Triathlon Shoes Vs Road Cycling Shoes – Which Are Best For Triathlon?

Triathlon Shoes Vs Road Cycling Shoes – Which Are Best For Triathlon?

Road cycling shoes versus triathlon shoes; what’s your preference, when do you wear them, do you know which is better for the style or distance of racing that you’re doing…?

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See when I first started triathlon I got myself a pair of triathlon bike shoes, and off I went. It wasn’t until a few years later that I actually wore my first pair of cycling specific shoes…and I couldn’t believe what I had been missing out on.

Now I do most of my training in cycling shoes, race longer distance tris in cycling shoes and then short distances tri’s in triathlon shoes. But that’s just my preference, and there are so many pros and cons to each. So, let’s put these shoes head to head, in cycling shoes versus triathlon shoes.

Some of you may be watching this now and scratching your heads… triathlon shoes – for triathlon – that’s why they were designed, surely? You wouldn’t see the Brownlee brothers wearing road cycling shoes in an ITU race.
True, but on the same score, we often see some of the top pros like Jan Frodeno, Ben Hoffman and Sebastien Kienle riding in road cycling shoes.

So, before get too carried away with all of that, let’s quickly run through the two different styles of shoes. Firstly, the pure road cycling shoe.

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  1. Duarte Pais on July 21, 2019 at 12:42 am

    I sewed some loops in the back of my road cycling shoes, to be able to do flying mount in my long distance triathlons

  2. Martin Smith on July 21, 2019 at 12:44 am

    Interesting but a little misleading. When doing the flying mount the 16 secs spent getting in the shoes took Mark all the way down to the big tree (4:14). When putting the shoes on and running in them to the mount line, the 15 secs it taken took him only a few metres beyond the mount line. So the flying mount gained him approx. 50 metres, that is the benefit of flying mounts with your shoes tied on.

  3. Gabbe chico on July 21, 2019 at 12:45 am

    great video! sticking whit me road shoes!! doing IM ty!

  4. crabbypaddy75 on July 21, 2019 at 12:45 am

    Comfort is king doing long distance. Keep the 7 seconds 🙂 . To many people don’t think these things through. I did an IM where there was about a 100m run with the bike from the rack over grass and gravel (less for the pros as they were up front). Some guy next to me had his pedals on a band and was trying to tell me how much time he will save this way. Yeah OK pal, enjoy the Grass and stones you will pick up and launch into your shoe. Run with the shoes on, not elegant but clean feet, and not playing about on the pedals tightening up when I can be pushing the power out.

  5. RL@VD on July 21, 2019 at 12:47 am

    Risks of scratching the heel of road shoes

  6. Merwan Barlier on July 21, 2019 at 12:48 am

    Is it me or the colors of the tri shoes do not match those of the cycling kit ? You could spend so many watts….

  7. stug45 on July 21, 2019 at 12:48 am

    Very interesting video. The shimano Tri shoes you are using have exactly the same carbon sole as my Shimano road shoes which is why I chose them…. therefore comfort for me is actually only affected by temperature which can be helped with socks (more T1 time though!).
    Also interestingly my method in transition is to put the shoes on first and run to the mount line before doing a flying mount and riding off. I mainly do this because I don’t want gravel in my shoe. When I get to T2 I leave the shoes on the bike because I can re-wipe my feet for my trainers! I’ve never had a slow transition this way and I can ride away at a proper speed from the mount line!
    Also, the harder to dry road shoes stay away from the racing so they don’t smell so badly!

  8. Helmut Kok on July 21, 2019 at 12:51 am

    you can do the rubber band trick with road shoes to. Just use some duck tape over the band on the heel

  9. Shikaote on July 21, 2019 at 12:53 am

    5:04 well there you go.

  10. Elrico Greenwood on July 21, 2019 at 12:54 am

    you got a very nice bike! can you do a review on your bike?

  11. Fire Fox on July 21, 2019 at 12:55 am

    Honestly didn’t know this

  12. Jake Hayward on July 21, 2019 at 12:55 am

    Flying mounts not really saving much time.

  13. H I N E K I on July 21, 2019 at 12:56 am

    How are you liking the new bike?

  14. trbeyond on July 21, 2019 at 12:56 am

    Just switched over to road shoes earlier this year and never going back. Now I can have one road shoe for training on TT and road bike and one for racing. Much simpler and absolutely a better fit and platform

  15. RL@VD on July 21, 2019 at 12:56 am

    1:08 selle trop haute

  16. Mat4 Naz on July 21, 2019 at 12:57 am

    Love this BMC bike👍

  17. Anton Stempher on July 21, 2019 at 12:57 am

    those areobars seem pretty narrow, what kind of garmin mount are you using?

  18. Ricardo Carvalho on July 21, 2019 at 12:58 am

    I wondered if those flying mounts were in fact more efficient. Now I’m pretty convinced that they aren’t – and just a lot more dangerous

  19. Michael Vrbanac on July 21, 2019 at 12:59 am

    T1 run to mount line is much further. Accordingly, running in road shoes will be much slower than running in bare feet. Also, you have to include time to put on socks for road shoes. And finally, flying mount means the foot coming over the top is slid right into the shoe not placed on top of shoe. Same with other foot. Then you get up to speed before fastening the straps. That is the fastest way to get out on the bike. Flying mounts take tons of practice to get perfected.

  20. Luca Vitale on July 21, 2019 at 12:59 am

    I think it was not mentioned a big variable (to me): socks!

  21. Danfuerth Gillis on July 21, 2019 at 12:59 am

    5:19 Lmao I don’t even prop my cheaper $250 road bike like that against that wall! I would be fuming if someone did that to my bike lol.

  22. TRiTGeRizZ on July 21, 2019 at 1:00 am

    MTB vs tri shoes next?

  23. Kristoffer Sandvang on July 21, 2019 at 1:01 am

    I feel like cycling shoes are better for longer distances, where the extra support will play a bigger role in how your feet are feeling after. Whereabouts with the triahlton shoes, should be used for the shorter distances, as it does give you the faster transitions times.

  24. D.Eldon on July 21, 2019 at 1:03 am

    Do any triathletes use shoes with SPD cleats and pedals? Shoes are available with rubber outsoles and recessed SPD cleats so you can still run in them. If it’s a long distance to the mount line, this would enable you to run with your bike much better. Also, is anyone using dual-use SPD pedals (one side has the clip, the other side is flat and can be used with street shoes)? The benefit with these dual-purpose pedals is that you can start pedaling hard before you’re clipped in. And you could even cycle while wearing your running shoes during ultra-short triathlons.

  25. Greg Vassilakos on July 21, 2019 at 1:06 am

    The comparison presumes wearing socks when using triathlon shoes. If you use road shoes, you have to get your socks over wet feet during T1. If you use triathlon shoes, you don’t need to put on socks until T2, at which time your feet are likely much drier.

  26. Gray Man on July 21, 2019 at 1:06 am

    I’m new to triathlons, doing my second one in a few weeks. Do you run in those shoes? I would think that running a long distance with that metal clip would be painful. Sorry if it sounds like a dumb question. I guess you could put those clip shoes on while mounting your bike at T1, then put on running shoes at T2? I have been cycling in my running shoes. Any tips are appreciated.

  27. Matthew King on July 21, 2019 at 1:08 am

    This was a great video to do. But I don’t think your timing made any sense. For example when you stopped the timing when doing the flying mounts you were already another 100m up the road. The real comparison would be: a) having a 50-100m run with the bike (with or without shoes on) b) mounting and clipping in/flying mount. c) if doing a flying mount, getitng up to speed first, then putting shoes on. d) stopping the clock at say 500m up the road.

  28. Scott Argyle on July 21, 2019 at 1:08 am

    Just another opinion it would be beneficial to learn to mount your bike from either side you are using valuable time to pick up your bike get behind it and then you have to step up for your mount just get on it and ride I step on mine {pedal/shoe}to help me lift it up swing my leg over I/m rolling already gone

  29. Matt Dion on July 21, 2019 at 1:09 am

    Do tri shoes typically place their cleat screw holes a bit farther back vs. road shoes? I’m just thinking in terms of saving the calves for the run.

  30. Ivan Hrusovsky on July 21, 2019 at 1:10 am

    Mallorca 🤗

  31. Tri Dad Matt on July 21, 2019 at 1:12 am

    I had never really considered using road shoes as I saw no real difference other than how they were done up and I thought this was roe about cyclists not wanting to be compared to triathletes, would there be any difference to power figures etc or is it purely in the comfort?

  32. Jay Richman on July 21, 2019 at 1:14 am

    well done Mark, didn’t know there was much/if any difference between the shoes, cheers!

  33. A C on July 21, 2019 at 1:17 am

    If you have good bike control, I would suggest you sprint a bit before you start slipping into the shoes. That way you’re covering more ground while "wasting time".

  34. Quentin Walker on July 21, 2019 at 1:18 am

    What about mountain bike shoes Best of Both Worlds

  35. Chris Fox on July 21, 2019 at 1:19 am

    So…2 seconds with some relatively difficult to put on road shoes–many have velcro straps and a ratchet. There’s 7 minutes I’ll never get back, tri shoes or otherwise.

  36. Joan Rodriguez on July 21, 2019 at 1:20 am

    So I would say the Tri Shoes will impact significantly (in time) the type of Triathlon you’re doing, for example, Super Sprint or Sprint Triathlon. Hope you can make a comparison vid arriving to T2

  37. Jedi Yoda on July 21, 2019 at 1:20 am

    What about SPD pedals and mountain bike shoes with Velcro, that’s what I use and do a flying mount ( no skidding). CX training helps with this. 😉

  38. Sutlore Keng on July 21, 2019 at 1:23 am

    This video helps a lot on my decision on a new pair of shoes, thumbed up! 🙂

  39. Boris Markus on July 21, 2019 at 1:24 am

    I like the test but it doesn’t take into account that you just got out of a swim had to run bare footed for a few 100 meters and then deal with the shoes. Also you didn’t factor into the time of putting on socks or no socks.

    I agree with you that in longer distances road shoes are much better and for people like me that always wear socks maybe TRI shoes don’t make much sense. I use a hybrid TRI shoes for short events (one boa one Velcro and the fabric loop to get the heal on). Road shoes for longer events.

  40. Mashhour Halawani on July 21, 2019 at 1:25 am

    You gotta try the S-Works 6 I will be surprised if you can finish under 1:30 min… not all the road shoes are equal mate!!

  41. David Chang on July 21, 2019 at 1:25 am

    What happened to the Cervelo?

  42. The Singing Cyclist on July 21, 2019 at 1:26 am

    Really enjoyed this video 😀

  43. waxy mud on July 21, 2019 at 1:29 am

    Since the beginning of this year I had made the switch back to Tri specific bike shoes. I did have a cheaper pair as my first pair of shoes when I started Triathlon, but had switched to road shoes for training miles for the comfort they offered. Over the last 6 months I had got quite use to the Tri shoes for both training miles and competitions. Yesterday after using my road shoes for the first time in ages (my Tri shoes were still soaked after a very sweaty competition ride on Sunday) they just felt so much hotter and restrictive! Great for winter miles but not to good in the heat we had yesterday!

  44. BioStuff415 on July 21, 2019 at 1:30 am

    why to almost all amateur tri guys have a saddle height that is about 2-3cm too high?

  45. Mikel Zubieta on July 21, 2019 at 1:30 am

    5:04 No shame Mark, I’ve done worse!

  46. Clark S on July 21, 2019 at 1:31 am

    Flying mount FEELS quicker. But is it really a quicker way to get the power going on the bike? I haven’t found it to be so. Fact is…you are on the bike sooner but you aren’t actually putting power out still for another 15 seconds or so.

  47. A C on July 21, 2019 at 1:31 am

    Ok so I’m afraid there’s a flaw in your testing methodology. You needed a second line farther down the road, and the clock should stop as you cross it. This is to account for the fact that you *are* farther down the road by the time you finish slipping into the shoes when you do so while riding.

  48. SunPower33 on July 21, 2019 at 1:32 am

    Hi Mark,
    Would’ve been nice to compare puting on road shoes and run with the bike vs. running barefoot and fly mount on tri shoes. In fact I was waiting for this comparison since our last discussion about how much you save when fly mounting on tri shoes.

  49. skykaptain007 on July 21, 2019 at 1:35 am

    I’m too cheap for tri shoes and road shoes so I stick with roads. Also the few extra seconds wont matter compared to fixing my running technique.

  50. stug45 on July 21, 2019 at 1:35 am

    You’re no Matt Stephens at clipping in!