Get Mud Covered presents four simple tips for picking the right gear for Mud Running.
Tip #1: “It’s gotta be the shoes. C’mon tell me it’s the shoes?”
Remember the old Michael Jordan and Spike Lee commercials? When it comes to running in the mud, it has gotta be the shoes. They are THE most important piece of equipment in all events. Luckily, there are many companies making shoes that look as if they were built just for mud running events. They are light weight, quick drying and have tread that not only provides awesome grip but also prevents mud build up. Salomon, New Balance and Adidas all have made some fantastic trail shoes. After the race, throw them in the washer and they will be almost like new. However if you are feeling generous, most runs have a donation pile that you can put your shoes in after each race. Oh, and forget the tape…it is not necessary to wrap duct tape around your shoes!
Tip #2: Choosing the right sock matters…..
The best advice I received when going to my first Mud Run was to not wear cotton socks. At first I was like “socks are socks as long as they are comfortable” but I could have never been more wrong. When cotton socks get wet, they take a long time to dry. Wet socks lead to wet feet and before you know it, you have painful blisters on your toes. Take a look at the finish line or even on the trail of a good mud run and you can quickly determine who wore the right socks and who didn’t. I could not imagine running a 5K or 10+ miles with a fresh painful blister slowing me down. Go with socks that are designed to dry quickly and are made with moisture-wicking material. Drymax and Coolmax are both popular moisture-wicking brands.
Tip #3: Glove or no gloves…
Should I where gloves while running in a Mud Run? If so, what are the best gloves to wear? Many of us crazy mud runners have cushy desk jobs and our hands are rarely exposed to the elements of a Mud Run. When was the last time you climbed on monkey bars or scrambled over a wall? When challenged with these obstacles, you will encounter rope, wood, rocks and even gravel. Many feel more comfortable and confident with a set of gloves on their hands. The down side to wearing gloves in these events is they quickly get wet and muddy thus reducing their effectives. There are times when they are more trouble than they are worth. In my case, I was happy to have them throughout most of the race and when I felt they were not working, I took them off, completed the obstacle, and put them back on. Although that may be too inconvenient for some, most are glad they had them! Some like receiver type football gloves while others like mechanic type gloves. Just make sure they fit well and have good gripping action.
Tip #4: Clothing – with or without?
At all mud runs you will see a wide variety of clothing and costumes. Some wearing very little like nothing but a speedo and sneakers! Whether you like to let it all hang out or are conservative, the key is to be comfortable. If you don’t like wearing wet clothes, then go without but most will feel very comfortable in light weight moisture-wicking fabric. A short or long sleeve shirt, depending on the weather and a pair of shorts seem to be the most affective. Many also choose to wear compression shorts for additional protection from chaffing. Under Armour is very popular at these events.