Best Shoes For Obstacle Races and Mud Runs

What do we want from a good Obstacle Racing shoe? Well we need two things – great grip and strong durability. We go through your options.

By Rob Foulkes
on 22nd October 2013

What do we want from a good Obstacle Racing shoe? We need two things – great grip and strong durability. When shopping around in general ‘fell’ shoes are the best as these are designed for hills and mountains which therefore provide superior grip over any other shoes. 

Everybody wants something different from a shoe so we’ve put together the ten shoes that we think should be on your shopping list to research over or try on in your local running shop. If you’re buying online we recommend as they have the lowest prices and biggest stocks.

All Rounder Shoes – Lightweight


1. Inov-8 X Talon 200

A new version from Inov-8 which is lighter and a better build than its sister shoe the 212. The 200 is suited to those that want minimal support but not ready for the X Talon 190. The grip is superb on them but there a durability issues around the toe box. Overall best for intermediates and those with wider feet, as the shoe is a standard fit. Read Full Review

Great For: Superior Grip, Lightweight,
Not so good on: Toe box can fall apart, durability

Buy From £79.99 at


2. Inov-8 X-Talon 212

The all round OCR shoe and most popular from Inov-8. Superb grip and more support with a 6mm drop. Perfect for those taking their first step into a serious OCR shoe. Read Full Review

Great For – All round shoe, support and grip included
Not so good on – durability

Buy From £79.99 at


3. ICEBUG Accelaratis

Swedish design and built for traction in the mud. A minimalistic shoe featuring specialist rubber RB9X on the sole these are best found on the trail or wet rocks. The RB9X according to ICEBUG has proved to have superior friction (grip) on dry, wet and hard grounds than its competitors.

The 4mm drop, flex (how much it bends) and lightweight design (weighing 200g) make this prefect for the minimalistic racer. The outsole is made from a nylon material which is super durable and a micro suede inside.

Available in pink too for women sizes.

Good For: Superior Grip, Lightweight, Durability (long lasting)
Not so good: For narrow feet
Who should buy: Those wanting a lightweight trail shoe that will last with grip



4. VJ Sport iRock

A narrow width trail shoe originally designed for orienteering and now worn by OCR World Champion Jon Albon. Weighing at 240g it’s the heavier of the all rounder shoes but has excellent grip and durability.

Read Full Review or Buy From

Great For – All round shoe, durable support and grip


5. Asics Fuji Runnegade

ASICS have revamped the Fuji Runnegade with now more grip and an Anti Gravel Tongue, constructed to prevent debris from entering the shoe which can be perfect for muddy trails and obstacle racing. The sockliner is perforated allowing water drainage and better breathability, useful in wet situations across the course.
Cost £54.99

Read Full Review or Buy From Sportshoes

Great For – Grip, support and entry level price

Shoes For On A Budget


6. More Mile Cheviot 2

A budget conscious shoe but with the best grip around that £30 can buy. Both male and female versions are available in a variety of colours. This is the perfect beginners shoe that will get you through your first muddy race. Read Full Review

Great For – Those on a budget, Superb for grip, an introductory shoe
Not so good on – You pay for what you get here so don’t expect them to last forever but they are perfect as an introductory shoe. A little clunky.

Buy From £24.99 at Amazon

7. Adidas Kanadia Trail


Breathable and fast drying with strong grip designed to reduce mud clogging on the sole. Both male and female versions are available.

Great For – Those on a budget, Versatile for trails and the muddy bogs
Not so good on – These are quite a heavy shoe at 309g

RRP Buy from £37.49 at

Super Lightweight Elite Shoes


8. Inov-8 X-Talon 190

The lightest of the Inov-8 range at 190g but still with superb grip. If you like your shoes light then the 190’s will be for you and they’re perfect for those wanting to up their game! Super comfortable and really quick too you won’t be disappointed.

The heel drop is 3mm so these are minimalist shoes. You’ll need to slowly wear them in and not suitable for large amounts of mileage. Read Full Review

Great For – Lightweight, Quick and Comfortable, Available in Two Colours

Not so good on – Not much cushioning and can wear down easily. Not suitable for runs longer than 10 miles due to the little cushioning/support

Buy From £75.99 at



9. Reebok All Terrain

A new shoe to the market with specific Obstacle Racing features such as water drainage holes, rope climbing grip and quick drying tongue. Read Full Review here

Great For – lightweight and flexible

Not so good on – the grip could be better, better for summer trails, little support

Shoes With Support And Better For Beginners

If you are worried about your ankle turning, new to running then these are suitable shoes to think about.


10. Inov-8 Mud Claw

More stability and heavier than the BareGrip and X Talon’s, so perfect if you’re not into the full minimalist shoe feel yet and want the support. The grippy studs on the Mudclaw are also great and offer superb stability on wet or muddy terrain. After the More Mile’s we recommend these for beginners as they have the most support of all Inov-8’s. Read Full Review

Great For – Grip, these are the best for grip from Inov-8, More support

Not so good on – They are heavier and less flexible than other Inov-8s

Buy at

fell raiser

11. Salomon Fellraiser

These have replaced the Speedcross on this list as the Fellraiser we feel is better suited for Obstacle Racing.

The Fellraiser is a lot lighter than the Speedcross with a mesh lining that lets water in but then out, which keeps them light. They are heavier than the Mudclaw at 290g. You’ll be closer to the mud with these too with a 6mm heel drop on them. But they have excellent support and are durable.

Great For – superb durability and grip – perfect those that want more cushioning and ankle support.

Not so good on – a little bit on the heavy side

Buy From £57.99 at

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