Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Zoot Ultra TT 4.0 review

As any triathlete knows, competing and training is largely mental. You can train all the time, but if you aren't confident in your ability, then you've got nothing. Now, while I've got plenty of self confidence in my ability, I find there's no easier way to give myself a little boost from time to time by buying myself little "gifts".

My first gift was my bike. Kinda pricey yes, but an investment. Then came some new shoes, my Timex Global Trainer GPS watch, a wetsuit, and the latest addition, triathlon specific running shoes.

I know I know, it seems like a gimmick. There are plenty of ways to sink money into triathlon, so shoes is just another one. But I began seeing Zoot all over the place and I knew I wanted them. I checked out my local shops to try on different models and sizes and settles on one that I like. Then I scoured the web to find the best price. The same pair that sold for $160 in store, I kind for $81.12 (including shipping) online!

Zoot Ultra TT 4.0
I had to wait a few days for delivery sure, but it was well worth it because I soon received in the mail my new pair of Zoot Ultra TT 4.0 triathlon running shoes!

So what makes these shoes special for triathlon?
The most noticeable thing is that these shoes don't have regular laces. It uses a built-in quick-lace system. This, along with the pull tab at the top and heel of the shoe allow for quick entry at transition, saving precious seconds. The Ultra TT is also designed to dry quickly while running. The shoe materials are very light and thin, and there are actually holes in strategic places to improve airflow. I love this because I know that I get really hot when I run and dump a lot of water on myself, which ends up getting my shoes wet, heavy, and blister-friendly. One last big thing is that they are specially made to be worn without socks.

After receiving the shoes I took them on a practice run on the treadmill at lunch for some long interval work. They feel great! The shoes are super light and move nicely. The one thing to note though, is that they are a fairly "minimal" shoe. I don't know if it was because I'm more used to shoes with a lot of support, or I was running very forefoot, but I managed to strain my calf, which has me out of run-training until it heals up. Also, I did notice that after 6K I was beginning to get the start of blisters near the ball of my foot. I checked online for suggestions, and I think that using a bit of BodyGlide on that area should prevent this until my feet get used to running without socks.

That's it for now,
Keep Tri-ing!


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