Best Shoes for Tough Mudder

Understanding the particular challenges of a Tough Mudder event, you will know that your typical running or jogging shoes will fail to make it through.

The right footwear needs to withstand dipping through water, mud and treading in tough muddy terrain, uphill or downhill.

Why Can’t you approach Tough Mudder with Normal Running or Walking Shoes?

The right shoes ate essential to master obstacle races such as Tough Mudder, and even your best pair of running shoes may not cut.

Tough Mudder races entail repeatedly jumping into muddy puddles and water, dealing with changing and tough terrain, and sometimes being stuck in thigh-deep mud.

This is why no regular running or walking shoes will ever cut, and you will need unique design shoes.

Choosing the Best Tough Mudder Shoes

There are a few characteristics to consider when choosing the best shoes for a tough Mudder;

  • Water Resistant and Fast Drying – Because you will repeatedly be in and out of the water, you need some form of water resistance or quick-drying materials that will not hold water and weigh the shoes down.
  • Support – These shoes need to offer excellent support for climbing up and down hills as well as fit snugly not to fall off your feet.
  • Slip Resistance and Traction – Slip resistance and high traction are significant as you race through wet and slippery terrain.
  • Lightweight and Comfortable – Comfort is vital but should not weigh you down. This is a running shoe, so lightweight padding and cushioning are ideal and have loads of flexibility for natural movement.
  • Durability – Durability is important as you want your favorite Tough Mudder racing shoe to last, and let s face it; this is a tough sport that will take its toll on your shoes.

Features of a Good Shoe for Tough Mudder

  • Uppers – Breathable, lightweight uppers that dry fast and have some waterproofing or water resistance. A tongue that Locks out trail debris from penetrating through the shoe’s inner. Duragrip upper helps provide durability in key wear areas and Strategically placed mesh drainage ports that allow water to drain quickly and easily. The best waterproofing is a fabric technology called GORE-TEX waterproof lining.
  • Insole – There is either GEL cushioning, air cushion heels, or a lightweight padded insole.
  • Midsole -For shock absorbency and EVA Foam midsole is the ideal Acteva midsole. Then Midfoot teeth help provide traction and protection on ropes and walls.
  • Outsole – Slip resistance in the outsole is vital, and for this, you can get either; a STICKY GRIP outsole or Contragrip rubber sole and a Vibram outsole. Then there are technologies such as the Square, indented lugs on a sole that provides 360-degree traction while the toe pick helps give you leverage on slippery surfaces, and an Underfoot rock guard that helps protect against sharp/hard objects.
  • Support – Good arch support and heel grips and support can be found in some models, along with stability features.
  • Options – Different fit options, such as; a Medium to wide Toe Box Width, different width options, and different arch height supports, can be found in these models.

Reviews: The Best Shoes for Tough Mudder

These are some exceptional shoes that will not budge with even the toughest Mudder;
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Waterproof Trail Running Shoes for Tough Mudder

One of the most popular and well-sought-after shoe models for Tough Mudder Racing is the Salomon Speedcross, with four models.
  • The uppers consist of synthetic materials that resist water and dry quickly.
  • There are an EVA midsole and lightweight cushioning and stability features for comfort.
  • The Aggressive grip rubber outsole ensures excellent grip and traction on soft ground with a minimalist feel.
  • The fit is a Precise Foothold fit for a secure and comfortable feel.
  • There is a strong and durable one-pull tying lace-up system for easy on and off.


Hiking Shoe for Tough Mudder

The Merrel Moab 2 Vent is the ideal trail walking and hiking shoe, which can also be used for some Tough Mudder Sports.
  • The shoe has a leather and mesh upper that is lightweight and breathable with a waterproof lining.
  • An air-cushioned heel, gel cushions, and excellent flexibility and stability features balance the shoe for comfort.
  • The sole is durably made from rubber with a very lug tread that offers exceptional slip resistance.
  • You can likewise select between different color and width options in this model.


Tough Mudder Shoe

From Inov-8, we have their latest Talon 260 Ultra, a Trail running shoe ideal for Tough Mudder races.
  • The uppers are synthetic with a lace-up closure and a gusseted tongue to remove debris.
  • The Uppers are made of Nylon, which is durable, breathable, lightweight, and quick-drying.
  • Inside there is a lightly padded footbed and a roomy toe box fit.
  • The outsole offers excellent traction and grip with the Sticky Grip Rubber design.


Multifunctional Hiking Boots for Tough Mudder

Another superb addition from Salomon is the X Ultra Mid 3 GTX.
  • The shoe features durable and water-resistant, quick-drying upper materials with a fast lace-up system for closure and the perfect fit., water-resistant, quick-drying upper materials with a fast lace-up system for closure and
  • There is an EVA foam midsole for shock absorbency and a lightly padded insole for comfort.
  • A Gore-tex lining provides exceptional waterproofing and breathability.
  • The Cobtragrip traction rubber outsole ensures exceptional traction and grip.


Minimalist Mudder Running Shoe

The New Balance T10V1 Minimus is the perfect minimalist racing shoe for Tough Mudder.
  • Synthetic material uppers are made from flexible mesh that is quick-drying and breathable.
  • There is an ACTEVA midsole and antimicrobial treated insole for comfort.
  • The flexible Vibram rubber outsole offers excellent traction in wet and muddy environments.
  • The lace-up closure provides a secure and customizable fit.


Tough Mudder Shoe

The Reebok All-terrain Super is an all-terrain running shoe perfect for Tough Mudder running and sports.
  • Synthetic upper with strategically placed mesh drainage ports to drain water quickly.
  • There is an underfoot rock guard for protection against sharp objects.
  • The DuraGrip rubber outsole and square indented lugs provide 360 degrees of traction and leverage on slippery surfaces.
  • Likewise, midfoot teeth help with lateral traction, allowing you to climb ropes and walls easily.


Tough Mudder Racing Shoes

The Inov-8 X-Talon is one of the best Tough Mudder sports shoes with excellent versatility.
  • The uppers consist of Textile and Synthetic materials that are lightweight and breathable.
  • The shoe is ideal for running on soft and very muddy terrains.
  • There is a durable rubber outsole that ensures excellent slip resistance.
  • The EVA midsole also adds impact resistance and cushioning.


Tough Mudder Trail Running Shoes

The Adidas Terrex Agravic is a top Tough Mudder shoe because of its highly durable and trail-specific Continental Outsole.
  • The Terrex is popular for its heavy-duty and highly slip-resistant lug Continental Outsole made from durable rubber.
  • The uppers are lightweight and breathable and offer some water resistance.
  • There is also a comfortable insole and a moisture-wicking lining.
  • The Terrex is very tough and has a flexible sole for easy movement.


Tough Mudder Shoes

The Merrell Trail Glove is a top choice for the Minimalist Tough Mudders enthusiasts.
  • FTheTrail Glove from Merrell is a perfect choice. for a minimalist approach
  • The Trail Glove fits snugly with light and breathable uppers and a Barefoot construction.
  • The sole is very flexible and allows a better underfoot feel.
  • The Vibram TC5+ outsole is tough and durable as well as perfect for grip in muddy terrains.

Index Table: Top Rated Shoes for Tough Mudder

No.ShoeMen ♂Women ♀FeaturesBrandScore
1Salomon® - Waterproof Trail Running Shoes for Tough Mudder Speedcross 5 Speedcross 5
  • Contagrip
  • Sole
  • Sensifit foot Cradle
  • EVA Midsole
2Merrell® - Hiking Shoe for Tough Mudder Moab 2 Moab 2
  • Flexible
  • Gel Cushioning
  • Vibram Outsole
3Inov-8® - Tough Mudder Shoe X-Tal 260 Ultra X-Talon 260 Ultra
  • Sticky Grip Outsole
  • Lightweight
  • Cushioned
4Salomon® - Multifunctional Hiking Boots for Tough Mudder X Ultra Mid 3 GTX X Ultra Mid 3 GTX
  • Gore-Tex Lining
  • EVA Midsole
  • Contragrip Outsole
5New Balance® - Minimalist Mudder Running Shoe MT10V1 Minimus WT10V1 Minimus
  • Lightweight
  • Tough
  • Acteva Midsole
New Balance96.5
6Reebok® - Tough Mudder Shoe All Terrain Super All Terrain Super
  • Underfoot Rock Guard
  • Duragrip Uppers
  • High Traction
7Inov-8® - Tough Mudder Racing Shoes X-Talon 212 X-Talon 212
  • Lightweight
  • Slip Resistant
  • Durable
  • Versatile
8Adidas® - Tough Mudder Trail Running Shoes Terrex Agravic Terrex Agravic
  • EVA Tongue
  • Continental Rubber Sole
  • Breathable Uppers
9Merrell® - Tough Mudder Shoes Trail Glove 5 Trail Glove 5
  • Flexible
  • Barefoot Construction
  • Vibram Sole

About the Author

David Alegeta

David is a long-distance hiker, a writer and an editor whose favorite topics include backpacking and trail running. He is an adventure athlete who covered over 20,000 miles. He frequently speaks to groups about the benefits of proper footwear and has written numerous articles on this subject. He lives in Dallas, Texas with his family.