At Spartan Races, you tend to see just about everything when it comes to what people are wearing. You’ll likely see the elite athletes either shirtless, or outfitted in some type of body-hugging performance bodysuit. Likewise, you’ll be able to pick out those first timers by their old sneakers and cotton t-shirts. The sweet spot for the rest of us lies somewhere in the middle. Below are our top nine Spartan Race clothing tips that will allow you to race comfortably and look good doing it!
1. Wear the right shoes
Choosing the right shoes for Spartan Race is probably the single most important thing you’ll do best the race begins. We have a great article on the best shoes to wear for Spartan Race to check out to see what would be the best pair for you. The wrong pair of shoes is probably the single most important thing you can control in terms of what to wear and what not to wear to a Spartan Race.
2. Avoid cotton
Remember this one. Write it on your forehead on race day if you have to, but be sure to avoid cotton ANYTHING during a Spartan Race. Cotton holds water, and whether that is sweat on a hot day, moisture from the mud, or anything in between, holding water in your clothes is a nightmare on the course.
3. Wear good socks
Like good shoes, you need to make sure your socks are comfortable and will dry quickly. It’s worth it to spend a few extra bucks on good performances socks that will protect your ankles from the collar of your shoes. You can either opt for ankle socks, or commit to the look and get some socks that will also protect your shins from any debris on the course. Our favorites are the Mudgear Compression Socks for both men and women.
4. Tight moisture wicking shirts
If you’re going to avoid cotton shirts, you’ll want something that will wick away water, and ideally, you’ll want it to fit tightly to your body so it doesn’t snag any barbed wire or catch on any other obstacles. Materials to target are tri-blends, polyester blends, anything Dri-FIT, or anything that is marketed as moisture wicking. If you’re not into going bare-chested, check out Reebok’s of active wear (including the official Spartan Race gear). Their women’s line of Workout Ready Poly Tank’s are some of the best and most affordable, and will be great for a summer Spartan Race.
5. Wear shorts or tights that will stay up
You will be crawling, rolling, jumping, burpee-ing, and dragging your body over hills and walls during a Spartan Race. The last thing you want is to have to worry about your shorts or pants falling down. Like the shirt, you’ll want pants or shorts that will hug your body so not to snag, and find something that will stay up without you having to adjust. Guys, we really like Under Armour’s 7” Run Woven shorts. They’re 100% polyester, lightweight, and will stay up without you having to adjust.
6. Gloves for both cold and heat
Not all Spartan Races are in the heat, and the best way to make sure your grip remains strong from start to finish is by wearing gloves. Even if it’s hot, gloves are a veteran play to protect your hands on rigs, ropes, and rocks when you’re climbing up and down rocky terrain. Make sure to look for some gloves that have a rubber grip and are made to wick away water.
7. No hats or jewelry
Should go without saying, but you SHOULD wear the Spartan Race headband that is provided. It looks cool and it ensures you get lots of cool photos after the race. Wearing a running watch that is waterproof is OK, but leave the necklaces, bracelets, and armbands at home.
8. Compression gear good for cramping
Compression gear is great for keeping blood flowing over specific areas, and increase oxygen to muscles. This will prevent cramping during and after a Spartan Race. If you’ve had issues during training of calves or thighs tightening up, it might be worth it to invest in a good pair of compression pants or shorts. We like racing in compression shorts and a compression t-shirt under my other t-shirt. CW-X is probably the best in the game, and have a full catalog of men’s and women’s lines for compression gear.
9. Bring change of clothes and trash bag
So as important as what you wear during the race is, you’ll want to make sure you bring a change of clothes for after the race as well. Spartan Race does a great job with bag checks, so you can tag a bag, leave it at the entrance, and change after the race. Make sure you bring a full change of clothes (sandals work great when it’s hot out), and bring a plastic bag to put all your wet and dirty clothes!
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