Which Length of Socks Should I Choose?

So you’ve signed up for another, or maybe your first, Obstacle Course Racing (OCR) event.  As you get ready for race day, you are faced with a choice…which one of your MudGear socks are you going to wear on the course?  While style is always important (I mean come on…those race pictures are one of the driving reasons), length of sock is also important.  Here’s a quick guide to help you when picking your sock length for OCRs:

From MudGear’s shortest option to longest...

No Show Running Socks.  

The no show socks are MudGear’s lowest cut sock.  As the name implies, this is a better casual sock or sock to use for training runs.  With OCR, you are in a lot of dirt, mud and water and the very low sock is not as good at keeping dirt out of the inside of your sock as compared to the taller versions.  Great sock, but I would pass on using this one for races and stick with it for training. 

¼ Crew Socks

If you are running an OCR where there is no rope climbs, no Tyrolean traverse and the area is well groomed, this is a great option.  With minimal moisture wicking material, it wicks away water while staying as light as possible.  The high ankle also helps keep out dirt and rocks from the inside of your sock.  This is my go to for events like Rugged Maniac or other local OCRs that are less upper body intensive like Gladiator Assault Challenge. 

Ruck Socks

Although the name says “ruck sock,” it's not only for rucking.  I know several of my MudGear-Battle of the Lions teammates, actually prefer this over the tall compression socks.  The ruck socks fit a bit looser than the compression socks but still provide coverage for a good portion of the leg above the height of the ¼ crew.  This will provide some or all, depending on your technique, protection for things like rope climbs and Tyrolean traverses.  Ruck Socks will be suitable for most OCRs like Spartan Sprint, Tough Mudder or even Battle of the Lions.

Tall Compression Socks

This is the safest bet, most versatile and the one most selected by OCR athletes.  If you don’t know what the OCR you are running has in store or you know there is a lot of climbs and traverses, go with the tall compression sock.  It provides full lower leg protection with all the great attributes MudGear is known for.   After all, there’s a reason the official sock of OCR World Championships is a MudGear Tall Compression sock.  If you are running a long event like Spartan Ultra-Beast, Toughest Mudder or World’s Toughest Mudder, this is also your sock of choice while doing obstacles multiple times over the course of the event. This will also be your sock of choice for OCRs with a lot of ropes in them like Indian Mud Run or Conquer The Gauntlet. 

MudGear has a full line of sock products to help you get from couch to race day.  If you still can’t decide on a length, you can always buy a shorter version and carry a set of MudGear Calf Sleeves to the race for more options.  Arguably the most important piece of race kit you can buy is socks; because if your feet aren’t doing well, you won’t be able to run.  There’s a reason the Pros of the OCR world trust MudGear, the official sock of the OCR World Championships.  MudGear is #MadeTougher and will help you get from the start line to the finish regardless of how long or rough the race.  

Evan “Ultra-OCR Man” Perperis is a professional obstacle course racer for the MudGear-Battle of the Lions Pro Team.  With over 65 overall podiums and counting, he is best known for his annual ultra-endurance events that often last multiple days to raise money for the charity Folds of Honor.  You can read about these events and his military service in his biography “Ultra-OCR Man: From Special Forces Soldier to Record Setting Pro OCR Athlete” (available in hard copy, digital and audiobook).  A NSCA-CPT he also has an additional five books on training and preparing for Obstacle Course Racing. 

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