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2012 Triathlete Buyer’s Guide: Cycling Shoes

Check out the complete cycling shoe section from the 2012 Triathlete Buyer’s Guide.

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Check out the complete cycling shoe section from the 2012 Triathlete Buyer’s Guide. The complete Guide is available on newsstands now!

Mavic Tri Helium $350
The Tri Helium, resplendent in Mavic’s signature yellow, has a snug, but not overly tight fit and a flat sole. This top-end shoe features a full-carbon-fiber sole that is exceptionally stiff and lightweight, a heel loop that’s easy to grab and a unique closure system. The main strap over the arch runs inward toward the bike, and the minimalistic front closure secures the foot with less material and therefore less weight, helping the shoe stay true to its Helium name. Mavic.com

Pearl Izumi Tri Fly III Carbon $180
When you clip in and start pedaling, you’ll immediately notice the incredibly stiff carbon sole. A crease in the sole gives it superior vertical stiffness. The mid-foot and toe box have a slightly narrow fit and ventilation so good it will leave tan lines on the top of your foot. The unique closure system has two Velcro straps running in opposite directions. The main strap can be locked open for speedy transitions, which are also aided by the nylon heel strap. Pearlizumi.com

Specialized Trivent Expert $175
The Specialized Trivent Expert’s secure but roomy fit is comfortable from the second you slip it on. Unique features such as a fully perforated insole for exceptional drainage, replaceable heel tread fixed with bolts accessed from inside the shoe and chrome composite sole intended to deflect road heat are some of the Expert’s defining features. The sole has an integrated varus wedge, which tilts the foot 1.5 degrees to the outside and, according to Specialized, improves alignment for most but not all athletes. Specialized.com

Sidi T3.6 $360
The T3.6 has a slender, nuanced fit. Its tightly cut mid-foot and slender heel cup tightly grip the foot and bond the sole to the rider. Sidi’s refined fit and soft inner liner creates a perfect connection with a bare foot. The sole is extraordinarily rigid. It has all the attributes that help with a quick flying mount—simple Velcro strap closure system, gaping foot opening and large heel loop—and a cleverly placed bolt that secures the heel cup to the sole in case the shoe gets jammed against the pavement. Sidiamerica.com

Shimano SH-TR31 $130
As with all Shimano shoes, the SH-TR31 provides tremendous value for the dollar. The shoe has an exceptionally comfortable yet secure fit with plenty of room in the toe box. While this shoe lacks the stiffness of a carbon fiber sole, the difference is imperceptible under the sustained pedaling loads of triathlon cycling. A large single Velcro closure that pulls in toward the bike securely holds your foot in place. The self-supporting large heel loop is easy to grip while rolling down the road after a flying mount. Bike.shimano.com