Best Triathlon Laces Reviewed

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The number of runners deciding to take on a triathlon is constantly growing. Runners like new challenges that will test their abilities and push their limits. New challenges mean longer distances and tougher environments. Competition is about who has the most endurance and speed. Triathlon events require the best skills in running, swimming, and cycling. This, of course, means they need the proper gear to handle a triathlon.

All of us have experienced putting new laces into a pair of running shoes. This is usually not a quick task. It can be tedious and slow. Even taking off a shoe and putting it back on can be slow. In normal circumstances, you need to loosen the lace system, slip in your foot, then securely tighten the laces again. Companies have engineered technical approaches to speed up this process – what was once simply a lace is now much more. In a triathlon race, your shoe laces can decide if you’re going to win or come in second.

The world of laces for triathlons is diverse: elasticated laces, lock laces, laces with knots. The concepts are all about faster and more efficient transition time. Lock laces let you take off or put on a shoe with just one hand, elastic laces stay in place but allow you to slip in or pull your foot quickly out of the shoe and will keep your laced-up shoe at a consistent tension level. If your feet swell during the race, the laces let you quickly adjust tightness to balance blood flow to the foot. Many elastic laces even come with reflective details.

Different lace systems have unique technology which makes them appealing for runners. Triathletes know that it’s essential to make use of every last second, from beginning to end. Moments of transition between one discipline and the next are absolutely vital. Triathlon laces are very important for this purpose, and the right set of laces can make the difference of a few key moments – possibly resulting in better placing at the finish line. If you’re serious about competing in triathlons, it’s essential that you invest in the best laces you can in order to ensure top-notch performance.

These laces also help your foot move and breathe more freely – their elasticity adapts to any changes in the shape and contortion of the foot. You’re at less risk of injury particularly if your feet swell during exercise. Their design also helps to improve blood circulation.

In this review, we discuss the seven best laces for triathlon athletes. After thorough research and testing, we chose the laces we think will provide the best options for our readers. Some laces are elastic and lockable, others secure the foot in a zigzag pattern, some have knots, and some have reflective details. Hopefully this article shortens your research time and gives you the results you are aiming for!

 

Last Updated: February 24, 2018
By Kelly Siedhof:

We have added one new pair of laces to our list - check out Qi Laces in the number four spot! They are an ideal option for triathlon racing. Be sure to keep reading our helpful information below the review as well. You'll see why these laces were chosen, what criteria we were looking for, and some frequently asked questions that you may have.

Lock Laces
  • Lock Laces
  • 5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Stretch Fit Comfort
  • Price: See Here
Nathan Lock Laces
  • Nathan Lock Laces
  • 4.8 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Engineered to Keep Laces Secure
  • Price: See Here
iBungee Stretch Laces
  • iBungee Stretch Laces
  • 4.5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Lace Tension Distribution
  • Price: See Here

7 Best Triathlon Laces

 

Lock Laces

Lock laces are the original triathlon laces, with the original no-tie system now implemented by so many companies. These laces are easy to use and reduce pressure points on the feet, which ensures comfort for a long time. They come in various colors and are very simple to use. They are 0.25cm in diameter, have a 7-fibre strand design and measure 48”, stretching to 72”. They come only in one size, which means you don’t have to worry about which size to buy.
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Comfort/Stability
The high-compression system reduces pressure points on the feet, which ensures better, longer, and more comfortable runs. This elastic design also conforms to the shape of the feet in order to support the feet and provide protection against slippage. They are very elastic, which makes it easy to take off and put on your shoes very quickly.

Durability/Quality
These come with the promise of lasting as long as your shoes, which is a good guarantee. Typically, they do have a very good shelf-life, but a small amount of users have reported problems with snapped laces and bad durability. This does seem to be a very small minority, but it is perhaps worth noting.

Cost
Most of these products are around the same price range, so these are pretty par for the course.
Pros
  • Very simple design, and will speed your transition time.
  • Come in various colours.
  • The original brand with many devoted users.
  • Good stability and comfort system.
  • One size fits all.
  • High elasticity makes transitions easier and quicker.
Cons
  • A small amount of users have experienced durability issues.
  • These can occasionally be a little too tight, causing squeezing of the foot and bunching of the forefoot.

iBungee Stretch

These laces effectively distribute the tension of their design, which provides good comfort and doesn’t impact upon the fitting of the shoe. The fastening system here is very simple and allows for quick re-adjustment if needed. These laces come in a variety of sizes: 22, 26, 30, 34, 38, and 42 inches. We recommend measuring your current laces and comparing to find your ideal size.
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Comfort/Stability
The clever tension system ensures comfort through every stage of exercise, and adapts to the movement and swelling of the feet. This, in turn, also ensures good stability.

Durability/Quality
These laces are of very good quality, and will last a decent amount of time. Very few users have bad experiences with durability, so this is a definite plus point with this model.

Cost
Again, the price point here is pretty similar across the range. These are a few cents cheaper than other options of the same style, but the difference is very marginal.
Pros
  • Very comfortable.
  • Very slightly cheaper than other options.
  • Good stability.
  • Excellent elasticity ensures both comfort and quick transitions.
Cons
  • Some have reported that these are difficult to fit into the shoes.
  • If you don’t know your size, you might end up ordering the incorrect version.

Lock Laces Reflective

These are a great reflective option. If you exercise and train in the dark, these might be exactly what you need. Made by Lock Laces, these laces share much of the same excellent qualities as the non-reflective model (the review of which you will find earlier on this page). They are made up of 7-strand fibers, are 48” in length and stretch to 72”. These reduce the pressure points on the feet ensuring a stable and comfortable fit. These are also simple to install.
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Comfort/Stability
These reduce pressure points and ensure that you stay comfortable and stable throughout your run. A small amount of users have reported that these are slightly too tight and can cramp the foot.

Durability/Quality
These laces are of very good quality, though some users have reported slight durability issues.

Cost
These are more expensive owing to their reflectivity, so they will cost you a couple of dollars more. That said, it’s absolutely worth the investment if you run at night – a couple of dollars to secure your safety is of course a wise investment.
Pros
  • Very comfortable for most users.
  • Good stability.
  • Simple design ensures quick transitions.
  • Simple to use.
  • Reflective design is great for running at night.
  • One size fits all.
Cons
  • A few users report tightness in the forefoot.
  • Occasional durability issues.
  • Very slightly more expensive than non-reflective options.

Qi Laces

Qi Laces are built for athletes of every age. Whether you have a youngster dreaming of future triathlons or you're a wise elderly fellow taking it easy after years of running in triathlons. Qi Laces come in child's and adult sizes.

These laces are elastic with locks so users can easily slip on their shoes, lock them in place, and get on the move.
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Comfort
Qi Laces zigzag over the top of the foot for even pressure and a secure fit. You will not have to worry about specific pressure points causing pain or blisters. Simply slide your foot into your shoe, pull the locking mechanism in as tight as you would like, and be on your way.

The laces come in only one size - 48" - so you won't have to worry about finding your specific size. They are also available in eight colors for you to choose from.

In addition to triathlon athletes, these laces are great for people with arthritis and dexterity issues! All you have to do is pull the laces snug. No dealing with tying tiny laces and knots with stubborn fingers.

Durability
These laces are made from strong, reliable, and certainly durable hing tension materials. They do not lose tightness. Reviews praise the laces ability to keep the shoe tight. A few reviews did mention the plastic lock breaking over time, but the issue seems small compared to positive reviews.

Cost
Offered in pairs at a reasonable balanced price.
Pros
  • Built for quick transitions
  • Durable in rough environments
  • Stay tight during runs/triathlons
  • Quick adjusting
  • Allow for quick slipping on/off of shoe
  • Package comes with instructions for installation
  • Great for older folks with arthritis and dexterity issues
  • One size fits all
  • Made for men, women, and kids
  • Available in fun colors

 

Cons
  • Minor issues with plastic locking mechanism breaking

Nathan Lock

These 48” elastic laces come in one size and many colors. They’re easy to use and easy to put on the shoes. They seem to be a little looser than other alternatives, with slightly less tension, which may be either a good or bad thing depending on your particular needs.
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Comfort/Stability
These are very comfortable and don’t lead to any tightness or squeezing. They do, however, have slightly less tension than other alternatives, so if you want something very secure, they may not be for you.

Durability/Quality
The caps on the end of these laces come off a little more than other laces, though this is still only a problem in a small number of cases. They are otherwise of good quality.

Cost
These are a similar price to other equivalent options. Again, with this product, there is very little difference in the price between all of the good brands. Cheaper options are available, but not of the same quality.
Pros
  • One size fits all.
  • They are fairly simple to put on.
  • These are slightly more loose than other options, which could be useful for those with wide feet or if your feet swell a lot during exercise.
Cons
  • They seem to come loose more than other alternatives.
  • They have a slightly recurring problem of the caps coming off the end of the laces.

Xtenex X300 Laces

This is really interesting lace technology. Put the laces in, then set and tie them. That's it! The shoe is ready! You tie and set once and the laces retain position through a cleverly designed system of elasticated knots.

However, if you need to adjust the tensions, you simply feed the knots through the eyelets so they lock on and hold at a different level of secure tension.

These laces are popular among athletes whom are in need of rapid transition during competitions. They have also been featured as used during Olympic level competitions.

Read on to check out the full scope of these laces.
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Comfort
Strong elasticated laces allowing reliable secure comfort during moments of high performance. Subjected to extensive performance testing for use by triathletes.

The laces will not shift as they are secured in place by a network of knots designed into the lace. This means whatever tension you set, it stays at that rate. 

Durable
The laces are elasticated and strongly durable. Added durability must surly be in  place through the knot network which gives strength, stability, and security in combination with trustworthy durability.

The makers comfortably state that these laces have long durability with strength.

Cost
The price you pay reflects a lace system with high performing tech and not overly costly.
Pros
  • Ingenious knot system provides reliable tension
  • Pre-lace-up shoes at required level of tension so the shoe is ready during transition time in the race
  • Tension can be adjusted very quickly
  • Put on time for the shoe during transition times is very quick
  • Durable elasticated qualities
Cons
  • No significant cons have been highlighted as of yet

Racing Laces Reflective Elastic

Uniquely, these elastic laces come with the guarantee that they will last the same amount of time as your shoes – and if they don’t live up to that promise, you get a free pair. These measure at 48” and one size fits all. They come in many different colors and are reflective, which is handy if you like to run in the dark. The laces are made with 12 bands of rubber, which improves their durability, and they are particularly sturdy. It is worth noting that this brand is much less well-known than others on the list, so this product is not as well-tested as others.
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Comfort/Stability
These do provide good elasticity, and offer very good expansion if your feet swell. This prevents discomfort and injury. They also offer good stability and a good amount of tightness – so you don’t have to compromise between comfort and protection.

Durability/Quality
These are of very high quality, and very few users have reported any issues with durability. They appear to be more durable than other high-quality options.

Cost
These are a little more expensive than other options on the list, though only by a couple of dollars.
Pros
  • Quite a few users like the colour and aesthetic of these.
  • Very durable.
  • They don’t tighten or loosen during exercise, which some laces are susceptible to doing.
Cons
  • They are marginally more expensive than other options here.
  • this product has not been as well-tested

These laces can also be used everyday and for other exercise – so if you buy some, you don’t just have to use them for triathlons!

The large majority of top-quality triathlon laces are very similar to one another, so you will find that the options on this list are fairly alike, though they do indeed vary in some respects. Though you can find cheaper options on the market, they will be way less durable and way less effective – so on this list, you will only find products of the highest quality and the ones in which you are best advised to invest.


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Here’s what we looked for when choosing the best triathlon laces:

 

How much freedom of movement do they allow?

We took a close look at how the triathlon laces allowed the foot to move in a natural way. Not only is this essential for support and comfort, but for safety as well. During typical running, feet have a tendency of swelling up.

During a triathlon this can quickly turn from a minor inconvenience to a significant athletic injury that can take months to recover from. This is why we looked for triathlon laces that had effective elasticity to adapt to changes in the shape and position of the foot.

Fastening System

One thing that all triathlon laces on the market have in common is a convenient fastening system. We looked out for something that went beyond mere convenience in the laces we selected. We looked for how quickly the laces allowed for readjustment and how much comfort they provided to hardcore triathlon athletes.

When you’re making crucial transitions from one stage of a triathlon to another one every second is vital to your overall time, therefore you’re going to want a fastening system that is fast and secure. Additionally, because of the grueling nature of competition, chances are you’re going to have to make a readjustment at some point.

The last thing you’re going to want to do is fumble around with an overly complex fastening system. Comfort of the fastening system was another box that needed checking on our list. The general consensus is that while triathlon laces can fit most shoes, it’s the fastening system that makes or breaks the comfort level. Therefore, we made sure to include laces in our buying guide that offered triathlon athletes with the comfort they required.

Reflective Components

We at RunnerClick take our reader’s safety very seriously. Therefore, while this may be a component that gets frequently overlooked when selecting triathlon laces, we feel that it adds a much needed layer of protection, especially for a triathlon.

Most that have participated in such an event can testify for the chaotic state of competing in such a fast, high paced endeavor. At times, when race boundaries are wide and undefined, a low lighting condition can have disastrous consequences.

All these reasons is why we looked for reflective material as one of the important components of our list and feel that they should be as equally important to you as well.

Price

It is extremely important that athletes are never priced out of the passion and joy that comes from competition. Everyone, regardless of budget, should have the ability to access advanced gear that is priceless in higher level events.

We made sure to include triathlon laces that fit every reader’s budget. We also made sure that all the laces were dependable and made of high-quality material that you can count on when you need it.

Ability to work with a large variety of running shoes

Being that there are several transitions to a triathlon, it is very important to select from laces that can offer variety when it comes to what shoes you will be using them on.

Athletes are always very wary when choosing an aftermarket component for their favorite shoes. This is why a lot of thought should be placed in selecting laces that will be replacing what comes as a stock option with your shoe of choice.

We took careful consideration into picking laces that made the shoe feel as close to as the original as possible while still offering a secure and comfortable fit.

Style and durability

Form and function is always a little tricky in the athletic world. We know there’s always the desire to have a nice looking, appealing piece of equipment. However, at times what looks the best, doesn’t always tend to be the longest lasting (insert past relationship joke here).

While we made sure to include options that come in a variety of colors and style, we also made sure that durability was a factor in all selections. The dependability of triathlon laces can make the difference between first place and second.

 

Important Things to Consider When Selecting Your Triathlon Laces

While we have researched through a wide range of feedback and data when compiling our list, we understand that in order to truly get the most out of your triathlon laces, you must make a selection that makes sense for your purposes and what you plan to do with them.

Below you will find some personal factors to take into consideration when making your choice. These laces should be a smart investment and fit into your training regime, not the other way around. In addition, our guide is provided with the goal in mind on helping you buy as much smart lacing as you need, and not simply going for the most expensive option.

What will you be doing in these laces?

Yes, they are triathlon laces. No, you don’t have to compete in triathlons to take advantage of the convenience and support that they provide. With this in mind, ask yourself if you are going to be utilizing these in grueling, tough conditions or just everyday exercise and basic running.

If you won’t find yourself transitioning from swimming to bicycling, then chances are that a more basic option will suffice. However, if you run for long distances, you should select an option that has the ability to reduce pressure points to assist with slight foot swelling. Keep your comfort levels in mind, happy feet make for a happy run.

How well do you know your shoes?

Ask yourself: how long are the laces on my shoes? Do you know the answer? If not, don’t worry, most people have no idea. Unless you are going to be incorporating these triathlon laces in a very technical application, you may want to select a one size fits all pair.

There are a number of advantages when going this route, one of them being that if you wanted to try them out of a couple of your shoes, you can. Not having to worry about what size to buy a component of your running equipment is something that is not common in the running world and typically causes a lot of anxiety.

Not the case when selecting triathlon laces, so rest assured and enjoy making a selection without unnecessary stress.

Always think ahead when you are competing in a triathlon.

If you are planning your first swim, bike, run triathlon, first and foremost: way to go! You’re going to have a great time and you are sure to get “bit by the bug”. Triathlon laces will be an essential component of your gear and will help you shave a significant amount of time from your total.

You’ve moved away from convenience to long term investment and with that shift, you need to plan ahead for your needs. You may want to pick up two pairs of triathlon laces for different transitions.

If you’re going to be using socks on the biking transition, then you should select laces that offer more elasticity for a better range of motion in your foot. If you are running in a shorter triathlon, select laces that provide the closest feel to your running shoe. This will give you the advantage of a quick change without changing the support and comfort that you are used to.

Think about special requirements for a wider foot or significant swelling.

If you experience swelling after prolonged activity, you are not alone. Most athletes notice some amount of swelling and discomfort when going longer distances. This is something to consider when selecting your triathlon laces.

Our guide provides some options that are considered looser than other alternatives and will give you a little less tension. Likewise, if you have a wider foot and have experienced discomfort in narrow shoes or simply don’t lace your shoes too tightly, these type of triathlon laces may be a better selection for you as well.

Your comfort levels are important; whether you are competing in a triathlon or just going out for a light run.

 

FAQ

Here are some frequently asked questions that most runners encounter when making their decision. Hopefully, they will help you along your way when you are making your decision.

 

Q: I’m not considering participating in a triathlon, what advantages can I expect from these types of lacing systems?

A: Several. One of the biggest advantages you’ll notice right away is the time saving aspect of utilizing triathlon laces. Once you install them on your daily running shoe, you’re pretty much set for the lifetime of your footwear.

You can now just slip your foot inside and with a quick pinch be out the door and on your way. Same idea when you return from your run, pinch and release and no worries. Another great advantage is not having to concern yourself with your laces coming undone in the middle of a run or workout.

How many times have you stopped in the middle of your run to bend down and tie your shoes? That will become a thing of the past with smart lacing systems.

Q: I prefer to tighten my laces considerably, will these snap if stretched too hard?

A: We’ve taken careful consideration when selecting the laces on our buying guide and durability was one of our primary concerns.

In fact, elastic laces in general can stand up to more wear and tear than traditional cotton laces. The integrity of cotton laces goes way down when they get wet and are tightened. Elastic on the other hand, stands up significantly well to the elements.

Q: What are the steps involved when choosing a one size fits all model?

A: There are some initial steps that once completed, will provide you with a customized fit without any of the guesswork typically found with other athletic equipment.

Most of the one size models on our buying guide simply require the user to install the laces, slip their feet in, and clip off the excess amount with a pair of scissors. Pro tip: don’t forget to fit your laces at the end of the day or after prolonged activity to take any potential foot swelling into consideration.

Q: What differences in laces should I consider for different transitions during a triathlon?

A: To maximize their effectiveness, there are small changes that should be considered in a fast paced triathlon where conditions may vary significantly. For the swim to biking transition think about whether or not you want to change out of your wet socks; believe it or not, serious triathletes leave them on to shave some additional time.

Either way, select laces that are a little looser for this transition. Giving your feet a wider range of motion for biking. For the biking to running transition, use a tighter pair that fit snug and prevent any form of foot slippage.

 


Here are some sources we used while conducting our research

It’s important to use a plethora of sources to ensure quality information. We like to utilize trusted clinical partners and manufactures when providing our readers with the most up-to-date statistics found in all our buying guides. We are also very interested in taking what everyday users have to say about specific products, and we perform our due diligence to make sure that quality research goes into every guide. Here are some sources which helped us with this guide:

Sources

  1. All In Multisport, Multisport Articles & Tips, Multisport team website,
Salomon XA Pro 3D
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