Spartan Race refers to a set of Obstacle Races – with each one having various distances and difficulties. Distance and difficulty levels range from three miles up to marathon distances. The series of races actually consist of the Super Spartan, Spartan Sprint, Spartan Beast, and Ultra Beast. Furthermore, the race comes with a military series. It’s an obstacle course designed by the US military. The good news is that anyone can enjoy this race as several countries now offer programs for those who are interested.

If you wish to enjoy this series of Obstacle Races, then make sure that you prepare yourself for all the challenges involved. Aside from that, there is a need for you to invest in the best shoes for Spartan Race, so you’ll have an easier time hurdling all the challenges and obstacles. This article will highlight 8 of the ideal footwear for the race, so you’ll get an idea what to choose.

Top 8 Best Shoes for Spartan Race 2024

Inov-8 Terraclaw 250  –  OUR PICK

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For all the obstacle courses involved in a Spartan Race, a good pair of running shoe is a must, and this is what the Inov-8 Terraclaw 250 Trail Running Shoe can offer. What I like the most about this shoe is its versatility. Expect it to be an excellent dual-purpose shoe for most dry and earthy trails.

It also features enough grip, making it useful in terrains that have moderately muddy or grassy sections. Another thing that makes this shoe appealing, in my opinion, is its wide toe box. It has an inov-8 jargon standard fit, instead of the usual precision fit.

This makes it capable of providing a roomy toe box, allowing your toes to splay in comfort. That said, it’s easy to prevent swelling, blisters, or any other pain and discomfort when running over long distances, especially when the weather is too hot.

With the lace-up upper made of mesh integrated into the shoe, it’s also easy for Inov-8 Terraclaw to provide a more centralized comfort and support. It has a layered toe cap, which is also light in weight, which offers enough protection to the users.

Another thing I find remarkable in the shoe is the diagonally sewn tongue, as it prevents debris and any other harsh elements from being accumulated in the shoe. However, I think the laces could use a bit of improvement, as they’re not as excellently designed as possible.

It’s mainly because retying the laces when it gets untied during a Spartan Race is a bit of a hassle, especially when they’re caked with mud. That’s not a huge issue, though, as overall, the shoe is still one of the most flexible footwear in the market.

Things We Liked

  • Highly versatile and flexible, making it useful on various terrains
  • Features more than enough grip
  • Roomy toe box, allowing users to wear it in comfort
  • Lightweight while providing adequate protection
  • Harsh elements and debris are prevented with its diagonally sewn tongue

Things We Didn’t Like

  • Laces need some improvement to make them less troublesome to retie during a race.

Inov-8 X-Talon 200

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Inov-8 X-talon 200 Trail-Running Shoe is also one of the best shoes for Spartan Race 2017 – 2018 you can find today. It’s a lightweight train runner, which I think is one of its plus points and major advantage. It features a breathable underlay made of mesh.

You can also find its seamless log integrated into its stripe overlays. With its rubber sole, I find this shoe very comfortable to use. Another great thing about this footwear is that it is ideal for obstacle course racing.

With this shoe, it is possible for you to handle each course in Spartan Race in complete comfort. It is because aside from being lightweight, there is still a hardy and tough upper, which improves its breathability and durability.

It also features a Rope-Tec outsole traction, as well as deep cleats, both of which are extremely useful if you want to have an easier time handling even the toughest challenges and obstacles. I like the fact that there is a DWR treatment integrated into the shoe as it makes it capable of resisting water.

With such a water-resistant feature, there is no need for you to worry about slowing down when overcoming obstacles as water and mud will never be accumulated inside. Aside from that, I can vouch for the impressive grip of Inov 8 OCR shoes on all types of surfaces.

What I don’t like about the shoe, though, is that it’s slightly lacking in underfoot protection. Other than that issue, the shoe is almost perfect. The bottom line is it’s the perfect footwear designed for anyone who loves Obstacle Races, like Spartan Race.

Things We Liked

  • Lightweight and breathable
  • Has a water-resistant feature – thanks to its DWR treatment
  • Impressive grip on various surfaces
  • Has a roomy toebox without the bulk
  • Promotes a snug and secure fit with its narrow lacing system

Things We Didn’t Like

  • Still requires additional underfoot protection

Inov-8 X-Talon 212  –  RUNNER UP

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What I love the most about the Inov-8 X-Talon 212 Trail Running Shoe is its ability to handle all types of terrains – even the toughest ones – without causing me to experience discomfort while also being working on its own when working on soft ground where it’s necessary to have talon-like grip.

I think the exceptional grip provided by X-Talon 212 is all thanks to the patented sticky rubber integrated to it. Such grip can make you feel confident regardless of the environment, terrain, and condition you decide to use it to.

It has an 8-mm cleat depth, so it also works well when used for loose and soft terrains, particularly those with thick mud. Furthermore, it features an outsole, which compounds with the shoe’s Meta-Flex groove, providing it with impressive flexibility that blend well with the movement of your feet.

The toughness of the shoe makes it a really famous option for obstacle courses. In fact, it also works well even if you use it for rope climbs because of its updated midsole. Treated with durable water repellent (DWR), expect to receive extra protection.

Such feature gives it the highest level of water-resistance without increasing its weight nor compromising its drainage ability and breathability. The extra protection gained by the shoe makes its upper and overall structure durable, so obstacle racing and off-road running will be more manageable.

There are also aggressive off-trail studs specifically designed for loose and soft situations. What’s not so good about this shoe, in my opinion, is the fact that it’s quite too narrow. Also, it only has a medium-level cushion, so there is a hint of discomfort when used for a long period.

Overall, despite its minor flaw, the Inov-8 X-Talon 212 is still a major player in the Spartan Race footwear industry. One of its strongest advantage is its effectiveness in handling both hard and soft terrains.

Things We Liked

  • Versatile, so it’s possible for it to handle all terrains – even soft and hard ones.
  • Offers excellent grip with its patented sticky rubber
  • Provides additional protection as it has a DWR treatment
  • Highly durable
  • Has a water-resistant feature without compromising its drainage ability and breathability

Things We Didn’t Like

  • Too narrow for some users
  • Only features a mid-level cushion

Saucony Xodus 6.0

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Xodus 6.0 Trail Running Shoe came from one of the most trusted brands in the running footwear industry, the Saucony. I love this shoe because it looks rugged while still being a comfortable. In fact, you’ll experience utmost comfort from it without worrying about any risk of stiffness.

It has a midsole with a more cushy underfoot. Also, it takes pride of its lightweight and sleek upper, which makes it easier for your toes to breathe and move. Another great thing about the shoe, in my opinion, is that it has welded overlays.

The overlays are not stitched, making them capable of securing your midfoot efficiently. Furthermore, there is a stitched and sturdy layer, which aids in protecting the footwear’s perimeter. It also has a sole, which features sturdy rubber lugs at the center.

With the malleable Vibram lugs integrated into the shoe, it’s also possible for it to have more than enough grip. The midsole comes embedded with a stone guard, which aids in preventing the risk of bruising. Furthermore, it boasts of the stability of its wide and balanced platform.

With the lugs integrated into the shoe, it’s possible for it to handle all trails and terrains, including dirt, sand, rocks, and sand. That’s possible while still providing an unrelenting yet reassuring grip.

Aside from that, it has a water-resistant upper, which also features a lace-up vamp for extra support and comfort. However, take note that it is not as light nor flexible as the other trail running shoes today, such as Reebok all terrain super running shoe. Still, all the features integrated into the shoe more than make up for that manageable downside.

Things We Liked

  • Boasts of a rugged look while maintaining its high comfort level
  • Sleek upper, promoting breathability and ease of movement
  • One of the best women’s shoes for Spartan Race
  • Welded overlays, providing more security for your mid-foot
  • Provides more than enough grip

Things We Didn’t Like

  • Not as light and flexible as the other shoes used for trail running

Salomon Speedcross 4  –  UPGRADE PICK

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With Salomon Speedcross 4 Trail Runner, you’ll get a shoe which can provide excellent traction on almost all surfaces and terrains. One thing I find lovable about this shoe is that it works well for those extreme adventure enthusiasts, like me.

It’s ideal for serious mountain running and obstacle races, like the Spartan Race. It can deal with rough terrains. I also like the incredible traction of the shoe, which I instantly noticed from its ability to grip well on snow, mud, rock, and wet surfaces.

The big lugs featured into the shoe are capable of biting into steep dirt and grass. Furthermore, there is a quick-lace lacing system at the tongue, which, in my opinion, is the easiest and quickest lacing system you can find. It’s also very comfortable as the shoe has padding on the right place.

The lacing system mentioned earlier also works in securing your feet snugly. It has exceptional dampening while staying comfortable and light when used on long distances. What I find even more impressive from this footwear is its ability to maintain a great feel for various trails.

One downside to this shoe, though, is that it does not ventilate and drain that well. However, rest assure that it’s one of those shoes that can offer you more than a hundred percent satisfaction, especially if you use it on a Spartan Race.

Things We Liked

  • Provides good traction on almost all surfaces and terrains
  • Quick and easy lacing system
  • Great mix of ground feel and cushion
  • Improved longevity and durability for its lug design
  • Has a sturdy construction

Things We Didn’t Like

  • Ventilation and drainage features are quite lacking

Inov-8 Terraclaw 220  –  BUDGET PICK

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With Inov-8 Terraclaw 220 Trail Running Shoe, I can assure you that you’ll fall in love with obstacle races, particularly Spartan Race, even more. It’s mainly because of the ability of the shoe to make you feel as comfortable as possible.

One feature I’d like to point out from this trail running shoe is its lightweight mesh upper. Such upper also boasts of a lace-up vamp, which works in offering enough support and comfort. Also, there is a sticky rubber outsole integrated into the shoe.

Such makes it capable of providing enough traction on various surfaces. Inov-8 Terraclaw 220 Trail Running Shoe also boasts of its unique lug design, which aids in releasing gravel and grit. It can provide extra protection for debris with its diagonally sewn tongue.

Another thing I find so amazing about the show is its optimal grip. Expect it to give you more than enough grip for every foot strike. The problem with this shoe is that it only has limited color options while having a slightly steep price.

Still, the fact that it has a great combination of protection and performance makes it an excellent choice for Spartan race.

Things We Liked

  • Provides enough comfort for obstacle races
  • Exceptional traction and optimal grip
  • Has a unique lug design
  • Lightweight mesh upper
  • Offers protection

Things We Didn’t Like

  • Steep price
  • Limited options in terms of colors

ASICS GEL Fuji Runnegade 2

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With the imported textile and synthetic construction of ASICS GEL Fuji Runnegade 2 Running Shoe, you have some sort of assurance that it can perform well if you use it for your activities. It has a rubber sole, which kind of assures users about its high comfort level.

It also boasts of its rear foot gel cushioning system, which is capable of absorbing shock and impact. With this cushioning system, I can also say that the shoe can promote smooth transitions to mid-stance.

Another thing I find amazing about this running shoe from ASICS is that it comes with outsole reversed lugs that are trail-specific. Such lugs are beneficial for their ability to offer enough traction – whether downhill and uphill – and on various terrains.

Since the shoe is constructed out of seamless material, it also works well while minimizing the risk of friction and irritation often triggered by traditional seams and stitches. I also specifically like the anti-gravel tongue construction of the shoe as it aids in preventing debris.

Furthermore, it takes pride of its water-repellent upper and the durability of its overall construction. The narrow heel of the shoe is a problem, though, as some reported that it triggers blisters.

Still, the shoe focuses more on providing users with enough support and stability. That said, it’s still a great investment despite its minor drawbacks.

Things We Liked

  • Excellent performance on various activities
  • Comfortable, which can be attributed to its rubber sole
  • Seamless construction
  • Water-repellent upper
  • Durable overall construction

Things We Didn’t Like

  • Narrow heel

New Balance MT10v1  –  ALSO GREAT

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Another footwear that is good to use in Spartan Race is the New Balance MT10v1 Trail Running Shoe. What I find impressive in this shoe from the popular New Balance brand is that it is well-cushioned and comfortable combined with an excellent traction.

With that quality, I can give you an assurance that it works well for long trail runs, particularly on Spartan Races. The versatility of this shoe is also hard not to notice. It is versatile enough that this trail running shoe works well both in the road and on trails.

Another impressive thing I noticed in this shoe is that it is lighter when compared to its previous version. It also features a low-to-the-ground profile, which allows it to maintain its minimal trait while preventing heel striking, a major cause of soreness on the lower leg.

Another of the strongest points of this shoe is the durability of its outsole. It also comes with an incredible grip on various surfaces. It dries quickly, which is definitely a big help if you are planning to use it on slippery, wet, and muddy terrains.

The antimicrobial treatment featured in the shoe also works in minimizing odor. One possible downside is the narrowness in the shoe’s forefoot area. Also, the heel area is a bit loose, causing debris to still penetrate in some cases.

The benefits and wonderful features of the shoe far outweigh its minor downsides, though. It is still a fantastic option for Spartan Race because it’s a lightweight, stylish shoe with just the right amount of stability, support and protection.

Things We Liked

  • Boasts of its firm yet highly comfortable cushion
  • Comes with a highly protective sole without causing it to become too stiff
  • Lighter in weight when compared to its previous version
  • Prevents heel striking, which can cause leg soreness – thanks to the shoe’s low-to-the-ground profile
  • Dries quickly and features an antimicrobial treatment

Things We Didn’t Like

  • Slightly narrow in the forefoot section
  • Heel area is a bit loose

Shoes for Spartan Race Buyer’s Guide

There are plenty of best Spartan Race shoes for men and women, so you might find it challenging and confusing to figure out which one can satisfy you. If you find your options confusing and overwhelming, then make it a point to consider the following factors (Spartan Race shoe recommendations) before making your choice:


Pick a shoe, which really offers utmost comfort, once you start to move while wearing it. That said, check the insole first as this is the key indicator whether the footwear is comfortable enough. If possible, go for a moldable midsole as it means that it can conform to your feet.


Remember that Spartan Race comes with obstacles and challenges that involve a lot of running and movements. Some obstacles even require you to carry things, so it’s a must for your best shoes for Spartan Race Sprint to be light to begin with.

Your choice should be lightweight to prevent your legs and feet from feeling tired when doing certain movements.

Grip and fit

Of course, you need a shoe, which fits you perfectly; otherwise, you’ll be uncomfortable during the race. It should also have more than enough grip and support. With the right grip and support, it’s easy for you to keep yourself on track.

Outsole build

The outsole is a vital part in the best shoes for Spartan Beast. If you want to deal with challenging trail routes, then you also need a footwear with a more aggressive outsole as such ensures that there will be enough traction for extremely challenging outdoor terrains.

Waterproofing quality

The shoe should be waterproof, too. Note that you will be dealing with a lot of mud, water and other terrains with too much moisture. It would be uncomfortable to wear a shoe that does not dry fast in such challenging races.

Aside from the factors above, it would also be best if you look for a footwear, which comes with a flexible construction, proper drainage ports and rock guards. All these can make handling the challenges in a Spartan Race easier.

Final Words

Finding the best shoes for Spartan Race should be given a lot of careful thought. Avoid picking just any shoe introduced to you without studying its features. Know whether it will work for you and the race you plan to try, so your choice will surely be perfect for it.

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