First, let me tell you what I think the perfect training running shoe is.
The perfect shoe will be: lightweight, responsive, with a relatively soft mid-sole. The perfect shoe will also allow me to run without socks.
The Zoot Tempo promises sock free running, however, I've been burned on this before and I have the blood stained shoes in my closet to prove it. They are also light weight- very light-weight for trainers.
And at north of one hundred dollars, with discount, they aren't the sort of shoe you buy on a whim and wear a few times before deciding that they don't really fit your needs. Not that Soundrunner wouldn't have accommodated me if I were really unhappy with them.
So, despite having bought them because of the good experiences I had with the TT, I was skeptical that I'd really be satisfied with these shoes.
Admission: I am in love with my running shoes.
I've done half a dozen runs in these shoes now. Except for the day it was 45 degrees out, all have been without socks, including a 75 minute trail run with Eric Hodska.
There are two factors I consider when evaluating a shoe- do they perform well, and am I comfortable in them. On both counts the Tempo has exceeded my expectations. This shoe is insanely responsive for a trainer, and stunningly comfortable. They truly do offer sock-free running, and that is giant bonus I can't oversell. At the same time, you feel like you are flying when you are running in them, and I've noticed the pace of my training runs has improved since I started wearing them.
Of course, as a light-weight trainer, the shoe is most definitely not for everyone. But if it is, I highly recommend getting to your local Zoot distributor- Soundrunner in Branford is one- and at least trying this shoe on. If you are a triathlete, you will not regret giving this shoe a stroll around the block.