6 Best Shoes for OCRs

Mud runs and obstacle course races (OCRs) are becoming increasingly popular, the problem is, what shoe is fully adaptable and durable enough for these beastly races?

6 Best Shoes for OCRs
The best shoe for OCRs are minimalist shoes because the close to the ground ride puts you on safer footing as these shoes mimics the effects of being barefoot. This is what creates more stability on uneven ground.

The prime shoe for OCRs are shoes that let you feel where you’re stepping, that move with the natural motions of your feet, that are wide enough to allow your foot to expand for enhanced balance stability, and thats ultra durable! The best type of shoe for the job is a minimalist shoe because the thin sole automatically makes you more balanced, allowing you to uphold adaptable connections, especially on uneven terrain. Not to mention, you’re at your mechanical best when your foot is closer to the ground, and your feet can actually feel the ground.

Without further ado, here are the most recommended minimalist footwear you can use to your advantage, that are plenty durable for the toughest mud runs:

Inov-8 Bare-XF 210 – Great for running on grass, pavement and matted surfaces, the Bare-XF 210 is very form fitting –the shoe stretches and fits accordingly to your unique foot structure; they also fit well around the ankle and are great for agility. Read my full review here!

Vibram FiveFingers KMD EVO – If you like cushioning, you’ll like the KMD EVO because they have a thicker outsole than most Vibram running barefoot shoes, but they still allow a reasonable amount of ground feel. They are well ventilated, so they are great for summer races. You can however, wear them in the winter if you wear toe socks. Read my full review here!

Vibram V-Trail – The V-Trail LOVES the water and mud, and it’s super light, giving you a very nice peppy feel to help you zip over any obstacle. Despite being so light and thin, the V-Trail impressively handles frigidly cold, slippery, sloppy, muddy conditions like a boss! The sole is also thinner than the sole of the KMD EVO, but somehow supplies a  more cushy feel, which does a great job at taking the sting out of stepping on a sharp rock, acorn or root. Read my full review here!

Vibram Five Fingers Spyridon MR Elite – This shoe was actually built for OCRs, and became the official shoe of the Warrior Dash! The Spyridon MR Elite offers more rock protection because it fits higher up on your ankle. This also keeps debris out. The upper is water-resistant which makes it very reliable in super sloppy, soggy weather. Even better, the sole employs full-coverage traction lugs that grips well on wet rocky surfaces and wet grass. Read my full review here!

Vivobarefoot ONE – The ONE is more barefoot feeling than than the Vibram KMD EVO. The One’s give you better ground feel, and with that, you’ll be able to be more responsive in maintaining good forefoot running form, and when you run with good form, you don’t fatigue as easily as you would in regular cushioned running shoes. Read my full review here!

Vibram FiveFingers KomodoSport LS – The unique lacing system of the KomodoSport LS allows for a sock-like, snug fit without adding pressure to the top of your foot. They don’t slide off your foot when you are running through water. Like the KMD EVO, the KomodoSport LS are one of the thicker Vibram shoes,  where the outsole is so thick that you barely feel the rocks on your feet. Read my full review here!

Bretta Riches

"I believe the forefoot strike is the engine of endurance running..."

BSc Neurobiology; MSc Biomechanics candidate, ultra minimalist runner & founder of RunForefoot. I was a heel striker, always injured. I was inspired by the great Tirunesh Dibaba to try forefoot running. Now, I'm injury free. This is why I launched Run Forefoot, to advocate the health & performance benefits of forefoot running and to raise awareness on the dangers of heel striking, because the world needs to know.
Bretta Riches

P.S. Don't forget to check out the Run Forefoot Facebook Page, it's a terrific place to ask questions about forefoot running, barefoot running and injury. I'm always happy to help!