If you are like me, I am always looking at the new apparel that is available to us OCR racers, and am always looking for a great product that will give me comfort but still provide me with the durability I need to get through my races. Well I had the privilege of giving some new gear from the company MudGear a test drive, and have a new favorite in my list of necessary items for race day.
I was able to give the MudGear Short Sleeve Fitted Race Jersey, the 1/4 Crew Trail socks and the Knee High Compression Socks a comprehensive wear test with the Spartan Race training I had going on to prepare for the PA Sprint. And let me tell you I was never more impressed with OCR gear as much as I am with this new company. Let me give you a rundown:
MudGear Fitted Race Jersey Short Sleeve – The shirt is a necessity for those who want the perfect combination of quick drying and light weight in their racing jersey. The weight alone of the jersey was a great surprise, with the feel more of a soft lightweight racing singlet than and fitted shirt. The fabric was so comfortable every time I wore the jersey I was hoping my other racing jerseys would feel as comfortable.
It also gave a fitted feel without having the unnecessary compression feel in the hot summer months. I wore the jersey in the Spartan Race Sprint in Pennsylvania and had no water retention issues, but still had full protection from rocks, wire and the rest of the OCR torture Spartan usually throws at you. The jersey was never weighed down with moisture (from the water obstacles nor the heavy sweat I was producing) and was a skin saver on my crawls and climbs.
I had no scratches anywhere on my torso, so the fabric did everything it needed to do for my racing performance. The jersey also cleans up very easily and holds no stains or residue from racing which is an absolute must for me. I am going to be making this my go-to jersey for any of my rougher obstacle races to keep my body protected and cool.
MudGear ¼ Crew Trail Socks – I am not a racer that normally is very picky about socks, with the only rule I insist on is that my socks are not cotton only. But after wearing these very specifically designed socks, I think I am going to be much more detailed in my sock choices for racing in the future.
The padding and drainage in the footbed is outstanding, and the socks have just enough spandex support that they do not slip at all when dry or wet. The idea of a higher ankle collar is a smart choice for OCR racers, and pairing that with ventilation and strong seams throughout the socks provided me with the best road and trail feel I have had in a pair of racing socks. The socks did not slip or move during training, nor during racing.
They provided the highest level of comfort I have experienced in a running sock. They never felt weighed down with water and did not ever have the feel of a wet sock, but actually kept a softer feel the whole time my feet were around or under water.
MudGear Knee High Compression Socks – I normally wear the regular high compression calf sleeves while racing/training, so trying a full sock took a bit of getting used to, but once I did I couldn’t have been happier. The compression on the socks was just the right amount I needed for getting through the races I was able to wear them in, and they performed as well as the ¼ crew socks with the exact same feel and performance in training as well.
These compression socks were a treat to wear due to the soft fabric, the right amount of spandex for support, as well as the necessary compression needed for the rough terrain. They also provided excellent upper arch support, with firm support overall for all areas of the foot. But the main feature I loved on the compression socks was the extra layer of padding in the back side of the socks to protect your legs from possible ‘rope burn’ or ‘pole rub’ while doing your various obstacles in the OCR races. This is a fantastic feature and could really benefit racers that use their legs for their main support on the rope traverse, or while sliding down those long poles that may have some rough areas.
The design of these compression socks was a well thought out process, and the finished product couldn’t display this any better.
After training and racing in the MudGear apparel, it is going to be tough to go with any other products that will match their quality and performance I experienced in the testing period. I have been running for 30 years and this is the first time I have just been knocked off my feet with an apparel line that performed from the first wear to the last. I cannot recommend the MudGear Apparel line enough for any OCR racer out there that needs comfortable but tough apparel to race and train in.
See you next time and remember to race safe and smart!!