Pearl Izumi Select Tri Shorts

When it comes to entering your first triathlon, you don't need to pack it all into a tiny Speedo or pull on full body armor to go swimming. Instead, a comfortable, lightly padded pair of tri shorts like the Select Tri Short from Pearl Izumi is perfect both to train and race in the water, on the bike, and running.

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For our tests, the shorts met all of our comfort requirements with light padding, a handy little pocket (for an energy gel), and quality construction that held up for more than a month of thrice-weekly laps in the pool. And, out in the open water, we wouldn't hesitate throwing them on for our next race. [$65; pearlizumi.com]