Shimano TR-9

2016 Top of the Range Competition Triathlon Footwear

The TR-9 was Shimano’s 2016 Premium triathlon shoe in the lineup. Not the lightest in the category but this was the first time I found a shoe that held the foot securely through the entire pedal stroke and provided easy entry/exit.

I often found the compromise in using a lightweight shoe that barely held together for the duration of the season. Sacrificing structure the shoe’s materials would breakdown to the constant ins/outs of racing and training to loose fit and cause nagging blisters or slipping during the pedal stroke.

Replacing the TR-32, a shoe I was not a fan of the geometry and fit, the aesthetically simple looking shoe delivered some key features that needed to be addressed.

The Upper

The new TR9 provides some key elements to meet the needs of triathletes. The shoes fit and the design incorporates the ability of easy entry and removal during the critical on the bike and during T1/T2 in the race. Lightweight and stiff the buildout provides enough structure to hold up to the demands of training in addition to the high-performance requirements of racing. The large instep strap covers enough surface area to lock the foot down while hooked but opens up with enough splay to keep the entry point unobstructed.

Opening away from the center of the bike allows the simple configuration more tension from the closure. The end of the strap allows for modification with scissors if the rider’s profile allows overlap in the strap to keep the shoe aero and away from the drivetrain.

The synthetic leather and mesh provided a soft on foot feel without socks and provided great moisture management the first few minutes on the bike. The toe box provided more room than the previous version the vented rubber cap kept the volume off the top of the foot and toes.

The offset heel loop provided a foolproof contact point when reaching down without looking. staying open my fingers found the grip quickly saving valuable time getting up to speed. Just below the offset was another loop to allow elastics to secure the shoes in position for flying mounts.

Outsole

The DYNALAST system provides a very stiff lightweight platform. Providing the cleat 11mm of adjustability athletes can dial in the position more accurately to match any aggressive TT position. The form of the last allowed the foot to stay relaxed on the recovery of the pedal stroke, not creating any slipping or flex during the drive phase. The last is available in wide for riders who need it, but I found the standard with even with an orthotic insert to fit a slightly wider than “D” width forefoot
I was a big fan of this shoe during my 2016 campaign from sprint draft legal, Olympic and 70.3 distance this shoe held up to its performance standards.

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