21 January 2020

Triathlon blog: Triathlon specific running shoes

May 7, 2015

Having entered my first triathlon (The Vitality World Triathlon – London), I am only now beginning to understand why people get so obsessed with the sport. There are so many elements to consider – three different sports to train for, three different sets of kit to contemplate, the transition and of course what to eat and when. For someone who likes to try and keep things simple, it’s a minefield!
Training is going as well as can be expected, my front crawl technique is improving and despite a slow-motion-over the handlebars crash at the weekend, the cycling is coming together. Running is probably the least of my worries, it’s only 5km and I do that distance at Parkrun most weeks.

Not wanting to get too complacent though, I am investigating the world of triathlon specific running shoes – are they necessary? What are the benefits?

The main points seem to be that they are easy and fast to put on in transition, comfortable when worn without socks and don’t hold moisture. They are certainly not essential, but seem to make sense if you really get into the sport.


I am trying a pair of Zoot Ultra Kane 3.0 from Sportshoes, they’re lightweight and comfy and so far so good – except they are very bright and shout ‘I am a Triathlete’ which I am not sure I am ready to say yet!

The biggest difference for me is the construction – there is no tongue as such and the laces are almost surplus to requirement. Putting them on is, at first, more difficult rather than less difficult, but I’ve realised that this is mainly down to technique. They are designed with a big loop at the back,  a super stretchy opening and a large eyelet hole in the tongue, so you just shove your toes in the then tug the loop and tongue eyelet and ‘voila’ you’re ready to go. It also helps to put them on quickly with no fuss, as you would in a race scenario – in other words you just need to go for it!


I’ve been wearing them barefoot/sockless and despite a small rub (in my usual vulnerable spot) they are great, in fact they make me wonder why I even wear socks in warmer weather.

My research also recommends putting talc in them for the both the ease of transition (slippery and speedy) and to help absorb moisture and prevent rubbing. Since I am opting to wear running shoes for the cycle too, I reckon this is a good idea. I am still tempted to take a small towel to stand on though… but is that just a bit too fussy? I can’t decide.

Shoe details
Zoot Ultra Kane 3.0
Sizes: 4-9
Price: £59.95 (rrp £114.99)
More info: www.sportsshoes.com

The next blog post features my first attempt at open water swimming, which despite the water being cold and murky – I am glad to have done. It’s not as simple as it might seem!

Danielle Sellwood, Sportsister
The Women’s Sports Magazine

The Vitality London Triathlon is 30/31 May. Come and watch the action and get inspired, the pro’s will be racing in the afternoon of the 31st so it’s a great opportunity to catch some world-class action and show your support! More information here.

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