Whether you’re tackling your first OCR or a new season of Trifectas, the shoes you choose are critical to your race outcome. Fact: They’re probably your most important piece of gear.
With Spartan’s unforgiving terrain and tough-to-beat obstacles, you need lightweight kicks with aggressive tread for solid traction in slippery conditions. Also on the wish list: a grippy upper to help race obstacles more efficiently. Consider cotton your enemy — after miles running on wet earth, every ounce counts.
But while OCR racing has quickly evolved over the last decade — from one race with 700 participants in 2010 to more than 250 events across 40 countries — the OCR apparel and footwear market has not. Until now.
In 2019, Spartan and CRAFT — a Swedish company and global leader in high-performance gear — partnered to launch the first-ever OCR-specific shoe: the Spartan RD Pro by Craft. Designed by OCR racers, for OCR racers, they’re built to function light years ahead of regular trail runners in movement, thermoregulation, and durability. So they’ll not only help you get through the race, they’ll help you crush it. One of our favorite parts of this OCR shoe: these puppies operate like drain pipes on a house! The high-design drainage ports allow the shoe to drain fast. With each step, the pressure of your foot on the sole pushes liquid out of these built-in spouts — just like water out of a hose.
The Spartan RD Pro by Craft has been used, abused, and refined to meet the harshest weather conditions and toughest obstacles without fail. Our fearless founder, Joe De Sena, torture-tested them. Not only did he drive over the shoe at 50 miles per hour in his jeep, he also raced in them after soaking them in salt water for 24 hours and crushing them with an industrial excavator. (Note: the average excavator weighs well over 8,000 pounds and a small one is 2,000!) Signs of wear and tear? Barely a scratch. We aren’t sure how the excavator fared though.
Get the 411 on this first-of-its-kind footwear, available in men’s and women’s sizes, exclusively on Spartan.com and at Spartan races.
1. The Spartan RD Pro by Craft Has High-Tech Drainage
OK, the point of racing a Spartan is to be uncomfortable. But with the right footwear choice, you don’t have to be any more uncomfortable by carrying unnecessary ounces of water and mud with you. (The burpees and obstacles are challenge enough, right?) To beat water obstacles and transition to new terrain, we engineered and added Hydrain technology, a high-tech venting system that evacuates water quickly and efficiently so you can race on without waterlog-free.
2. State-of-the-Art, All-Terrain Traction
In addition to navigating unpredictable, often rocky or wet terrain, you need aggressive traction to support and propel you over obstacles. OCR isn’t only trail running, and just as you trust your training, so should you trust your footwear. The OBSTA-Tech outsole system is the world’s first comprehensive approach to traction. Lugs support you across unstable terrain, while the X-shaped design on the forefoot and upper ensures optimum grip as you change angles and tactics on obstacles.
3. OCR-Ready Responsive Cushioning
While these aren’t superhero-grade kicks (those are still in R&D), they come pretty close. The RD Pro’s ACR foam technology, AKA Active Response™ cushioning, absorbs shock during heel impact to protect your legs and help prevent injury. The foam also rebounds energy through the toe box, giving you a little more pep with each step. Stride out in confidence knowing the speed lace closure system (easy-on, but totally secure) will stay put on the course.
4. Insane Inner-Outer Durability
Not just any pair of shoes can make it through an OCR. And with Spartan’s rising popularity and advanced obstacle engineering, courses are getting more and more intense. The quick-dry nylon upper on the RD Pro is breathable and easy to clean, and the OBSTA-Tech outsole system gives you midfoot flexibility, with reinforcements at the toe box and cross-sole to prevent rupture.
GEAR UP FOR A BONUS: Because Spartan can stand behind the shoe’s epic durability, there is a one-year warranty proving this kick can outlast any industry competitor.