Shoes for Tough Mudder


OK, so I’m runner.  That’s what I do because it loosely fits my job description as a personal trainer. So I am a bunch of stuff if you look at it like that. I am a nutritionist, an MMA practitioner, Yogi, paleo buff, etc.  So I wear more hats than the Atlanta Braves. One thing I am not though is some wasteful joker who likes to ruin a pair of shoes like I did last year running the Tough Mudder in Colorado. Great event, GREAT EVENT!  I had so much fun until I realized that I had worn the most candy ass pair of shoes possible for a sludge fest such as Tough Mudder.  Each step I took in that event I kept a memento of the last few feet I’d run in the form of mud and unwanted water weight.  My Nike Free just would not drain water and they were holding onto mud like the last piece of bacon at Sunday breakfast at Na-Na’s house.  I still ran a decent time because of my sheer gusto, but I didn’t dominate like I should have. On top of that my shoes were so stained and infused with puke and filth that I decided to donate them, lol.  My apologies to whoever got those kicks.  I should’ve shot them into the sun instead.
On my path of redemption from candy assed-ness I discovered a couple of shoes that I will serve to prepare me for domination. The main thing I was looking for when I found these shoes was water drainage capability. Some of the characteristics I’ve found inadvertently are durability and stain defense which will be big depending on the venue you’re running.

1. New Balance MT 1010 Minimus

New Balance Minimus Trail Alpha Running ShoeI like a few things about these.  The first thing only experienced movers might understand. It’s that first wear, lived in feeling. The MT’s feel like that one pair of shoes that you wait 10 years to throw away, or maybe not throw away…..RETIRE. They fit your feet like socks and they’re responsive like a brand new smart phone. I mean damn they are fun to MOVE in. So now when I go buy shoes and socks I wear them so as to ask their opinion of potential additions to the family.
The style of the shoe is such that a few stains build character. They’re technically a minimalist shoe, but the way the heel drops inside you could stand to add an insert if that was your preference.
They wick water away quickly and don’t hold mud in the mesh hardly at all and you could get away with wearing them barefoot because of the make of the interior.
Negatively speaking, what I will say is they do require you to buy about a half size larger than you might normally wear. They’re naturally a bit snug, but that’s because they’re family. I like to keep my family close, not creepy close though.

Get unbeatable deals on a new pair of the New Balance MT 1010 Minimus at Amazon!

2. Salomon Speedcross 3

Salomon's Speedcross 3 Trail Running ShoeIf you’ve got a little more money to spend these are the way to go:  Now, these are not as next-doorsy as my New Balance, but these have got fangs. I mean they really look bad-ass on your foot. Hell, I look faster when I have these on. I feel like I’m favored to win at life all of a sudden. They’re waterproof. You don’t have to tie em(for the lazy, bullied fat kid in all of us) so you don’t have to bend over!
The best part is there is SOOO much traction that it defies logic. Look at the bottom and see for yourself. I could walk up a wall in these bad boys no problem. Truth be told though, I got these online based off a referral I got from a friend out of town.  He suggested I try em and the first 10 miler I ran some threads popped loose, but I had them replaced and I wouldn’t part with em at all. They are definitely going in my Zombie Survivalist kit for when escapin’ ain’t just a suggestion. It’s mandatory. Quote that.

Get unbeatable deals on a new pair of the Salomon Speedcross 3 at Amazon!

Off Season Training Shoes for Tough Mudder

Hi, I’m Chris Dawnovan, free lance personal trainer, health coach, and martial arts practitioner. I’ve worked with “Tough Mudder” participants as well as “Spartan Race” runners over the past two years, and great reliable footwear is a MUST in not only these events, but in your every day training needs. You need a shoe suitable for off season training as well, so these shoe suggestions shouldn’t be used for the event itself, but for your regular workout routine whether at home, at the gym, or runs at your local park and track fields. Have you ever went running just to get 10 minutes or so into your run and feel aches and pains in your joints or feet? That’s caused from running in improper footwear. Before I became a personal trainer or had any idea what I was doing, I would run in Timberland or steel toed work boots, because I thought the weight of the shoes would increase the challenge to the workout, not knowing that every step I took could be causing me serious damage to my joints and or nerves. Here I will offer my suggestions for a comfortable, safe, and supportive running shoe, capable of carrying you between seasons without the immediate wear and tear.

Merrell Bare Access 2 Minimal Running Shoe For Off Season TainingThe Merrell brand is a personal favorite of mines. These shoes are extremely comfortable, very affordable, and surprisingly durable. Right out the box you can take this shoe and fold it in half, but it will not wear down on you easy at all. I’ve ran on concrete, treadmills, mud, grass, kicked heavy bags, sprints, hurdles and more, and the shoe is still just as comfortable as when I first bought them. They’re light as a feather and really matches the natural curving moments of your feet as you run. I personally score this shoe a 9 out of 10. Again, I only suggest these as off season training shoes for tough mudder. Though they are water proof and shockingly durable to be such a light shoe, they simply weren’t designed for such a extreme event, so only use these for your everyday training routines. Of course, there is no reason to just take my word for it,  read other customer’s reviews in the link above by clicking the picture. I can say confidently, that you will not be disappointed in the Merrell brand.

ASICS Gel-Contend 2 Running Shoe For Off Season TrainingThe ASICS brand seems to be doing wondeful as well. I know a lot high level distant runners using this brand and giving them amazing reviews and kudos. Ive even seen runners wearing this brand out on the beach sands in LA. I asked why and was told:

1) It protects from the sand’s heat on the feet

2) The shoe is so comfortable they forget they are wearing them.

I personally haven’t tried this brand yet, but even some of my clients who are very new to running or any form of exercise for that matter, say that they never want to take the shoe off. I admire the design and style of the shoe as well, so this particular shoe will likely be my next purchase. I look forward to updating you guys with my thoughts on the shoe after trying it out personally. For further info feel free to click the link above and read buyer’s reviews and ratings on

New Balance MX20v3 Minimus Mid-Cut Training Shoe For Off Season TrainingLast, but not least, the New Balance brand (which is mentioned as a suggested brand for the event, just not this particular shoe however). Now in my personal opinion, I believe Nike is more of a stylish shoe then a actual athletic shoe. I find a lot Nike’s and Jordan’s to be extremely overrated, highly uncomfortable during exercise, and comically over priced. What I have noticed however, all the seriously focused and dedicated athletes I grew up around (Not the ones seeking popularity and attention) such as basket ball players, football players, and track team runners would do most of the time, if not all the time, train wearing the New Balance brand. So, I decided to try a pair myself and I must say, they do wonderful in extreme training conditions. What I appreciated about New Balance shoes the most, is the amount of traction and grip that the shoes have. I feel as if the world is my treadmill. The world just seems to move under my feet if you will. No slippage or sliding, and a very solidly structured shoe that maintains a surprising amount of comfort all for a reasonable price. For this particular pair, I am really a fan of the ankle support and slick design. Again, by all means, take a look at other customer reviews within the link within the picture before you give them a try yourself. But these are my 3 hand selected brands of choice I would suggest for all you Tough Mudders and Spartan Racers out there. Feel free you leave your questions, thoughts and comments below. I hope this information will assist you well in making your purchases for off season training shoes for tough mudder. Happy running everyone. Chris Dawnovan

Should I Wear Boots for Tough Mudder Event?

In the search for the best shoes for tough mudder there have been many questions about whether boots are suitable for competition. Maybe some New-Age boots or a boot-esque type of shoe, but not any heavy clunkers. I discuss my reasoning behind this and make suggestions towards the best shoes for tough mudder for those wanting boot protection and feel in this article.

Should You Wear Boots To Tough Mudder EventIn short, I would NOT suggest wearing boots for tough mudder and here is why. They will end up being very heavy on you if you are trying to set any kind of personal record or be a real competitor in the event. Now if you plan on walking the entire event, boots wouldn’t be a terrible idea, but you’ll likely not be in the front of the pack. There are many shoes for tough mudder that can give you the same benefits as boots, but can also give you a competitiveSalomon XA Pro Mid GTX Shoe for Tough Mudder advantage. For a true competitor, I would suggest Salomon XA Pro Mid GTX which are still lightweight and easy to run in, but they give you all the added support and weather protection that boots have. The Salomon Speedcross 3 is great at this too, but some people do prefer more support than an athletic shoe can provide for this kind of event.

The Salomon XA Pro Mid GTX is the best of both worlds. They provide the classic boot structure, stability and waterproofing, while still being lightweight and comfortable enough to run in without straining your calves or shins. Also these have superior grip! These can be a little more costly than the Speedcross 3 but not if you find a great deal on AMAZON.

Keen Tryon WP Shoe for Tough MudderAnother cost effective solution for those desiring the boot feel would be KEEN shoes. This brand of awesome trail shoes cost a little less than Salomon without sacrificing quality. From talking with other runners and athletes brand name is a personal preference thing, and I suggest trying different brands at some point to make sure you have found your best fit. The KEEN Tryon WP trail running shoes is one of the best shoes for tough mudder. These versatile shoes are supportive and sturdy like a boot, but are lightweight and comfortable to allow you to really lay down some speed in them.

KEEN Verdi II Mid WP Shoe for Tough MudderIf you are dead set on some sort of boot I suggest the KEEN Verdi II Mid WP. This boot has excellent stability and dryness ratings, and is as comfortable as a running shoe. I haven’t tried these personally, but I would like to know how these perform because they have potential to be some of the best shoes for tough mudder.

Do you have a boot or shoe you suggest or had a good experience in Tough Mudder events? Leave a comment below or contact me on the contact page and we will try to include it in our next post!

Watermelon Classic 5k in Jackson

A few weeks ago I got to participate in a 5k in Mississippi. Hot as hades! But… Excellent race! There was a large crowd out and I got to warm the crowd up for the run on a rickety crickety stage. I really thought I was going to: a. Snap the stage in half or b. Snap the stage in half and land on an old person, break their hip, and live with guilt for the rest of my life. Either way I’m really surprised that stage didn’t buckle like cowboy belts. Continue reading