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Best Shoes For OCR 2024 (250 Athletes Polled)

Have you ever asked yourself: What are the best shoes for obstacles course racing, Spartan Race, Tough Mudder, etc.? Every year we bring you an answer based on results from a survey we distribute. The results this year are a bit different from previous years, so check out the data below.



If you'd like to view the results from previous years, just click the titles below.


Now, let's get to the results.


Question 1: Which BRAND of shoe do you PRIMARILY use for Obstacle Course Racing and training? (We understand that you may use more than one brand, but which is your primary?)


Somehow, some way, Salomon has a death grip on OCR. They have been the top choice almost every single year. The change-up this year is in the rest of the top 5. Altra is now number 2 by a wide margin, Inov8 and VJ Shoes are tied for 3rd, Saucony number 4, and Hoka number 5. Everyone else is pretty significantly below. We listed 34 total brands, but all of the others (not on the graph) received 2 or less votes.



Question 2: What MODEL of shoe do you currently race/train in for OCR PRIMARILY? If you train in more than one, choose the one you use most or like most. We'd appreciate it if you'd write the Brand followed by the Model. (Ex. VJ Ultra 2 or Saucony Trail 12).


Because almost every shoe MODEL has different variations (Speed Cross 3, Speed Cross 4, and so on), we've qualified them as the MODEL in general...the data would be a mess otherwise. Here are the results for the top 8 models:


Question 3: What are the TOP 3 things you consider when purchasing your race shoe? SELECT ONLY 3. (We understand that many things go into the choices you make, but please just go with the Top 3 most important for you.)

It's pretty cool that Comfort and Grip/Tread received an equal number of votes. Obviously both are very very important for obstacle course racing shoes. They tied for first, so let's look at it this way:


  1. Comfort & Grip/Tread

  2. Quality/Durability

  3. Water Drainage


I know it may surprise some, but every single year, the results for Reviews, Look/Appearance, and Recommendations don't factor much into an athlete's decision to purchase a shoe. PERSONALLY, I think that, subconsciously, a person wouldn't buy a shoe whose appearance they didn't like, even if it fit well, was good quality, and had the grip/tread they wanted...but there is no way to know. All I can do is ask the questions and report on the data.


Question 4: How much money are you generally comfortable spending on a new pair of shoes for OCR racing/training? (Amounts listed are in USA Dollars)

I fall into the biggest category here myself. For me, I always try to get shoes 1 model old because there are almost always the same as the new model, but cost $30-$50 less typically. Paying over $200 for an OCR shoe...it better be a very good shoe. Most solid, quality shoes can be obtained for trails and OCR for $150 and under if you look around. If you are always about the newest shoes, expect to pay more than $150.


That's it! We hope that you found this article helpful and insightful. If you were looking for the best shoes for Spartan Race or Savage Race or any other obstacle course race, the top ones shown in this article are all good choices - but it does depend on the person - so try on some different brands/model and find which fits your feet the best and works best for you.


If you want to take your obstacle course training to the next level, or don't know where to start with your OCR training, we'd love to help. Check out our OCR Training Programs by clicking this link.

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