Mud Runs: What to Wear

by Amber Zhai

Whether you’re doing it for fun, competition, or health, mud runs are a great way to break away from the routine of everyday life and get down and dirty. Obstacle courses, river crossings, tunnel crawls, mud pits…why not? But there’s more to preparing for the big mud run than just physical training! Here are some tips on what to wear to maximize your mud run experience and make sure that you reach that finish line:

Ladies' T-Shirt With Mesh Panels
Ladies’ T-Shirt With Mesh Panels

Avoid cotton at all costs. Cotton is way too water-absorbent and will slow you down. Stick to spandex and similarly lightweight synthetic fabrics. Depending on the weather, a short- or long-sleeved spandex top is a basic go-to. An Attain Moisture Wicking Short Sleeve T-Shirt (or a Ladies’ Polyester Workout Tee for girls) is an economic alternative to overpriced sports brands.

The cotton rule also applies to socks. Cotton socks stay wet longer and chafe. You’ll definitely regret wearing cotton socks when you’re counting blisters at the end of the day. Find socks made of moisture-wicking material—they dry faster and were designed for gritty outdoor events like this.

Alo Long Sleeve Compression T-Shirt
Badger Long Sleeve Compression T-Shirt

Wear protective undergear. Out there fighting nature’s elements and overcoming manmade obstacles as well, the typical mud runner is prone to cuts and bruises. Under armor is a good idea—it will keep you covered and cool. A Long Sleeve Compression T-Shirt can protect you from unnecessary scrapes. Women should definitely consider wearing a Ladies’ Sports Bra underneath.

Choose the right shoes—and by right, we mean light. Shoes with a lot of mesh are always good, since they dry faster and allow your feet to breathe. At the same time, you should choose a pair that you’re not particularly attached to, as you’ll probably find it necessary to dispose of them at the end of the run. Remember to double knot the laces!

For cold weather, consider a light windbreaker. Go for something made of nylon or polyester fabric like the Rawling’s Wind Jacket so the mud can slide right off you.

Optional: gloves and eye gear. This is a judgment call. If there’s a lot of rope-climbing or if the weather’s on the chilly side, gloves could be a good way to prevent blisters and calluses. Mud and water also tend to get flung into the eyes, so some people opt for a pair of goggles or wrap-around sunglasses.

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