The 7 Best Shoes for Spartan Races of 2019

Conquer every obstacle in your path

Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here. We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.

First Look

Best for Women: Altra Women’s Lone Peak 4.0 at Amazon

"This shoe design mimics the shape of your foot."

Best for Men: Salomon Speedcross 4 Trail Running Shoe at Amazon

"The mudguard and GORE-TEX finish keep your feet dry and warm."

Best for Wet Conditions: Reebok All-Terrain Running Shoe at Amazon

"Features quick-drying material and drainage points in the forefoot."

Best Lightweight: Merrell Agility Synthesis Flex Sneaker at Amazon

"The trail-specific outsole provides that extra traction you need."

Best Style: Salming Trail Competition Trainers at Amazon

"These shoes allow your feet to air out on the move."

Best for Wide Feet: Inov-8 X-Talon 200 Unisex Sneaker at Amazon

"Have a wider fit in the toe box."

Best for Narrow Feet: Icebug Acceleritas4 RB9X-W at Amazon

"Promotes the natural movement of the foot."

Our Top Picks

Best for Women: Altra Women’s Lone Peak 4.0

Altra Women’s Lone Peak 4.0

Courtesy of Amazon

Altra’s overall philosophy is to create a shoe design that mimics that shape of your foot, meaning you get a wider toe box and room to push off each digit. The brand also has a women-specific, Fit4Her technology that makes them the perfect fit for any female athlete. A huge comfort bonus: the zero-drop cushioning means your heel doesn’t lie higher than your forefoot, so your stride feels more natural.

This particular shoe is also extra lightweight so you can move with speed on the course, but it's also super durable thanks to the lugs on the bottom that protect your feet and stop you from slipping through each step. 

Best for Men: Salomon Speedcross 4 Trail Running Shoe

You won’t have to worry about untied laces with these trail runners—just pull the strings as tight as you want them, and you’ll be set for the day. The lugs underfoot also make it stand out from the crowd in terms of traction—it’s designed to help you tackle soft ground, so your feet grip the surface. The mudguard and GORE-TEX finish keep your feet dry and warm in case you battle any water obstacles or extra-muddy conditions. 

Best for Wet Conditions: Reebok All Terrain Running Shoe

Built specifically for Spartan Races, these shoes cross of all the key elements you need in a course-crushing shoe, including their stand-out quick-drying material and drainage points in the forefoot. That means if you’re tackling water obstacles, you won’t get dragged down by a heavier shoe, because these allow the H2O to seep right out. Even better: they easily clean up afterward—all you have to do is spray them down.

In addition to handling wet conditions, the All Terrain shoes also have excellent tracking under your foot to keep you from sliding when running up hills or steps. 

Best Lightweight: Merrell Agility Synthesis Flex Sneaker

If you prefer a shoe that is lightweight yet still supportive, then this pair is for you. They won’t weigh you down while you try to pick up your pace, but you won’t slide around as your speed increases. The trail-specific outsole provides that extra traction you need on rough or slick terrain.

Best Style: Salming Men's OT Comp Trail Competition Trainers

If you're looking for a shoe that looks as top-notch as it performs, this is the pair to snag. They come in two striking color combos and are sure to make a statement out on the course. But this pair is so much more than just looks: Salming teamed up with Michelin to create powerful, durable soles to help you excel on whatever terrain the race throws your way.

The lugs are designed for maximum traction to keep you from sliding on slippery surfaces. At the arch of the shoe, the tread design helps boost your stability on even the toughest obstacles. An added bonus: The mesh in this self-cleaning shoe allows for your feet to air out while you're on the move.

Best for Wide Feet: Inov-8 X-Talon 200 Unisex Sneaker

If you are a forefoot striker or have wide feet, this is the shoe for you. The roomier fit in the toe box allows room for your toes to splay comfortably while running on rugged trails or navigating mud-filled water obstacles. The lacing system also allows for a customizable, secure fit.

Once you've cleared the water, you won't need to worry about sopping heavy shoes keeping you from heading to your next challenge: durable water repellant coated uppers help keep mud and water away, while breathable mesh linings allow your shoes to drain any that did sneak in while you run.

Best for Narrow Feet: Icebug Women's Acceleritas4 RB9X-W

If you like a funky-yet-minimal design with a narrower fit, check out these shoes from Icebug. The structure promotes the natural movement of the foot, and the outsole is designed to optimize grip on both hard and soft surfaces—a must for any obstacle race. The footbed glued to the insole provides excellent shock absorption for a more comfortable landing after you've hurdled that 8 ft wall. And don't worry about this pair weighing you down: they're incredibly lightweight.

Our Process

Our writers spent 3 hours researching the most popular shoes for Spartan Races on the market. Before making their final recommendations, they considered 50 different shoes overall, screened options from 10 different brands and manufacturers, read over 15 user reviews (both positive and negative), and tested 4 of the shoes themselves. All of this research adds up to recommendations you can trust.

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