Tough Mudder: What to Wear

[This is part of the Tough Mudder Training Series.]

I think one of the most asked questions when you participate in Tough Mudder is “What should I wear?”

I’ve run a couple Tough Mudder races and a Spartan Sprint in Georgia and I feel like the best stuff to wear is a sleeveless dri fit shirt, running shorts, gloves, and cross country flats. The less clothing, the better. Less is more, especially in 30 degrees weather.

“Shouldn’t you be wearing long sleeves in the cold?”

No, not exactly. Remember that Bear Grylls videos:

When you have clothes on and you are submerged in cold water, the wet clothes will actually take body warmth away from you. So when you are wearing minimal clothing, you get drier quicker and won’t stay cold. AND even though you are wearing minimal clothing, since you are running around and climbing over stuff, your body is already warmed up from doing all these physical activities. The Tough Mudder that I participated in this year was 30 degrees in the morning and warmed up to 40 degrees, even in this weather I saw girls running in just a sports bra and running shorts. So don’t stop and grab a thermal blanket. Best thing you can do is keep moving! Even if you are just walking.

The only con in wearing minimal clothing is that you will get scrapes. So if you don’t care about not getting scrapes on your legs, arms, or torso go minimalistic. But if you do, then wear longer clothing but it might keep you cold and might hamper your race experience. It all depends on what you want.

Gloves – I say wear gloves to prevent yourself from getting splinters climbing over stuff. I just got $10 football gloves from Target. Just remember to take the gloves off when you do the funky monkey because you get better grip that way.

Shoes – I prefer to wear cross country flats. I wore the Saucony XC Shay Flats.

I think this is the best balance of regular shoe and the Five Finger Vibrams. They are minimalistic and lightweight enough to run like you are wearing Vibrams. They are a snug fit, don’t hold water, they have excellent traction, and professional, collegiate, and high schoolers have been runnng in them for years. They also offer better protection against rocks. One of the main complaints I hear from people wearing Vibrams in Tough Mudder is that when they run over rocks that it hurts. Racing flats provide enough protection that it doesn’t hurt.

Just remember these shoes are lightweight and you need to run in them before and let your body get use to it. And remember to order “spikeless” shoes. And you can only wear spikeless shoes at Tough Mudder events anyways.

In pictures if you didn’t get it =P

You get drenched by obstacles like Artic Enema.

You get drenched like this. (Notice the girl right next to me wearing only sports bra and biker shorts. She was actually kind of cute. Should’ve got her number…dayam!)

You get drenched but water comes off of you like this when you wear dry fit or minimal clothing.

So just remember:

  1. Dri Fit shirt (preferably sleeveless)
  2. Short shorts
  3. Racing Flats

Or  just go run naked…haha…the most primal way to run.

But then again, if you don’t care about staying dry and just want to have fun. You can always wear a costume.


9 Responses to “Tough Mudder: What to Wear”

  1. Angie de Herrera-White March 20, 2012 at 5:00 pm #

    I have a question about the shoes- what if you get ones with spikes?

    • t0m March 22, 2012 at 8:20 am #

      I wouldn’t get the ones with the spikes. If you get the ones with spikes….you might hurt somebody while doing tough mudder.

    • sandra May 3, 2012 at 2:28 pm #

      You are not allowed to wear spikes or cleats. If you do, you will not be allowed to participate and the TM staff promises to make a giant ass out of you in front of everyone :)

  2. David Haas March 20, 2012 at 5:24 pm #

    I have a quick question about your blog, do you think you could email me?

  3. Eric July 14, 2012 at 2:29 pm #

    What about a pair of lightweight all terrain boots? Would the extra ankle support be helpful on the obstacles?

    • t0m July 18, 2012 at 12:41 am #

      Unless you have a history of weak ankles…I wouldn’t think it’s necessary. I wore track shoes and was fine.

  4. louis October 1, 2012 at 12:04 pm #

    would you recommend socks?

    • t0m October 3, 2012 at 3:21 am #

      Well because you are running in water and out of water. I actually recommend not wearing socks. Unless you got water proof socks. I run all my races without socks.


  1. Tough Mudder Training Series | Ninja Fitness - March 20, 2012

    [...] Clothing [...]

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