We all want to be looking our best for big events, but there’s a time and place for your nicest outfit – and Tough Mudder isn’t it. If it wasn’t obvious enough by the name, you’re going to be covered in mud by the time you get to the finish line, no matter how careful you are. Before the big day, put some effort into finding and consolidating clothes that are equal parts practical and protective.
Tough Mudder Essentials
Head and/or face covering
Wearing anything above the neck is completely optional. You can shield your face with a cap, but remember that it’s going to get dirty and possibly lost along the course, so don’t bring your favorite one. Sunglasses are not advisable as they’ll get dirty quickly. If you need prescription glasses but you don’t wear contacts, be sure that your glasses have a neoprene strap or something similar to secure them to your head.
Extra gripping power can help you climb obstacles. If you think you need it, invest in a good pair of gloves. Popular choices among Tough Mudder enthusiasts are Under Armour CTR Trainer gloves and Mechanix Wear M-Pact gloves. Gloves are also a plus in cold-weather events, but like facial coverings, having them is just a matter of personal preference.
Some Tough Mudder fans skip the top wear completely, which is practical unless you’re sensitive to the weather. For those who are more comfortable with a shirt on, wear a moisture-wicking material. Avoid cotton and anything baggy to prevent you from being weighed down by mud or water.
Tights or shorts
Save your jeans for after the event. Your best bet for bottom wear is running shorts or compression tights. These will protect your lower half from grass and thorns. When they get wet, they’ll dry off quickly and keep you feeling cool as you power through. Many long-time OCR buffs swear by Second Skin brand’s compression gear for staying comfortable and moving fast from the start of the race all the way to the end.
Naturally, you won’t need a jacket for a Tough Mudder on a hot day, but if you signed up for one that takes place in a colder month, it’s a good idea to have one on hand. Just like with other items of clothing, keep it lightweight and tight-fitting.
Whatever clothes you decide to wear, you absolutely need to take the time to sort out your socks and shoes situation. In fact, if you prepare nothing else (though that is not recommended!), make the one thing you do plan ahead your footwear. A good, thick pair of socks will keep your feet comfortable amid all the running, jumping, and climbing. For extra protection, rub some petroleum jelly or anti-chafing cream on your feet before putting on your socks.
Your shoes should have good traction to keep you from slipping even on slick, muddy surfaces. They should also be breathable – they should have decent drainage in case any water that gets in. Last but not least, your Tough Mudder shoes need to be durable. Think of how much your body endures during Tough Mudder. Your shoes will be going through the same.
Dress for (OCR) success
Along with your training, your gear is going to help you get from the starting line to the finish line. Don’t leave putting together your Tough Mudder outfit to the very last minute. You don’t need to shell out a lot of money to pull together a decent get-up, but if you’d like to make the investment, it pays to do your research and to know exactly what you need.