Whether it's summer and sunshine or winter and hailstorms, there are some people who will do anything for a tough and grueling challenge. Welcome to the fascinating world for Spartan races, obstacle courses and mud run racing. Besides a balanced physical strength, endurance and competitiveness, you need to be equipped properly for this tough challenge with the necessary gear. So, the best shoes for Spartan races are crucial if you want to perform well in spartan races or any other obstacle courses. This is especially important if you want to avoid injury and maximize your potential.
Whether you are an experienced runner or an energetic newbie, you aren’t completely ready for the Spartan races without a pair of the best Spartan shoes. Same can be said for tough mudder, or other obstacle course racing. Ideally, you're looking for boots or shoes that are required to be light weight, water and mud friendly and highly comfortable. You can find the best pair only when you understand the features and hence, here is the review of the top picks.
Men's best OCR shoes for Spartan Races, Mud Races
1. Salomon Men's Speedcross 3 Trail Running Shoe
The Salomon Speedcross 3 Trail Running Shoe is a popular choice, praised for remaining super comfortable through grueling climbing, running and walking through mud and water. This is due to its thick cushioning for extra comfort. The outsole is specialized in dealing with wet and muddy surfaces.
Additional features include a protective rubber toe cap, water-resistance, an anti-debris mesh upper and Quick lace system. It also has a Mud & Snow Contagrip non-marking rubber outsole to avoid any slips or slides. This one’s trail-ready to go!
2. Inov-8 Men's Terraclaw 250 Trail Running Shoe
The Inov-8 Terraclaw 250 is the higher mileage version of the Terraclaw range. It performs on the widest range of trails, from single tracks to steep descents. It features special triangular lugs to release grit and gravel, while ensuring maximum grip with every foot strike.
It also has a lace-up mesh upper, which provides centralized support and comfort. It also has a layered light-weight toe cap for protection. Buyers have commented particularly on it’s strong adherence to obstacles in steep inclines and declines. So this is certainly something to keep in mind if you’ll be doing lots of climbing.
3. Inov-8 Men's Terraclaw 220 Trail Running Shoe
The Inov-8 Terraclaw 220 Trail Running Shoe is the lightest version of the Terraclaw range. It is stripped back for ultra-fast racing and is a Red Dot winner for design excellence. Hence quality is assured. Just like the 250 version, it features special triangular lugs to release grit and gravel, and a lightweight mesh upper for comfort and support.
It also has a sticky rubber outsole for traction on a variety of surfaces. Satisfied buyers have commented on its minimalist design in particular. So if you want simplicity with style, you won’t go wrong with the Terraclaw 220.
Womens's best OCR shoes for Spartan Races & Mud Races
4. Salomon Women's Speedcross 4 W Trail Runner
This is the fourth edition of this iconic running shoe. It’s high on comfort and light in weight, along with what Salomon describe as a ‘monster’ grip on soft trails. The special features of this shoe is firstly a minimalistic and strong lace for one-pull tightening. Thus, it’s easy to pull on and off. It also has a special feature called Sensifit, which cradles the foot from the midsole to the lacing system, providing a secure, snug, and virtually customized fit all around the foot.
Furthermore, it uses Contragrip Technology, which is a precise combination of geometry, density, and compound, optimized for specific sports and surface conditions. Buyers have praised it’s performance particularly when hiking, as well as its name suggests, on trail runs. Twice as good!
The XR Mission is the latest all-terrain running shoe from Salomon. It combines a lightweight feel with stability, which provides a comfortable running experience. It’s special features include Sensifit and Sensiflex technologies, which promotes smooth motion. It also has a foam foot bed to reduce friction and a rugged Contragrip outsole for traction.
Additionally, it has the Quicklace system giving each person a unique snug fit. This is a great choice for those seeking a flexible shoe that can easily transition from road to trail, and for short to middle distance runs.
6. Merrell Women's All Out Crush Tough Mudder Trail Running Shoe
The All Out Crush from Merrell is both versatile and protective. It’s designed to tackle sharp rocks, loose dirt, mud or gnarly challenges. Best of all, it washes out easily after a long day of contact with mud, dirt and debris. It also drains water very quickly during water obstacles, ensuring your feet aren’t weighed down and continue to feel light.
It has been described by buyers as having great durability, great fit, and incredible traction in all terrain. The All Out Crush is also Vegan Friendly, so it’s perfect for those seeking comfort with caring.
Best Obstacle Course Shoes - Unisex
7. Inov-8 X-Talon 200 Unisex Sneaker
The Inov-8 Talon 200 is a lightweight and flexible racing shoe that offers substantial grip over soft or harsh terrain. It’s great on dry trails too. It weighs only 200g and compliments the foot's natural movement, providing superb flexibility.
It is also very comfortable, with a 3mm heel-to-toe drop and injected EVA midsole. This allows the foot to fall closer to the ground and encourages faster speeds while still retaining underfoot comfort.
It also features DWR coating to repel water and a breathable mesh in the forefoot. This allows fast water drainage, ensuring feet stay drier. This is the perfect pick for wet, rocky off-trail running and obstacle course racing at high speed.
Crucial Information on Mun Run or Spartan Race Shoes
As you aren't going to buy a pair of shoes for mud races every other day, it's always wise to gather information before you add a pair to your cart. You must, at least, have the answers of the following two questions that you
Q1. Why Sparan Races or Tough Mudder shoes are required?
Spartan races and tough mudder are really exciting games. But these games involve heavy physical activiies like racing, jumping. And you have to run through water and muds.
So, it is clear that a pair of general shoes can't tolerate the activities of mud races or spartan races. What is most crucial that your shoes will affect your performance heavily. That's why, suitable and proper shoes or sneakers are required to perform in Spartan races.
Q2. How to choose Best shoes for Spartan races or Mud races?
Before you buy a perfect pair of shoes for Spartan or Mud expedition, you have to know how to choose them. It's actually depends on several factors whether the shoes are good or bad. Consider following points to get your answer and
- Go for lightweight shoes. Since you will be running for long durations, you won’t want anything which weighs you down.
- Look out for soles with a strong grip which help you retain your balance on rough or slippery surfaces.
- Your shoes must be supportive enough when climbing up and down those tricky obstacles.
- Since you will be coming into contact with water a lot, you need to ensure that your shoes are water resistant.
- Make sure you get the perfect fit, as you don’t them slipping off mid-race!
- Look for good quality materials which ensure durability and repeated future use. There’s no value in buying a pair which only lasts you one season.
- Your shoes may look all the worse for wear after your race, so you’ll want a pair which is easy to clean.
- It’s not all about practicalities. There are plenty of good-looking options out there, so pick a pair which you will enjoy wearing!
After finishing up this round up posts on Spartan or mud running shoes, now you have pretty much information on - why Spartan race shoes are required and how to choose a great pair. And you saw a great list of best shoes for Spartan race. Now, it's your turn to pick out your pair for next expedition.
As per our ovservations, we will rate Salomon Speedcross Trail Running shoes varities as best pick for men and women. Howerver, Inov-8 X-Talon 200 Unisex Sneaker can be a great choice providing the fact that the pair is rated high by both men and women.