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Winter is quickly approaching fast, but chances are, you've given some thought to next year's triathlon schedule. Whether you're an age-group winner with an eye on Kona or a novice hoping to finish a sprint in one piece, Zoot's gotcha covered. Well, your feet at least.
Zoot's Sports Ultra Tempo 4.0 are triathlon-specific shoes that will get you out of T2 fast. An elastic speed lace and high heel tab make the eight-ounce bare-fit shoes easy to slip on as soon as bike is racked. And finger holes in the tongue and heel tab facilitate the process.
If you haven't worn speed laces, they take getting used to. With "normal" running shoes, you tie the laces in a bow, but with these guys, you cinch the laces, and the extra length just flops around.
Tucking it into the laces across the upper doesn't work. Granted, the laces aren't long enough to trip you up, but it can be distracting. Make sure to pull them tight – the Ultra Tempo 4.0 are more responsive when snug. Too loose, and you'll experience slippage in the heel.
The Ultra Tempo 4.0 are designed to be worn without socks. Thanks to TriDry technology and a breathable mesh upper, the tops of wet or sweaty feet will air out quickly. However, sans socks, the bottoms of your feet might get warm. The footbed doesn't really offer any means of sweat absorption. The good news is that the Ultra Tempo 4.0 never stink.
The shoes are a high-mileage stability combo trainer-racer. Depending on your mileage and shoe preferences, you might want to wear the Ulta Tempo 4.0 only for training and find an even lighter shoe for racing. Or wear the shoes only for racing and find a more solid shoe for training.
Be warned: the shoes are so comfy you may wear them around the house or to the gym. You can just slip them and they're a slipper-like shoe for quick errands and comfort. Just ignore they resemble water shoes.
The Zoot Sports Ultra Tempo 4.0 are made for roads, but if you happen upon gravelly terrain, the sole is relatively flat with no major cavities, so you won't have to worry about rocks or pebbles messing up your stride. The CarbonSpan+ soles are durable, yet light and smooth – exactly what you need after a tough bike leg. Your legs feel like lead, but your feet will be ready to go.
Bring on the run. (MSRP $140)
After graduating from the University of Virginia in 2005, Whitney Dreier spent two years living out a Harry Potter-esque fantasy – teaching history and coaching lacrosse at a boarding school in England. She finally realized she couldn't survive another British winter or face the thought of having potatoes served at every meal, so she ventured to the Midwest to earn a master's degree in journalism at the University of Missouri.
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