Tough Mudder questions

Just wondering if anyone has any advice. I've googled and find lists of tips but would like any unbiased advise from people not trying to sell me expensive shoes.

This is the first time I've attempted any event like this, I've run/walked a few 5k's this year so far and a group of us from the gym signed up for the tough mudder half. The closer it gets to the event the more anxious I am getting. I was originally going to just wear some old sneakers I have but then see some much info recommending specific shoes. Since this is like a one time thing I don't want to spend a fortune on a pair of shoes I will wear once. Does anyone have any recommendations on either something affordable, under $50 dollars or if just an old pair will be fine.

I also planned on wearing gloves and my hands get pretty torn up when lifting and what not, would this be a good or bad idea? I understand they will get muddy but my thought is they will at least protect my hands during the obstacles, but I don't want them to be useless then have to carry them.

Any advice is appreciated.


  • ew_david
    ew_david Posts: 3,474 Member
    I ran my first TM in those specialty shoes and they were great. For my second TM, I used regular trail shoes and they were sucked off my feet within the first 100 ft. of the race. I never wore them again. However, if you're only doing this one TM and never doing any other obstacle course races I wouldn't get anything special. Just know you may struggle.

    Gloves will be useless as soon as they get wet. I wouldn't bother with them. I wore them for my first one and they spent almost the entire race stuffed into my bra after they got wet.
  • rubydrm
    rubydrm Posts: 112 Member
    I would invest in a pair of decent trail shoes. I paid around $80 for mine and I wear them maybe twice a month now when I go trail running. There will be parts of the run where you'll be climbing up and down hills and that's where you'll feel the benefit of trail shoes. At least I do. I'm not sure whether gloves would be super friend wore gloves during a race and at the end he said it didn't help one bit, but he didn't want to take them off because he had no where to keep them unless he just threw them aside. Good luck at your race!!! You'll be awesome!!!!!
  • auntstephie321
    auntstephie321 Posts: 3,586 Member
    bummer, I thought that's the response I'd get. I honestly don't know if I'll ever do another one, I guess if its here every year I would probably do it each time. I guess I'm gonna have to start trail running lol. I know I saw so many videos of people trying to get up Everest 2.0 that I thought there's no way with my crappy old worn out sneakers that I'm gonna get anywhere.

    Thanks for the info on the gloves, that's kind of what I figured but I tore my hand up so bad on monkey bars the other day that now im paranoid they are going to get ripped apart.

    @rubydrm thanks for the words of encouragement, I'm so nervous about it and i'll be so happy when its over. I think a lot is just my mind not knowing what to expect since I've never done anything like it, once I get going though I think I'll acclimate well, at least I hope so.
  • cs4156
    cs4156 Posts: 27 Member
    I have run in 5 Tough Mudder FULL Races....No Special Shoes here, just the years last pair of running shoes, I have even washed them a few times and ran SPARTAN races. No Gloves either, little mud rocks get in them and the wet doesn't help....
  • DancingMoosie
    DancingMoosie Posts: 8,517 Member
    I'm planning on doing a 10 miles tough mudder next year. I'm leaning towards wearing my older Mizuno wave inspire running shoes. I don't have trail shoes, never run trails.
  • Kekekylene
    Kekekylene Posts: 112 Member
    I wore my regular running shoes, nothing special. As long as they are comfortable and will not hurt your feet the whole time then they should be fine. I wouldn't spend the money on new ones. Definitely wouldn't wear gloves
  • auntstephie321
    auntstephie321 Posts: 3,586 Member
    my regular runners are a pair of nike's and they don't have tons of grip on them, I'm not sure how they would handle the mud. my old sneakers are just junk sneakers that have almost no tread at all left on them. I found a pair of merrell all out crush men's on clearance that should fit based on converting from women's to men's size for 45 dollars. which I feel like is a decent price
  • CSARdiver
    CSARdiver Posts: 6,256 Member
    For your first dip into this just wear old sneakers, but some knee high wool socks. You're not going to break records on your first run, just to get through right?

    For gloves pick up a cheap pair of mechanics gloves - any hardware or autoparts store will have these. Get a pair that fits you with good grips. I bring a pair and use them on the rope and hanging events and stick them in my waist band when I don't need them.

    Tough Mudder is all about teamwork. Take your time and have a blast!

  • auntstephie321
    auntstephie321 Posts: 3,586 Member
    CSARdiver wrote: »
    For your first dip into this just wear old sneakers, but some knee high wool socks. You're not going to break records on your first run, just to get through right?

    For gloves pick up a cheap pair of mechanics gloves - any hardware or autoparts store will have these. Get a pair that fits you with good grips. I bring a pair and use them on the rope and hanging events and stick them in my waist band when I don't need them.

    Tough Mudder is all about teamwork. Take your time and have a blast!

    lol yeah just hoping to get through. thanks for the tips everyone
  • greypilgrimess
    greypilgrimess Posts: 354 Member
    I ran it in old road running shoes, threw them out after. No regrets. There was SO much mud, the grip didn't make much difference for me.

    I also bought cheap workout gloves. They may have saved me some scrapes and blisters, but they ended up full of grit and mud and were just really uncomfortable. I'd skip them next time.

    I do recommend wearing capris or something to cover the knees (unless it's crazy hot), they get really scraped and bruised and capris helped a lot.

    Enjoy the event, it's a fantastic experience!
  • esjones12
    esjones12 Posts: 1,363 Member
    Sounds like you will be fine in your current shoes. If they are really worn out maybe pick up a new pair of "normal" trial running shoes? Assuming you plan to do some trail running or hiking in the future they will get used. Post race do not throw your shoes away. You can hose them down at the venue and then again at home. Set them in the sun to dry out. Wear them again to "break them in" a bit and they will be just fine! I never got why people throw out their shoes because they are muddy.....mud rinses out of your clothes and gloves too btw.

    Gloves can go either way. Some people like them, others don't. They help on some obstacles if they are dry. Most become useless once they are wet, sometimes making obstacles harder. Again the mud should rinse out, but you might rip them. If you are attached to your gloves and don't want to buy new ones - I would recommend ditching them for the first race. Most likely your hands won't get overly torn up. It's kind of part of the experience. The bad rips you see are almost always at races where they are trying to keep their band and try a grip obstacle many, many times.

    PS - freaking out still happens to me and I've run well over 30 OCR's. Embrace it and have fun!
  • a_candler
    a_candler Posts: 208 Member
    I did a Spartan race this yr, my first. old shoes work fine as long as they have good grip. lace up tight to keep them on and you should be good to go.

    ditto the long sock idea. sure wished I'd had them. also possi ly the arm "socks" not sure of the name.

    gloves can come in handy for somethings. I saw plenty of ppl wearing them and have them avail in their waist bands.

    Good luck. I was pleasantly surprised at how well I survived the Spartan, and want to do anotber
  • cwolfman13
    cwolfman13 Posts: 40,884 Member
    I just wore my older regular running shoes...for me, it was just about having need for special shoes.
  • slaite1
    slaite1 Posts: 1,309 Member
    I wore my Nike free runs bc those were my oldest running shoes at the time. They did not have grip, I just tied em tight. I wouldn't get new shoes just for the race. One, it will be a waste of money bc they get pretty wrecked. Two, you don't want to run a long race like that in new shoes-break then in first if you do pick up new shoes.

    I wore shorts and a tank top and the nikes. By the end of the race I ditched the tank top and just wore my sports bra. You get SOAKED and covered in mud, so unless it's freezing I would wear minimal clothes. Yea, you'll get scratched up. But I can't imagine wearing capris or anything covering a lot of my body. I would have been weighed down and miserable.

    Anyway, just my experience. It was a blast. You'll love it, good luck!
  • PennStateChick
    PennStateChick Posts: 327 Member
    Depending on when/where you are doing it, there may be some special advice. For instance, the poster above me suggests limited clothing. I, however, did the tough mudder in November in New Jersey. While it was unseasonably warm (thank goodness), we still needed to wear pants, quick drying socks, long sleeves, etc.

    I am doing the Warrior Dash in Pennsylvania in August - and there will be a much different wardrobe.

    That being said - I just wore old sneakers for TM and I plan do it again for WD.
  • auntstephie321
    auntstephie321 Posts: 3,586 Member
    Thanks all so much for the tips. We ran it on the 5th. I wore my Nike's as they are getting old anyway and need new ones as is. We ran it on a ski resort after two days of rain, needless to say plenty of mud. It was about 65 degrees and rained most of the time. We only did the half, so five miles and it took me over 4 hours, I couldn't attempt Everest as I was so physically exhausted and cold by the end I couldn't stop shaking and didn't have the energy to run up the wall. I was rather disappointed in that :'( I did wear capris which saved my knees as everyone else in shorts had bloody knees at the end. Never in my life did I ever think I'd ever attempt anything like that, it's the most difficult physical thing I've ever done it was amazing. We are signed up for the full one next year also doing the bonefrog sprint in September and the Spartan sprint at another ski resort in March.
  • auntstephie321
    auntstephie321 Posts: 3,586 Member
  • Karen_can_do_this
    Karen_can_do_this Posts: 1,150 Member
    I so want to do a this race!!!
  • auntstephie321
    auntstephie321 Posts: 3,586 Member
    I so want to do a this race!!!

    Do it, you won't regret it. By the end I was so exhausted all I could do is swear and rambling sentences and laugh. It was such an incredible physical challenge you would've thought I hated the whole experience. But as soon as I was done I couldn't wait to sign up for the next one.
  • auntstephie321
    auntstephie321 Posts: 3,586 Member
    Congrats OP! Nice to see you got bit by the bug.

    As to the coverage question, I run these races in Phoenix (no TM because I'm not into electricity, but Spartan, Rugged, Terrain and whatnot--we have some great local events), and I still wear capris, just for the knee protection, and that gloves have never been helpful for me. To each their own. I will say NO COTTON, and if you want to keep your shoes in the mud, lift with your toes, not your heels.

    Yeah I decided not to do gloves too, they would've sucked if I did have them and my hands were just fine. I also was able to clean all the mud out of my clothes and sneakers no problem so I'm glad I didn't spend money on new shoes. Though since now I'm going to do more events I think I will invest in something for the future.