Maximize Your Performance: Our Favorite Bike Shoes for Road and Triathlon

The right equipment can make a difference in any sport. Although the focus is always on the bike, the shoes are just as important. We have tried many different types of shoes over the years, being avid cyclists.

There are great shoes in every configuration for triathletes, no matter what type of pedal system you are looking for. Each style has its merits. We recommend reading our guide on cleats&pedals to ensure you choose the right shoe for you.

We will be discussing what you should look for in your road or tri-cycle shoes further down. Many of you want us to get straight to the point. Here are our top picks!

Lake CX 237

The Lake TX 222 is a high-end model.

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Lake is to cycling shoes as Porsche is to automobiles. The Lake TX222 is currently our favorite shoe for time trial and hard-core road cyclists. The sole is made from 100% carbon and offers incredible rigidity, allowing for great power transfer. The NuFoam upper adds comfort to the feet. The forefoot is breathable, keeping feet cool during hard work. Large tabs allow for easy hook-and-loop closure. The cleat is placed in a way that ensures the foot is always in the best position for power transfer. For long-term use, the antimicrobial liner keeps things fresh. The Lake is a great shoe for road riders. It covers all bases and the antimicrobial liner helps keep things fresh for long term use.

Pearl Izumi Tri Fly


Great all-around Pearl Izumi Tri Fly.

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The Pearl Izumi Tri Fly, another carbon soled show, also has the clever trick of combining high levels of stiffness and power transfer with a level that allows you to ride the bike comfortably for long sessions. The soft, comfortable liner allows for sockless cycling without any chafing. This shoe was specifically made for triathletes. It has a stiff pedaling motion and enough tread to allow for maneuvering in the transition area.

They can run narrow so you may want to test them first if your feet are wide. They should fit well on narrow feet.

The shoes have a single-strap retention system, which makes them easy to use while on the move. They also feature breathable material that keeps the feet cool and dries out water. The Pearl Izumi Tri Fly shoes have a brighter color scheme than others. They are perfect for one-handed use and feature breathable material to keep the foot cool.

Shimano RP2


Shimano RP2. Great for Spin.

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These shoes are a good budget option for road use but also offer great versatility for multi-purpose and everyday use. These shoes don’t have the triathlon-specific features that others on this list, but they are still very useful for weekend athletes. The glass fiber reinforced nylon sole is a great compromise. It offers exceptional rigidity and without harshness. The retention system is made up of three hook and loop straps. This allows for wide adjustability, which will ensure a perfect fit regardless of the foot width. While the breathable uppers will keep your feet cool, the three hook and loop straps are adjustable.

The shoe has plenty of cushioning to keep your feet cool and comfortable while on the go. It also looks smart without being a bike shoe. The tread makes it easy to walk in this shoe without feeling awkward. It can run a little small so we recommend ordering a half size larger. It can sometimes run a bit small so order a half-size up.

Giro Treble II


Giro Treble - A great value all around

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The Giro Treble II Road Shoes, like the Shimano offering, offer cutting-edge technology at an affordable price. They also do an equally outstanding job with it. The entire pair of shoes is only 569g thanks to the injected nylon sole. They have a cushioned inner sole and upper, as well as a well-designed design that fits most feet.

These shoes are comfortable and can be worn for miles. This shoe is a real bargain and a great all-around bike shoe . Get it here on Amazon.

Tri Bike Shoe, Road Bike Shoe Shopping Guide

Modern bicycle shoes have a clipless design that mechanically attaches to the pedal. This has many advantages. Many people are confused by the term “clipless”, when riders often refer to the connection between the shoe and the pedal as “clipping in”. Clipless simply means that the new design can replace the old toeclips used by cyclists. Modern pedals have a cleat attached on the shoe that locks into the socket on the pedal. This allows for fast disconnection by twisting the shoe. It is very similar to how ski boots attach with skis.

It is vital that the pedal and shoe have a physical connection. This increases efficiency in power transfer between your legs, and the bike. Your effort is transferred more efficiently to the forward motion of your bike. You can also pull up on the pedals and push down to increase power, which is impossible with flat pedals. This attachment inspires confidence and prevents your foot from slipping off the pedals, which can happen with flat pedals in rainy weather.

To compare an all-out ride without shoes and with bikes, you only need a powermeter. Clipping in a cyclist will instantly show a significant improvement. The entire circular stroke is more powerful than the downstroke, which only makes up a third of the motion.

Although there are many types of socket and cleat, they all work on the same principle. They have a locking mechanism in the pedal and a separate, cleat that attaches to the shoe’s sole. Shoes are made with soles that have a socket to allow the cleat to fit into. Although there are many manufacturers, the fittings of cleats are standardized to simplify shoe buying. The most popular clip system is the SPD from Shimano. Other options include LOOK or Time.

It is crucial to find the right shoes for these systems in order to get the best results. Here’s a quick guide to what you should look for in a shoe.

  • The sole of your shoe is what transmits power from your legs to forward movement.
  • Comfort is the next important consideration. Comfort is crucial. Shoes with too stiff soles can cause foot pain. The best shoes have a balance between stiffness and comfort. It is important to have a good fit. Tightness or rubbing can quickly cause discomfort.
  • Make sure the shoe is compatible with your riding style. You might not need a high-end, stiff shoe if your usual ride involves cruising to a bakery followed by coffee with friends. You will need something that is more speed-oriented if you plan to break the Stravarecord every time you go out.
  • We tell people that looks are not something to be concerned about. However, some cyclists prefer shoes that are brightly visible and even neon to make it easier to see on the road.

Both Road and Triathlon shoes are the same. However, there are certain areas that a triathlete may want to prioritize more than a road cyclist. Triathlon shoes must have a wide foot opening to allow for easy transition. The retention system should also be easily adjusted with one handed. Triathletes also require large pull tabs to get their shoes on and off. Make sure to check for tabs that are large enough to grasp while on the move.

Remember that you might want to wear your shoes when running through the transition area as a triathlete. Many triathletes prefer to run barefoot until the moment they mount their bikes, but many beginners and age-groupers prefer to wear shoes while getting ready for the ride. If you’re one of them, ensure your shoes are comfortable enough for you to jog through the transition area. It is often grass, but sometimes can be pavement.

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