It’s been 6 years since my first obstacle race. I got invited by a group of friends to the Central Texas Tough Mudder back in 2014. I was clueless on what I got into. I just knew there was going to be lots of mud since the event was called Tough Mudder. Like most groups of friends we bought some Adidas compression shirts with our team name on it called “Malakopas” (The Bad Drinkers). After 6 years of Obstacle Racing I would like to share with you the brands of shoes you can use and trust in the course.
Starting from the bottom now we’re here! The first shoe that will be very functional for everyone is the Salomon SpeedCross. You can pretty much get any model (#5 is the newest version). This shoe is perfect for trail running, racing, extremely comfortable, great grip, built to last and if you are looking for a nice look and colors, the Salomon SpeedCross is the way to go.
Shoe recommendations can be a little tricky. There are a few brands and models that I trust and these are the ones you can try:
Inno-8 X-Talon. This company makes several trail running shoes and one of the most popular ones is the X-Talon. On the back of all the shoes you will find an arrow system pointing down. One arrow means a 3mm drop, two arrows means a 6mm drop and 3 arrows a 9mm drop. And the numbers that come up after the name of the shoe represents the weight in grams in that particular shoe. The 235, is 235g. A very flexible and light shoe with great grip and the lugs will hold very well to rocky surfaces. This is a great shoe for a sprint or super. Shoes and more cool gear here: https://www.inov-8.com/us/
VJ Shoes. My recent experience with VJ Shoes MaXX at the Sparta Ultra Guadalajara helped me to put this shoe to different conditions and surfaces. VJ Shoes claim to have the “Best Grip On The Planet” and it looks and feels like they actually do. I was really amazed how well this shoe grabs to any surface on the downhill and uphill. The MaXX has a wide toe box and a 6mm drop and is my shoe for any race longer than 13 miles. Check them out at https://vjshoesusa.com/
Once you already have your trail running shoes it’s time for the perfect socks.
Rule #1 DON’T WEAR COTTON SOCKS for an obstacle race. Wet socks will rub and will most likely leave you with blisters. If you’re wearing shorts the best option to go is long socks to protect you from debris, rocks and that rope climb. Here are some options:
MUDGEAR OCR & TRAIL RUNNING SOCKS. This brand has been in the OCR community for the longest time and they understand the necessities of the OCR game on the course. These socks are very durable with their advanced drainage technology and they also offer great compression for your calves to help create better blood flow and less muscle fatigue. Check them out at: https://mudgear.com/collections/trail-running-socks
Another brand that I love is Balega, especially their Blister Resist socks. They have them in different lengths, crew, no-show, and quarter. I personally use these when I wear compression pants because they are extremely comfortable. My favorite socks by far. A sock you can wear even for your regular training runs. https://balega-socks.implus.com/products/all-products/
Even with the best shoes and socks your feet are going to get wet. One of the best practices I have discovered for any type of race or adventure run is Friction Zone by Brave Soldier. A superior anti-chafing product that is water resistant and will protect you for hours. Apply it all over your feet before putting on your socks and you’ll be ready to race! Get Friction Zone by Brave Soldier Here.