The 4 Shoes Every Triathlete Needs: Running, Speed, Recovery

– What’s up Trainiacs? Today I want to do a video
on the four types of shoes that I use throughout the course of a day or a few different days. Based off of the workouts that I’m doing. Based off of the speed that
I want to build or not build. And based off of keeping my feet healthy. This is something that I’ve been refining over the course of a few years. And I think I’ve got a
really good system to keep you fast, keep you injury
free, keep you strong. (upbeat music) So Trainiacs what I’ve laid out here are the four types of shoes
that I’ve started to incorporate into my daily life. Now this is not just running. This is running, this is
going about my business throughout the day. Walking in and out of the studio in the pain cave here. Doing a little bit of
exercise throughout the day. Doing strength training, doing fast runs, doing long slow runs. And what I’ve found is
that if you wanna optimize being fast while being healthy while keeping your feet injury free, which is very, very common. You need I would say four
different types of shoes. So I’m gonna list these
off in order of I would say most critical to least critical. Now the first most critical shoe is like a meat and potatoes
well cushioned shoe. If you’re somebody who is
running one time a week, odds are that one run is going to take a lot out of your body. It’s ideally going to be a
longer run because if you only do one run a week it
should be a longer run. That means that you need a
more built up structured shoe. This is the HOKA Honai Honai Bondi, which there’ll be a review for up there. But this is the Bondi 6,
this is basicall HOKA’s most cushioned road training shoe. And why I liked this
shoe, is because it took a lot of the load off your body. Now it doesn’t have to be
this, it can be the Clifton, it can be the Saucony
Canvare, it can be NewBalance. But what you’re looking for
in your meat and potato shoe is something that is really comfortable. Not to aggressive in
the standpoint of like say under eight ounces or a really thin sole. You want something with
a fair bit of structure to take that load off your body. This is what you do the majority
of your running miles in. It’s on easy days, it’s on long run days. And I would put this in the one to five Trainiac rating scale. Where one Taren head is
whatever knock yourself out if you want to try it, try and
five is everyone needs this. A meat and potatoes
training shoe is a five, everyone needs one. Doesn’t have to be this one
but it needs to be something that’s a little bit more built up. Now next most critical, I would say is, it doesn’t have to actually be these Vibram FiveFingers shoes. Essentially what I’m getting at here is the next most critical thing that you want is to be barefoot a little
bit throughout the day. Over the last couple of
years as I have struggled with achilles injuries and
top of my foot injuries, I’ve found that actually
the more I incorporate little bits of barefoot movements, whether it’s with these shoes as I’m walking on the treadmill. With these shoes while I’m doing some light strength movements. With these shoes just walking
around throughout the day or like right now just walking around barefoot throughout the day. The stronger my feet are,
and the easier I am able to increase my mileage without injury. When I start spending more and
more and more time in shoes throughout the day, it’s positively correlated with injuries. So I find that a mixture
of these nice cushion shoes with not ignoring the
strength of your feet by either going barefoot or
getting some Vibram FiveFingers or really minimal shoes like
these, very, very helpful. One Taren head to five Taren heads, put this like a four or a five. Barefoot should be a five,
these if your going to start incorporating little bits
of barefoot movements in your strength
training, probably a four. Next most critical shoe is
more of a road racing shoe. So if you’re doing more
than one run a week, your second run is going
to be a faster run. That’s where this shoe comes in. This is the Nike Zoom Fly and it doesn’t have to
be the Nike Zoom Fly or the 4% or some four ounce racing shoe. What I’m getting at is
basically just a shoe that’s a little bit lighter, somewhere in the six to eight ounce range, that is just a little bit springier, a little bit more aggressive. Bit of a smaller sole on it. And what this is going to help
with is a couple of things. Number one because it’s
lighter, it’s going to allow you to get off the ground quicker, developing that quick
short ground contact time that keep us injury free
and starts developing speed. And it also takes a little
bit of the load off this shoe. After you run in any shoe,
typically takes anywhere from 24 to 48 hours for the
cushioning on the shoe to fully recover from it just like us. And having shoes that you can
intermix between each other allows your shoes to
last a little bit longer and helps your body out. So you can do the meat and potatoes work in that more meat and potatoes shoe. Do your faster work in this. Now these are shorter runs, quicker runs. You’re not spending a
ton of mileage in this but maybe one to two runs a week. And in the one Teran head to
five Teran head rating scale. If you are running more
than once or twice a week, I would put a lighter shoe
right at like four Teran heads. It’s not a must, you can
certainly get away with this. But it makes it easier for you to progress and if you’re doing that faster run, that second or third
run throughout the week, you wanna get the most out of it. You wanna have the right shoe for the job. Now a third shoe, this is a total luxury. I’m gonna say this is like a two or three Teran heads out of five. These are OOFOS, HOKA also makes them. This is a recovery slide. And a recommend a recovery slide
because recovery flip-flops a thong, that thong ends
up requiring your toes to just grab a little bit and
it alters your foot pattern. Whereas a slide does
that a little bit less. These are a recovery shoe. So you use these if you feel beat up. I will use these just about every day but I’ll use it intermixed about 50-50 between these and these. Or these and these. What I actually found most
recently over the last two months is that after going to a physiotherapist, I said do you think I’m maybe spending a little bit to much time
in these cushion shoes not allowing my feet to
develop flexibility, dexterity and strength by being barefoot? And he said yeah, absolutely. So I was oh okay so these
are a sometimes treats. Like yeah, totally. Now it doesn’t mean that
they are not useful. It’s certainly nice when we beat up body from running and cycling and
everything is a little bit off. This is nice to take a little
bit of load off the body So call this like a two or
three Teran heads out of five. If you want it, if you like it, go for it. But use it very sparingly. Now of course I will use
winter boots and just out door nice looking boots or
walking around runners. But as far as shoes that I’ve
incorporated into thinking about overall fitness,
wellness, foot health. These are the four types of shoes that I’ve come to
realize are very critical to making sure that I
take load off my body and give enough cushion to the body. I make sure that my
feet have good mobility, dexterity, health, strength. I’m getting faster and have shoes that encourage and support that
goal and I’m comfortable. So Trainiacs with all that
said those are the four shoes that I’d recommend and
the importance of them. If you aren’t already subscribed hit that subscribe button below and if you are subscribed
tell me your favorite shoe. I would like to try a new shoe. Pete wears boots, Pete
wears boots when it’s cold, he hates them. Later Trainiacs.


  • Good god, absolute garbage.

  • I’m surprised you didn’t mention any Skechers shoes.

  • My meat and potatoes are On flyers, love’em to death

  • Wait, people other than Aussies use the word “thong” for shoes?

  • I always automatically skip the first 40 second . If you do the same thing like.

  • I'm another step in the minimal direction.. I'm not a fan of cushioned shoes – I have my minimal racing shoe for my long runs, and use VFF's or other super minimal shoe for shorter runs (to strengthen my feet, exactly as you said – though I know you don't like the idea of running in VFF's)!
    I'd love to be able to use comfortable slip-ons for work, but they require steel cap or leather upper shoes 😛

  • Thanks for this video. I agree. I do about the same except i don't like the 5 finger… Had some but i would rather go Barefoot or use flip flops, the sliders always slide off too often. I bought the zoom fly recently based on your recommendation… Love… I use them as my long run as they are pretty soft and fast and a more minimal shoe for short runs (Altra Instinct) Thank you again!

  • What do you think of crocs for around the house?

  • Trail running shoes, it's good not to always run on tarmac, or worse, concrete

  • I'm a Clydesdale so, I NEED a shoe that can handle the pressure. A friend recommended Hoka. The price 😳 BUT, the comfort, the shock absorption of the Hoka Bondi make me wanna run. "Long live Hoka😀"

  • My favorite shoe from last season….definetly Asics Gel 451. First month or 2 we are not friends, but after first road halfmarathon i feel that they made me faster. I destroyed them and i bought Nike Zoom Fly and after first month running in these shoes i started to hating myself “Why on the earth i own these nikes”. Now i’m gonna buy another pair of those 451s. I think with your stride it will be great shoe for running those halfmarathons or marathon of the bike. I now that Asics said that the 451 is Short course racing shoe but i love them and they are also great shoe for those on budget

  • This vid is a bit confusing because it mixes shoes for running and for other purposes.For running, I think three types of shoes makes sense:- top priority: a well cushioned shoe that provides good ventilation used for long runs, recovery runs and if you want to minimize your number of shoes any other type of running- for ambitious runner and triathletes: a light-weight shoe for races and interval training. Personal remark: a lightweight shoe does not necessarily mean it is less comfortable – it just could mean ist lifetime is shorter (I'm currently using a Saucony Kinvara 9 as comfortable as my NB 880 v7 and former Brooks and the like but much more agreable than any race shoe I used before)- a water-proof and insulating shoe for rain and winter training (for those prefering to train outdoors to the treadmill like myself)For the gym or recovery, you can use any shoe or short wear socks or walk barefoot.(a friend of mine was fond of the Vibram shoes but he was disappointed with quality issues)

  • I love the On Cloud brand. I use the standard Cloud shoe as my race shoe and the Cloudflow as my meat and potato shoe.

  • Do you suggest a racing flat for any type of race distance, or for longer distances (say half Ironman or more) would you switch to something with more cushion like a Hoka?

  • What do you think about barefoot running? I think Ivan Raña, from Spain, trains barefoot regularly.

  • I like the Altra for the long run, cushion shoe, but I have a variety for my other 4 runs of the week, with the Zoom Terra a good trail variation (pretty good toe box for a Nike). The NBMT10 (older version) is a very good alternative to the VFF (no toe fingers and no swampy build-up!). Zoom Fly is good for fast training or races (old Nike Free 3 is still one of my favourite fast run shoes—minimal with a good toe box). Oofos are very nice for recovery or poolside but I agree, are a bit too plush for normal wear. Shamma sandals for foot strength with minimal sole.

  • someone is getting disturbed in the background

  • Has anyone done tests with a running power meter that look at speed gains from wearing a racing flat versus a training shoe? Sure the racing flats feel faster and are lighter, but are they actually faster? Ps. TT – check out Salming shoes. Great durability and responsiveness

  • Agree with the principles laid out. Good video 👍🏽

  • But. Hoka is for large distance, or short.
    I want to change my large distance shoes(70.3Ironman).

  • I don't think the "taren head"rating system is going to work without a proper animation/logo/pictograph

  • My favourite shoes for long runs are the On Cloudflow, for short and fast runs On Cloud or Salming Race.

  • In the home I'm always barefoot (no socks to) but no cycling shoe in these 4?😂

  • Read Born to Run by Christopher Mcdougall. It will probably change your mind about heavily padded soles for running. 0 drop minimal shoes have changed my life for all types of running. Did my first ever full marathon in a pair of Vivobarefoot shoes.

  • I am not sure that Kinvara is for the long runs …I actually used it in an ironman. Since then, I am injured. But it''s my best shoe for less than 10 km races. I feel like flying. Unless Kinvara changed through the years.

  • Hi:
    Why dont you just eliminate the cushion shoes, since they can cause problems. I started having issues once I started running long distances in the Hoka Bondi

  • Amazing review T-man!! You should so make a custom team trainiac comfy slippers!!! Bet it will be a hit, I’ll buy them for sure!!!

  • Thank you for the info. I thought I was being weird. But I do the same. Still recovering from a foot injury. Alternating my footwear has really helped. 🏃‍♀️

  • great video. appreciate the insight on the shoe diversity. i've been using spacers for my achilles issues.

  • I don’t have a potato shoe

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