Running Shoe Reviews

Best Mud Run Shoes

April 23, 2021

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Best Mud Run Shoes

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Mud Runners are people who go beyond the normal terrain and want something more challenging. They have a powerful drive to overcome whatever obstacle is in their way.

Whether it is crawling through the mud, rock or dirt, we embrace the suck and wear it as a badge of honor. But this shouldn’t mean that we should drag our feet unnecessarily with road running shoes. We want the right tool for the job. Mud runners, unlike our normal track-running counterparts, require sturdier, lighter, slimmer, obstacle-conquering shoes.

The best mud run shoes will not only help you in the mud but also give you all the confidence you need while climbing over obstacles or while running on any terrain.

Continue below as we discuss the newest and best mud run shoes on the market today.

At a Glance: Our Top Picks for Best Mud Run Shoes

IMAGEPRODUCTDETAILS
  • Offers great traction
  • Well ventilated and dries easily
  • Lightweight
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  • Lightweight
  • Has a waterproof and anti-debris mesh
  • Has an outsole made of mud and snow contagrip
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  • Excellent choice for running on extreme terrains
  • Exceptionally lightweight
  • Quickly releases mud and debris with its Dual-C compound
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  • Great for navigating all terrain types
  • Has an outsole equipped with contagrip traction
  • An awesome heel-to-toe drop of 12 mm
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  • Protects the underfoot
  • Very good grip with TrailProtect technology and Vibram TC5 outsole
  • Provides excellent support
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Best Mud Run Shoes Reviewed

Obstacle course racing (OCR) is for the strong and determined. It isn’t easy to overcome the obstacles and challenges you’ll encounter on a mud run, but having the right pair of shoes specifically for this purpose will definitely help. With the perfect pair of shoes, you can focus on the race itself and not on your normal road running shoes bogging you down.

The best mud run shoes should offer you comfort, traction, stability, low barefoot feel, as well as protection underfoot. You want a shoe that was created for this purpose. I’ll explore this further by answering the question… what makes a good mud run shoe?

What Makes a Good Mud Run Shoe?

Shopping for the best mud run shoes can be a bit intimidating if you don’t know what to look for. There are many brands that you may not know, or what features you need to look for. For starters, do some research on where you are planning to run. Knowing exactly what to expect of the terrain should give you an idea of the features to look out for in the shoe. That being said, there are a few important features that will pertain to any mud run shoe.

These are the features to look out for:

  • Great Traction – For a mud run, your shoe should have a very good lug system. Bigger lugs are better for traction.
  • Anti-Debris – Your best mud run shoe should be able to get rid of mud and other debris that might want to stick to it. You definitely don’t want to drag debris along as you run. This is one of the biggest factors that can slow you down and cost you precious minutes.
  • Comfortable – Your comfort is very important in any race. The best shoe should have comfortable insoles, midsoles, outsoles and toe box. Even the tongue should hug your foot. The size should also be well-fitting to avoid blisters, pain, and discomfort.
  • Quick-Lace System – Having a shoe with a quick lace system will save you time and prevent risks from laces that just won’t stay tied. Although you can tuck away some shoelaces, it is definitely more convenient to get a shoe with a quick lace system. Click here to read more about the best barefoot running shoes
  • Flexible – Different terrain types and obstacles will require that you bend your feet in some really weird positions. Having flexible shoes will consequently make it easier to go through some obstacle courses. The best shoe for your obstacle course should be flexible in all the right places.
  • Support For Your Feet – Your feet will need support, especially when going through rocky sections on a mud run. Therefore arch support, fitted heel support, and shock absorbance are also features to look out for.
  • Lightweight – Heavy shoes will make you tire easily. They could also slow you down. As a result, you’ll exert more of your energy, especially when getting through mud. Look for shoes that are lightweight to make your run a better experience.
Inov-8 Terraclaw 250 Trail Running Shoe
Product
Overall Score
Pros
  • Offers great traction
  • Well ventilated and dries easily
  • Lightweight
  • Its innersole molds to the shape of your feet
Cons
  • Quite expensive
  • Some people say it is not highly durable
Pros
  • Offers great traction
  • Well ventilated and dries easily
  • Lightweight
  • Its innersole molds to the shape of your feet
Cons
  • Quite expensive
  • Some people say it is not highly durable
Support
Breathability
Durability
Price
Customer Feedback
This mud run shoe is of synthetic and mesh material. It has excellent breathability, lightweight and traction. You can run through mud in this shoe without the mud particles lodging in your shoe. Moreover, your shoe will get dry very quickly. The lace-up mesh upper is well designed to provide maximum comfort and support. Also, for running through rough or stony terrain, the triangular lugs of this shoe and diagonally-sewn tongue will help in keeping gravel out of the shoe. The innersole of this shoe also quickly molds to the shape of your feet. As a result, this gives you the desired comfort and balance. This durable shoe is well worth its price.
Salomon Speedcross 3 Trail Running Shoe
Product
Overall Score
Pros
  • Lightweight
  • Has a waterproof and anti-debris mesh
  • Has an outsole made of mud and snow contagrip
Cons
  • Not good for wide feet
  • Some say it’s not great for long trail runs
  • Too skinny and small
Pros
  • Lightweight
  • Has a waterproof and anti-debris mesh
  • Has an outsole made of mud and snow contagrip
Cons
  • Not good for wide feet
  • Some say it’s not great for long trail runs
  • Too skinny and small
Support
Breathability
Durability
Price
Customer Feedback
This mud run shoe, made of synthetic, is specifically for a good grip, breathability, and lightweight. For your mud runs, this shoe has a non-marking rubber outsole with special Mud and Snow Contagrip. This will consequently ensure you have great traction and speed. Its upper is of mesh material. It is also equipped with Sensifit technology, water-resistance, and anti-debris features. Your toes will enjoy protection from the rubber toe cap and ortholite insole technologies. If you hate when your shoelaces are untied, this shoe’s Quicklace system solves that problem. This shoe is light, very fast and fits perfectly. Additionally, its EVA midsole has a dual density that will keep you running comfortably for a long time. This durable shoe comes sturdy sole and diverse colors.
Inov-8 X-talon 225 Trail Runner
Product
Overall Score
Pros
  • Excellent choice for running on extreme terrains
  • Exceptionally lightweight
  • Quickly releases mud and debris with its Dual-C compound
Cons
  • Runs small and narrow
  • Unfavorable heel-to-toe drop
  • Poor gluing
Pros
  • Excellent choice for running on extreme terrains
  • Exceptionally lightweight
  • Quickly releases mud and debris with its Dual-C compound
Cons
  • Runs small and narrow
  • Unfavorable heel-to-toe drop
  • Poor gluing
Support
Breathability
Durability
Price
Customer Feedback
This mud runs shoe, made of synthetic and textile, comes with a sturdy rubber sole. It is great for running in any terrain or weather condition. Furthermore, it gives maximum protection from gravel, debris, and fall. Its outsole is has a X-Talon and Dual-C compound for durability and quick removal of gravel and mud. The tongue is of mesh and gives your foot and shoes the kind of ventilation that will keep them cool and dry. Furthermore, this shoe is comfortable, very lightweight and fits perfectly.
Salomon XA Pro 3D Mens Trail Running Shoes
Product
Overall Score
Pros
  • Great for navigating all terrain types
  • Has an outsole equipped with contagrip traction
  • An awesome heel-to-toe drop of 12 mm
Cons
  • Requires a lot of breaking in
  • Some say its too tight
Pros
  • Great for navigating all terrain types
  • Has an outsole equipped with contagrip traction
  • An awesome heel-to-toe drop of 12 mm
Cons
  • Requires a lot of breaking in
  • Some say its too tight
Support
Breathability
Durability
Price
Customer Feedback
This mud run shoe, made of synthetic and textile, has a heel-to-toe drop of 12mm and a platform of about 0.75 inches. For comfort, this shoe has a GORE-TEX upper waterproof membrane. In turn, this will wrap your foot in the most comfortable and soothing manner. Its anti-abrasion outsole is one of its most amazing features. Some other features of this shoe are the anti-debris mesh at the upper region. It has protection from mud and gravel intrusion. Furthermore, it has nice cushioning, quick and asymmetrical lace system.
Merrell Glove 4
Product
Overall Score
Pros
  • Lightweight
  • Protects the underfoot
  • Very good grip with TrailProtect technology and Vibram TC5 outsole
  • Provides excellent support
Cons
  • The elastic tongue design is quite challenging
  • Not super breathable
  • Not extremely durable
Pros
  • Lightweight
  • Protects the underfoot
  • Very good grip with TrailProtect technology and Vibram TC5 outsole
  • Provides excellent support
Cons
  • The elastic tongue design is quite challenging
  • Not super breathable
  • Not extremely durable
Support
Breathability
Durability
Price
Customer Feedback
This mud runs shoe, made of synthetic and textile, will give you a natural stride on any terrain. As one of the few shoes without a heel-to-toe-drop, Merrell Glove 4 protects from injurious falls and landings. Furthermore, it is well aligned and very snug for the best mud-run experience ever. It also offers protection for your insole using a TrailProtect pad. Additionally, it provides for ventilation through a well-ventilated mesh lining and Vibram TC5 outsole.
New Balance Nitrel v1
Product
Overall Score
Pros
  • Provides good traction
  • Suitable for light trail running
  • Lightweight
Cons
  • The shoe is not super durable
  • Not true to size – narrow and tight
  • May not be suitable for extreme terrain running
Pros
  • Provides good traction
  • Suitable for light trail running
  • Lightweight
Cons
  • The shoe is not super durable
  • Not true to size – narrow and tight
  • May not be suitable for extreme terrain running
Support
Breathability
Durability
Price
Customer Feedback
This mud runs shoe, made of synthetic and textile, will give you the speed, grip, lightweight and balance you need for a great mud run. It is equipped with a well-ventilated no-sew upper material for maximum comfort and balance. Furthermore New Balance Nitrel v1 boasts an AT TREAD outsole made from a hybrid that is both stylish and reliable on any trail run. Protection is guaranteed as it has toe protect and anti-debris features. Also, it gives you a responsive run. This stylish shoe has approximately 8 mm drop and an NB Response 2.0 performance insert. No shoe keeps you as well-protected, satisfied and confident as this mud shoe.
Salewa Ultra Flex Mid GTX
Product
Overall Score
Pros
  • Lightweight
  • Has rubber soles that stick
  • Very comfortable in all terrains
  • Has good ventilation
Cons
  • Narrow toe box
  • Not good for low arches
  • Quite pricey
Pros
  • Lightweight
  • Has rubber soles that stick
  • Very comfortable in all terrains
  • Has good ventilation
Cons
  • Narrow toe box
  • Not good for low arches
  • Quite pricey
Support
Breathability
Durability
Price
Customer Feedback
This mud run shoe, made of synthetic and textile, has great features to guarantee excellence in mountainous terrain. It has GORE-TEX technology and waterproofing with a Quick Lace system for efficiency. Its material is also guaranteed to be windproof, breathable and durable. This award-winning shoe ensures your feet are flexible and well-supported with its 3F system. Another awesome feature is its Michelin Ultra Train Rubber and Outdoor Compound. This also gives you all the grip and firmness you need while mud-running. Furthermore, it is well-cushioned, insulated, balanced and has an average height. As a result, this shoe will meet all your hard-terrain running needs.
ASICS GEL-Venture 5
Product
Overall Score
Pros
  • Quite affordable
  • Very good traction provided by pure rubber GEL-Venture soles
  • Good cushioning
  • Has a good abrasion system
Cons
  • Not extremely durable
  • The laces of the shoe come untied too often
Pros
  • Quite affordable
  • Very good traction provided by pure rubber GEL-Venture soles
  • Good cushioning
  • Has a good abrasion system
Cons
  • Not extremely durable
  • The laces of the shoe come untied too often
Support
Breathability
Durability
Price
Customer Feedback
This mud run shoe, made of synthetic, will offer you stability and comfort at a good price. It is a great shock absorber because of a Gel Cushioning System. Moreover, its mid-sole foam runs full-length to give your foot a very good carriage while in motion. With great grip and incredible sturdiness, this shoe can take you through the toughest terrains with ease. Furthermore, its roomy toe box and removable sock liner will offer you the kind of comfort you need for a long muddy race.
Icebug Men’s Pytho4 BUGrip Running Shoes
Product
Overall Score
Pros
  • Lightweight
  • Protects feet very well
  • Quite sturdy
  • Comfortable for mud running
Cons
  • Not quite durable
  • Shoes do not come with insoles
  • The sole does not give enough support
Pros
  • Lightweight
  • Protects feet very well
  • Quite sturdy
  • Comfortable for mud running
Cons
  • Not quite durable
  • Shoes do not come with insoles
  • The sole does not give enough support
Support
Breathability
Durability
Price
Customer Feedback
This mud run shoe, made of Ripstop nylon, has a lot to offer in terms of responsiveness and low feel in non-rocky terrain. Its mesh lining is synthetic upper to offer you comfort. Furthermore, for traction, speed and a firm grip, this OCR-specific shoe is most reliable. Additionally, though not heavily padded, this lightweight mud run shoe does not pick up much water. Therefore, its flex is quite easy, and its durability is assured.
Reebok All Terrain Extreme
Product
Overall Score
Pros
  • Very comfortable in the arch
  • Great tracking
  • Lightweight
Cons
  • Not as durable as advertised
  • Quite narrow on the feet
Pros
  • Very comfortable in the arch
  • Great tracking
  • Lightweight
Cons
  • Not as durable as advertised
  • Quite narrow on the feet
Support
Breathability
Durability
Price
Customer Feedback
This mud run shoe, made of fabric and synthetic will give your ankle ample stability and support. The arch support given by this shoe is simply the best. It has a good structure. It also gives you confidence while on the run. It has well-spaced lugs, rock guard, rope guard and traction. The shoes are very efficient in getting rid of moisture. Moreover, the shoe consequently keeps your feet dry no matter the weather or terrain condition.

Final Thoughts

There are many reasons to find shoes created specifically for mud running and obstacle course races, and within these a lot of features to look out for before buying the best mud run shoes.

A good mud run shoe will provide good traction, stability, flexibility, comfort, lightweight, slip-resistance, and repel debris.

We’ve compiled a list of some of the best mud run shoes to help you conquer every obstacle course a little more easily.

Demi is a passionate mud runner who has worked for 12 years years in the sports footwear industry. When he's not our training for his next mud race he like speeding time with his wife and their 3 dogs
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