Tough Mudder and Mud Run Socks
When doing an obstacle race or mud run, whether it is Spartan Race, Tough Mudder or a local event, footwear is one of the most important things to consider, but socks is also right up there.
Especially, if you are not an avid runner, blisters happen. Compound that with the fact that your feet will be wet, possibly for the duration of the event, you may be in a world of hurt by the finish. Oh and I almost forgot, there will be mud in your shoes, not just water, which means little bits of sand and rock between your toes and rubbing alongside your feet.
So make sure to be prepared. To start figure out what shoes you are going to wear. We have a guide on selecting mud run shoes, if you haven’t do so already. Make sure, whatever you do, don’t run in a brand new pair. Get something you’ve worn in and are comfortable running in.
If you feel adventurous, test out your shoes in simulated conditions. Dunk them in water before going on a short run around the neighborhood. See how they feel. See if the water drains out.
Once, you’ve got your shoes picked out and are confident they’ll get you through the event, you want to pick the best socks to go with them. Socks are the cheapest investment you can make for your feet. You can get a good pair of socks that are super light and wick water like a champ for $10 most times.
Best Socks for Mud Runs & Obstacle Races
Well to start you want to consider if you even want socks or not. If you are running in Vibrams and are comfortable going without, by all means, don’t put on socks just for the event. The less clothing you can have on your body weighing you down the better.
But on the other hand if you aren’t used to running without socks, and now you’re running in wet shoes, you may end up with some world class blisters. So if you haven’t gone sock-less before, I wouldn’t recommend starting your event this way.
The Sock List
Here are the different socks we recommend for mud runs and obstacle races. Tried to get a pretty wide selection and different assortment of prices. Also, included some toe socks for people running in Vibrams or who are used to wearing them. They can actually be good for keeping sand from rubbing between your toes, causing blisters.
Drymax makes some of the best running socks, and they happen to be pretty good for mud runs too, as the same principals apply. Keep your feet dry, prevent slipping and blisters from forming. Drymax socks are nice because the special Dual Layer Moisture Removal System helps move moisture off the skin through the inner Drymax layer to the outer absorbent layer. It doesn’t mean you’ll keep your feet dry through the event but it does mean the socks are light enough and fairly good at wicking water away.
It’s been a while since I’ve updated this page so I thought I’d include some of the new products available.
MudGear is creating product specifically for mud runs, including socks. I’ve order a few pairs of the crew socks and couldn’t be happier. They also have a compression sock listed below.
If you are the type of person going for the smallest most minimal socks possible this is the way to go. Super light, low profile and good at wicking away water. Exactly what you need.
Same deal as the type above just with the really low back. I thought these socks were more for style than anything until I tried them. I kinda prefer the low profile with my Minimus. Just enough sock to cover the shoe and nothing more.
Maximum Protection socks are designed to prevent blisters. So if that is a major concern for you, these are the only way to go.
Another option to going with the lightest socks possible is to go mesh for improved wicking of water away from your feet.
It can be a little strange at first but toe socks can be great for mud runs. And when it comes to toe socks, Injinji socks are the best. If you are running in Vibrams and want a little more protection, or just like the feel of toe socks, these are the way to go.
No show, low Injinji socks are super light and thin. Pretty close to being barefoot. Ideal for minimalist shoes.
Slightly thicker yet still very minimal. Offers a little more protection.
If you are looking for more support Injinji also makes a Performance Compression sock. Personally, I’ve never found the need for compression socks but I know a few people, mainly long distance runners, who swear by them. They help by enhancing circulation to the leg muscles and muscle recovery.
MudGear also two pairs of compression socks available.
Socks Not to Wear
Not all socks are created equal. Cotton socks is a no-no. Cotton anything is a big no-no. It stretches out when wet and cotton sops up water and it holds onto it. Especially, if you are running a Tough Mudder in cold conditions, this is going to make your life worse, and is borderline dangerous. Wet clothes in cold weather is asking for hyperthermia. You want to be in as little clothing as possible and material that wicks water as fast as possible, including your socks.
Big thick socks or long socks are also not the greatest idea. Maybe they are needed to go with your costume which is cool, but if you are trying to make your event as easy on your body as possible, stick to the lightest shortest socks you can find.
With all your clothing you want it to be tight fitting. This includes your socks. You don’t want a pear that can shift or slide around on your feet, or worse, bunch up in your shoe.