Avid triathletes will know how crucial the transition time during a triathlon is. For serious triathletes, a quick transition is about more than just how quickly you can get from the bike to road.
It’s also about how the right equipment and tools to ensure that you can shave off even just a few seconds, which could be the difference between first and second place.
One of those pieces of equipment that makes a seemingly substantial difference is your shoelaces. Rather than messing around with untying and retying regular laces, it’s a good idea to invest in a pair or two, that don’t require much ‘work’ from your side. They could save you seconds, if not even a couple of precious minutes during your next race.
There are several different varieties of laces available that are ideal for avid triathlon goers. Check out our favorite picks for the best shoelaces for triathletes:
1. Xtenex X300 Laces
These Xtenex laces are very efficient for speeding up your transition because again, they do not need adjusting or tightening in any way. Upon first receiving these laces, tie them into your shoe as you would any other laces. Then, you won’t need to re-tie them or adjust them again.
A great feature of these unique laces is that they feature tiny knots all the way along the lace. For a tighter fit, feed more knots through. And for a looser fit, leave more knots out. You can test and try the tightness to ensure you have got the correct and secure enough fit.
The knots are incredibly firm and will not budge when added pressure or excess movement is carried out. This being said if your feet tend to swell when you run, make sure they are slightly looser when you first tie them in order to allow room for movement. The laces allow the shoes to move freely with your feet and are a good comfortable option.
They are made from strong material that makes the Xtenex X300 Laces highly durable and long-lasting.
2. QI Laces
Similar to above, QI Laces are lock laces that enable you to quickly and easily slip your foot in and out of the shoe. The tightness of the laces are adjustable, you simply have to pull the locking mechanism in towards the shoe until it is tight and secure enough on your foot.
It offers both comfort due to the zig-zag design which sits across the top of the foot, reducing and eliminating any pressure or discomfort.
The great thing about QI Laces is their durability. They are made from high tension, strong material that does not lose its firmness or tightness over time, meaning you will be able to use them for many training sessions and triathlon events alike.
3. Lock Laces
Although ‘lock laces’ are a style type of shoelaces, they are also they’re own brand too. The Lock Laces brand is the original maker of triathlon laces. What’s good about these, is that they are no-tie, no-fuss laces. You can slip your feet right into the shoe, pull them tight, and you are good to go.
They work to create a high compression system which helps to reduce pressure points as well, which means more comfort over a longer period of time. The design also contours to your feets specific movements, making them sufficiently flexible as well as offering great overall support and stability.
4. Racing Laces Reflective Elastic
These elastic laces are highly durable, due to being made up of 12 bands of strong rubber. Because of their high quality material, they are firm, sturdy and help to keep your feet in place. The laces also help protect your feet whilst also giving a good amount of stability.
With these laces, you need to spend some time threading them through your shoes and testing the tightness of them. Once you have found the perfect snug fit, that’s it, you don’t have to touch them again! This makes for an extra quick transition because all you need to do is slip your feet in, and off you go.
If you tend to experience swelling in your feet while you run, you should not worry. These laces have a good amount of elasticity that allow some movement if your feet do expand over the course. They contour and move to your foot’s position and movement, which helps with giving your feet more space, if need be. This is a superb feature to prevent any discomfort and let alone painful injuries.
They use high quality, strong materials which makes them very durable and long-lasting.
5. Nathan Lock Laces
Nathan Lock Laces lace into your shoe as any other regular laces would. Simply thread the elastic through in a zigzag formation, then lace each end through the open locks and secure with the clip. When it comes to the transition, all you will need to do is slide your feet in quickly, and pull the laces tight with one fast tug, and you can be on your way!
These are good laces because they do not add any unnecessary pressure on the top of your feet. And they are not overly tight either, so you will not experience any discomfort or pain. They are however said it be a little looser than other brands, which may be good or bad depending on your personal preference.
It would be good if you have wider than average feet, or if your feet tend to sweat or swell a lot during your run.
OUR BEST PICK
And the winner is….
Lock Laces! Although we are fans of all five laces we recommend, we are pulled the most to Lock Laces.
Lock Laces no-tie system are great for turning any running shoe into a more efficient triathlon shoe. They are the original no-tie laces and have a superb reputation for triathletes and sportsmen and women across the world.
They conform easily to your foot, making them custom fit no matter your foot shape or size. The laces move and flex with the movement and position of your foot which ensures no discomfort or pain is felt, and instead performance is optimised.
A high compression system works with the laces to reduce pressure points which mean longer lasting comfort and support.
The laces are really easy to install to any shoe and are quick and easy to use when it comes to training and triathlon events. Due to the simplicity of the locking mechanism, it considerably speeds up transition time, allowing you to shave off some crucial seconds and perform at your very best!
Shoelaces for triathletes need to be: quick and easy to do up and undo, and should allow you to slip your foot in as fast and efficiently as possible.
There are a few different variations of shoelaces that are convenient for triathletes which you will have read about above, and they include lock laces, elastic laces and knot laces. The design behind such laces is to ensure they will speed up your transition time, making it as efficient as possible.
Types of Laces
Lock laces feature a locking mechanism normally made of plastic, that enables you to tighten your shoes in one quick tug. They also allow you to put on or take off your shoe with just one hand. Simply slide your shoe on and pull the toggle tight and you can start running right away.
The laces themselves are made from elastic which makes them flexible, supportive and snug-fitting. These laces are always tied at the same tension level, and allow you to slip your foot into each shoe without having to even touch the laces at all. They stretch as your foot goes in, and then snap back to sufficient tightness when your foot is comfortably in.
What’s also really great about elastic laces, is that if your feet begin to swell during the run, you can very quickly and easily adjust the tightness so that is slightly looser, which will help control blood flow as well as comfort.
Knot laces are another great option for triathletes because similar to the above, they also essentially turn your running shoe into a ‘slip on’ shoe. The laces are thread into any running shoe as normal, but they feature small knots all the way along that determine the tightness.
To ensure that you get the tightness right for you, put the shoes on and then thread the laces through, then test out which knot feels the most snug yet comfortable for you. Make sure the shoe isn’t overly tight, otherwise you may experience some discomfort.
Once you have worked out how tight you need them, that’s it! Now you can slide your shoes on and off quickly and easily with no fuss!
What are the advantages of these laces?
As you already know, the great thing about the lace types above is that they can help you to achieve a much faster transition time during your triathlon event, so if you are a serious triathlete who wants to compete at your fastest possible speed, these laces will help.
No Starting and Stopping
Is there anything more frustrating than an untied lace whilst you are mid-run? Having to stop to tie a lie stops the flow and momentum you have amassed during the run so far, and of course adds valuable seconds to your overall time. Not. Good.
A Good Fit
All three of the above types of laces will allow you to adjust the laces to a certain tightness, whilst still being able to quickly slip them on and off. With regular laces, they have to be untied, loosen, re-tied and tightened, which is a much longer process. With elastic, lock or knot laces, you can ensure that your shoes fit perfectly in just one quick movement.
These laces are also designed to sit snugly over the top of your foot. When it comes to finding the perfect running shoe for triathlons, they have to fit in a snug and tight way, without being too tight. Elastic laces help to add that ‘snug’ feel to ensure the shoe fits around your fit in the right way.
Overall, shoelaces for triathletes are a worthy investment if you are looking for added comfort and convenience, and want to do everything you can to make your triathlon experience faster and more efficient.
Simply thread your new laces through your running shoes, determine the tightness level you require and that really is it. If after a training session you decide that the laces seemed too tight or even too loose, not to worry, simply readjust the toggle (for lock laces) or the knots (for knot laces) and try again. It really is that simple!