Hello TryAthletes, today we will return to the "equipment" topic with an article on the cycling shoes specifically designed for the three-sport marathon. Why choose special triathlon cycling shoes? What are the benefits?


Whether you are a beginner or intermediate triathlete, you've probably noticed that not everyone wears the same shoes when setting off from the bike park on their trusty steeds, and for good reason!

Even if a so-called "standard" pair of cycling shoes will do the trick, by the end of this article, you'll realize that a pair specially designed for triathlon can save you time and energy in your quest to perform as well as you can. There are benefits for those seeking to improve their personal best time as well as those aiming for a podium place. So, let's go!


As explained above, the main purpose of a triathlon cycling shoe is to improve your time during the transitions. You therefore need to find a pair that you can get on and off very easily.

Before looking at the equipment itself, let's remind ourselves of the importance of the fourth "hidden" sport of the triathlon, namely: the transitions.  Too often neglected during training, quick transitions can save you a lot of time. The benefit of having the right equipment can therefore be crucial in achieving quick transitions. 

Regarding where you should put your cycling shoes, there are two main schools of thought:

- The more common method is to lay your shoes beside the bike, put them on as you finish the swim leg, run with the bike to the exit of the bike park, at which point you get on the bike.

- The second method, which is more technical but much quicker, is to fasten the shoes directly to the pedals, with the help of an elastic that connects the shoes to the frame of your bike, so that you can easily get them on. In this way, as you get out of the water, all you have to do is put your helmet and race number on, and get on your bike as you leave the bike park.

As you've probably realised, the second technique requires a little bit more preparation and training. However, it's a formidable weapon when properly executed.



In order to complete quick transitions, there are many systems that fulfil this need, i.e. 

 - the rip-tab system that has the advantage of being the quickest method.

 - the BOA or ATOP: adjustment knob system that is very precise delivering just the right fit for the foot.

At Aptonia, we opted for a system that is quick to close with a zip, has a wide opening when the shoe is on the pedal, and offers an ATOP adjustment knob to fine-tune the tightening once you've started the cycle leg. 

Most shoes specially designed for triathlon have a very well-ventilated sole and fabric upper that quickly eliminate the moisture from inside without compromising on the comfort and rigidity of the shoe.

The sizing has also been reviewed so that the shoes can be worn without socks. Once again, this can save a lot of time during the transition! 

To get your shoes on even more easily, put a little talc in the shoes before the race. This will make it even easier to insert your foot in the shoe and facilitate the elimination of moisture.



I was fortunate to work with Aptonia on the development of this new triathlon shoe. I tested it and shared my thoughts on this great shoe over a period of several months.

The result is impressive because it was achieved without compromising on the comfort or technical features in any way. Even though there were no races this year, I played along and tested the shoe by practising my transitions after the swim leg and during the link with the run leg. Wearing them mostly without socks, the shoes are always very comfortable and as rigid as a cycling shoe in the equivalent range.  Thanks to the zip and ATOP tightening system, they are quick and easy to tighten and the adjustment is very precise, making them very comfortable during long outings. 

Without hesitation, I would recommend these shoes to anyone seeking to compete in triathlons without drafting, whatever the distance.

In conclusion, triathlon cycling shoes are an accessory that will deliver more comfort and speed up your transitions. They will also give you an opportunity to try something new and practise the swim/cycle leg transitions as well as the cycle/run leg transitions. 

I hope that these explanations have given you a better idea of the benefits of these shoes and that they will motivate you to do even better on the T1 and T2, like the triathletes of the French national team! 

See you soon in the bike parks!



Having always been a sports enthusiast, I practised watersports like competitive swimming and sailing for 15 years. I am a sales assistant in the Decathlon store of Scionzier in Haute Savoie.

Now as an amateur triathlete, I can combine my love of watersports with my desire to push myself to the limit. More at home over long distances, my objective for the 2021 season will be the Nice and Marrakesh Ironman® 70.3.