Signed up for your next adventure and wondering what shoes to wear? Do you go for clipless pedals and cleats or will your trainers be just as good? We get these questions a lot from people in the lead up to an event and here is our honest view on it.

Gaelforce West Cycle 2018



With cleats, you feel more connected with the bike. Everything is more secure. Your foot is always in the right place and in bad weather your foot will not slip.


When peddling on flat peddles, the only time you can move the peddles is in a downward motion as with cleats you get to pull the peddle back up, thus increasing the power in each rotation - motion mechanics for all you engineers out there!


When you are clipped in the peddle, you have direct connection to the bike. This means that you are transferring all your energy into peddling.

Gaelforce West 2018



Runners allow for more control of the bike. You are not  tied to the bike, which means you can jump of in an emergency situation.


This is more down to actual racing, especially triathlons or adventure races. One pair of runners does it all, no need to carry another set of shoes with you throughout the race. This is especially important if there a multiple transitions during an event.


When it comes to transition points, you will save time. Stop, Rack your bike and you are good to go! No messing with changing shoes during transitions.

Gaelforce West 2018

Here's what some of our team had to say

Question: “What footwear would you use for Adventure Racing?”

Bridget: “I would stick with my trusty trail runners from start to finish - I find having to change footwear a distraction plus extra gear to bring around. Keep it simple, trail shoes all the way.”

Ciara: “Trail runners – mine are Icebugs. They are great as they are really lightweight and don’t hold the water when they get wet which makes them perfect for wet weather training and races and transitioning into and out of kayaks. They also have quite an aggressive thread which makes them great for the mountains. I would use toe clips on my pedals so I only need 1 pair of shoes for the entire race.”

Shane: "I would think it is worth wearing trail running shoes on the mountain sections and clip in SPD shoes on the bike sections so change them at the transitions"

There you have it... Even we can't all agree! At the end of the day it is down to personal choice and what you are most comfortable with. If you train with cycling shoes and have plenty of practice then go for it. If you are a novice then it is probably better to stick with your trail runners. What is your approach to footwear for Adventure Racing?

Check out our upcoming Events and put your theory to the test!


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