Triathlon run shoes: 10 of the best for racing the run leg
To provide you with a triathlon boost, it’s wise to have some specific race-day shoes in your triathlon kit bag. Jack Sexty tests and rates 10 pairs of race-day run shoes…
NEW BALANCE VAZEE URGE
New Balance suffered something of a serious PR gaffe back in November (try typing ‘New Balance, Trump’ in a search engine for more info). But based on universal acclaim for their running shoes, we’d strongly advise they stay politically neutral in future; neutral like the Vazee Urge with moderate cushioning and 6mm drop.
Weighing 310g they’re not the lightest and, although we preferred the booty-like heel of the Vazee Pace, others may appreciate the more structured heel counter in the Urge for increased support. The ‘Rapid Rebound’ midsole provides a firm ride, and the mesh upper is very breathable. They’re priced £49.99 on newbalance.co.uk at the time of writing, so if you’re looking for a low drop neutral race shoe with support they’re a steal.
Verdict: A well-constructed do-it-all shoe with plenty of mass appeal 85%
Asics’ DS Racers are now in their 11th iteration and, having raced in many versions, we were keen to see if there’d been any notable updates. On first impressions it seems very similar to the DS Racer 10, with an almost identical upper. The soft mesh is plenty breathable, and the seamless construction minimises rubbing or blistering. They performed well in the wet, and we found the upper was quick-drying after a soggy tempo run. Where Asics have pushed the boat is in their Duomax Support System, with an improved tread at the front that really helps with grip and stability. They’re perhaps too aggressive for the majority of triathletes for 70.3 or above, but for shorter races and well-trained runners the DS Racers are hard to beat.
Verdict: A classic race shoe that’s now better than ever; ticks all the boxes 92%
At 230g the Speed 3 from Sweden’s Salming is surprisingly light for a shoe with plenty of plastic on the solid heel counter and toe section. Where the shoe sheds weight is the super light mesh upper, which is mostly seamless. This provides good ventilation and makes the Speed 3 comfortable to run in without socks, but we found it didn’t perform well in wet conditions due to the high levels of water ingress, which may affect the life of the shoe. This is in contrast to the sole, which has 8mm rubber lugs on the outsole that give good traction on the road and light trails. We found ours sized up a little big. The Speed 3 is being replaced with an updated version for spring/summer 2017, with the new shoe coming with a 6mm drop instead of the 5mm drop on this version.
Verdict: Questions over longevity of the flimsy upper, but otherwise a speedy shoe 78%
The Cloudflow weighs in at 260g with a 6mm drop, offering a supportive, neutral ride. While it didn’t feel as fast as On’s Cloudracer because of the deeper lugs, we found they did improve grip. On’s signature sole unit takes some getting used to, but we don’t really notice the lugs after a couple of miles each time we slip these on, and they do give an added spring to your stride. The upper is breathable and well vented, and we like the soft, flexible tongue that minimises risk of chafing underfoot. A small gripe is the flimsy laces, which we’d straight away swap out for a thicker pair or our locking laces of choice for tri. At £120 the Cloudflow is a big investment, but one that may appeal to runners who want one fairly supportive shoe for training and racing; if you get on with the lugs.
Verdict: Lug shape affected responsiveness, but a well-crafted shoe with good cushioning 80%
Continue reading our guide to this year's race-day run shoes for men (3/3)