Close-up of man running on street

Choosing the Right Trainers for a Triathlon

The triathlon is one of the most intense multi-sport events to date, involving cycling, running and swimming across hefty distances. This means your gear needs a fair amount of functionality to cover the breadth of challenges involved.

The right footwear for the running segment of the triathlon is one of the most important considerations you’ll have to make. Check out our tips and tricks to help you find the right trainers for a triathlon below.

Best Triathlon Running Shoes

Finding the best triathlon running shoes can be difficult as even avid runners struggle to find a pair that ticks all the boxes and keep up with the demands of a 5km race as the third leg of an intensive competition.

Fit
One of the most important and overlooked considerations is the fit. You should feel comfortable, enjoy a snug feel in both the heel and midfoot, and have enough room to wiggle your toes. For a quick check, see if you can fit half to a full thumb’s width of space next to the ball of your foot and around your toes. It’s a good idea to pop to your nearest Decathlon store to try them on in person, take a walk and even go for a short jog to get a feel for it and makes it easy to try a few different sizes and compare comfort and fit.

You might even want to try a gait analysis, which will help you determine your foot type as well as any biomechanical issues you need to account for when shopping for footwear to find the perfect fit.

Terrain
Think about the terrain you’ll be running on, as this will directly impact the kind of footwear you’ll need to consider. If you are running mostly off-road, opt for footwear that features a prominent sole to benefit from better traction. Alternatively, on-road runs are best done in smoother soles.

Support
No matter the terrain, you’ll want trainers that offer excellent support for better stability, as you’ll rely on these more than usual due to the combined fatigue involved. The 5k run will be the final segment of the triathlon, which means you’ll already feel a level of exhaustion after completing your swim and cycling, and any extra stability can make a huge difference. This, along with good arch support along with a stable heel, will prevent overpronation and supination and minimise the risk of injury.

Close-up of man running

Type of Running Shoes

To discover the most suitable and swiftest running shoes, let's begin by exploring the various types of footwear at your disposal.

Trainers

Regular trainers, commonly worn in everyday life, represent the most prevalent choice for novice triathletes. They are an affordable, reasonably reliable option available in various price ranges, brands, and featuring diverse footwear technologies. As such, they are generally the most accessible option for new triathletes. Regular trainers fulfill the fundamental requirements, typically providing a comfortable experience for shorter, less strenuous runs, and offering some degree of comfort and support.

However, it's important to keep in mind that triathlons typically involve experienced runners, and regular trainers may only meet the minimum requirements for coping with the intense nature of these activities. This is especially true if you use them as your primary pair of shoes within a rotation. Additionally, you are more likely to experience injuries or discomfort because regular trainers may not absorb impact as effectively as specialised running footwear.

Long-run Shoes

Long-distance running shoes could be the ideal choice if your primary goal is completing the race rather than competing for a top spot on the podium. These shoes offer exceptional durability, stability, and maintain a lightweight design throughout.

A 5k race is relatively long, especially if you plan to push your pace throughout. Long-distance running shoes typically provide excellent cushioning, acting as a reliable buffer between your feet and the pavement, and they offer the right balance of firmness to facilitate a powerful push-off. These shoes are designed to withstand significant mileage and are available in various foam blends for added versatility.

Flats

Flat shoes are ideal for running on roads or tracks, designed to accommodate multi-directional movements, including braking and changing directions—both of which are typically required in the running segment of a triathlon.

Flats are known for their lightweight construction and speed-enhancing features, maximising your energy return and potentially helping you shave off valuable seconds from your time. They are particularly well-suited for interval running at moderate to fast paces.

If you're seeking a triathlon-specific version of flats, consider the carbon-plated variety. These flats are often regarded as some of the best running and racing shoes, perfect for individuals aiming to achieve personal bests. However, they tend to prioritise performance over durability and should be reserved for competition purposes as they wear out faster than other footwear options.

Carbon-plated flats usually come with a higher price tag, reflecting their advanced technology designed to improve split times and overall performance.

Man and woman running outdoors

Fastest Running Shoes

Find the Decathlon-approved fit to find the fastest running shoes in our range.

Kiprun KD900X with Carbon Plate

Kiprun KD900X with Carbon Plate

These men’s running shoes are designed by experts to provide runners with dynamic trainers that stay lightweight and durable. Performance boosting, the KD900X features Pebax Super Foam and carbon plate technology that will shave precious seconds of your best time and deliver incredible energy on your run.

Stay light on your feet and enjoy excellent grip on the dampest surfaces.

New Balance Running Shoes - More V3

New Balance Running Shoes More V3

The New Balance More V3s are designed for women who seek excellent comfort and cushioning during long-distance runs. With Fresh Foam X Oversize technology, you'll immediately notice the difference as you rack up the miles.

These shoes maintain breathability with a thermobonded mesh upper and provide exceptional heel support thanks to a reinforced heel shell. Plus, you won't have to compromise on durability, as they come with reinforced carbon rubber that's built to withstand more than just the basics.

Asics Running Shoes Gel Glyde 3

Asics Running Shoes Gel Glyde 3

The Asics Gel Glyde 3 is an ideal choice for men seeking high-performance running shoes, especially those with overpronation. These shoes provide exceptional cushioning, stability, comfort, and propulsion, ensuring an unmatched fit.

The Gel technology offers outstanding shock absorption for comfort and reduces the risk of injury, while the midsole guarantees both durability and stability. If you're tackling challenging terrain, the AHAR outsole provides the necessary grip and abrasion resistance to keep you going without a scratch.

Women's Voyage Nitro 2 Gore-tex Running Shoes

Women's Voyage Nitro 2 Gore-tex Running Shoes

The Nitro 2 Gore-tex are women’s running shoes that allow you to tackle any terrain in style. The Pumagrip rubber outsole offers excellent traction in less-than-ideal conditions, including mud and ice, offering a tough new upper to suit all foot shapes.

The lightweight foam gives you cushioning and responsiveness while keeping you waterproof for excellent protection, whether rain, mud, or debris.

Choosing the Right Trainers for a Triathlon

Adidas Ultraboost 22 Shoes

Adidas Men’s Ultraboost 22 offers endless energy return, offering a stiffer forefoot for forward propulsion and giving way to a more efficient stride; the Stretchweb Outsole flexes naturally to guarantee a comfortable run, no matter how long the run.

Offering traction on wet and dry surfaces, find out how the shoe's upper can guarantee high performance.

Triathlon Running shoes No Laces

You won't be the first if you’re looking for triathlon running shoes with no laces. It’s a right of passage for runners to struggle with inefficient laces that don’t seem to stay in place no matter how intricate the knots.

Triathlon running shoes are designed with the inconvenience in mind and usually feature fabric laces that stick, but it’s always a good idea to check out the pros of laces running shoes. Here are a few reasons you might consider going laceless:

Low-risk: You’ll be less likely to take a tumble, save yourself from obsessively checking your footwear while on the run, and keep your eyes on the road.
Time-saving: You’ll save precious time in your run by skipping over the stop and start when retying your laces.
Convenient: Easy to put on and take off and transport.
Boost performance: Many lace-less shoes tend to be lightweight, comfortable and versatile and minimise the need for maintenance.

Which trainers are best for running?

When it comes to choosing the best running shoes, several factors must be considered. These include terrain, distance, and your specific goals in the triathlon. If you aim to compete at a high level, carbon-plated flats are a great choice. For a lighter, more durable option that keeps you agile, long-run shoes are a good alternative. It's advisable to visit a store in person to try out different options and find the perfect fit for your needs.

Nike NC DKT Run Revolution 6

Get Race-ready

The triathlon is an excellent opportunity to push your limits and test your capabilities. Ensure you're well-prepared for the running segment with a pair of shoes that instill confidence, allowing you to perform at your best during the final stage of the race. Explore the Decathlon range below to find the perfect pair for your needs.

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