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Women's triathlon race day run shoes: 7 of the best reviewed

Specific race day run shoes can give your triathlon run performance a real boost on race day. Here are 7 new pairs tested and rated.

adidas ultraboost laceless


Fresh out of the box, these futuristic rose pink booties (also available in black) looked more something designed to keep the bloggerati happy than for serious running. But there is one big benefit for triathletes – namely the lack of laces – which means you can very quickly slip these on in T1 and go.

They’re also really plush and comfortable, with the Primeknit upper snugly wrapping around the foot to keep it in place yet leaving lots of room for toes to move. We happily wore these without socks, too. Technology-wise you get the same grippy Continental outsole and Boost cushioning as found in the Adizero Adios 3 that scored 85% in issue 348’s men’s race shoe test. The upper seemed a little delicate though and they felt less sure-footed than others from Adidas. 

Verdict:  pack more tech than you might think – but there are better adidas for the spend 72%

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Vivobarefoot Primus Lite Iffley RD


Remember when Born To Run came out and we all went barefoot-mad and promptly shredded our calf muscles? Well, if that put you off, then Vivobarefoot could be the ones to tempt you back. The brand are passionate about educating runners about good biomechanics and after a lesson with their coach (and a lot of practise!) we’re starting to gradually adapt to these zero-drop shoes and a pitter-patter run style. As for the Primus Lite, it’s the lightest run shoe Vivo offer (153g for our UK6) and is super-flexible, designed to fit with plenty of wriggle-room for your toes. We loved the freedom they offer and the feeling of contact with the earth, even if we’re not quite there with running long distances yet! The
shoes feel nicely constructed and, thanks to the mesh upper and soft heel cup dried the fastest on test and were super-comfortable when worn without socks.

Verdict: high potential if you’ re prepared to put in the work to adapt to barefoot 86%

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Asics Dynaflyte 2


With a drop of 8mm and plush inner, these shoes from Asics felt closer to a high mileage shoe than an out-and-out racer, especially when compared to others in the range such as the men’s test-winning Road-hawk [issue 348]. Where they will appeal, though, is if you’re a runner looking for a shoe with a bit more substance that can be used for both training and racing. There are certainly things to like – the upper is breathable and lightweight, while the sole makes use of Asics’ lightweight Flytefoam technology. For us though, these felt a little bit clumpy compared to others in the range and just a touch narrow across the forefoot. As a shoe that would serve you well for longer runs and training as well as racing, they may well be a good call – although those looking for marginal gains should be excited by the new Asics Gel-451 triathlon shoe with boa lacing, reviewed here soon.

Verdict: felt more like a training than a racing shoe, but a good all-rounder 80%

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New Balance Fresh Foam Zante V3


Coming in at 219g (UK6.5) these felt light but still cushioned enough to serve as a regular training shoe as well as a race option – good if you don’t want to fork out for two pairs of shoes and even better value when you consider the price point. Ok, so almost £100 is still a considered spend, but with the price range in this test shooting up to near £160,they’re competitive! The 6mm drop suited us, and straight out of the box they felt comfortable, encouraging a midfoot stride that helped pick up the pace. The sole felt sticky enough despite the shallow tread and gripped well on surfaces both wet and dry. These weren’t as responsive as some of the pure racers on test, but are definitely speedier than your average high-mileage shoe. Plus, they’re super reflective for night running which is a nice bonus! 

Verdict: more of a fast shoe for training and regular use, but will have wide appeal 85%

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Images by The Secret Studio


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