The Best Triathlon Running Shoes in 2021

Natalie Cecconi
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A well-made pair of triathlon running shoes will be an investment that will boost your performance in the race. Triathlon running is dependent on three things: endurance, speed, and comfort. Shoes that make you feel uncomfortable and heavy will drag you down through the race. On the other hand, a good pair of triathlon running shoes will give you the edge you need to be competitive and be the winner.

This is why choosing the best triathlon running shoes is very important.

Below is a comprehensive buying guide to help you select the shoes that suit your needs.

NameCategoryProduct
ASICS Noosa FF 2 Women's Running ShoeBest OverallASICS Noosa FF 2 Women's Running Shoe
Lock LacesBudget PickLock Laces
Brooks Women's Launch 7Upgrade PickBrooks Women's Launch 7

1. ASICS Noosa FF 2 Women's Running Shoe

Our rating: 9 / 10

ASICS Noosa FF 2 Women's Running Shoe

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Pros:

  • The glove-like fit is perfect for long-distance running
  • The adaptive upper design allows you to wear natural fibers and synthetic materials over the laces and around the foot for a customized fit.
  • Midsole and rubber outsole work in harmony for a smooth strike and propulsion
  • The breathable mesh material allows your feet to breathe throughout quick sessions
  • Perfect for faster training sessions, long distance racing, and traditional training.

Cons:

  • Not a great choice for new runners who need stability
  • Warm and more suited for use in warmer weather than cold, especially if you have a narrow foot. The narrow toe box means that you may experience numbness.
  • The significant heel to toe drop means that the shoe isn’t ideal if you need a little more arch support, or if you need an exceptionally great toe-pull.

The ASICS Noosa FF 2 Women’s Running shoe is fast. It is lightweight, and it is very comfortable. The biomimicry last provides an entirely glove-like fit – which is critical for competition and faster training sessions.

2. Saucony Men's Kinvara 10 Running Shoe

Our rating: 9 / 10

Saucony Men's Kinvara 10 Running Shoe

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Pros:

  • A middleground budget option for many
  • Minimalist running shoe with low heel-drop
  • Ideal for runners with high arches
  • These shoes can be worn as everyday training shoes
  • An overall great option for everyday training

Cons:

  • Not ideal as racing shoes
  • Durability can be questionable

The Saucony Men’s Kinvara 10 is a great option for runners looking for a quality minimalist running shoe. This performance shoe is an update to the ever popular Kinvara line. The Kinvara 10 features a redesigned upper that provides a lightweight yet supportive feeling.

This shoe is excellent for runners with high arches who enjoy a minimalist design. It is also an excellent trainer for those of us who lead an every day active lifestyle. Runners have noted that this shoe is super comfortable, lightweight, and can hold up for daily training.

Most runners prefer the Kinvara and this particular version of the Kinvara because the 10 offers a wide variety of colors, styles, and is built with a more durable sole. This version of the Kinvara is a good option for those who like wearing minimalist footwear but need something a bit more durable.

3. Brooks Women's Launch 7

Our rating: 9 / 10

Brooks Women's Launch 7

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Pros:

  • Tapered toe box and forefoot
  • Easy to wear and take off
  • Breathable mesh upper
  • Slightly wider toe box at the forefoot
  • Overall narrower heel cup
  • Plush and well-cushioned
  • Brawny rubber outsole for traction
  • Mid-foot support
  • Firm ride
  • Durable and long-lasting

Cons:

  • Costly, but well worth it
  • Shoe runs large so order a size down
  • Fitting may take some work, so consider buying a half-size smaller than you usually wear
  • Wider toe box can make the shoe feel wider at the mid-foot
  • Not a true minimalist or barefoot shoe

4. Brooks Men's Launch 7

Our rating: 9 / 10

Brooks Men's Launch 7

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Pros:

  • All-day comfort – these won’t need to be broken in
  • The outsole is flexible and torsion-resistant
  • Sturdy, durable, and well-padded breathable mesh upper
  • Excellent traction and grip
  • Lightweight and a perfect fit
  • Popular among female athletes
  • 12-month guarantee
  • Cost-effective
  • Stylish look

Cons:

  • Not waterproof
  • The upper material will develop cracks after extensive use

The Men’s Brooks Launch 7 Running Shoes is an exquisite and popular choice among athletes. This multi-sport shoe provides optimal support and cushioning for long distance running. It is also suitable for hiking, trail running, walking or general fitness.

The upper material is a combination of mesh, suede and synthetic. It is breathable and durable and provides great comfort. The unique midsole is made up of BioMoGo DNA. This material moulds to the foot shape and adapts to the athlete’s gait.

5. Saucony Men's Liberty Iso

Our rating: 8 / 10

Saucony Men's Liberty Iso

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Pros:

  • Great for triathlons
  • Comfortable and supportive fabric package
  • The midsole gives a soft bounce when running
  • Great arch support
  • Enough room in the toe box
  • Great for long distance running
  • Best for flat to mild terrain
  • Very light-weight
  • Breathable fabric package

Cons:

  • The heel is flimsy
  • Some people have complained of a stiff toe box
  • The shoe slips at the heel
  • Some people have had difficulty with sizing

Saucony running shoes are some of the top footwear that you can use for both trail running and road running. The saucony men’s liberty iso 3 running shoes are no exception. The high performance shoe comes with a fabric package that aims to deliver easy, natural motion to the runner. The upper consists of the open cell mesh, die cut foam, inner bootie, and abrasion resistant material

The design and fitting of this shoe is very much for performance. However the shoe is not suited for a high-level of accelerations. If you love running and get involved in triathlons, triathlons and obstacle races then these shoes are good for you.

Some people have had difficulty with sizing but if you follow the instructions on the website you can get the right fit.

6. Lock Laces

Our rating: 8 / 10

Lock Laces

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Pros:

  • Comes in a pack of two
  • Very comfortable, soft twill elastic, lace upgrades every shoe, eliminating slips and knots
  • Comes in a variety of colors to choose from
  • Simple to use: just open the package and stick them on
  • No metal parts to interfere with your running motion
  • Reversible laces provide variety in appearance of your shoes

Cons:

  • Some people find them too short to lace their shoes tightly
  • They’re good for sport shoes, but not for high-heeled shoes.
  • Not suitable for lace-up shoes.

For Military Boot Camp, School, College, Workout, Fitness, Athletics, Running and Work.

Lock Laces claim to be the best elastic no tie shoelaces for school, fitness, military boot camp, athletics, running and work. These laces have a soft twill elastic and are a great product for replacing shoe string laces.

They come in a set of two automatically flexible laces. These Lock Laces are easy to install and use. They are also very comfortable to wear, and are easy to install. You can easily transfer the laces on any kind of shoe without tying or untying it.

7. Skechers Men's 55209_Char

Our rating: 8 / 10

Skechers Men's 55209_Char

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Pros:

  • Great for road running
  • Great style
  • Comfortable right out of the box
  • Smooth and quiet
  • Great arch support
  • Wider heel
  • Made of durable materials
  • Worth the money

Cons:

  • Heavy
  • A little tough to get used to for seasoned runners

This running shoe is ideal for the amateur and intermediate triathlete. It has lots of cushioning for easy wear and easy handling. It features an internal midsole support that promotes proper posture as well as prevents stress and strain on the body.

In terms of fit, the model runs a little narrow for the size.

8. Saucony Women's Liberty Iso

Our rating: 8 / 10

Saucony Women's Liberty Iso

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The Saucony Women’s Liberty Iso 3 is a lightweight show that is good for fast running. It emphasizes weightlessness over support, so it’s a good choice for faster runners.

Constructed on a soft, lightweight sole, this shoe is available at a variety of widths to account for all kinds of feet.

The upper is made of a lightweight mesh fabric for easy breathability, and the insole is cushioned for softness. The midsole is a rubber compound that absorbs shock over time. The outsole features a four-in-one design, with durability, traction, and flexibility features incorporated into the one sole. It also features a one-piece outsole.

9. ASICS Men's Gel-Hyper Tri 3 Running Shoe

Our rating: 7 / 10

ASICS Men's Gel-Hyper Tri 3 Running Shoe

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Pros:

  • Great stability
  • Impact absorption is great
  • Looks and feel great
  • Great price; particularly for raised rims
  • Best traction and support from the Asics Asics Tri 3

Cons:

  • Production quality in earlier versions is not as good as the newer versions
  • Heavy
  • Heavier than other touring shoes

The ASICS Gel-Hyper Tri 3 G7046 is a newly designed triathlon running shoe with a raised heel. It is one of the top Asics shoes designed specifically for triathlon.

While the previous model of Gel Hyper Tri 3 was a little heavy, the version made in 2015 is a lot lighter compared to other touring models. The soles are still heavily reinforced and designed for high impact in the heel. Around the area of the forefoot, there is thick cushioning to absorb impact and provide a comfortable ride.

Some famous triathlon athletes use version 3 as recommended by training experts. The shoe is preferred due to its stability and comfort. However, there was great concern regarding the durability of the shoe when it was released, so Asics had to improve the construction quality.

10. ASICS Noosa FF 2 Men's Running Shoe

Our rating: 7 / 10

ASICS Noosa FF 2 Men's Running Shoe

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Pros:

  • Lightweight and responsive
  • High energy return
  • Available in many color options
  • Vibram outsole

Cons:

  • Lacking durability
  • The toe hits the front of the shoe when short-stepping
  • Poor quality control
  • Uncomfortable toe seam placement

While the design is a bit on the feminine side, the Noosa FF 2 is a little gem worth considering. These shoes are designed for triathlon competitors, but they are versatile enough for any runner who wants to increase their speed.

Constructed out of synthetic materials, this model is breathable and lightweight. To keep things simple, the materials used are mesh and synthetic leather, which keeps the foot connected to the ground.

Heightened wear patterns on the bottom tread protect the shoe from the wear and tear of hitting the road or track so often. The only problem is that these shoes don’t have much arch support. Therefore, runners who have flat arches may need to have a branded insole inside the shoe.

11. HOKA ONE ONE Men's Mach Running Shoe

Our rating: 7 / 10

HOKA ONE ONE Men's Mach Running Shoe

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Pros:

  • Very light
  • Provides great durability
  • Dries quickly
  • The sole is grounded effectively on all surfaces
  • The thick midsole provides good cushioning

Cons:

  • Might not be as comfy as running shoes
  • The design might look a little odd
  • You need to break it in for a few weeks before you can use it at its full potential

If you like running you should buy a nice pair of running shoes. There are many factors you need to take into consideration when selecting a pair of running shoes. You should first determine the weight of your feet. Light-weight shoes are best when it comes to covering long distances. Another factor is the arch of a foot. The arch is important when it comes to absorbing shock from your steps. Women usually have smaller feet and hence they need to get a lighter pair of running shoes. They have a higher arch and wider toe box but these can be adjusted by inserting insoles into the shoes. Runners who are keen on covering long distances should buy well-cushioned running shoes. They also need to buy the best running shoes if they have high and flat arches.

12. HOKA ONE ONE Women's Mach Running Shoe

Our rating: 6 / 10

HOKA ONE ONE Women's Mach Running Shoe

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Pros:

  • Lightweight and breathable
  • Advanced features
  • Superior quality materials
  • Comes in 5 different colors
  • Size runs true to size

Cons:

  • Width runs slightly narrow
  • Black design can get dirty easily

HOKA ONE ONE is known for developing quality running shoes that will give you the power you need for an impressive performance. The company’s Women’s Mach Running Shoes is no exception to this.

These running shoes fit comfortably, create a nice bounce as you run, and provide great arch support. Plus, they won’t constrict your feet because they are made from lightweight mesh.

They’re also quite breathable thanks to their air mesh upper and extra ventilation features. No matter how hot it is outside, your feet’ll stay cool.

13. Saucony Women's Kinvara 10 Running Shoe

Our rating: 6 / 10

Saucony Women's Kinvara 10 Running Shoe

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Pros:

  • Easy to put on
  • Soft top lining
  • Nice design and color scheme
  • Extremely lightweight

Cons:

  • A little narrow
  • Vulnerable to foot injuries when running long distances

The Saucony Women’s Kinvara 10 is an excellent example of how a shoe company manages to take something old and turn it into something new. The Kinvara first came out in 2011 as a lightweight shoe for racing and training. Then in 2015 Saucony added a 2 millimeter heel-to-toe drop for a mild underpronating foot. Now, in the Women’s Kinvara 10, it offers a softer collar to open up the shoe, while keeping the midsole intact and an unchanged outsole. The result is a very comfortable, soft, and pliable shoe that is a pleasure to run in on the road or for cross-training off it.

Saucony has been a reliable brand for almost 30 years now and has been known for its innovative and adaptive designs. The Kinvara is part of Saucony’s ever-growing stable of intelligence-based running shoes that help runners deal with a variety of issues, from pronation, to the base of the shoe, to its lightweight design, the Kinvara 10 is, in a word, a thoughtful shoe.

14. Skechers Womens GOrun 6 Gray/White 7 B

Our rating: 6 / 10

Skechers Womens GOrun 6 Gray/White 7 B

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Pros:

  • Competitive price
  • Good flexibility
  • Unbeatable cushioning
  • Sturdy heel
  • Great for lunges
  • Consistently good turnaround time

Running Shoe

15. ASICS Women's Gel-Hyper Tri 3 Running Shoe

Our rating: 5 / 10

ASICS Women's Gel-Hyper Tri 3 Running Shoe

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Pros:

  • Well-made and durable
  • Cushioning and support

The New ASICS Women’s Gel-Hyper Tri 3 Running Shoe (model ASICS-1241) is a versatile and comfortable sneakers for triathlon, competitors and non-competitors alike. They are available at 8-US 9-Euro size.

The Tri-specific upper increases speed and transitions, while the extra-long laces and extended tongue offer a better lockdown. The luxurious comforDry sockliner and Gel cushioned sole help keep your feet dry and supported throughout your performance.

The sole of the Tri 3 is made of durable Solyte and offers maximum comfort and a lightweight sensation. It also features DuraSponge which makes sure this shoe is ideal for everyday use. Other design details include exposed carbon midsole, X-10 carbon composite outsole, ASICS GEL cushioning system, and ASICS High Abrasion Rubber in the heel.

16. Zoot Ali'i 16-U Running Shoe

Our rating: 5 / 10

Zoot Ali'i 16-U Running Shoe

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Pros:

  • The water-repellent mesh upper offers lightweight comfort
  • Breathable mesh lining
  • High-quality hydrophobic coating keeps your feet dry in all the right places
  • Quick-tied laces for durability
  • An anatomically correct footbed that offers maximum support
  • Flexible rubber outsole
  • Zero-drop platform

Cons:

  • May fit smaller than other brands
  • A bit pricey

What makes the Zoot ALLI'I 16-U Road Shoe a favorite is its simple construction with some well designed technical features that make runs both comfortable and efficient.

These nimble, lightweight running shoes have a breathable mesh upper with water-repellent function for increased comfort. They contain a Z-Bound midsole for maximum support and an anatomically correct footbed that offers maximum support and comfort. The sole contains a flexible rubber outsole with a Z-Bound midsole for cushioning and lots of anti-shock support, while the upper offers a molded insole which provides additional support.

The Zoot Ali'i 16-U Road expands to fit up to a size 14. The closure system has a lace wrap and quick laced for added durability. The upper contains a knit that has an open weave allowing for breathability and comfort.

17. Salomon Sonic RA Pro WOM Shoe Cl/Bk 7.5 B

Our rating: 4 / 10

Salomon Sonic RA Pro WOM Shoe Cl/Bk 7.5 B

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The Salomon Sonic RA Pro comes in Black/Grey and Silver/Purple. These triathlon shoes get high praise from runners who use them for a variety of workouts, especially in long distance running events.

Are they the best triathlon shoes in 2020? Although Salomon has only a small selection of triathlon shoes available, these ones are the best by a long shot.

These shoes do a great job of helping you run more efficiently and quickly over varying terrain. They have a no-sew overlaid construction and a breathable mesh upper. While the midsole is heel-strike and propulsion optimized.

18. Salomon Sonic RA Pro Road Running Shoe

Our rating: 4 / 10

Salomon Sonic RA Pro Road Running Shoe

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Pros:

  • Resilient, stiff, and sturdy
  • Versatile
  • Durable
  • Comfortable
  • Best value for your money
  • Great traction

Cons:

  • Wide fit, which might not be suitable for those with a narrow feet
  • Not recommended for those with low arches

The Salomon Sonic RA Pro Road Running Shoe is the result of years of input from athletes and trainers, and it provides a remarkably exceptional foot-to-ground connection. It has a powerful, versatile design that can be used for a variety of different training and racing. They fit in virtually all types of terrain – from the road to the trail that is why we recommend this running shoe for those who love trail running.

It has a lightweight sole, a durable upper material, and a luxurious insole – all of this combined gives a perfect comfort to the users. This running shoe is ideal for road runners looking to improve their running skills.

The shoe comes in different colors and sizes, it has a 250-gram, non-removable foot bed, and it comes in a standard width. Managing Editor Grant Davis says that the Salomon Sonic RA Pro Road Running Shoe provides a fast-paced, responsive ride which is why it is considered by many as the best triathlon running shoes in 2020.

19. Zoot Women's W Makai Running Shoe

Our rating: 3 / 10

Zoot Women's W Makai Running Shoe

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Pros:

  • Excellent for training
  • It provides excellent cushioning
  • Breathable mesh upper
  • Very comfortable; snug fit

The Zoot Women’s W Makai Running Shoe is an excellent choice for runners and athletes who are looking for high performance and high quality shoesbuilt for speed workouts.

Features:

  • It has a very breathable mesh upper that helps to keep your feet cool and comfortable.
  • It comes with a full length Memory Tech Cushioning system that delivers high impact absorption and that provides cushioning where you need it.
  • The midsole of the shoe incorporates Zoot’s patent pending 3.10 GPS technology which allows you to feel the road with a much more natural feel.
  • The Zoot Women’s W Makai comes with an attractive design. It is available in two attractive color options.

20. Zoot Men's M Makai Running Shoe

Our rating: 3 / 10

Zoot Men's M Makai Running Shoe

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Pros:

  • Great for running and walking
  • Light-weight
  • Good flexibility

Cons:

  • Might not fit everyone as it is a very snug fit
  • Takes a little time to adjust for individuals who have never used a runner with zero drop

The Zoot Men’s M Makai Running Shoe is a great product for those who know they want a zero drop shoe, but don’t know where to find one.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What running shoes do pro triathletes wear?

Pro triathletes have a wide variety of preferences when it comes to shoes. Sandals are popular for running and transitioning, but in triathlon, performance is the name of the game.

The most common triathlon shoe is the Kinvara 3. It's a light, fast shoe that provides cushioning for running and a lightweight tread for the cycling leg. For the swim, pro triathletes tend to go with a water-friendly shoe like the Xterra Nimbus.

Some triathletes stray away from tri-specific shoes and choose a road shoe instead. A popular choice for the running leg is the Nike Free Run.

The Racer is a popular option for tri-specific shoes for men. These shoes are designed for optimal performance and a sleek look. The use of Flywire technology, a Nike proprietary technology, provides runners with a lightweight design.

What are the best running shoes 2021?

While everyone’s taste in shoes is a little different, there are a great many shoes that can be classified as great. And the majority of those are included in this list.

In order to compile a list of running shoes, you need to know what types of shoes exist, as well as what the best types of shoes are. We briefly mentioned it earlier in this article, but here is a more in-depth breakdown of the types of shoes on the market.

Can you run in triathlon shoes?

The triathlon running shoes are intended to be used in a wide variety of competitive races but can handle their own on the open road. These are a great option for full and half marathons, ultra-marathons, and just experienced runners looking for something new.

Many of these shoes are designed with ultra-light mesh made of fabric and stabilizing materials for better cushioning, support, and comfort. Many of these shoes, including the Saucony Cortana, feature a water-resistant coating to deal with different weather conditions. The lacing system is designed to lock your foot in place as you move forward and avoid slippage on different surfaces.

A variety of different features are built into each shoe, so the general consensus is that if you are just starting out running you should look for a shoe that is specifically designed for that purpose.

What kind of shoes should I wear for a triathlon?

For a short distance triathlon such as a 5 K or a sprint triathlon, most triathlon running shoes will work well enough for you. If you aren’t sure how serious you are yet and are still in the beginner triathlete phase, then you can opt to buy a simple pair of running shoes.

More often than not, these shoes will be enough for you, although you will want to buy some type of triathlon-specific shoes if you are training for longer distances such as Olympic distance or Ironman.

Most of the time, triathlon-specific shoes are not all that different from a regular pair of running shoes. They will have a snug fit that helps reduce sloshing from your feet, so you won’t feel as sluggish as you would in a pair of regular running shoes. They may also have a thicker sole that helps accommodate the longer distances that you will be running.

Conclusion

To evaluate the top triathlon running shoes, we first want to know how much each shoe weighs. So we weighed each shoe.

Well, here are results! Now that we know the weight of our contenders, it’s time to put them to the test. We will see how each shoe performs in four categories: comfort, support, durability, and price.

There is a lot to consider when buying new shoes. If you enjoy running, you want to choose the best triathlon running shoes for you. When looking for the best shoes, you want to start by narrowing down your options to find the best triathlon shoes for you in your price range.

Our Recommendation

NameCategoryProduct
ASICS Noosa FF 2 Women's Running ShoeBest OverallASICS Noosa FF 2 Women's Running Shoe
Lock LacesBudget PickLock Laces
Brooks Women's Launch 7Upgrade PickBrooks Women's Launch 7