The Gaerne Kona Tri’s boast the same uppers as the shoes that Pete Jacobs rode to Ironman Hawaii glory in 2012, but you can save £30 by choosing the composite soles here over Jacob’s carbon-soled versions.
Weighing in at 287g for a UK size 9.5, they’re acceptably light and have all of the tri-specific features you’d expect: reverse Velcro fasteners with easy-to-grab tags, decent-sized heel loops, heel and toe bumpers and well-ventilated uppers.
We usually like to see some drainage holes in the soles, but on some soaking wet rides they didn’t hold water. Handmade in Italy, the fit is typically narrow so you may need to size up, but for sock-free riding the inners are seamless and soft and the heel cups supportive.
We’ve no complaints about the stiffness of the soles, but a blind test with carbon and composite would certainly be an interesting one.
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