loops are convenient in that they secure the shoes on your pedals when transitioning.

PROS

  • All around perforations for ventilation
  • Lightweight
  • Comfortable without socks
  • Eye-catching aesthetics

CONS

  • Expensive
SPECIALIZED 2013 S-Works Trivent White/Red-Size 45.5
  • Revolutionary Tri Specific Drawbridge closure for the fastest possible time in both transitions (patent pending)
  • FACT 12.0 carbon sole uses high modulus, unidirectional carbon fiber and TorsionBox construction to optimize stiffness...
  • Lightweight Boa L4 closure system

FEATURES

The Specialized S-Works Trivent Triathlon Shoes feature an open upper section for aeration. This model has strong vented FACT™ 12.0 carbon soles. The vents allow for quick water runoff. Its upper straps have a unique Boa® L4 closure system that facilitates easy shoe removal and tightening.

The heel opens and attaches to the back via a magnet making it easy to slide in the foot. There are hooks on the side for securing the shoes to the pedals. Its three-bolt cleat pattern is compatible with most bicycle pedals.

PROS

  • Lightweight
  • Excellent ergonomic design
  • Comfortable without socks
  • Well ventilated
  • Strong carbon sole
  • Sold with a convenient carrying bag

CONS

  • Costly
Pearl Izumi Men's Tri Fly Elite v6 Cycling-Footwear
  • Spring/Summer 2017
  • 1:1 Anatomic Tri Closure eliminates hot spots and removes pressure from your forefoot, Unibody construction eliminates...
  • Advanced 3-Layer Seamless Composite Upper offers breathability and eliminates hot spots by adapting to your foot shape,...

FEATURES

The Pearl Izumi Men's Tri Fly Elite v6 Cycling-Footwear features an upper three layer seam cleat construction that fits most bicycle pedals. The anatomic tri-closure allows for speedy transitions. The sole is made of a robust carbon plate for effective pedaling.

The dual density insoles ensure all impact is absorbed protecting the foot from potential injury. The shoe is of synthetic mesh material allowing maximum ventilation. It is available in black/white colors for both men and women with the men’s size ranging between EU 36 to EU 48.

PROS

  • Comfortable even without socks
  • Ideal for experienced triathletes
  • Protects the foot’s pressure points
  • Has excellent ventilation
  • Lightweight

CONS

  • Limited sizes
  • Not ideal for the road
Mavic Cosmic Elite Cycling Shoes - Men's
  • Upper Material: Endofit tongue, synthetic uppers, mesh inserts
  • Closure: Mavic Ergo Dial QR, Ergo Straps
  • Footbed: Ortholite footbed

FEATURES

This model of cycling shoes for triathletes is made of a synthetic microfiber mesh material for maximum ventilation. Its Ergo Tri-Strap closure fits firmly around the foot and is easy to remove and fasten for quick transitions. Its 3-hole cleat is compatible with most bicycle pedals.

This shoe is an excellent option for a triathlete working on a strict budget. It has a wide heel loop for ease of wearing. Its men’s sizes range between 6.5 M US and 13.5 M US. The shoe is a lightweight shoe and comfortable with or without running socks.

PROS

  • Affordable
  • Well ventilated
  • Durable
  • Can endure quick transitions
  • Lightweight

CONS

  • Available in one color
SHIMANO SH-RP1 Cycling Shoe - Men's
  • Comfortable fit and perfect support for pedaling
  • Dual hook and loop straps provide reliable and secure fit
  • Lightweight glass fiber reinforced nylon sole

FEATURES

This shoe has a sleek design with a reverse dual hook and loop strap for closure. Such an ergonomic design facilitates quick transitioning from cycling to swimming or running without the straps getting caught by the pedals. The shoe is available in bigger fits than other similar brands and will accommodate all foot shapes comfortably.

Its outer body is made of a synthetic leather mesh that allows easy water slippage and air circulation. The shoes will remain light during transitions.  Its 3-bolt cleat system makes it compatible with most bike pedals. It has a flexible insole comfortable for most triathletes. The sole is well cushioned and is excellent in distributing pressure from the foot when cycling.

PROS

  • Cool ergonomic design
  • Well ventilated
  • Lightweight
  • Very Comfortable insoles
  • Ideal for beginner triathletes
  • Excellent fit for speedy transitions
  • Excellent price
  • Compatible with most bicycles

CONS

  • Has cumbersome straps
Scott Sports Mens Tri Carbon Triathlon Cycling Shoe - 242135-4755...
  • Upper Material: microfiber, 3D nylon airmesh
  • Closure: BOA IP1, hook-and-loop strap
  • Footbed: Adjustable ErgoLogic removable insole

FEATURES

This product comes with a unique BOA closure strap that is easy to open and close during T1 transitions. It is made of an upper microfiber with a 3D nylon mesh. The upper side has a no-tongue construction making it easy for a triathlete to slip into and to remove the shoes.

The sole features a sturdy carbon construction that will tolerate intense pressure from fast cycling and quick transitions, and it's a highly breathable shoe that allows water to slip out fast. It has a 3-bolt cleat, making it compatible with most bicycle pedal designs. It is a lightweight shoe with insoles reinforced to protect the triathlete’s foot from impact-related injury. This insole is removable for a better grip.

PROS

  • Excellent ergonomic design
  • Durable carbon sole
  • Comfortable ErgoLogic insole
  • Firm fit for speedy transitions
  • No-tongue construction for quick transitions   

CONS

  • A bit expensive
  • Not as durable as expected
  • Takes time to adapt to the foot

FEATURES

This product has a sturdy carbon sole construction ideal for fast pedaling. Its durable design also features a Performance Pro Footbed that is comfortable for the triathlete. The shoe has perforations all around including the underside for water slippage and ventilation. It remains lightweight even after getting soaked in water.

The Northwave Tribute Triathlon shoe has grip and heel protection enabling it to last longer. This construction also protects the triathlete's feet for possible impact-related injury, especially during transitions. It comes with two straps and a specially designed triathlon closure system that facilitate smooth T1 transitions for the triathlete.

PROS

  • Durable
  • Lightweight
  • Easy to wear and remove

CONS

  • Limited colors and sizes
Tommaso Veloce 100 Triathlon Road Cycling Shoe
  • BEST PRICED TRIATHLON SHOE ON THE MARKET- Looking for a triathlon shoe that is leightweight, breathable, and...
  • COMFORT & VERSATILITY: Supple synthetic leather upper hugs foot for maximum comfort, while the open tongue design and...
  • QUALITY & PRECISION FIT: 100% Fit Guarantee, 100% Free Fit Returns, 2 Year Manufacturer’s Warranty. Please use Size...

FEATURES

This product features a lightweight construction and an ergonomic design with a low profile hook and loop Velcro straps. This design ensures a perfect fit for easy and quick transitions. The upper side is of a well-ventilated synthetic material making the shoe comfortable and manageable even after swimming.

The soles of the Tommaso Veloce 100 Triathlon Road Cycling Shoes are reinforced with fiberglass to hold firmly onto the pedals when cycling. Its 3-bolt system makes it ideal for most bicycle pedals. Its cozy insoles are comfortable with or without running socks.

PROS

  • Durable
  • Well ventilated
  • Lightweight
  • Wide price range
  • Compatible with most bicycle pedals

CONS

  • Limited sizes and colors

BEST CYCLING SHOES FOR TRIATHLETES Comparison table

The Verdict

How well one performs in a triathlon depends on many factors including having a comfortable cycling shoe. When choosing the best cycling shoes for triathletes it is important to factor the size of the shoe, its comfort level, and durability. We understand that finding the best shoes is not an easy task but we hope that this review helps you make an informed decision about the brand and model of shoe that will work for you.

Through our research, the SHIMANO SH-TR9 Cycling Shoes rank the highest in the list of the best cycling shoes for triathletes we reviewed. We attribute this to the shoe's outstanding features such as its lightweight design, strong soles, excellent transition capabilities, unique and aesthetic design, and well-ventilated cover.

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