Your swimrun shoes are one of the most important pieces of gear in your arsenal, and you need to choose a pair that is durable, flexible, drain quickly and don’t act as a sea anchor when swimming.
Swimrun shoes are evolving quickly and there are now plenty of swimrun specific shoes on the market as well as trail running and triathlon shoes that are more than suitable for swimrun, too. We’ve selected the 10 best swimrun shoes with options suitable for beginners and swimrun aficionados.
Here are our picks of the best swimrun shoes you can buy right now. This article has last been updated in January 2023.
The popular Icebug Acceleritas8’s have had an upgrade recently, making them even more lightweight and minimal. The Rock Shield at the front of the toe will protect your feet on more rocky sections of swimrun courses, and the toe box is also roomier than other shoes to make the shoe more agile and comfortable. The outsole utilises RB9X®, a rubber compound that provides enough traction on both wet and dry surfaces
The X-TALON G 210 is a monster of a shoe. Massive lugs keep you anchored to the trail on steep climbs and fast descents. It drains well and is highly visible in the water. Performs really well in the mud and offers a surprising amount of protection for a shoe which weights in at 240 grams.
The Irock has long been a popular choice for swimrunners. It has strong traction, helped by Butyl rubber on the outsole and a specially designed lug configuration. The upper features Kevlar fibres to ensure durability and extra protection, and there’s also improved toe protection in the Irock 3. The Fitlock lace system also helps keep the shoe snug on the inside and under the arch of your foot.
The Salming OT Comp has been specially designed for swimrunners, with enhanced draining capabilities and traction compared to the rest of their trail running line. Designed with Michelin, the lug has been inspired by mountain bike and motorbike tires, making it great for soft terrain. There’s a lightweight mesh body on top with reinforced RocShield™ panels on the side. This one comes in narrower than others, but it’s the grip that sets it apart.
Vivobarefoot is known for its ultra-minimal shoes, and their first pair specialised for swimrun are no different. The Tempest have a wide toe box to ensure natural movement and are also super flexible – but without sacrificing durability. The outsole was created with Michelin for maximum traction, and the sock fit at the top of the shoe ensures you’ll stay comfortable during transitions.
The sixth version of their minimal trail-running shoe, the Glove 6 is equally suited to swimrun with its increased abrasion resistance and a mesh upper. There’s a rock plate to keep your feet further protected, plus a thick sole. The shape of the shoe is made to mimic the natural shape and movement of your foot, making this an ideal choice for those looking to venture into barefoot shoes.
The Amphib shoe has been designed for swimrun, with a specially created mesh on the upper that stays light in the water but drains quickly on land. Contagrip® Premium Wet Traction rubber on the sole ensures grip on slippy rocks or soft land terrain, and the bright red sole means it’s easy to spot your partner in the water.
The Speedgoat 4 is part of Hoka’s range dedicated to technical terrain. The fourth edition of the Speedgoat features a breathable and rugged mesh as well as a roomier toe box for comfort and additional agility. There are 5mm lugs for stability and traction and they’re also vegan.
The Sparta is another trail running shoe ideal for beginners—it’s priced at under £100. This shoe has been specially designed for fell-running, obstacle racing (OCR) and swimrun, so you can trust that it will drain easily and provide you with that all-important grip. It weighs just 590g and has a removable innersole for comfort and faster drying out at the end of a race. There’s also shank reinforcement in the midsole, offering better stability on uneven ground.
The Terrex Speed Ultra is fast becoming the shoe of choice for many performance focussed swimrunners. It is lightweight and drains very quickly while offering athletes decent protection. The Terrex also looks the part with a stylish and sleek design. Retailing at £160.
For the best swimrun wetsuits follow this link here.