2008 Zoot Ultra Race Shoes

Written by Ramon Scott on August 6, 2009 – 7:47 pm -

For short-course triathlons, speedy transitions are pretty critical. One of the ways to shave some seconds is to eliminate time spent putting on socks.

On the bike, that hasn’t been issue for me. The Sidi Genius shoes I use have always been good for me sans socks, but running shoes have been a different matter. Earlier this year I tried wearing some racing flats (Saucony) without socks. It was only a two-mile run, but I ended up with some sad raw spots on my feet. I did indeed have some quick transitions though which helped for an age-group 3rd place.

This weekend, while visiting Pensacola Beach I stopped by a local store – Running Wild – that was having a good sale on last year’s Zoot shoes.

I’d heard Zoot shoes were great for triathlons and made sockless runs possible. For 50% off – who could go wrong? I purchased a pair of size 12 racers. I normally wear a 13, but without socks and wanting a snug fit these fit the bill. They fit very closely, but felt comfortable. The Racer model is Zoot’s neutral light-weight shoe for 5k to half marathon.  They have a pretty low profile and minimal cushioning compared to my regular training shoes (Mizuno Wave Riders). Overall they felt quite a bit like the Asics DS Trainers I use for longer races.

I did my first run in them today (without socks) at lunch. I intended to just do 3 or miles in case they were uncomfortable, but after getting started things felt so good I ended up doing 6. The shoes turned over quickly and cushioning was tolerable for a light shoe. They don’t feel quite as light as my racking flats, but they’re not much heavier. No raw spots or blisters, although at the very end the pads of my toes felt a little scratchy – the shoe liner is a little abrasive. Nothing serious though. Probably a few more runs in them will get the toes accommodated. I may try them for a longer run to see about feasibility for use in an Ironman 70.3 event in September.

Definitely going to use them next weekend for another short course race though.

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