A lot of people have asked about the best shoe brand for OCR races. The truth is, what is best for some is no good for others. We’re also looking for different things depending on the type of race we’re entering. Some people want to have ten different OCR shoes for ten different OCR races, and others want to have one shoe they can use until it falls apart.
We wrote an article about the best Spartan Race shoes, and many of those shoes are still among the favorites for many athletes you’ll see on the courses. In this article, we ranked best shoe brand for OCR, ranked from five to one. This takes into account all of the features athletes are looking for in OCR shoes, from durability to comfort, and grip to drainage. We looked at the history of each brand and the quality over time vs. some shoes that have made a few good models, but don’t have much else to show in terms of staying power.
Top 5: Best Shoe Brand for OCR
5. Salming Running
We love Salming Running because they take when they do well with running shoes and apply it to their best OCR shoes. Comfort and traction are among the best in the industry. The durability also tested very highly. The Salming Elements 2 are great for races with a wide range of terrain. The studs aren’t too deep, so they can glide over hard surfaces, but there is enough catch to hold their own over loose gravel or muddy sections of the course.
Altra isn’t the most popular best shoe brand for OCR, in fact it’s probably lesser known than other brands that didn’t make this list like Brooks or Hoka. However, they have a solid history in trail running shoes and their treaded models like the King MT 2 are really fantastic options for men and women across all OCR events. Some have complained about drainage for wet races, but for the most part, these shoes will hold up over the course of a season or two, and look great on the course.
If VJ shoes had more of a history behind them, they might be our pick for best shoe brand for OCR. Since they only have a few options to choose from, they rank as our third best shoe for OCR races. With that said, they do make our overall favorite shoe: the VJ XTRM. Some aren’t a fan of the color scheme, but that might be the only thing you have to worry about when you strap these on and hit the course. You’ll likely see many of the top contenders in any race wearing these shoes, and for good reason — because they absolutely work.
Salomon shoes are a favorite of ours for their unique lacing system that promises not to come undone on the course no matter what gets thrown at them. Add to it the fact that most of their shoes are lightweight, durable, drain well, and have fantastic grip, and there are few reasons not to consider them for your next pair of OCR shoes. They have a nice array of options, too, for both men and women.
Whether you are male or female, and obstacle crusher or speedster, run mountain terrain or stick to flat tracks, there is bound to be an Inov-8 shoe that not only works for you, but is comfortable and will hold up over the course or many seasons. Inov-8 shoes look great, and have a long history of proven products so you know whether you find a pair on a discount rack or try their newest version, it’s is going to feel and perform great. Some specific shoes from other brands might have one or two pairs that match Inov-8 shoes, but none can say they are the best shoe brand for OCR like Inov-8.