Review: Specialized Trivent SC

Transition is triathlon’s fourth discipline and in short-course racing, it is even more important. The Specialized Trivent SC are the American powerhouse’s short-course focused offering.

Product: Specialized Trivent SC
Price: £230
Size: EUR 44
Weight: 275g per shoe

Who is it aimed at?

Triathletes seeking a sport-specific cycling shoe.


Best Bits?

Great quality – and look fantastic.

What surprised you?

Comfortble (with or without socks), and with great ventilation.

Reasons why you would buy it?

Build quality, comfort during use… and they look great.

Specialized Trivent SC – our experience…

When choosing a new pair of tri shoes there are several things you look for, including: kicks that look the business; are easy/quick to get on and get off; comfort; durability; and, have a stiff sole for good power transfer.

The Specialized Trivent SC sit below the American company’s top of the range S-Works Trivent shoes and come in at £45 cheaper- interestingly, ITU racers Javier Gomez and Richard Murray have been seen sporting the Trivent SC. [NOTE – at the time of writing, several retailers are advertising the Trivent SC at significantly below the £230 RRP).

With their simple red and black colour combo, along with the meshed upper and the FACT Powerline™ carbon/composite sole, the Specialized Trivent SC are a sharp pair of multi-sport bike shoes – they look great.

Specialized Trivent SC

Broadly, there are two styles of tri shoe; those that involve pulling the main strap outwards away from the crank and others that require pulling the strap in towards the crank. Both systems have their advantages and disadvantages. Pulling in towards the crank means that the extra length of the strap often equals a greater opening for you to slip your foot into, however it can result in the strap excess catching on the crank arm; alternatively, pulling out away from the crank often means it is easier/quicker to get a secure fit, but the opening can be narrower.

Specialized Trivent SC

At first sight, if you’re a fan of the ‘elastic band trick’ and the ‘flying squirrel’ mount, the SC’s look the ticket. In addition to the large hoops on the heel the shoes have a small hooks by the instep which offers another option to loop your elastic bands.

However, on closer inspection the Specialized Trivent SC classically reflect the pros and cons of the pulling-away style shoe. After vigorous transition practice/testing, if you are cursed with wide feet it might be quite challenging (you’ll need to practise and for the shoes to give a little – which they do over time), to get your flippers into the Specialized Trivent SC shoes. The large hoops help you get hold of the shoe on the fly, but the Specalized Trivent SC are far harder to get on than the previous Specialized tri-shoes with a similar style.

Once on, the Specialized Trivent SC shoes are impressive. They felt comfortable with or without socks and the mesh upper provides good ventilation on the hottest days.

The sole is very stiff and it feels like there is good power transfer to the pedals- especially when out the saddle. With a toe and main strap combo it’s easy to get a nice snug fit, although over longer distances the main strap can feel a little tight across the top of your foot.

Specialized Trivent SC

After multiple rides the shoes are holding up well. The rubber heel and the reinforced toe-box are doing a good job of protecting the carbon sole and upper from damage, although the inside of the heel has worn quite quickly from rubbing against the crank arm.


Great look, superb when on, but not the fastest for a rapid T1.

Written by
Chris Hovenden
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