Tough Mudder Shoes – The Best Shoes for Obstacle Races

Shoes Tough Mudder & Obstacle Runs

Overview

  1. Why you shouldn’t be running a Tough Mudder in normal running shoes
  2. What you should consider before buying your Tough Mudder shoes
  3. The Reebok All Terrain Super OR – the favorite shoe of most professional obstacle runners
  4. The Salomon Speedcross 3 – is the king of trail running shoes an alternative?
  5. The agony of choice – which is the best shoe in my specific case?

1. Why you shouldn’t be running a Tough Mudder in normal running shoes

Good shoes are essential to master obstacle races such as Tough Mudder.

You already have good running shoes?

Forget them!

You need special shoes for Tough Mudder, otherwise you might have to dump your good running shoes in the trash after the event.

If you can’t imagine why, just remember that Tough Mudder means…

  • …jumping into water repeatedly
  • …dealing with a changing and rough terrain
  • …sometimes being stuck in mud thigh-deep

That’s not what “normal” running shoes are made for!

It’s like wearing flip-flops to go ice skating 😉

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2. What you should consider before buying your Tough Mudder shoes

In what follows, we tell you the seven most important features for your Tough Mudder shoes, and how to choose the right shoe size.

7 tips for your perfect Tough Mudder shoes

Tough Mudder Shoes Must-haves

  1. Tough Mudder shoes should be as light as possible. After 12 miles, you’ll feel every ounce of weight you’re carrying.
  2. They should provide a good grip on muddy and slick terrain.
  3. The shoes should be water resistant and fast drying.
  4. The running shoes should not only be comfortable, but also fit firmly. No kidding – some Mudders lose their shoes when getting stuck in the mud!
  5. Tough Mudder shoes should support you perfectly at climbing obstacles.
  6. They should be sturdy and easy to clean, so you can use them for many Tough Mudders and other obstacles races.
  7. It’s not about the looks. But of course, it also wouldn’t hurt if the shoes provide great functionality AND look good.

How to choose the right shoe size

Although Tough Mudder and other obstacle races become more and more popular, we’re still talking about a niche!

Hence, it’s still hard to find suitable shoes for obstacle races in common sport stores. Which mostly results in searching for and buying shoes, online.

In that case, it’s even more important to get a guidance for the right shoe size.

In general, it’s advisable to order running shoes one size bigger than your street shoes.

Why?

During running, your feet swell up and you need some additional space!

Michael wears Size 9 in his everyday shoes. For the following shoes he ordered size 10 – fits perfectly.

This also applies for the rest of the team.

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3. The Reebok All Terrain Super OR – the favorite shoe of many professional obstacle runners

Reebok All Terrain Super OR
The Reebok All Terrain Super OR is available for men and women in different colors (even more than shown in the picture).*

Please note: We link standardly to the model for men, but further below you can also find the link for women!

The All-Terrain-Super models have been with us since our first Tough Mudder run. Therefore, Basti and especially Michael have been running several Tough Mudders with the 1.0 and also the 2.0 versions.

Meanwhile, the new All Terrain Super OR* has been released. Just as always Reebok focuses on well-tried features with few small upgrades. Sven and Viola could convince themselves already.

Reebok is the main sponsor of Spartan Races and strives after market leadership for running shoes for obstacle races. They spared neither expense nor effort to work on the the development of this product, together with some of the best obstacle course racers of the world.

The result speaks for itself!

The shoe is ultra light, you hardly feel it when you wear it. Due to its H2O-Drain-Sytem the water doesn’t stay inside but it runs off immediately.

You don’t believe us?

Then have a look at the following video from our Mudder buddy Thorsten at the London West 2016 event. He’s wearing them right there:

In contrast to its predecessors, the All Terrain Super OR* has a fast-lacing system. Who doesn’t want this, can just cut the laces and replace them with ordinary ones.

For this model, Rebook uses CORDUNA®-upper material, which makes the shoe even more durable and also gives it a peppier look.

The material is dirt-repellent, which makes it easier to clean and which also keeps the weight as light as possible during the whole run.

A definite plus point for a trail running shoe.

The Reebok All Terrain Super OR is comfortable and has a tight fit. It has great grip on the trail and in mud. Due to its nature it’s a good support at climbing obstacles.

A small weakness can be found on flat surfaces (especially when wet), such as the Everest 2.0, which can be quite a slippery business, when it starts raining.

But this is only complaining on a high comfort level.

Fortunately, these shoes don’t just convince with their functionality but are also an eye catcher with their really loud colors and design.

Different color ranges for men and women make sure that everybody finds a style to their taste.

Therefore, we view the Reebok All Terrain Super OR* as the ultimate running shoe for Tough Mudder and similar obstacle course races.

The money is also spend well, as this pair of shoes looked like newly bought after we’ve put it in the washing machine. It’s going to be a long and muddy love affair with this one.

To have a clue what we mean, take a look at Michael’s 1.0 ‘s after 6 Tough Mudder runs. He probably could have run another 20 with these, easily (that’s why we’re still confused about some Amazon reviews).

Reebok All Terrain Super 1.0 of Michael
Michael’s All Terrain Super 1.0 have been through 6 Tough Mudders so far and even the laces are still shining bright!

Here you can find the Amazon links:

Reebok All Terrain Super OR for Men*

Reebok All Terrain Super OR for Women*

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4. The Salomon Speedcross 3 – is the king of trail running shoes an alternative?

Salomon Speedcross 3 for Tough Mudder

Please note: We link standardly to the model for men, but further below you can also find the link for women!

A great alternative is the Salomon Speedcross 3 GTX*, which is the non-plus-ultra in trail running shoes. This one is available in a dozen different colors for both, men and women.

As we see so many people running in Salomons, and as Viola is more than just happy with her Salomon Fellraiser, Michael decided to test this brand as well at the Tough Mudder in NRW 2016 and Scotland 2016.

NRW, in Germany, is being labled as the toughest Tough Mudder event in Europe. Scottland is about average, so these were great events for a test.

What’s the result?

First you have to know, that the Salomon Speedcross 3 GTX* wasn’t explicitly made for Tough Mudder or other OCRs, but it’s a trail run classic.

That’s why, this shoe is a bit heavier but also a lot sturdier than the All Terrain Super OR from Reebok (Hint: on the left side of the scale you see the 2.0 version from Reebok, but that doesn’t make a big difference to the new model.)

Tough Mudder shoes should't weight too much

The scale shows a bit higher weight, than the official ones. Maybe a bit of Tough Mudder still remained in these shoes.

Even if it’s really hard to imagine, the grip on muddy and slick ground and up hill is even better than with the Reebok model.

Concerning water, it definitely follows a different approach.

If running through wet grass with the Reeboks, you’ll get wet feet quickly. Where water quickly runs off, it will also get in really easily.

The Salomon Speedcross 3 GTX* though, focuses on not letting any water in, even if you’re running through snow. This shoe really is extremely waterproof.

Which is great in general but not a great advantage at any obstacle involving water, where there is no way around getting soaked feet. It takes you forever to run off the water inside your shoe.

This is what happened to Michael in NRW and after a bit of research we’ve found out, this has also happened to others.

Yet, this was the GTX – gore-tex edition – and actually made for the extremes of winter. The other editions, should do better.

In NRW, Michael’s inner sole of the shoe scooted forward a bit forming little crinkles, when the shoe was filled with water. A little research here, also proofed, that this happened to some other Mudders as well.

No drama, just taking a bit off the comfort points.

On smooth surfaces this shoe’s performance was just about as average as the All Terrain as the rule of thumb says: The more grip on the trail, the less traction on smooth surfaces.

Here the profile of the shoes by comparison:

Tough Mudder shoes profile comparison
left, Reebok All Terrain Super 2.0; right, Salomon Speedcross 3 GTX

The Speedcross 3’s fast-lacing system is actually really handy and of higher quality than the Reebok All Terrain Super OR’s (Sven and Michael compared these two).

As mentioned before: if you don’t like it, just remove it and replace them with ordinary laces.

Speedcross 3, Speedcross 3 CS or Speedcross 3GTX?

Whoever decided on getting a pair of Salomons for Tough Mudder is spoilt for choice between

We’ve researched for hours and came to the conclusion, that the differences are not that huge. Hence, we’ve decided on the GTX, as it seemed more flexible (runs in snow, hiking, etc.)

Also, – even if it might sound a bit girlish – it comes in so many different colors. 😀

Tip for smart spenders:

If you’re not focused on a certain color or style, click through the different ones. Often there is a huge different in the pricing.

Personally, we would buy the GTX again, but feel free to also have a look at the other models of this series on Amazon. In our opinion, all of them are a good choice.

Or you start to research for hours, with the result of not really being much smarter than before. 😉

Ordering options for the Salomon Speedcross 3 GTX

Here is an overview of the Speedcross 3 series. Follow the links to Amazon:


Speedcross 3 Speedcross 3 CS Speedcross 3 GTX
Women* Women* Women*
Men* Men* Men*

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5. The agony of choice – which is the best shoe in my specific case?

Reebok & Salomon comparison

To make it clear – when we’re talking about which of these two models is best for you, it is nothing more than hair-splitting.

Both pairs passed the stress test easily and, concerning Tough Mudder, beat every ordinary running shoes by far!

There is almost no price difference, therefore it’s absolutely legitimate to base your decision on style preferences!

If you don’t care too much about design and only put emphasis on the features, you can follow these recommendations:

  • If you’re only looking for a shoe solely for Tough Mudder, you’d choose the Reebok All Terrain Super OR*. This one is quite a bit lighter, build for speed, has a big advantage at the water obstacles and is not too far behind the Salomon concerning grip.
  • If you are more looking for an all-rounder, you should choose the Salomon Speedcross 3 GTX*. The grip is simply great, your feet stay dry at normal circumstances and they are also of great use on a hike.

Michael likes to train with his Salomons but most of the time he uses his Reeboks for the Tough Mudder events.

No matter which one you choose – you won’t regret it. For sure you’ll earn envious glances, when you fly through deep mud and up hill, while the rest has to let you pass as their shoes have reached their limits.

Don’t wait too long for your order though! It happens, that your size and color is not available at all times, especially when big running events are right around the corner.

Additionally, we highly recommend to break in your shoes to get a good feeling for them and avoid blisters on the big day.

Once again, here are all the links you need

Reebok All Terrain Super OR

Reebok All Terrain Super OR for Men*

Reebok All Terrain Super OR for Women*

Salomon Speedcross 3


Speedcross 3 Speedcross 3 CS Speedcross 3 GTX
Women* Women* Women*
Men* Men* Men*

Have fun with your new Tough Mudder shoes 🙂

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