Best Compression Socks for Spartan / Tough Mudder

Spartan and Tough Mudder are the most popular brands with the largest attended events within the sport of Obstacle Course Racing (OCR). Their races are fun but physically exhausting and, without the proper protection, can wreak havoc on your feet and legs. The Best Compression Socks for Spartan Race and Tough Mudder explains where and why MudGear ranks among the best in the industry.


While MudGear socks were the first to be made by and for obstacle course racers, a growing number of sock manufacturers are attempting to address the needs of this growing pastime. Similar to our list of Best Socks For Trail Running, this comparison focuses on comfort, fit, design, durability and overall value. However, due to the hazardous nature of Spartan, Tough Mudder, and similar obstacle course racing events, we’ve recognized protection as an additional preference in the perfect OCR sock. 

Comfort - Socks never make you faster, but an uncomfortable sock can certainly slow you down and distract you from the obstacles on which you should be focused.  

Fit - Beyond feeling comfortable, it’s important that socks actually fit your feet in a way that promotes confidence and will not become a distraction later in your run.

Design - Functional design includes using the right material in the right places to cushion pressure points, maintain stability (no slip), promote ventilation, and wick away sweat and other unwanted moisture.  

Durability - Spartan and Tough Mudder races will test the durability of your socks like nothing else. Socks designed by and for obstacle course racers should last through multiple races and many muddy miles of training. 

Protection - OCR Socks (especially compression socks) can provide surface-level protection to the legs against scrapes and scratches otherwise caused by natural and man-made obstacles.  

Value - They say, “You get what you pay for;” however, the best OCR socks confirm you got your money’s worth and more. 


Not all longs socks are compression socks, but all long socks worn for obstacle racing should be. Otherwise you won’t get very far before they’re bunched up at your ankles. Along with providing a secure fit, compression socks serve more important purposes in that they help maintain blood flow and reduce discomfort, cramping, shin splints and swelling that may otherwise develop over long, strenuous miles.



MudGear Tall Compression Socks


The first sock designed specifically for obstacle course racing, MudGear Tall Compression Socks are unapologetically over-engineered to conquer long trail runs and the most punishing OCR. The socks deliver 15-20 mmhg graduated compression to promote endurance while carefully placing drainage, ventilation, and added cushion for sustained comfort over endless miles. MudGear Tall Compression Socks provide a light but thorough layer of surface-level protection against harsh vegetation and rigid obstacles. Finally, MudGear durability is backed by a no-hassle, lifetime replacement guarantee.  

  • Superior moisture-wicking to keep feet dry
  • Most affordable compression on list



CEP Athletic Compression Run Socks

CEP is the performance brand offshoot of Medi which has innovated medical compression socks in Germany for over 60 years. CEP Athletic Compression Run Socks combine decades of knowledge and expertise in sports and medicine. The end result is a lightweight sock that delivers heavy compression. Available in a variety of colors, the socks are anatomically designed featuring high-performance yarn to provide ankle and arch stabilization, moisture management, and an asymmetrical toe box. Overall, CEP Athletic Compression Run Socks are tight but comfortable and breathe especially well.

  • Lightweight, breathable material
  • Available in variety of colors
    • Among the most expensive compression socks
    • Questionable durability for price




    2XU Compression Performance Run Socks


    Similar to CEP in feel and price, 2XU Compression Performance Run Socks deliver even stronger (tighter) compression while maintaining a light feel. The sizing is a bit tricky in that they seem to run long. However, once you find the right size, the graduated compression allows a very precise and supportive fit. The elasticity of the top rim is especially tight and may take some getting used to. Still, the socks prove to be great for post-race recovery. The thinness of 2XU Compression Run Socks feels remarkably like a second skin. Unfortunately, they don't provide the same protection against surface-level scrapes and friction as others.
    • Graduated compression for precision fit
    • Fairly durable for its thinness

    • Inconsistent sizing - usually long
    • Too tight for many (especially at top rim)




    Spartan / Craft Compression Knee Socks


    Socks are just one product line that has come out of Spartan’s partnership with Craft. The large Swedish company has specialized in all types of sports apparel (especially cycling) since the early '70s and have acquired an incredible team of designers. They certainly confirmed their talent with the introduction of Spartan / Craft Compression Knee Socks. While we’d like to see the socks more durable and with slightly stronger compression, the ergonomic left/right specific design and modern application of Spartan’s unmistakable branding earns major style points with any die-hard Spartan!

    • Very stylish/attractive
    • Non-slip fit

    • Less durable than expected
    • No replacement guarantee



    Rehband RX Compression Socks
    Rehband is among the most trusted brands of those specializing in athletic physical support. Though Rehband RX Compression Socks lack certain protective elements found in socks designed specifically for OCR, their availability in most sporting goods stores make them a convenient go-to for experimental obstacle course racers along with a myriad of other sports. Rehband’s graduated compression provides adequate ankle and foot arch support while the overall socks are quite comfortable for short races.
    • Comfortable compression level
    • Available everywhere 
    • Carries more moisture than desired
    • Less durable than “trail/OCR socks”

    Best Tall Compression Socks for OCR | Comparison Chart

    MudGear Strategic Design

    Common Thread 

    The very best trail running and obstacle course racing socks designate strategic patterns and material in specific locations to improve ventilation, prevent slippage, and add support to cushion runners' most vulnerable areas. While commodity cotton socks focus simply on covering your foot, professional trail running socks are designed for performance. Review the image, and note MudGear's strategic design for maximum performance.



    When it comes to comfort, durability, and functional design, MudGear consistently beats out the competition. However, let's be real. No matter how hard we try to eliminate bias and influence, these kinds of tests are never perfect. Every "Best of" list out there is an opinion that you shouldn't trust 100% until you try it out for yourself. So, are you read to try your next favorite trail sock?

    Click to learn more about 
    MudGear Tall Compression SocksMudGear 1/4 Crew Trail Socks, or MudGear No-Show Trail Socks.


    Affiliate Disclosure - receives compensation from affiliate partners for placing links to their products on our website. This sometimes influences our decision on what products we recommend and to which products we link.

    Leave a comment

    Please note, comments must be approved before they are published

    This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.