Best OCR Shorts for Men (Spartan, Tough Mudder, and Mud Runs)

Obstacle Course Races (OCR) like Spartan and Tough Mudder are fun, challenging, exhausting, and messy. You need gear that will help you succeed and not hold you back. In fact, here are some areas to consider when choosing the right shorts for OCR:

  • DURABILITY. Can these shorts endure mud, water, harsh terrain, and obstacles without tearing?
  • MOISTURE. Will moisture from sweat and water from obstacles vent and/or wick away, or will I have to carry it with me... slowing down my race? 
  • MOVEMENT. Do these shorts move with my body enhancing my performance or against me hindering my mobility?
  • FIT. Can I trust the shorts to stay on and comfortable throughout the race, or will I have to keep adjusting them? 
  • COMFORT. Is the overall feel of these shorts enjoyable or a distraction?
  • LOOK. Do I like how the shorts look on me? Do they make me look like the bad--s that I know I am?  

Of course, there are other considerations including price and practical design (pockets) that help certain shorts rise to the top.


Our three favorite men's shorts for obstacle course racing include a comfortable loose fit, a bold compression short, and a hybrid of the two.

Best Men's Shorts for Obstacle Course Racing

MudGear Men's Freestyle ShortsMudGear Men’s Freestyle Shorts

Built strong to handle your toughest outdoor training and racing, MudGear Men’s Freestyle Shorts allow men to keep private matters… private. It’s unhindered performance without the revealing restriction of compression race shorts. Freestyle sports a 7” inseam and a strong drawstring closure to keep your shorts in place. The quick dry fabric is smooth and sturdy while maintaining 4-way stretch for mobility. The breathable mesh liner provides comfortable but firm support, or cut it out for more flexibility to wear longer base layers.  If you're looking for tighter and lighter performance, check out our MudGear’s Elite-Fit Compression Shorts (sold separately). Side pockets are netted so not to hold water and the zipper back pocket securely stores essentials.

2XU Men’s MCS Run Compression Shorts2XU Men’s MCS Run Compression Shorts

Among the toughest compression shorts to ever hit the muddy obstacle course, 2XU Men’s MCS Run Compression Shorts were designed for athletes who enjoy high intensity training and competition. MCS (Muscle-Containment-Stamping) applies targeted compression to sport-specific muscle groups to increase stability and reduce muscle fatigue. The form-fitting tights provide an impressive combination of powerful compression, lightweight feel, and maximum flexibility. Other highlights include convenient pockets, moisture-wicking technology to keep you dry, and flatlock seams for chafe-prevention.

Spartan By Craft Essential Men's 2-in-1 ShortSpartan By Craft Essential Men's 2-in-1 Short

These shorts offer a stylish solution for men who enjoy the feel and performance of compression shorts but demand a little more modesty. Spartan by Craft Essential Men's 2-in-1 Shorts consists of a tight underlayer for protection covered by a lightweight, soft woven fabric outer layer with mechanical stretch. The tights don’t offer quite as much compression as the 2XU, but they sport an ergonomic fit for optimal freedom of movement while keeping everything in place. Neither layer holds much water by themselves but both layers together will carry a little water weight. Overall, the shorts feel good and deliver a solid performance.   

Are you preparing for a Spartan, Tough Mudder, or other obstacle course race? Choose gear that helps you deliver on all of your hard work. Learn more about MudGear Men's Freestyle Shorts (Amazon).

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