Top 6 Best Obstacle Course Shoes (OCR Shoes) – Buyer’s Guide and In-Depth Reviews 2017
The obstacle course can be a great way to have fun and improve your fitness. Many sports athletes and even the military also use the obstacle course to test the fitness of these individuals. They also use it for training in different weather conditions. The best obstacle course shoes are designed for use on these tough courses and they also resist most weather conditions, allowing you to wear them any day.
Since there are so many shoes on the market today, it can be quite daunting when it comes to finding the right shoe for your needs. Luckily, we have done all the legwork to ensure that you are able to choose the right shoe for your course. We have also included a buyer’s guide to ensure that you know how to pick one if you search somewhere else.
1. Reebok All Terrain Super 3.0 - Editor's Choice
2. Icebug Zeal3 RB9X Traction - Editor's Choice
3. Salomon Speedcross 4 - Best of the Best
5. Inov-8 Terraclaw 250 - Best Bang for the Buck
Top 6 Best Obstacle Course Shoes 2017
The top obstacle course shoes are designed for the professional runners, but we have tried to select a good mixture of affordable and high-end shoes to meet your specific needs. We have tested many of these boots and they have shown the ability to hold up when under constant pressure on an obstacle course.
1. Reebok All Terrain Super 3.0 Trail Runner - Editor's Choice
First, we have the Reebok All Terrain Super 3.0 Trail Runner that has been constructed from a combination of textile and fabric materials. It is not only one of the lightest running shoes, but also offers great ventilation and durability in tough terrains.
The rubber outer sole is constructed from larger lugs to give you perfect traction on those wet and slippery surfaces. The mesh lining has also been incorporated into a seamless design. This reduces the chance of any abrasions occurring and friction that might lead to potential abrasions.
The shoe contains a few sport-specific features and the new drainage system will be perfect for those running through wet surfaces. The inner sole is padded with EVA cushioning and this will mold to the shape of your feet. This feature also makes these shoes perfect for those suffering from pronation and supination.
Lastly, we also like the style of the design and the shoe is low-cut. This does lack some ankle support, but you should have much more movement and flexibility when moving over objects. These shoes are reasonably priced and they will offer great value to serious competitors. We would highly recommend these shoes for trail runners and those competing on obstacle courses.
- Lightweight and durable
- Stylish design
- Includes draining technology
- Includes EVA midsole
- Lacks some ankle support
2. Icebug Zeal3 RB9X Traction Running Shoe - Editor's Choice
The Icebug Zeal3 RB9X Traction Running Shoe is a stable well-designed running shoe for slippery surfaces and extra traction. It is quite durable and it has been constructed from synthetic materials. However, it does make the shoes a little heavier than the fabric versions.
Kevlar and polyester have been used for the upper and this ensures maximum durability for those tough terrains. The shoe has also been half-lined with mesh and this will wick away all the moisture to ensure that you have a dry shoe when running.
The midsole includes EVA cushioning that means it will mold to the shape of the feet of the user. These shoes are also perfect for those with any feet abnormalities. Finally, the outer sole is made from specialized rubber with a more advanced lug pattern. This will definitely ensure that you have much more traction on the ice and on slippery obstacles.
While these boots are quite stylish, the design is also quite narrow and this means that it might not be ideal for those with wider feet. The price is also a little expensive, we would only recommend this to the avid runner, and if you know, you will be enduring extremely slippery conditions. Walking comfortably with this outer sole might also take some learning.
- Stylish lightweight design
- Offers excellent traction
- Includes EVA midsole
- Extremely durable
- A little overpriced
- Narrow design
3. Salomon Speedcross 4 Trail Runner - Best of the Best
Salomon is one of the new brands and they have exploded in the world of outdoors. Their shoes are top quality and many people also love the style. The Salomon Speedcross 4 Trail Runner is one of these modern quality shoes. It is constructed from textile and mesh and the textile is water resistant, while the mesh will block out any possible debris.
It is a lightweight and stylish shoe with multiple different colors for you to choose from when making your pick. The Speedcross 4 Trail Runner features a flexible design that should be perfect for those with wider feet. It also features a unique lug pattern that will ensure maximum traction and help you improve your obstacle course running speeds.
The only downside is the fact that eventually the rubber sole and the upper will start tearing apart. This is something that occasionally happens and they shoe will be hard to fix. Nevertheless, with light or intermediate use, the Salomon’s should be a great purchase that should last you many years.
This particular one is quite expensive, but it is the latest and the Speedcross series and we would still recommend it to runners and trail runners. This shoe also turns out to be an excellent jogging shoe or when simply just walking about in town thanks to all the comfort that has been placed in the shoe.
- Extremely durable
- Offers great ventilation
- Water resistant
- Includes speed lacing
- Quite expensive
4. Salomon Speedcross 4 Gtx Trail-Runners
The Salomon Speedcross 4 Gtx Trail-Runners will be quite similar to the previous trail running shoe. They are also constructed from mesh and textile, with the mesh being used to provide optimal ventilation without allowing debris to enter. The upper textile is water resistant and will dry out in a matter of minutes when used in wet conditions.
The shoes include a larger than average lug pattern and this has been molded to provide excellent grip when moving in slippery areas. The inner lining contains Gore-Tex and this will wick away moisture in the form of sweat without hesitation while ensuring that you have an abrasion-free running experience.
The design also includes Endofit and Sensifit technology that will help provide you with maximum comfort for all feet types. The molded EVA midsole contours to the shape of your feet, while providing you the additional shock absorbing properties with the foam inserts. They are also quite stylish and can be found in multiple different colors to meet your style.
The shoes are quite expensive, but they are also popular among many of the top trail runners. They look fantastic and will give you great durability for multiple races. We would definitely recommend them to the more advanced runner, but serious beginners might also find them great to start with and move to the next level.
- Extremely durable and stylish
- EVA midsole
- Includes specialized fitted technology
- The best OCR shoes 2017
- Really expensive
5. Inov-8 Terraclaw 250 Trail Running Shoe - Best Bang for the Buck
The Inov-8 Terraclaw 250 Trail Running Shoe is the shoe that is designed for the Spartan Race and many of the favorites always choose it as their shoe of choice for the race. The shoe is constructed from synthetic materials and offers decent durability while offering you optimal ventilation and comfort for prolonged periods.
The synthetic sole does lack a little in terms of durability and while it will be ideal for the Spartan Race, it might only last 2 of these strenuous races before falling apart. The diagonally sewn tongue and mesh will perfectly combine to keep most of the debris out of the shoe while providing you with great ventilation.
While these shoes are really waterproof, they do dry out quite quickly and this makes them perfect for all weather conditions. The materials will never sag in the rain and the outer sole should become more sticky as it gets wetter, which will give you as much traction as possible for your obstacle course and on top of these objects.
These shoes are quite affordable and stylish. They can also be found in multiple different colors for both men and women. They are also highly recommended by many of the top Spartan Race runners and even the champion is known for wearing the Inov brand. We would definitely recommend them for the quality and affordability.
- Reasonably priced
- Dries out fast
- Excellent traction
- Offers great ventilation
- Lacks long-term durability
6. Inov-8 X-talon™ 225 Trail Runner
Last but certainly not least, we have the Inov-8 X-talon™ 225 Trail Runner and this shoe is a little more affordable than the previous one. It is made from a combination of synthetic and textile fabrics and tends to be one of the lightest shoes for trail running. It is also used by many of the pro runners in the Spartan Race.
The mesh design ensures maximum ventilation, while also keeping all of the muddy debris from getting into the shoe as you track through precarious situations. Much like the Terraclaw 250 Trail Running Shoe, it also includes larger lugs and these will offer maximum traction in the wettest of conditions. They also keep the mud from being stuck in the outer sole.
Protection is also something included in this shoe and the toe box has been reinforced. This means that your descents will not be as painful and you will have the best protection against stubborn rocks. Unfortunately, the shoe also does not offer the best long-term durability and should last around 2 Spartan Races in terms of how long it will hold up.
These shoes are also really affordable and we would recommend them to experienced trail runners. The shoes will not be the best for joggers and can be quite frustrating to run with on the road. We would definitely recommend them for individuals attempting the Spartan Race or any other tough running race.
- Decent durability
- Precision fitted
- Reasonably priced
- Reinforced toe box
- Lacks long-term durability
Key Features to Consider When Buying Obstacle Course Shoes
Running an obstacle race is very different from running on the road or jogging and your standard running shoes might not make the cut when it comes to shoes for an obstacle race. If you still have not found the ideal pair for your needs, you should consider using these additional tips to choose the perfect pair elsewhere:
You should look for the durability on the inside and the outside of the shoe. Since you will be placing a ton of stress on it, the outer sole is one of the first things to wear down. While synthetic is a great affordable option, it does not offer the same durability as the hardened rubber outer soles. This can be a great way for you to save money in the long term.
The upper should also be quite impervious to weather conditions as you will be placing it through a ton of stress in different situations. If the shoes can dry out fast it will be another benefit and you will not need to worry about the water and sand combining to make mud that can hold you back.
Obstacles tend to be extremely slippery from time to time and this could cause some troubles for you climbing to the top. With decent traction, you need not run the risk of slipping and losing time or even suffering potentially dangerous injuries. Hardened rubber also tends to be one of the best choices when it comes to giving you great traction.
We also recommend looking at the lug or the lug pattern and non-standard patterns do offer a little more traction. The size of the lugs will also give you an indication of the grip and whether or not you might have pieces of mud stuck in between.
Great ventilation is fundamentally important to a runner of any sort, but when doing the obstacle course, the ventilation can serve as a way of drying the shoe out as well. The better the ventilation, the more comfortable your feet will feel and you will not feel like you are being weighed down by the heat of the day.
Mesh is generally a good option to look for when considering ventilation. Mesh is a lightweight fabric and while offering great ventilation, it also keeps much of the debris on the outside, which means you will not have pieces stuck inside your running shoe.
4. Inner sole
The inner sole is one of the most important parts and this is the part of the shoe that your feet will constantly be in contact with. The inner soles of the above-mentioned selection are all made from top quality EVA or injected EVA. EVA offers a comfortable experience and molds to the shape of your feet, making it perfect for pronation and supination.
You will also find PU cushioning and this is the standard and most affordable form of cushioning. We would not really recommend this to the serious athletes that perform on the obstacle course. If you have severe foot problems, you might also need to consider investing in memory foam and this is the best form as it maintains the shape of your feet. It also reduces the potential break-in periods.
When it comes to shoes that you will be wearing in the weather, the lining becomes really important as well. These shoes all have decent mesh or Gore-Tex lining that help to wick away the moisture and reduces any chances of potential abrasions setting in and ruining the entire day or race. Having a seamless design will be the best and there is no way for the seams to potentially cause any abrasions.
Features to Look For In The Best OCR Shoes
Now that you understand why obstacle course shoes are so special, you might just need a simple shoe to start out with. If you are a beginner, these tips should be ideal and they are an additional breakdown of the most common features found in the top running shoes. Many of the normal running shoes are also used in these races from time to time.
Style is something we all want and looking great will definitely help your self-confidence. Many of these shoes are available in multiple different styles and colors and you can even decide to choose the high-cut if you are looking for more ankle support and stability when running on uneven terrain.
2. Shock absorption
Having shock absorbing and anti-fatigue technology is a great way for you to reduce the fatigued caused and you could potentially extend your running session a little longer. For obstacle courses, the shock absorption will be handy when leaping off those larger objects onto a concrete floor.
The weight also has the ability to influence your running session and the amount of fatigue that you have to endure. By keeping the weight down, you should have a much better running experience and your shoes should be much more comfortable to run with.
While the price can potentially be seen as another thing or important feature you need to look for, we do not really recommend falling for these cheaper products. They generally do lack in terms of durability and you will be left needing to buy a new pair in no time at all. If you are looking to get the best quality and value for your money, you should be willing to pay for it as well.
Did You Make Your Choice?
We completely understand your frustrations when looking for a trail running shoe and since obstacle courses are so tough, you will need the best one to get the best results and to get value for your money. We would like to recommend the Salomon Men's Speedcross 4 Gtx Trail-Runners. These hoes offer great durability and comfortable and while they are expensive, they will help take you to the next level on the obstacle course.
We would like to thank you for reading this article and we hope that you have found the ideal flair for your needs. Please let us know in the comment section which one you decided on and why. Please also let us know if you think we might have missed any of your favorite shoes that you consider the best obstacle course shoes.