Take these 7 triathlete-centric running shoes for a test run.

best triathlon running shoes

With all the gear that goes into multisport, triathlon running shoes are one of the most important investments. Feeling confident on your feet in the last leg of the race is crucial to performing your best, not to mention feeling good logging all those training miles.

Next to having a properly fit bike and wetsuit, quality running shoes are key. But when it comes to footwear, everyone has unique feet and shoe preferences – from zero-drop and cushy soles to wide toe boxes and weightless feel. Finding your best triathlon running shoes is no easy endeavor. 

If you’re looking for new running shoes to support your triathlon training and racing endeavors, the following are great off-the-bike options that have earned a positive reputation in the tri community. 

1. Newton Running Fate 8

Newton Running Fate 8 Triathlon Shoes

As the quintessential brand in the triathlon shoe space, Newton Running continues to evolve its product line with some of the best footwear options for triathletes. Offering neutral support and responsive cushioning, Newton’s Fate 8 shoes are superior in minimizing impact while maximizing running economy. They’re also only 8.8 ounces (women’s 7.4 ounces), making them very lightweight. Visit Newton’s official site to learn more about the Fate 8 in men’s and women’s.

Purchase these Newton Running Fate 8’s on Amazon.

 

2. Saucony Endorphin Pro 2Saucony Endorphin Pro Women's Triathlon Running Shoes

According to many triathletes, this is the best shoe on the market today. It’s light and sleek in design and has a Hoka-esque feel like you’re running on clouds. Saucony’s Endorphin Pro 2 offers great support and has a comfortable weight even after long running sessions. This shoe is also dependable—it will offer support, feel good for the entire body and allow you to focus on the race instead of your feet, and it will do this every time. 

Purchase the Endorphin Pro 2’s in Men’s or in Women’s on Amazon.

 

3. Altra Escalante 2.5

Altra Escalante 2.5 Tri Running Shoes

Well known for its zero-drop technology for natural running, Altra checks a lot of boxes for triathlon-friendly running shoes. Most models are lightweight, provide ample cushion, and have a wide toe box with ample room for toe splay. The Escalante’s are a fantastic, neutral-stable road runner with models ranging from 2, 2.5, 3, and 4. Our favorites are the Escalante 2.5, which are positively reviewed and provide a great option for triathlon. And if you run trails or Xterra tri’s, then check out Altra’s Lone Peak trail running shoes.

Purchase the Altra Escalante 2.5 on Amazon in Men’s and in Women’s.

 

4. Asics Noosa Tri 13

 

Asics Noosa Tri 13 Triathlon Run Shoes

These shoes are designed with triathletes in mind, and designers focused specifically on the way these go on and off. It’s possible to get them on in a blink of an eye and they will still provide you with amazing comfort, even when worn without socks. Asics Noosa Tri 13 is a great shoe for both racing and training, so you don’t have to invest in different pairs. See it in men’s and in women’s on the official Asics website.

Purchase the Noosa Tri 13’s on Amazon in Men’s and in Women’s.

 

5. Hoka One Carbon X

hoke one carbon x triathlon running shoe

Hokas are very popular today, mainly due to their plush cushioning that’s paired with great and almost weightless responsiveness. Materials are also high quality and breathable. However, what sets Hoka One Carbon X apart from other similar shoes is the carbon fiber plate in the sole that absorbs all the bumps and shock from running. This will additionally make your runs light and comfortable and keep your legs, knees, and ankles safe from injury

Purchase the Hoka One Carbon X’s on Amazon in Men’s and Women’s.

 

6. Zoot Ultra Kalani 3.0

 

Zoot Ultra Kalani 3.0 Running Triathlon Shoes

Besides looking very sleek and minimalist (not chunky at all), Zoot Ultra Kalani 3.0 shoes are specifically designed to provide a comfortable fit and keep your runs pain-free. Lightweight cushioning allows great energy return, and you can wear these bad boys barefoot if that is the running style you’re going for. They’re also one of the most affordable triathlon running shoes at a fraction of the cost of other options.

Purchase the Zoot Ultra Kalani 3.0 shoes on Amazon in Men’s and Women’s.

 

7. Newton Distance 10

Newton Distance 10 triathlon shoes

If you need a versatile shoe, Newton Distance 10’s are perfect for both stability runners and neutral runners, while also being fast and comfortable. Since it’s so versatile, one would expect a chunky and heavy shoe, but Distance 10’s will surprise you with its lightweight feel. Overall, if you want something reliable and propulsive to push you through your race, you’ll find a faithful companion in these elegant shoes. 

Purchase the Newton Running Distance 10’s on Amazon in Men’s and in Women’s.

 

What to Look for in Triathlon Running Shoes?

Triathlon training keeps you in your running shoes for a long time, especially if you’re a long-course athlete training for Ironman. A lot of time in high-moisture running shoes can provide a perfect breeding ground for fungi and bad odor. Luckily, the good breathability of the shoes can remove sweat and allow more comfortable training. Shoes with mesh and air mesh are where it’s at for most triathlon athletes. 

Durability 

Triathlons require a lot of training, so expect your shoes to exhibit wear and tear quickly—that’s natural and impossible to prevent. However, you definitely don’t want to invest in new shoes every couple of months, even if you have the means to afford that. 

When checking for durability, check the sole for cracks and opt for models made with quality materials. Also, make sure to grab a warranty so you can replace your shoes in case they break without it being your fault. 

Flexible as You Need

Your running shoes need to offer the right support for your unique running style and be flexible enough to allow you to practice your natural to achieve optimal efficiency. If you follow any free sport coaching videos, you know how important it is to maintain a steady pace of running. 

With a good triathlon coach and the right gear and shoes, you’ll not only achieve better results but also prevent injuries and discomfort. Your perfect shoes have multi-directional flexibility that will also provide enough support to the foot and maintain a proper shape.

Budget and Personal Qualities

Choosing your new triathlon running shoes is not an easy decision because one wrong choice can cost you a lot of money. Let’s be honest. Some of the best running shoes cost upwards of $150 or more. Now that you know what to pay attention to, you can judge the aforementioned models yourself and pick the best one for you. For instance, the Endorphin Pro 2’s cost around $200, which is no light purchase.

saucony endorphin pro 2 triathlon-running shoes

Last Word

Training for a triathlon is one of the hardest sports an endurance athlete can do. It requires a high volume of training (and recovery), mental discipline, and incredible focus. It also requires using the right gear and equipment that maximize your athletic potential. 

Finding the right tri-friendly running shoes for your feet is a crucial part of acquiring the right gear. With all the options and considerations, it can be a lot to navigate. Hopefully, this post has helped guide your journey to finding the right triathlon footwear to fit your needs.

About the Author

Randolph Spencer is a professional writer and blogger with 10 years of experience. As a writer for Better Triathlete, Randolph is a proficient endurance athlete who specializes in running. He also likes traveling around the globe and writing about various topics that he finds interesting to his readers.