When it comes to running or hiking on muddy trails, choosing the right pair of shoes is of utmost importance. Muddy trail shoes are specifically designed to provide the necessary traction and stability that regular running shoes lack. Here’s why selecting the right trail shoes for mud running is crucial.
If you are looking for a mud slayer to help you make easier work of muddy conditions, below are our top picks of muddy trail shoes.
In this article, we discuss:
- The features of a good mud trail shoe
- Reasons to choose trail shoes for mud
- Our top muddy trail shoe picks
- Tips for running in the mud
If you are still reading, and haven’t decided that muddy trail running is not for you, then that’s a good start. If you’re more than a fair weather trail runner and like to hit the trails all year round then you are going to want to invest in a pair of trail shoes that are designed to cope with muddy conditions. Before you scroll down to get to the good stuff, let’s take a quick look at what you are going to need from such a pair of shoes.
The Features of a Good Mud Slaying Trail Shoe
Deep, wide lugs
Trail shoes have lugs on the outsole (bottom of the shoe) that are designed to grip the trails. For light trails that are hard and compact, shallow lugs that are close together are fine. However, for mud, you need to look for deeper lugs that are more widely spaced. This is so that the shoe can provide grip and also evacuate the mud when you lift your foot out. Note, these type of lugs don’t do too well on wet slippy rocks so you need to consider this when running.
Your trail shoes have to contend with all sorts of terrain when on the trails and will face abrasions, mud, trenches, and more. They will also get wet – a lot.
Consider waterproof trail shoes
Where there is mud there is usually water so you may want to consider a pair of waterproof trail running shoes for the muddy season, While they are very good at keeping the water out, they do make your feet hot as they are less breathable. A welcome feature in winter.
Stopping to do up your laces when they are covered in mud is not pleasant. If you are going out for a run you will need tough laces that don’t have a habit of coming loose. You are also wise to double knot and tuck the laces away so that they get less muddy.
Running on mud offers a natural cushioned surface so you won’t have to worry so much about choosing a cushioned pair of trail shoes when running muddy trails.
Why Choose Trail Shoes for Mud
Firstly, muddy trails pose unique challenges that can lead to slips and falls. Without proper grip, you risk injuring yourself or losing your footing. Muddy trail shoes have aggressive lug patterns on the outsoles, providing excellent traction on slippery surfaces. This feature allows you to confidently navigate through the muddiest terrains without worrying about losing your balance.
Secondly, mud can quickly accumulate in the shoe’s outsole and upper, making them heavy and uncomfortable to wear. Muddy trail shoes are equipped with specialized drainage systems that help to shed excess water and mud, keeping your feet light and comfortable throughout your run or hike. This not only enhances your performance but also prevents blisters and foot fatigue.
Lastly, muddy trail shoes are built to withstand the harsh conditions of muddy terrains. They are often made from durable and water-resistant materials, protecting your feet from getting wet or damaged. This durability ensures that your shoes can withstand the challenging demands of mud running, providing you with long-lasting performance.
Our Top Muddy Trail Shoe Picks
Made from recycled material, the Salomon Supercross offer deep lugs and grooves that allow for effective mud evacuation. Mud Contagrip® outsole provides maximum grip on unpaved, rough, and muddy surfaces.
Its tire-like outsole acts in fusion with the toughened, waterproof upper and Sensifit construction for superior hold, fit and undeniable comfort.
Also available in a waterproof Gore-Tex.
With 4-8 mm high spikes on the sole, the Inov8 X-Talon maintains reliable contact and stability even in muddy terrain. It’s durable upper is resistant to abrasion, and trenches, and prevents the ingress of dirt.
This shoe is great for fast trail races or a light long run with a version to suit all.
With 3 different versions – the Ultra 260 is best for long-distance soft and muddy trail runs, the G 210 is a super-lightweight shoe for shorter, faster races while the 255 is a lightweight shoe for soft and muddy trails.
Now on my 3rd pair of these shoes, this is our go-to for mud running. It is all about personal preference when it comes to running shoes but this is a great mud trail shoe – it’s all in the name right? It grips to the soft mud and with deep lugs, clears it away when you lift your foot. It’s also a comfortable ride and has seen me well through many longer runs. Coping really well with mud, it also deals well with other surfaces – not so great on slippy rocks when just out of the box but, when the surface has seen a little wear, this soon improves.
With a tough upper, this shoe is tough enough to deal with whatever you throw at it. In fact, it is one of the few pairs of trail shoes we have had that hasn’t split within a few hundred miles. These shoes just seem to go on and on while providing a comfortable ride.
This latest version of Salomon’s popular trail running shoe is specifically designed to tackle muddy terrain with ease. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or just starting out on the trails, the Salomon Speedcross 6 will unleash your inner runner and have you conquering even the muddiest of paths. Keep reading to find out more about this must-have shoe from Salomon.
The Salomon Speedcross 6 is specifically engineered to handle muddy terrains like a champ. With its unique design features, this trail running shoe is built to keep you steady and secure on slippery surfaces. The aggressive lug pattern on the outsole provides exceptional grip, while the water-resistant upper keeps your feet dry and comfortable. Additionally, the Quicklace system ensures a secure fit and easy on/off. The Speedcross 6 also features a protective toe cap and a cushioned midsole for added stability and support. These design elements make the Speedcross 6 a reliable companion for any trail runner looking to tackle muddy conditions.
The Saucony Peregrine 12 ST is a comfortable trail and mountain running shoe with lugs deep enough to grip mud and dispense with it.
It stands out from many other mud specifIc shoes because it has the ability to perform on all types of terrain making it a great all rounder.
With 6.5-mm lugs, it performs nearly well in terms of grip and mud-shedding, while being able to move quickly down the harder, dry tracks. Saucony’s PWRRUN cushioning is somewhat firm, but being 24 mm thick, it provides more comfort than many other mud shoes.
Tips for running in mud
- Shorten your stride – this helps you increase stability and engage the shoe tread
- Get the right trail shoes for mud – discover our top picks
- Wear the appropriate clothes – a waterproof jacket and clothes to keep you warm and dry
- Build up your calf muscles – it’s hard work running through mud, strengthening your calves will help
- Embrace it – if you try and go around it, invariably you will end up in it or worse, falling over – run through it and keep your flow
- Take a change of clothes and shoes – you don’t want to mess up your car!
- Safety first – beware of dangerous muddy tracks
- White socks and shoes? Forget it – it’s just upsetting
Don’t let the mud put you off. Embrace it and discover just how much fun running in less favourable conditions can be.