Choose Ironman Triathlon running shoes carefully

Proper Ironman Triathlon running shoes are a priority on race day.

The distance of a marathon is 26.2 miles.There’s no getting around that no matter where you happen to be racing. That’s just over 1,600,000 inches. Everybody’s stride is different but a reasonable average distance per stride is around three feet. That equates to around 56,000 strides.

When it comes to Ironman Triathlon running shoes you have to consider how many foot strikes you can expect. Whether you are running, shuffling, or walking on the Ironman highway every stride takes its toll. Basing your decision on neon colors or brand name is not always the way to go.

Ultimately you want a pair of running shoes for Ironman race day that fit like your favorite pair of slippers. You also want them to be as light as possible without being so light that the cost in energy goes up.


The shoe has to absorb at least some of the impact. There are many racing flats out there that fit the bill. They are lightweight and yet offer impact protection. Some minimalist runners go the the extreme like the example in the image.

ironman triathlon running shoe

A five finger shoe used by minimalist runners.

As a rule it would make sense to wear a heavier shoe in your everyday training. By heavier, that might mean 11-12 ounces as opposed to a 7-8 ounce running flat. Four or five ounces might not seem like a lot, but it sure is when you are part of the Ironman Triathlon death march.

The energy bar in your jersey pocket starts to weigh a ton, the water bottle on your side pounds against you every step, and your shoes feel like they weigh ten pounds each. Such is the life of an Ironman when it comes down to crunch time and all hope seems lost. Do yourself a favor and wear Ironman Triathlon running shoes that are as possible and still do the job of absorbing energy.

Training is a different story.

ironman triathlon running shoes

Proper fitting shoes can help prevent runners knee.

A sturdier shoe replaced every 500-700 miles due to wear will help prevent injuries like Planta Fasciitis and Runner’s Knee. Because of the sheer volume a lightweight training flat would not be a great training shoe choice.


When you find racing flats that appear to fit you perfectly use them in a few of your training runs so they have time to break in and conform to your feet.

Wear the same kind of socks that you intend to wear on race day. During the break in phase be on the lookout for for sore spots that may lead to blisters. Sometimes all it takes is a different sock to make the sore spot go away. Sometimes it takes a bit more running in your new flats to stretch them out just a little more.

Once you’re happy with the way the shoes fit save them for race day. After the race store your Ironman Triathlon running shoes away and they’ll be ready to go for the next marathon. By using them for races only you could probably do 15-20 marathons in your favorite pair of racing flats.

Go back to training with a heavier shoe with more support after the race.


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About Ray

Ray hasn’t stopped since his first Ironman in Kona, 1984. He has since run 14 more Ironman races, authored 5 Triathlon books, and is now bringing together a passionate community of triathletes. Contact Ray at

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