I’m sure there will be some discussions over which of these two events are the most difficult to complete but I shall leave that to the purists! The effect on the feet is the same for both and people who complete these events really struggle with blisters primarily due to the wet, muddy and gritty conditions. 

Footwear

has got to be the biggest issue here and secondly socks, as these events are relatively new the equipment hasn’t really been dedicated to this event yet, so essentially is has been borrowed from other sports! The shoes need to be light, supportive, one size bigger than your everyday shoes, good grips underneath and either be waterproof or at least water resistant. The water and mud has to drain off or through the shoe, quite a few of the shoes have a drain system incorporated. Reebok all terrain super or, Salomon speed cross 3 and Merrell all out crush are the three most popular Tough mudder event shoes at the moment but I’m sure will change as more dedicated event shoes are created. 

The socks

need to be as thin as possible so they are less likely to retain the water, and to still have wicking properties. Two socks or one? Yes if possible a liner will always absorb the friction created with the movement of the foot in the shoe. Drymax light and Injinji lightweight, no show and mini crew are the most suitable socks to wear for these event as they are thin and are of wicking material, Injinji have the toe socks which decrease the chance of blisters around and between the toes. Armaskin liner socks would work really well here as they stick to the skin but they have a life of approximately 260 miles in normal conditions.

Blister prevention

taping is only successful in these events if applied correctly because of the water saturation in the shoes, KT Pro would be more suitable with skin Tac applied to the skin first. Apply at least one hour ahead of the start of the race.

Engo patches

Engo patches can be applies to the hotspot causing areas on the shoe but they may only last the event rather than the recommended 300 miles due to the wet conditions. They must be applied to a dry shoe. This may be a trade-off that is acceptable to complete the event.

Gaiters

are a great choice for a Tough Mudder event the last thing you need in your shoe or down your sock is mud and stones, they both bring their problems in that the mud will become heavy in the shoe and every step will get harder and harder, stones and debris will abrade against the skin causing friction and eventually blisters. So for me a gaiter is an essential piece of kit, the small ankle ones, either like the Inov8 all-terrain gaiter which has a sock cuff around the ankle, stopping the mud and debris from getting into the socks and shoes.

Take some flip-flops or loose shoes to change into straight after finishing the event, so the feet and footwear can dry out.