We often get questions like:
What are the best shoes for a Spartan Race? What shoes are best for a Tough Mudder? What shoes are best for (insert almost any race name here)?
At some point this is a question 99% of Obstacle Racers have asked. What we have done at ORM is round up the best shoes we have used, and other OCR Pro’s have used, to give you a simple list of the top 5 Obstacle Racing Shoes from our experience. Here they are, not in order of one to five but, just the top 5.
Reebok All-Terrain Super OR – This is a fresh new entry that will likely regain many of the people that have lost faith in the All-Terrain series due to durability issues. Reebok has release their third version of the All-Terrain Supers with a great improved upper that will likely stop many of the ripping issues people have had. Still this shoe will not be as durable as something by Icebug or Inov-8 but it is the best water draining shoe on the market. Review by Matt B. Davis here.
Salomon Speedcross 3 – The Speedcross is a battle tested and loved by many shoe that has existed in its current for for a long time with only minor variations being put out by Salomon. This shoe is a slight departure from the traditional trail shoe style that you will see in that it has a ton of cushioning and an 11mm drop. The down side to this shoe with great grip, durability, and cushioning is that it drains water probably the worst of any shoe on this list. Reviewed in full here.
Inov-8 X-Talon 212 – Previously reviewed here, this was ORM writer Dario’s first shoe when he decided to get a shoe for his first Spartan Super many years ago. It turns out this was an amazing start for his, and your, adventure into trail/OCR shoes. It is durable, has some cushion (not much), drains water fairly well, and has pretty aggressive lugs. It falls into the average or slightly above average for most of its features.
Inov-8 X-Talon 190 – These shoes are surprisingly not a common suggestion when the question about the best shoe is asked. They are used by many of the Spartan Pro Team with notable user Cody Moat coming to mind as someone who knows running on OCR very well. They are essentially a lighter but slightly less durable version of the X-Talon 212 that drain water better too.
Icebug Zeal – These shoes are very polarizing but another great option. The polarizing opinion is that they are either the best shoes ever made or too narrow and terrible at draining water. From the staff at ORM we have found them a little too narrow for our taste but that they still performed very well. (The Zeal being the widest toe box of their entire line). This is a shoe you need to try on and walk around in your home to see if they will fit well. The other reason the Zeal is the most suggested Icebug shoe is most other Icebugs are studded and technically not allowed for most Obstacle Course Races.
Got a favorite shoe that wasn’t mentioned? Vote on it or add it to our survey. If it gets enough love we will give them a try and survey the Pro’s to see if it should be added to the list.