April 21, 2018

10 Best Shoes For Spartan Race in 2018: Reviews & Ratings

best shoes for spartan race

Spartan races are traditionally very tough for competitors. Having the best possible shoes for a spartan race is necessary to perform at ones best and finish the race as quickly as possible.

Our reviews of the top brands will help will comfort, performance and reduce the risk of injury! Read more to find the highest quality shoes for men and women. 

What is a Spartan Race?

Running through a series of obstacles is what makes a Spartan race unique. They vary in length anywhere from three miles to the distance of a regular marathon. Each course also features its own unique set of obstacles. 


Sometimes these obstacles include climbing ropes or walls as well as crawling in the mud and carrying hefty objects. Some of the more popular Spartan races include the Spartan Sprint, the Spartan Beast, the Super Spartan and the Ultra Beast.


Spartan races are done by the toughest, most adventurous athletes you’ll find. Their perseverance and determination are beyond what you’ll find in many competitions. In fact, if they fail an obstacle as a competitor, you will have to complete 30 squat thrusts before moving on to the next race. 

Image 
Product Name
Notable Feature
Colour Options
Price Guide & Amazon Rating
View Product
Salomon Men's Speedcross 3 Trail Running Shoe

Salomon Men's Speedcross 3 Trail Running Shoe

Quicklace System

10 Options

$$

Inov 8 X Talon 212 Trail Running Shoe

Inov-8 X-Talon 212 Trail Running Shoe

Meta Flex Forefoot

Black/Red/Grey

$$$

Salomon Men's Speedcross 4 Trail Runner

Salomon Men's Speedcross 4 Trail Runner

Anti-Debris Mesh

7 Options

$$

Saucony Men's Xodus 6.0 Trail Running Shoe

Saucony Men's Xodus 6.0 Trail Running Shoe

Toe Shell Toe Guard

Blue/Orange, Grey/Black/Slime, Red/Black

$$

Inov 8 Men's Terraclaw 250 Trail Running Shoe

Inov-8 Men's Terraclaw 250 Trail Running Shoe

Lightweight Toe Cap

Red/Black/Grey, Blue/Black/Lime, Mirage/Navy/Red

$$

Reebok Women's All Terrain Super Running Shoe

Reebok Women's All-Terrain Super Running Shoe

360-degree Traction Outsole

Yellow/Blue/Pink, Neon Yellow/Black/Candy Pink/White, Yellow/Navy/Steel

$$$$

New Balance Women's WT610V4 Trail Shoe

New Balance Women's WT610V4 Trail Shoe

Lace-up Vamp

Grey/Purple, Grey/Pink, Red, Aqua/Yellow

$

Merrell Women's Grassbow Air Trail Running Shoe

Merrell Women's Grassbow Air Trail Running Shoe

FRESH Anti-Odor Lining

Granite/Mint, Granite/Blue, Blue/Navy

$$

Salomon Women's Speedcross 3 Trail Running Shoe

Salomon Women's Speedcross 3 Trail Running Shoe

Removable Ortholite Foodbed 

7 Options

$$

Salomon Women's Wings Flyte 2 W Trail Running Shoe

Salomon Women's Wings Flyte 2 W Trail Running Shoe

Sensifit Construction

Slate Blue/Light Onix/Teal Blue, Cosmic Purple/Pale Lilac/Black, Lotus Pink/Hot Pink/Citrus

$


Why can’t you run a Spartan Race in normal running shoes?


The right shoes are essential to running a Spartan race. If you attempt to run in regular shoes, you’ll find that they will most likely need to be thrown out after the event. Remember, competitors need to jump into the water, navigate varying terrains and make their way through the mud on a regular basis.

Running shoes just aren’t designed to handle that stress or protect your feet. Wearing regular running shoes would be a lot like wearing your favorite sandals to go ice skating. It simply wouldn’t be wise.

Thankfully, finding the best shoes for a Spartan race isn’t that difficult of a task.


Features to Look for in the Best Shoes for a Spartan Race


Let’s take a look at the features to search for when finding the best shoes to wear for a Spartan race.

Grip

 

When choosing your Spartan racing shoe, you want to start by finding a style that gives you the right amount of grip. This will be needed when navigating the course and helps to keep you on the right track. Wearing a shoe that doesn’t offer grip is a disaster waiting to happen when trying to climb a wall.

Comfort

 

After wearing a shoe for many hours during difficult obstacles, you know comfort is essential. Start by checking the insole of the shoe to ensure it will offer the comfort you need. Finding a shoe that has a moldable midsole is your best option as it will conform to the shape of your foot.

Durability

 

There’s no doubt that Spartan Race shoes take a beating on the course. That’s why you want a high-quality pair of shoes that are going to remain durable even after several races. Make a wise investment by choosing a pair of shoes from a reputable brand that features good customer reviews.

Drainage

 

You’ll be running through water, mud and other varying terrains. Some of these are going to be filled with moisture.


Imagine the comfort of wearing a shoe all day that doesn’t dry out or release the water. Not only will that lead to odors and the possibility of bacteria, but it could cause your performance to go downhill.

Breathability

 

The shoe is going to be on your feet for several hours and your feet are going to sweat. It’s inevitable. Thankfully, you can pick a shoe that is made of breathable materials to allow moisture to escape. Otherwise, your shoe will trap that moisture and cause odors and bacteria that you don’t want.

Lightweight

 

When running a Spartan Race, you need to remember that those challenges involve plenty of movement and running. Sometimes, you’ll even need to lift or carry things. Having a lightweight pair of shoes is essential to reducing muscle fatigue and remaining comfortable no matter how long the race is.

Flexible

 

Check the material of the outsole to ensure maximum flexibility. While running on the tough trail routes, you need footwear that offers an aggressive outsole for the terrain but remain flexible enough to give you a wider range of motion.


10 Best Shoes for Spartan Race Reviewed


When you’re hunting for the best shoes for a Spartan Race, you’re likely to feel overwhelmed by the various choices available.

That’s why we’ve put together this handy guide of the ten best shoes for a Spartan Race.


Mens


1. Salomon Men's Speedcross 3 Trail Running Shoe

While your competitors will be searching for the best shoes for the Spartan Race, you’ll be prepared for the mud, dirt and sand ahead with this pair of Salomon running shoes.

They feature a Contagrip rubber outsole and an Ortholite insole topped with an ultra-protective toe cap made from rubber.

With the water-resistant upper made from mesh, you are protected at all times from moisture and debris. The Sensifit technology paired with the Quicklace system speeds up your preparation time.

The customer reviews of this model are out of this world, plus you can choose from a wide variety of colors and sizes.

Salomon Men's Speedcross 3 Trail Running Shoe

Our Rating

Will These Shoes Fit Me?

80%
 Chance of Success

Pros

  • Contagrip rubber outsole
  • Ortholite insole
  • Ultra-protective toe cap
  • Water-resistant
  • Lots of styles available

Cons

  • Some styles are expensive
  • Sizes can run small
Inov 8 X Talon 212 Trail Running Shoe

Our Rating

2. Inov-8 X-Talon 212 Trail Running Shoe

When you need a superior grip on varying terrains, you want the best shoes for obstacle races. The synthetic sole and man-made construction offer a precise fit that can’t be beaten. With the Meta-Flex groove in the forefoot and EVA foam midsole, you’re protected from front to back.

With the stylish red and black design, you might be worried about getting them muddy, but they actually clean up nicely. On top of that, they’re lightweight and comfortable even if you’re racing all day.

There are select sizes available, so they can be difficult to get your hands on. In addition, some people have noted that they tend to run on the small side.

Will These Shoes Fit Me?

61%
 Chance of Success

Pros

  • Superior grip
  • Meta-Flex groove in the forefoot
  • EVA foam midsole
  • Easy to clean
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • Not many styles or sizes available
  • Sizes can run small

3. Salomon Men's Speedcross 4 Trail Runner

When searching for Spartan Race sneakers, be sure to check out this other great option from Salomon. This shoe was designed for the adventure enthusiast looking for superior traction ability. Use it for mountain running or obstacles races in the snow, dirt and mud.

With the big lugs, you’ll have no issue digging deep into the grass and dirt. It also features a quick-lace system that is comfortable and easy to put on.

Some people find that they don’t ventilate or drain as well as some other styles, but for the most part, they seem to perform well. There are a variety of styles and sizes to choose from; some at relatively decent prices.

Salomon Men's Speedcross 4 Trail Runner

Our Rating

Will These Shoes Fit Me?

77%
 Chance of Success

Pros

  • Superior grip
  • Great on any terrain
  • Large lugs for digging in
  • Quick-lace system
  • Comfortable

Cons

  • Ventilation is lacking
  • Some styles are expensive
Saucony Men's Xodus 6.0 Trail Running Shoe

Our Rating

4. Saucony Men's Xodus 6.0 Trail Running Shoe

Saucony has established themselves as a leader in athletic footwear, so it’s no surprise that this rugged shoe is the perfect addition to any trail or obstacle course. The midsole features a comfortable underfoot to provide support and cushion throughout the entire day.

With the unstitched overlays, your midfoot is secured efficiently. You’ll also enjoy the Vibram lugs to provide more grip than you could have imagined. The water-resistant upper also offers lace-up support.

Keep in mind that this shoe isn’t as light or flexible as some of the others we’ve reviewed. With that said, there are three great styles, a variety of sizes and a number of price points available.

Will These Shoes Fit Me?

86%
 Chance of Success

Pros

  • Rugged
  • Comfortable
  • Vibram lugs for grip
  • Water-resistant upper
  • Customizable support

Cons

  • Heavier than other options
  • A few people find they run small

5. Inov-8 Men's Terraclaw 250 Trail Running Shoe

Most people pick this Inov-8 as the best Spartan Race shoes but they are ideal for any obstacle course. That’s because they are versatile and feature dual-purposes on many terrains. Not only does it provide grip in muddy situations, but you’ll find the grassy areas are handled just as easily.

This shoe does feature a wider toe box which is good for larger feet. With this extra room, you are protected from blisters or swelling throughout the race. The lace-up feature paired with the mesh design offers superior support but can be a pain to tie in the middle of a race.

They’re lightweight and available in three color choices. You’ll find a variety of sizes at great price points and the sizing seems to be just right.

Inov 8 Men's Terraclaw 250 Trail Running Shoe

Our Rating

Will These Shoes Fit Me?

81%
 Chance of Success

Pros

  • Versatile
  • Great grip on all terrains
  • Wide toe box
  • Lace-up design for support
  • Comfortable

Cons

  • Laces are cumbersome during race
  • Wider design isn’t for everyone

Womens


Reebok Women's All Terrain Super Running Shoe

Our Rating

1. Reebok Women's All-Terrain Super Running Shoe

Do you need a pair of women’s shoes that can take on the ropes, mud and rocks? This pair of Reebok shoes is always a popular choice and for a good reason. The drainage ports are designed with mesh and ports at the proper places to allow water to run out with ease.

With the mid-foot teeth and the rock guard found underfoot, you’ll receive superior grip and security no matter how long your race is. They aren’t just lightweight but also immensely comfortable.

There are three styles to choose from but finding the right size can be slightly difficult. Some people have found them to fit on the larger side, so you might want to order a size down.

Will These Shoes Fit Me?

77%
 Chance of Success

Pros

  • Versatile
  • Superior grip
  • Lightweight
  • Several styles available
  • Comfortable

Cons

  • Fit might be large
  • Small selection of sizes available

2. New Balance Women's WT610V4 Trail Shoe

Many people enjoy taking a minimalistic approach to their Spartan shoes and New Balance is helping to create something that provides support but offers the feel you desire. The lightweight design is paired with an EVA foam sock liner to be comfortable all day.

Even in the slippery and wet environments of your race, you’ll feel the exceptional traction thanks to the shoe’s aggressive tread.

As with most New Balance sneakers, the cost is kept low thanks to the way the company markets their products. With four styles to choose from and a variety of sizes, it is easy to get the fit you need.

New Balance Women's WT610V4 Trail Shoe

Our Rating

Will These Shoes Fit Me?

76%
 Chance of Success

Pros

  • EVA foam sock liner
  • Exceptional traction
  • Lightweight
  • Low cost
  • Four styles to choose from

Cons

  • Runs small
  • Some customers suggest design flaws
Merrell Women's Grassbow Air Trail Running Shoe

Our Rating

3. Merrell Women's Grassbow Air Trail Running Shoe

For the best OCR shoes, make sure you check out this option from Merrell. They’ve been a leader in men’s and women’s trail shoes for many years and they never disappoint.

With a fabric-based design, the patented TrailProtect offers additional protection and support over other brands.

No matter what race you run, you face wet and sweaty feet, but this breathable upper gives you the wicking properties you need. You also receive the extra traction needed to run the hardest Spartan races.

Choose from three styles and a variety of sizes, all at reasonable prices.

Will These Shoes Fit Me?

77%
 Chance of Success

Pros

  • Merrell is a leader in trail running shoes
  • Fabric design
  • Patented TrailProtect
  • Moisture wicking
  • Reasonable cost

Cons

  • Shoes run large
  • Best used on a wide foot

4. Salomon Women's Speedcross 3 Trail Running Shoe

Clearly one of the best shoes for a Spartan Race in a women’s version is this Salomon shoe. The ultra-light design is perfect for mud, trails and all terrain.

This shoe features a unique Climashield and Contragrip sole ideal for traction anywhere. In addition, there’s an Ortholite footbed that’s removable so you can customize the shoe to your liking.

With the confidence you need, it’s easy to win your next race by a landslide. Plus the fact that you can choose from 8 different styles means you can look good while winning. Most people found this shoe to fit true to size and the reviews speak for themselves.

Salomon Women's Speedcross 3 Trail Running Shoe

Our Rating

Will These Shoes Fit Me?

83%
 Chance of Success

Pros

  • Ultra-light
  • Unique Climashield and Contragrip design
  • Removable Ortholite footbed
  • Many available styles
  • Fits true to size

Cons

  • Some users felt toe box was slightly narrow
  • A few styles are expensive
Salomon Women's Wings Flyte 2 W Trail Running Shoe

Our Rating

5. Salomon Women's Wings Flyte 2 W Trail Running Shoe

If that last Salomon shoe doesn’t fit the bill, here’s another highly rated one to check out.  

With the lightweight design and breathable mesh panels, you’ll be racing your way to the lead in no time. In addition, this shoe features secure ghillie lacing to ensure a locked-down fit.

The padded tongue and collar combined with a midsole EVA cushion give you the protection you need during hard landings.

This sneaker also features a unique, wider Sensifit smooth-motion construction and a Contagrip outside to give you the ultimate performance. There are currently three styles available and some of them can be quite pricey.

Will These Shoes Fit Me?

76%
 Chance of Success

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Unique Contragrip design
  • Sensifit smooth-motion construction
  • Padded for protection
  • Fits true to size

Cons

  • Not all users enjoy the lacing system
  • A few styles are expensive

Choosing the Right Size Spartan Shoes


Before running a Spartan Race, you want to ensure that you have the right size shoe. Otherwise, your foot could become easily fatigued and sore during the race. Choose materials that conform to your foot and allow for flexibility.

When researching our picks as the recommended shoes for Spartan Races, you’ll notice that they all feature sizing percentages. These are helpful when determining what size of shoe is best for your needs. 

In addition, when you order your shoes from Amazon, they feature a generous return policy just in case you find that the fit isn’t quite what you hoped for.

question

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to break in my Spartan Race shoes?


To avoid blisters and discomfort during the race, it is wise for you to train in them ahead of time.

Should obstacle race shoes be waterproof?


Yes! You’ll be encountering mud, water and varying terrains that will require you to get wet. To keep your feet dry and comfortable, you’ll want a pair of shoes that are waterproof.

Can I use my Spartan Race shoes for other obstacle races?


Spartan Race shoes are ideal for any obstacle course races you might enter.


Conclusion


Whether your next Spartan Race includes mud, water or rope obstacles, you can tackle the course with ease.

Purchasing the best shoes for Spartan Races is the ideal way to get a leg up on your competition. With the right pair of shoes, you’ll soon become the leader in your favorite obstacles course races.

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