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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.
If you’re looking for new running shoes for triathlon, the following are great off-the-bike options that our squad of coaches recommends to their athletes.
New Balance FuelCell SuperComp Elite v3
As one of the newest running shoes for triathlon, the New Balance FuelCell SuperComp Elite v3 is a highly flexible, lightweight, and responsive shoe, built with a propulsion-generating carbon fiber plate.
Available in a wide version for wider feet, the SuperComp Elite v3 features a full-length FuelCell foam midsole, which provides a soft, bouncy, and energetic ride. In turn, they come highly reviewed for their extraordinary comfort.
The SuperComp Elite v3 is designed with rocker geometry which helps roll the foot forward as you run, providing a smooth and efficient stride. The 4mm drop is an ideal heel-to-toe offset that provides a solid balance of natural ground feel and support.
ON Running Cloudboom Echo 3
The Cloudboom Echo 3 running shoes are one of the latest models from ON Running, a brand that sponsors some of the best professionals in triathlon, including Kristian Blummenfelt, Gustav Iden, Chelsea Sodaro, and Paula Findlay.
For a supportive shoe with a 10mm drop, the ON Cloudboom Echo 3’s are designed with a carbon plate, providing a stiff and responsive feel. The shoe is made with multiple layers of Pebax foam, which is known for its lightweight properties and energy return.
The ON Cloudboon Echo 3 is a premium purchase at $289. Learn more about this cutting-edge triathlon-friendly shoe or shop directly from on-running.com.
Brooks Hyperion Tempo
The Brooks Hyperion Tempo is a lightweight and responsive running shoe that is specifically engineered to run faster. It features a nitrogen-infused DNA FLASH midsole, which is designed to provide responsive and durable cushioning to better enhance stride and speed.
The shoe has a breathable upper that provides added ventilation, making it ideal for multisport athletes. The Hyperion Tempo’s 8mm drop and long axis flex allow for a more stable, comfortable landing.
TYR RD-1 Runner
Made from a triathlon-minded brand, the TYR RD-1 Runner is a running shoe that’s designed to facilitate efficiency and responsiveness for the most elite runners.
The RD-1’s Surge NRG Foam midsole, engineered mesh upper, and 10mm heel-to-toe drop provides a comfortable and natural feel during runs, while its lightweight design and ability to enhance stride and speed can make it a suitable option for runners who want a responsive and efficient shoe.
Highly reviewed and very well priced, the TYR RD-1 Runner’s are worth checking out. See these shoes and others like them at TYR.com.
As a flagship model in Saucony’s line-up since 2010, the Kinarva is a versatile, lightweight running shoe that’s well-suited for triathletes. Its low 4mm drop encourages a more natural running position and its breathable upper helps keep the feet cool and dry.
Unlike most ultra- and triathlon running shoes with bulky soles, the Kinvara has a low-to-the-ground design. This provides better ground contact and a more natural feel that’s less muted compared to overly-cushioned shoes.
ON Running Cloudsurfer
The Cloudsurfer from ON Running is intended for a neutral or supinated foot motion, designed around its Helion midsole, which provides plush cushioning for road running. It’s a versatile trainer that’s suitable for up-tempo runs and racing.
These shoes feature ON Running’s CloudTec technology, which includes cloud pods on the outsole that offer a responsive ride by individually absorbing the impact of the heel strike and transferring it into forward momentum.
Newton Running Fate 8
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.
In addition to being very well-ventilated, the Fate 8 weigh only 8.8 ounces (women’s 7.4 ounces), making them very lightweight. Visit NewtonRunning.com to learn more about the Fate 8. Or shop these shoes on Amazon.
Saucony Endorphin Pro 2
According to many triathletes and coaches we work with, this is one of the best running shoes 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.
Altra Escalante 2.5
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 is positively reviewed and provides a great option for triathlon. And if you run trails or Xterra tri, then check out Altra’s Lone Peak trail running shoes.
Asics Noosa Tri 15
The Noosa Tri 15 is the latest version in this triathlon-minded series from Asics. These running shoes are made specifically for triathletes, especially when it comes to how they go on and off. You can get them on in a blink of an eye and they’re known for their amazing comfort, even when worn without socks.
Asics Noosa Tri 15 is a great shoe for both racing and training, so you don’t have to invest in different pairs for different uses. They come in a variety of colorful styles, each uniquely loud in their own original way.
Hoka One Carbon X 2
Hokas are very popular today, mainly due to their plush cushioning that’s paired with great and almost weightless responsiveness. The shoe’s materials are also high quality and breathable.
However, what sets Hoka One Carbon X 2 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.
Zoot Ultra Kalani 3.0
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. Check them out on Amazon.
Newton Distance 10
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.
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 a weightless feel. Finding your best triathlon running shoes is no easy endeavor.
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 the time, 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 are preferred for most triathletes.
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.
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.
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Endurance athlete, professional off-road cyclist, and avid blogger, Tyler Tafelsky participates in long-course multisport and cycling events. Today, Tyler competes in ultra-distance cycling races at the professional level. Since starting Better Triathlete in 2014, he has been the head of content for the site's editorial team. Learn more about Tyler