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Zoot’s new Makai racing shoe reviewed

Zoot recently released its new tri shoe for the 2016 season and TMC editors have been testing it out. For the many triathletes out there who race in the brand’s tri-specific racing flats, the Makai boasts several features that makes it a great race day option.

zoot makai women's

The Makai will stand out on any race course with its Hawaiian-inspired patterns and colour scheme. We found the shoe to be as comfortable as it is bright, but suitable for a specific triathlete. At 9 oz., it’s light and has adequate cushioning. The seamless upper helps the foot feel great in the shoe for hours on the road at a time, even without socks. After speed sessions and distance runs, we had no issues with blistering. In fact, we haven’t wanted to take it off since.

When Zoot released the shoe, they said it would be supportive enough for both short and long course racing. After several longer runs, we found that while it’s definitely a great option for short to mid distance racing, it’s not necessarily the shoe you’ll want to run your full distance race in. The shoe felt fast but the mesh upper, while comfortable, prevents it from having the good level of stability some triathletes look for in a long distance shoe. We’re impressed with the shoe’s traction and the way the midsole is solid yet flexible. However for over-pronators, this shoe might not be the best option.


The Zoot Makai offers traditional and Quicklace options. If you’re looking to shave as much time off of T2 as possible, the Quicklaces make life easy. Coupled with a rubber heel tongue, its one of the fastest shoes to put on. While the Quicklace system prevents the laces from coming undone, they couldn’t be tightened enough for the foot to feel truly stable.

The breathable upper and noticeable speed are the highlights of this shoe. At $135 USD it’s a pricier running shoe but for the neutral runner who’s aiming for a run course PB this year, it’s one of the best options.