Built with triathlon in mind, Ekoi’s Triathlon cycling shoes ($290) are designed to help you speed through transition, then get the most out of each pedal stroke once you’re out on the bike course. Performance is the name of the game here, thanks to a stiff sole and a well-designed upper that’s both comfortable and packed with features to help you speed through transition.
Transition set up
Thanks to the “two-loop” feature at the back of the shoe, it’s quick and easy to get the Ekoi Triathlon shoes on as you’re bolting out of T1. The lower loop allows you to loop an elastic to your crank or the rear hub, which will keep your shoes straight on the pedals. The second loop makes it easy to grip the back of the shoe and pull your foot in.
There are two Velcro straps to help you quickly strap your foot in for a supportive and comfortable fit once you’ve got past the mount line and are ready to hammer out onto the bike course. The large Velcro strap is notched to keep the shoe open, making it that much easier to get your foot into the shoe.
Out on the road, you’ll get the most out of each pedal stroke thanks to the rigid carbon composite sole that transfers all your power to the pedals – in addition to a comfortable fit and good looks, you also get outstanding performance. The sole comes equipped with a standard three-point attachment, so it’s easy to mount the clips for any brand of pedal. You get all that stiffness and performance in a shoe that weighs in at just 285 g.
Things stay ventilated thanks to a perforated sole, along with the tongueless system that provides some welcome airflow as your effort, and the temperature, rises. The upper is made from breathable, quick-drying Honeycomb mesh, so your feet will dry quickly and remain comfortable throughout your ride. The second Velcro strap on the forefoot gives you a second option for adjusting the shoe to your foot, too.
In real-life practice the Ekoi Triathlon performs as well as advertised – our reviewer put the shoe through its paces during a training camp in Lanzarote, and was thrilled with both the comfort during long rides, and the performance when it came to applying pressure to the pedals during the long (and sometimes steep) climbs. A pair of races have also put the transition qualities of the shoe to the test, and once again the Ekoi Triathlon passed with flying colours.
For those not used to a tongueless design, it can take a bit of getting used to, and you’re going to want some booties if this is your shoe to wear during cooler rides in the fall or spring.
While Europeans are used to seeing lots of pros and elite competitors wearing the Triathlon shoe, the company is only just starting to push its products in North America. Don’t be surprised, though, to see a lot more of these tri-specific cycling shoes in transition this race season – when it comes to transition speed and performance, there’s not much more you could ask for.