Join Date: Dec 2004
Bikes: Colnago ExP, Look 595, Look 496, plus a few more...
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It does make a difference, but only since most tri-shoes have one strap instead of two or three more commonly used on road shoes. I'm using Diadora road shoes with three straps (but I only open and close the top two and keep the bottom closed at all times). Might save 5 seconds, but I doubt any more.
One thing to keep in mind though is that most tri-shoes are designed to be used barefooted, whereas roadshoes should be worn with socks. For a triathlete, that might be important, but for a duathlete, that really doesn't mean much as we go from running (with socks) to biking (keeping the socks...).
As far as carbon vs. non-carbon... Any stiff soled shoe will do, carbon or not. Might have a greater importance if you use a pedal with a small platform (such as SPD) as a softer sole could result in hot-spots (in essence pressure points on the foot).
Hope that rambling helped...