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10 Best Pieces of Gear for Triathlons

last updated Nov 21, 2019
Triathlon runners view the triathlon as the ultimate challenge of endurance and ability. Furthermore, the preparation to acclimate to such a challenge can be even tougher. This is why there is gear that is engineered to help aid in both the preparation and the execution.

From electronics to socks, we have found some of the best gear for triathlons and triathletes, pushing and assisting you along your journey of personal endurance. Cycling, swimming, running, etc, we found 10 best pieces that will help your performance and acclimation to what you’re about to achieve.

We offer all the information we gathered into a super line up of the 10 best pieces of gear and also share the how’s and what’s in our criteria for evaluation and FAQs sections. Scroll through and get some knowledge on what makes this gear the best gear for your total Triathlon experience.

In a Hurry? The test winner after 20 hrs of research

Rockay Accelerate
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By Gabby Gabbard:

We added the Arena Cobra Core Mirror Swim goggles to our 10 Best Pieces of Gear for Triathlons guide. These take you from the water to the sun without leaking or allowing the sun to blind you. They help fight against all the elements that can cause issues for your eyes when you are going hard. Scroll through and check out our FAQs and Criteria as well to learn what makes this lineup some of the best gear for your Triathlon wardrobe.

Rank
PictureProduct
Name
Shops
Price Comparison Last Updated (14.12.19)
Rockay Link
$14.95
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Amazon Link
Price Comparison Last Updated (14.12.19)
Amazon Link
Price Comparison Last Updated (14.12.19)
Rockay Link
$32.95
See Deal
Amazon Link
Price Comparison Last Updated (14.12.19)
Amazon Link
$199.95
Price Comparison Last Updated (14.12.19)
Amazon Link
$125.00
Price Comparison Last Updated (14.12.19)
Amazon Link
$299.95
Price Comparison Last Updated (14.12.19)
Amazon Link
$39.41
Price Comparison Last Updated (14.12.19)
Amazon Link
$12.99
Price Comparison Last Updated (14.12.19)
Amazon Link
$45.99
Price Comparison Last Updated (14.12.19)
Amazon Link
$50.99

10 Best Pieces of Triathlon Gear

1. Rockay Accelerate

Rockay Accelerate Merino Wool Running Socks
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$14.95
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Many people seem to overlook socks when buying the necessary gear they need for the running or even racing. They are such a small thing but can actually make a huge difference to your running experience. Choose a sock that isn’t breathable and your feet will be sweaty. Choose a sock with a poor fit and they will be moving around inside your shoe. Luckily, you won’t have to worry about any of these issues with the new Accelerate sock by ROCKAY.

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Materials

The number one option on our list, these socks are made from high-quality merino wool that is soft to the touch, breathable, has anti-microbial properties that fight odor, and is sustainably sourced.

Features

In addition to the anti-odor properties listed above, these socks have a pull-tab that make them easy to put on and take off. This is a great quality to have in a pair of socks used in a triathlon as it can cut down on your transition times.

Ease of Use

As mentioned above the pull tabs make these simple and quick to transition in and out of.

Durability

The sustainably-sourced merino wool these are made of is long-lasting and tough, as well as comfortable and soft to the touch. User reviews back these up and a pair of these should easily last you all the way through training and race day, if not beyond.

Value

While these are slightly more expensive than other socks, they're more than worth the price of admission. Socks and shoes are some of the most essential and important pieces of triathlon gear so it can pay to invest wisely here.

2. Vigor Compression Socks

Rockay Vigor Compression Running Socks
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Compression socks have come a long way from once being associated with pilots and diabetics. That’s because of the many benefits that these socks can offers. The newest performance support sock, Vigor by Rockay, is worth mentioning.

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Blood Flow
Specially designed to encourage blood flow, Vigor is made from recycled material and graduated compression.

Comfort
This sock was created with comfort in mind because of the heel and toe cushioning system. Any runner knows that these are the areas that count the most.

Performance
The double benefit of calf compression and comfort, Vigor is designed for performance and support, which will allow you to train longer.

3. Blaze Compression Sleeves

Rockay Blaze Compression Sleeve
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$32.95
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Before your next triathlon, there is one piece of gear you need: the Rockay Blaze Graduated Compression Leg Sleeves. These have been intentionally designed to help reduce any potential fatigue, improve recovery times, and prevent a wide variety of common running ailments. Given the technology utilized in constructing them, they are a great choice for Triathlon athletes. Here are a few more features to consider.

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Graduated Compression

Today, there are so many brands that offer “compression” products; however, they lack some of the basic fundamentals. In efforts to showcase its strength in this industry, this brand had their product tested by the Swisslastic’s Compression Test. For those who don’t know, this is a state-of-the-art test proving the value and effectiveness of this specific piece of gear.

Hang to Dry

One of our favorite aspects of this product is that, after a triathlon or a long run, you can simply hand the product to dry. So, by the time your next even or run, you can reuse it. Thanks to Polyigene Stays Fresh Technology, there will be no odors and bacteria, making it safe and easy to use or wear.

Cost and Value

This valuable piece of gear is considered a bit costlier than the competition. However, this product is immensely more beneficial. This is the first product that we have studied and analyzed that comes with state-of-the-art technology and testing to prove it. You can’t go wrong with this gear!

4. Hoka One One Clifton 4

Hoka One One Clifton 4 Cushioned Running Shoe
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$199.95

The Hoka One One Clifton 4 is an excellent choice for long term wear and an especially good choice for enduring and overcoming the trials of a triathlon.

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Materials

The uppers are made of a synthetic, lightweight mesh while the supportive overlays are synthetic as well. The outsoles are high-quality rubber.

Features

The most notable attribute of Clifton 4 is its ability to help deal with foot and leg pain. Whether your pain is a result of existing issues like pronation or the general weariness of swimming, riding, and running, the Clifton 4 can prevent and provide relief to pain. They are firm and supportive to help deal with any stride or gate issues.

Ease of Use

The shoes may look bulky but most wearers assure the skeptical that the Clifton 4’s are lightweight and feel as though you are wearing nothing at all.

Durability

Users noted that these hold up well to extended use. This comes in handy when training and competing in triathlons because a lot of athletes like to train and compete in the same pair of shoes.

Value

When in consideration of the price of running shoes, you can pick up the Hoka One One Clifton 4’s for a pretty reasonable price.

5. Wahoo ELEMNT GPS Bike Computer

Wahoo ELEMNT GPS Bike Computer
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$125.00

The Wahoo ELEMNT bike computer is an investment that you may make for the sake of your triathlon performance but will be a piece of gear you will get a lot of use out of before and after the event.

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Materials

The exact make-up of this product's components are unavailable, however, the positive reviews about its durability and operation make us believe it's made of high-quality computer chips and processors.

Features

The ELEMNT provides maps with elevation and distance tracking, although it should be noted that the accuracy is not always spot on. This type of help can be essential on confusing courses or for planning routes. While GPS watches can provide similar aid, the ELEMNT is mounted securely on the front of your bike, which makes for easy consultation.

Ease of Use

Users report that this bike computer is easy to use and read while riding. This is essential for both fast race times and safety.

Value

The ELEMNT bike computer is not a small investment but it is an investment that will pay off in the long run.

6. Giro Aerohead MIPS Racing Helmet

Giro Aerohead MIPS Racing Helmet
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best offer for today
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$299.95

This is one of Giro's leading helmets on the market because of the MIPS technology that offers leading protection from injuries. The helmet also allows for optimum performance because of the great ventilation features that keep you cool even in the most competitive runs. It is one of the most popular helmets with triathletes and time trialists.

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This helmet has a polycarbonate shell, an impeccable wrap-around eyeshield and offers a strong magnetic anchor attachment for and lens flip-up for an easy transition flow from swim to bike.

Sizing is not a problem because Giro’s Super Fit Engineering makes sure everyone gets a suitable fit.

The visor provides long-distance cyclists unobstructed, long-range visuals, simultaneously taking care of your safety.

Cost:
The price is above average, but if you are a serious buyer looking for the very best in performance-enhancing tools, you won't regret purchasing this helmet.

7. Arena Cobra Core Mirror Swim Goggles

Arena Cobra Core Mirror Swim Goggles
Arena Cobra Core Mirror Swim Goggles
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best offer for today
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$39.41

Arena Cobra Core Mirror swim Goggles are easy to wear, super polarized and seem to be a favorite among triathletes. They don’t leak, they keep the sun out and extend lateral vision. Best of all they go on fast to not cut into your time.

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Materials

Engineered with silicone and premium Japanese TPE materials, Arena Cobra Goggles are designed to stay snug, not leak and hug your face without adding pressure to areas that hold the goggles to the face. This combination gives a fogless and leak-proof set of goggle that will enhance your swimming and training experience.

The lenses are made of Polycarbonate. They are designed to have a more lateral view when swimming and when running. The polarization works against the bright sun as well.

Features

Polarizing, fog-proof, leak-proof, better visibility and an adjustable nose guard are just a few of consumers favorite things about Arena Cobra Goggles. Everything down to the high-end material makes these small compact pieces of triathlon gear a great addition to any triathlon arsenal. You can also get them with or without the mirrored effect.

Ease of Use

These are easy to put on and take off. The strap extends and tightens with ease and makes them a breeze to adjust or clean when going hard. The last thing you will have to worry about is your vision is a problem while training or participating.

8. Aduro Sport Bike Storage Bag

Aduro Sport Bike Storage Bag
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$12.99

Don't leave anything behind on race day - except your competitors! The functional Aduro Sport saddle bag is compact and connects easily under the top tube of your bike so that you can make travel with everything you need. The Aduro Sport fits most essentials like smartphones, wallet, keys, small bike pump, cable lock, repair tools, etc.

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The Aduro Sport bag features adjustable velcro straps for a custom fit. Users love its big durable zippered open-mouth design as it allows for easy access.

This saddle bag boasts a slim body design with a high-capacity to minimize the wind resistance. It is water and weather-resistant and made from strong and durable polyester material that helps protect stored items.

Cost

This product is covered by a Lifetime 100% Satisfaction Guarantee - If you have any issues at all, simply let Aduro know and they will replace it at no cost or issue you a full refund!

9. SLS3 Triathlon Shorts

SLS3 Triathlon Shorts
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$45.99

Let’s start with the basics, what to wear.

Probably the first thing you’ll want on your shopping list is a nice pair of “tri-shorts”.

Shorts designed to perform well at each stage of the competition, and the SLS3’s are a great place to start.

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These are a nicely padded full-coverage pair of shorts that protect your muscles and offer padding for the bike but don’t constrict you while swimming. Comfortable and durable, it’s hard to go wrong here.

The durability level for these shorts is highly impressive, they are light and comfortable, they give plenty of room for flexibility.

They are only offered in a solid black color and I feel this states that they are reliable, solid great performing shorts.

A must have for you kit.

Cost

These wont break the bank, a really worthwhile buy and they will last for a very long time.

10. Tifosi Podium Shield Sunglasses

Tifosi Podium Shield Sunglasses
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$50.99

Taking care of your eyes out of the water is equally as important as in the water when it comes to tri-racing.

The Podium Shield glasses for Tifosi are our pick due to their mechanical (yet comfortable) fit and wide range peripheral vision.

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Rubberized elements are strategically placed along the frame of these glasses making them stick to your face but they do not rub in an uncomfortable way.

The glasses look stylish and they are, they are also durable and strong, if you drop them they should not break or crack.

Throw in 100% UV protective coating plus a medium range price point and you’ve got yourself a steal.

Cost

A nice investment, stylish and functional, these glasses are a great accessory to have for your next triathlon event.

Criteria Used for Evaluation

Materials

When you are putting yourself through the elements of a triathlon, you want your equipment to be able to withstand them as well. You want the material to be strong, light and functional as well as comfortable.

Material weight is huge in Triathlon races. So much as an extra ounce can make your time rise. Most Triathlon gear is made from high-end light material that can withstand water, dirt, sweat and anything else you may come across when going the distance a triathlon puts you through.

Features

What any sort of Triathlon gear features depends on what it actually is. Goggles will feature leak and fog proof properties while shirts and suits will have the best technologies built in to keep gear lightweight and durable.

There are an array of feature sin GPS tracking watches and bikes and helmets. We would have to write a book to go into all the features within all the triathlon gear that is on the market. We researched all this information to make sure we were indeed offering you the best pieces of gear for triathlons.

Ease of Use

Since triathlon results are measured in fractions of a second, setting a new PR and not being happy with your finish can come down to the tiniest of details. One of the things that will help you to perform at your absolute best is having gear that is easy to use. Especially during transitions, you want products that are easy to put on and take off, operate, and use during your run, bike, or swim. This means your socks and shoes need to be easy to put on and take off, as does your cycling jersey and swim cap and goggles. During the cycling or a running portion if your GPS unit is difficult to operate that can mean not just a headache to deal with but can result in a real loss of time and being knocked down in the standings. While selecting products for this list we made sure to only include gear that had the right design and mix of features that would make it easy to use as well as the consumer reviews to back it up.

Durability

Unless you're a professional triathlete or a hardcore enthusiast, you probably won't be doing more than one or two races a year. Nonetheless, nobody wants to spend their hard-earned money on something that breaks or wears down quickly and becomes worthless. Another thing to think about is that you definitely don't want to be in the middle of your race only to have an essential piece of gear break, malfunction, or otherwise let you down. Because of this we only selected products for this list that are built to be durable and long-lasting. We looked at the materials a product was made from and also took into consideration its design. Finally, we considered over 1600 reviews from real-world users to see what their experience was like with each product. This really helps us get a good picture of what a product is actually like for a wide spectrum of people because while something might fit the RunnerClick staff well that doesn't mean it will fit the other millions of people who are using the products and this helps us to get the most accurate picture possible of each item on our list.

Value

Unless you're a fully sponsored professional triathlete, competing in an event can get expensive in a hurry. A good bike costs thousands of dollars, a good tri suit can cost hundreds, and a hundred bucks here for a helmet, a few hundred dollars there for a GPS, and pretty soon you can get some pretty serious sticker shock when you start adding up how much it's going to cost to compete in a triathlon. And we didn't even mention the basics such as socks, shoes, goggles, energy gels and bars, sunglasses and so on. Then there's the registration fees and travel expenses. Add it all up and it's pretty clear that triathlons aren't for people who are light in the pocketbook. Even for people with solid incomes the costs can add up quickly and become daunting, which is why we wanted to bring you products that represent good value for your hard-earned money. No matter how much money you have, nobody likes to buy stuff and get ripped off so we only put products on our list that high-quality and long-lasting with a good amount of the right features so that you can get your money's worth out of them.

Just a beginner?

If you are a beginning triathlete, you don't need to go crazy and empty your savings account on gear. Your gear can be very basic from you swimsuit, towel, and even your bike. The most important item will be your running shoes.

Intermediate level?

No is the time where you can focus on comfort and speed. Its time to trade in the mountain bike and move up to a road bike, this will save considerable time. Bike shoes are another area to improve your performance, the stiff soles of cycling shoes transfer more power.

Other Factors to Consider

Brand

Typically speaking, big brand names have invested research time and looked at creating a more specific product and this can often cost more.

Therefore, can the brand provide quality, durability, good performance, and feature innovative technology while staying within a lower affordable budget range.

The race factor was very important when we reviewed the different types of gear for a triathlon, during a race there is no time for delay caused by a kit which either fails to perform or does not hold true to the function that it should be providing, as this will result in delay and impact on your performance. If you are entering the race with the intention to try and win, we made sure we looked at pieces of gear that will be reliable.

Frequently Asked Questions

q: Is it possible to get badly injured during a triathlon competition?

a:

Yes it is, the competition tests your stamina and durability in very trying conditions, to enter you must make sure that you are physically up to the challenge.

q: Which running shorts are best for triathlon?

a:

You need to choose a pair which is durable and comfortable enough for swimming, cycling and running. It's best to read Runnerclick reviews and keep track of your best choices.

q: Competitors who spend a lot of money on a bike get an unfair advantage in the triathlon race.  Do you agree?

a:

While an expensive bike can be said to have a technological edge over a more affordable bike, the biking section is only one-third of the race. Determination and the skills you have developed can still make the difference between a win or lose.

q: Should you carry a first aid on you while running a triathlon?

a:

Many do but it's more streamlined than what you find in first aid boxes, you can take an antiseptic gel, barrier cream, sunburn cream, perhaps a few small band-aids. As long as you're participating in a reputable race that will be medical personnel to assist you should the need arise.

q: Why bother wearing swim caps during triathlon swim?

a:

Swimming caps are about more than keeping your hair dry, they give water aerodynamic flow over the head, allowing you to use less energy so you save energy for the rest of the competition.

q: I am super fit, is there any other challenge I can do besides a triathlon?

a:

There are a large variety of events both near and abroad, obstacle courses, tough mudders, and long distance running orienteering, although the latter is more common in Europe. All of these are very different events compared to a triathlon and research and proper gear planning is recommended.

Sources

  1. Intelligent Triathlon Training, Best Triathlon Bike: How To Choose Yours Wisely, Triathlon training information
  2. Active.com, Beginner's Triathlon Gear List: No Need to Break the Bank, Fitness publication
  3. TrainingPeaks.com, Fitness Testing for Triathletes—How Do You Measure Up?, Fitness & Training publication
  4. RedShiftSports, Triathlon Gear Guide: Essential Triathlon Gear, Race Bike Products