The right shoe can help make or break a race, but shoe selection is even more important when that race comes AFTER a swim and a bike. Triathletes have a lot of options when it comes to selecting the right gear, wheels, helmets, wetsuits, googles, gearing and of course, shoes.
With the new emergence of the carbon plated shoes, many triathletes have a dedicated training shoe and a dedicated racing shoe. We picked out some of the best running shoes for triathletes to race with.
BEST RUNNING SHOES FOR TRIATHLETES
HOKA CARBON X 2
HOKA has taken the triathlon world by storm over the last 5 years, with many of the top professionals racing in HOKA footwear.
Positioned as an endurance racer, the Carbon X2 delivers the same propulsive speed as its predecessor in an adaptable silhouette geared for training and racing alike. Engineered with a responsive, carbon fiber plate and aggressive Meta-Rocker, this performance shoe is a formidable competitor.
Saucony jumped on board with the carbon plate hype with their model, Endorphin Pro.
The Endorphin Pro has ultralight, springy PWRRUNPB cushioning and a signature s-curve carbon fiber plate for powerful transitions, running at top speed feels easier, so you get to the finish line faster.
The React Infinity 2 is built on a full-length React foam midsole platform and serves up loads of comfort, softness and resiliency. At the same time it also provides a wide, sturdy platform for a variety of gait types.
Runners can find the biggest updates to the second edition of this shoe in the knit upper. The lacing system is now secured with Nike’s Flywire system for a locked-down feel.
More padding in the heel collar provides a more comfortable and secure fit. And generally, the upper — which features a mix of both coarse, durable knit pattern and a lighter, more open pattern — offers more support and breathability than the previous edition. It is also a teeny bit heavier than the original version.
There is more blown rubber on the outsole in this model, which helps it deliver better traction and durability. Narrow outsole groves give it a performance-oriented flex and increase traction in all types of weather conditions.
FIT, FEEL, RIDE
The Nike React Infinity Run Flyknit 2 fits true-to-size with a comfortable interior and a medium width in the toe box. (It doesn’t fit quite as snug/narrow as most Nike running shoes, but it does have a high arch.)
The step-in feel is opulently plush, making it one of the best and coziest and most comfortable shoes on the market.
The ride is generally soft and very secure, but it seems ever-so-slightly firmer than the previous version. Although, this is without veering too far to the right of the comfort vs. performance scale.
Combined with the rocker geometry of the midsole profile, it results in a less bouncy ride than the first version. Instead, it produces more of a stable, responsive rolling sensation that tends to return more energy in every stride. It’s almost a boost of assistance in every stride.
WHO IT’S BEST FOR
Runners who appreciate cushioning and need stability in their everyday training shoes will love this shoe.
The Nike React Infinity Run Flyknit 2 can handle long runs, recovery runs and moderately paced tempo runs with aplomb. It provides a stable, consistent ride no matter what type of stride pattern or gait idiosyncrasies a runners might have.
Nike specifically designed this shoe as a modern stability shoe to reduce the injury rate among runners who have significantly pronating gait patterns.
A study with North Star Sports Medicine Research in British Columbia revealed 52 percent less disruption in training due to pain or discomfort compared to the Nike Air Zoom Structure 22 stability shoe.
Unlike traditional stability shoes that rely on a firm wedge of foam under the medial side of the midsole, the React Infinity Run Flyknit 2 provides stability in a variety of ways. This is possible due to:
The wider footprint for more ground contact,
Reinforced guiderails around the base of the heel
The semi-firm and absorbent React foam.
The entire system of features is designed to help over-pronators maintain a neutral foot orientation while not encumbering neutral runners.
The addition of the Flyknit closure technology really improves the fit of this shoe. This allows for a more adaptable and secure fit across the middle of the foot and through the heel.
Combined with the padded, stretchy gusseted tongue and high arch, the upper really provides an all-encompassing wrap-like fit. (Runners with flatter feet might find the arch to be a bit too stout.)
The updated version of the React Infinity has less material between the insole and midsole, which means you’re closer to the foam. This helps create a more intuitive and responsive experience. The foam itself has a higher height, providing a plush feel. However, you can also feel the ground better for a more proprioceptive experience.
There’s a more much distinct rocker profile in this edition, helping smooth the transition from heel strike to toe-off. It starts with a flared heel for mitigating downward impact force, then it’s slightly concave under the middle of the foot and finishes with a rounded toe spring off the front.
The only drawback of the React Infinity 2 is that it’s a bit heavier than many everyday trainers. However, it is still well-balanced from heel to toe.
It can be a workhorse for most of your running needs, but it’s a bit too hefty for shorter, faster workouts and up-tempo long runs. This is true especially compared to the well-cushioned, featherweight super shoes that many runners have in their quivers.
Sports Bras: Supporting, empowering and celebrating women never goes out of style. And nothing does that better than, arguably the best invention in women’s sports apparel, the sports bra!
We asked team member Melanie, the woman who has donned sports bras for more years than most, to share her wisdom of ‘The Bra Wall’ at JackRabbit.
In her sporting bra career, she has gone from teen xc runner, to triathlete (when running in a swimsuit with no bra was the thing), to mother, to returning to triathlon (where wearing a sports bra is now firmly a thing). Her tatas have literally seen it all through her varied sport and life journey.
HOW TO GIFT A SPORTS BRAS FOR EVERY OCCASION
Read on to support your ladies, support the tatas and make sure you select the right one. Our gift guide will take all the decision making out of the equation. Buy the perfect one with confidence, wrap and give the gift of support in 2021.
Much like there are race shoes, training shoes and athleisure shoes, there are sports bras for all occasions and all support scenarios. Fortunately, just like shoes, we have you covered at JackRabbit.
STRENGTH TRAINING BRAS
When you’re pumping iron, box jumping, twisting, squatting and crunching, it’s ok to have a bra that offers lighter support for these non-impact kind of scenarios.
This is where you can really shine with your design choices, just make sure there is enough coverage to avoid any slippage when you twist and comfort to avoid any chafing when you’re moving.
HANDFUL DOUBLE DOWN BRA $57. There is ample coverage on the sides and back to eliminate side boob, spillage, pinching, and other unpleasantries. Extra wide band provides comfort and support for time in the gym
BROOKS FAST FORWARD BRA $36. Perfect for strength workouts thanks to minimal back coverage. This gives you a flexible range of motion for all-day comfort and building the power you need.
LIGHT SUPPORT BRAS
Smaller-breasted women can use a lighter support bra when running, merely from the physics of less movement. Indoor bike training? Perfect scenario to crack out the light support bra for a tough workout on the pedals.
NIKE SWOOSH SPORTS BRA $38 The Nike Swoosh Sports Bra gives you classic coverage and medium support for activities like indoor bike training, socially distanced cardio classes and yoga.
DARE STRAPPY BRA $59. The minimal seams add a modern style and distraction-free fit. Plus, an integrated bottom band provides invisible support and comfort.
HIGH SUPPORT BRAS
We hear you pre- and post-partum mothers, ladies with curves, ladies with implants, ladies with ample bosoms needing support. Fortunately, there are science gurus who have literally dedicated their careers – no sniggering in the back – to studying how breasts move and how to support them without restricting breathing (we’ve all made that mistake).
Here are our top support bras for high-impact sports and running. The right support cannot be underestimated and gone are the days when the need for support meant you had to sacrifice style. New fabrics and construction have been game-changing for high-impact bra designs.
BROOKS FIONA SPORTS BRA $50 This is the best-selling bra at JackRabbit and the most versatile. It blends comfort and support in a fit that works for nearly any body type. This is a bra which you can expect everything from it with no regrets.
BROOKS DARE HIGH NECK SPORTS BRA $65 A streamlined shape and support come in this statement-making silhouette. With minimal seams, the neckline and longer length deliver a modern, streamlined look that layers easily and looks great solo.
THE HISTORY OF THE SPORTS BRA
Oh, and we love sports bras so much at JackRabbit, head over to our blog to read about their development, the science behind and how the modern pioneers have, rightly so, been added to the Sports Apparel Hall of Fame. Read, print and add to your gift. What you are giving is really a piece of sporting history.
TWO NIKE TRAIL RUNNING STYLES ARE BACK WITH NEW EDITIONS
Trail running season is still on! Brian Metzler reviews the Nike Pegasus Trail 2 with added love for the Nike Terra Kiger 6.
Both these styles feature Nike’s dynamic React foam debuted two years ago in road running shoes. The combination of shock-absorbing cushioning and energy return bounce is ideal for the trails too. Cushy but not mushy, it reacts swiftly in every step, providing a comfortable, lively ride.
Read on to learn about these two dynamic trail shoes for your next outdoor adventure.
NIKE PEGASUS TRAIL 2 REVIEW
The Pegasus Trail was Nike’s original trail running shoe. Although it has come and gone, it was brought back to the forefront in recent years. It’s been greatly improved over the past two editions. The Pegasus Trail 2 replaces last year’s Pegasus 36 Trail but it’s more of an overhaul than an update. It’s a mid-range, do-everything trail shoe for mild to moderate terrain for novice to expert level runners.
This year’s Pegasus Trail has undergone numerous updates that have improved its fit, feel and performance. First and foremost, the shoe now has Nike’s energetic React cushioning foam in the midsole, creating a softer, springier ride. The upper and outsole have also been improved to be more durable and performance-oriented. This makes the Peg Trail 2 adaptable for a wider range of surfaces and weather conditions.
The reinforced upper, semi-firm heel counter and interior neoprene bootie provide locked-down security, holding the foot in place in the heel and saddle while still allowing the toes wiggle and splay.
The upper and tongue are perforated to enhance breathability and drainage. A pull tab off the heel allows for easy-on, easy-off functionality.
The full-coverage durable rubber outsole has low-profile directional lugs inspired by mountain bike tire design, meaning some are designed to aid a runner going uphill and others are designed to provide braking securing while running downhill.
The only drawback to the Pegasus Trail 2 is that it’s slightly heavier (about 2 oz.) than its predecessor, the Pegasus 36 Trail, and some other contemporaries on the market. While the soft, energetic demeanor doesn’t allow it to feel heavy, the extra ounces are definitely noticeable.
FIT, FEEL, RIDE
The Pegasus Trail 2 fits true to size without the typical snugness common to most Nike road running shoes. It has a medium to wide interior from heel to arch to toe, so narrow-footed runners might have to cinch the laces down extra tight. The step-in feel is soft and plush rounded out with a supple and comfortable tongue and heel collar.
The thickly cushioned midsole feels both shock absorbing and lively, soaking up the impact force of hitting the trail and then returning some of that energy in the next stride. The width and reliable traction provide consistent stability and confidence on all kinds of terrain. All in all this serves up a sturdy but springy ride.
WHO IT’S BEST FOR
Trail runners who love a consistently comfortable and springy shoe will really appreciate the new Nike Pegasus Trail 2. It’s ideal for dirt roads, smooth dirt trails and mildly technical routes with rocks and roots. Although it’s not super light, it’s light and flexible enough to be nimble and definitely race worthy for longer distances.
Several key features offer protection against rocks, roots and other trail obstacles. This includes reinforced toe bumpers and sidewalls. There is also a faux gaiter collar that helps keep dirt and debris out of the shoe.
Our wear-testers liked the soft feel and springy ride of this shoe, but we loved the flowy, run-wild vibe that it oozes. It offers an ideal mix of cushion, support, stability, traction and freedom.
If you’re looking for a lighter, more agile trail shoe that’s engineered for more technical terrain, consider the Nike Terra Kiger 6 ($130).
It features both Nike React foam and Zoom Air packets for dynamic cushioning. It also features a flexible, segmented rock plate for protection and a sticky rubber outsole for optimal traction on dry surfaces.
It’s a lightweight shoe (9.3 oz. for men, 8.3 oz. for women) with a lower heel-toe offset (4mm) and a low-to-the-ground feel.