Zoot Ali’i

9.3
9.3 score
[Editors rating (9.0) + Users rating (10.0)] / 2 = Runnerclick score (9.3)/10

Our RunnerClick score is based on our editors overall rating compared to the user ratings in order to generate the most accurate and unbiased score of each product we review.

If there are less than 10 user reviews for the product in total, the weight of user reviews is decreased from 50% to 25% to make sure that new products are not rated too high.
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Editor rating: 9.0 / 10
User's rating: based on 1 user ratings
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Zoot Ali’i Review Facts
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The Zoot Ali’i is a uniquely designed triathlon shoe with a Hawaiian inspired design. The colorful upper, available in a single colorway, takes its inspiration from the Kona Ironman competition. The unisex triathlon shoe offers a neutral construction and an easy to use closure system so the shoe is easy to handle at transition stations. Comfortable and quick to slip on and off, the Ali’i’ is a fast feeling shoe perfect for racers wanting a little extra pep in their step.

Editor's Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Comfortable
  • Lightweight
  • Wide toe box
  • Responsive
  • Energy-filled midsole
  • Supportive midfoot
  • Seamless interior 
  • No breaking in period required
  • Attractive design
  • Highly adjustable Boa Closure System
Cons
  • Lacks overall stability
  • Minimal traction
  • Only available in one colorway 
Outsole
Outsole

Outsole

The Ali’i's Constant Ground Contact outsole is composed of carbon rubber. Reviewers noted that the sole wasn't very grippy, which worked well for its intended use.
Midsole
Midsole

Midsole

The midsole of the Zoot Ali’i contains both Z-Bound and ZVA cushioning. The two materials provide comfortable, lightweight cushioning.

Reviewers agreed that the cushioning provided plenty of energy-return and was soft and responsive. Reviewers also liked that the midfoot provide adequate arch support and the shoe didn't need a breaking in period.
Upper
Upper

Upper

The triathlon shoe features a mesh upper with a Barefit liner. The most unique part of the Zoot shoe is its Boa closure system that provides users with ultimate control over the shoe's fit. The system is made up of strong laces and a dial that allows for tiny incremental changes in fit. The dial is easy to adjust on the fly and allows for super precise control over the fit of the Zoot Ali’i. A simple turn is all that's required to control how tight the laces go.

Reviewers loved the fine-tuned Boa system and appreciated the slipper-like feel and fit of the Zoot Sports shoe. A wide toe box was well-liked by reviewers, as well. Since the Ali'i is a triathlon shoe, it's seamless to reduce friction and prevent blister formation.
Weight
Weight

Weight

The Zoot Sports triathlon shoe feels fast and features a lightweight design. The unisex shoe has a weight of just under 10 ounces for the average men's size 9.
Breathability
Breathability

Breathability

The Zoot Sports triathlon shoe features a super breathable, quick-drying mesh upper design. There's no need to wear socks with this shoe (no socks means less time struggling to get them on your feet at your transition station) thanks to a seamless design and a comfortable BareFit liner.
Comfort
Comfort

Comfort

Reviewers agreed that the Ali'i was quite a comfortable triathlon-specific shoe. Most users pointed out the easy slip-on fit of the shoe and its comfortable wide toe box. Reviewers also loved the simple, precise Boa Closure system that allows for a super precise fit.

In addition, reviewers liked the energy-filled Z-Bound and ZVA midsole materials. Both midsole materials are responsive and provide a soft plush ride. The shoe also features good midfoot support and a seamless interior for an easy ride. There's also no need for a breaking in period with the Ali'i.
Style
Style

Style

Although the triathlon shoe is only available in one colorway, the one style option is full of personality. The unique colorful design is inspired by Hawaii's Kona Ironman triathlon and features a black base with plenty of bright accents.
Durability
Durability

Durability

Reviewers had no issues with the shoe's lifespan. The Ali'i is meant to be used for racing purposes and the lightweight racer should work well for multiple races in a season.
Protection
Protection

Protection

While the Zoot Sports shoe is racing specific, it's still substantial enough to provide protection from impact. The shoe features plenty of heel cushioning and a well-cushioned midsole filled with responsive and protective Z-Bound and ZVA materials.

Responsiveness
Responsiveness

Responsiveness

Reviewers agreed that the Ali'i was a very responsive shoe. The combination of Z-Bound and ZVA midsole cushioning deliver a fast, energy-filled ride. The shoe works well for its intended purpose and feels fast and light.
Support
Support

Support

The neutral triathlon shoe is quite supportive thanks to a snug slip-on fit and the high-tech Boa Closure system. The Boa lacing system gives users ultimate control over the fit and snugness of the shoe. A simple turn of the precision dial allows users to adjust the lacing as they see fit.

Reviewers loved the Boa System and also appreciated the supportive midfoot construction. The rear of the shoe also features a supportive 3D heel counter.
Terrain
Terrain

Terrain

Light on traction, the Ali'i works well for runs on dry pavement. The shoe feels fast and nimble in ideal conditions and works well for its intended purpose, according to reviewers.
Price
Price

Price

A mid-range price point seems fair for this technologically advanced triathlon racer. The Boa System alone is worth the price tag. In conjunction with the shoe's comfortable fit, energy-filled midsole, and lightweight design, the Ali'i really is the whole package and is totally worth the money.
Traction
Traction

Traction

Reviewers pointed out that the outsole of the Ali'i was not very grippy but that this wasn't a problem for triathlon purposes. The shoe's carbon rubber outsole provides traction that's suitable for racing.
Flexibility
Flexibility

Flexibility

Reviewers didn't seem to notice or talk about the flexibility of the Zoot Sports triathlon racer. The outsole isn't particularly bendy but the upper is easily adjustable thanks to the Boa Closure system. Once adjusted, the fit is tight but forgiving.
Stability
Stability

Stability

Reviewers were mostly happy with the performance of the Zoot triathlon shoe but noted that the shoe lacked overall stability. Even with its precision Boa system, the shoe isn't as stable as some looked forward to. Thankfully, the 3D heel counter offers rearfoot support, so the neutral shoe isn't entirely lacking when it comes to stability.
Drop
Drop

Drop

The drop height of the Zoot Sports shoe is about 8mm. The standard height works well and doesn't negatively alter the fit and feel of the shoe. Reviewers didn't find anything to complain about when it came to the Ali'i's heel to toe drop.
Key Features
Key Features

Key Features

- 8mm drop height
- Kona inspired upper design
- Unisex sizing
- Constant Ground Contact outsole
- Carbon rubber outsole material
- Z-Bound & ZVA cushioning
- 3D heel counter
- Boa Closure System
- BareFit liner
- Mesh upper construction
Bottom Line
Bottom Line

Bottom Line

For triathletes looking for an attractive, reliable racing shoe, the Zoot Sports Ali'i is a suitable contender. The comfortable racer features a lightweight, energy-filled design that's ready for fast efforts. Plenty of cushioning throughout the midsole delivers a bouncy ride. Although the shoe lacks overall stability, it seemed to be enough for most reviewers to look past. Available in one colorful style, the uniquely designed triathlon-specific shoe offers midfoot support and a speedy feel. A seamless comfortable interior makes the shoe perfect for sockless wear. The best part: The intelligently designed Boa Closure system that makes adjusting the fit of the shoe a piece of cake.