How To Dress For A Mud Run With Minimal Yuck



Don't get me wrong. I'm a fashion loving girly-girl who lives for long showers. But every once in a while, I like to work out in the mud. If you've ever considered doing a mud run, check out my fitness fashion tips for getting dirty in ultimate comfort and style. Because it is possible to combat crawl through a muddy trench with a Mr. Clean smile and a wink of confidence. It's a dirty catwalk, girls. But I know you can work it!



merrell mud run new york

This is how I spent my Sunday morning. And I must say, I loved every minute of it. Part of me is even still laughing because it's silly to think I ran a 5K covered in mud. And that was the fun part! If you're looking to do a mud run yourself, I highly recommend the Down & Dirty Merrell Mud Run Series. For your 1st mud run, start with a 5K and do the 10K next time. The amount of mud that you run and crawl through is a lot more than you think. And because of the slip & slide effect it has on your footing, you might want to feel out a shorter race before committing to a longer one. Some people just aren't into running in the mud or sand...and you should expect to do both. You'll even run through waist deep ocean or river water. Other popular mud runs are Tough Mudder and Camp Pendleton's World Famous Mud Run. But let me get to the point here. Just like any other race, you've got to dress for success. So let's get started!



(to minimize the yuck and maximize the fun)

merrell mud run new york clothes


  • Use a strong ponytail holder and no-slip headband to secure your hair because once your hands get muddy, you won't be able to fix your hair without getting stuck to it. My go-to ponytail holders are No-slip Grip Jelly Ponytailers by Scunci. They're the best I've found and I have long/thick/heavy hair so that's saying a lot.
  • Wear lightweight fitted performance apparel with moisture-wicking. Nothing loose or flowy! For my race, I wore my NUX USA Dash Union Cami. But I also highly recommend Nux's Dash Short Sleeve Tee and the Dash Long Sleeve Tee for cold weather mud runs. You'll love how they feel on and the fabric has teeny tiny perforations for ventilation (that the mud can't get through).
  • Cotton is a big NO NO! It will soak up the water and mud you trudge though and weigh you down.
  • Avoid shirts with exposed pockets. Yes, the mud will find it's way into them and a pocket full of mud will not buy you a better finish time.
  • Light colors are hard to wash out. And brown stains are hard to explain. Just don't go there. 


merrell mud run new york knee protection


  • Capris are the way to go when it comes to protecting your knees during obstacles that require you to climb and crawl. I was so happy that I chose to wear my MPG Sport Stance Capri Pants over shorts.
  • Sunglasses are pointless and goggles are plain silly. Just be careful if you wear contacts.

ultra terra plana shoe mud run trail water


  • Swamp shoes are a must! So, what are swamp shoes? They're running shoes that are made to weather all kinds of terrain and elements. They're part trail runner, part beach runner and part water moccasin. I call them swamp shoes because no amount of mud or water will damage them. My favorite swamp shoes are Terra Plana's Ultra Trail Run Shoes. They're an eco-friendly minimalist run shoe with a puncture resistant sole that felt amazing even during my test run on New York City streets (which are full of grit). The Ultras come with a sock-liner that's removable and because of their perforated Croc-like construction, water-mud-sand will find its way out just as easily as it found its way in. Draining the yucky stuff out will keep you from uncomfortably squishing all the way to the finish line. The Ultra colors are bold and feminine. You can't go wrong! After the race, just rinse them off. If you're not into the Ultra, I suggest wearing one of Zoot's triathlon shoes like the Ultra Kalani.
  • Tie your shoes with a quick-lace pulley system. They're called Yankz and they come in all kinds of fun colors. You won't have to worry about your shoes coming untied or soggy shoelaces. Plus, if you need to tighten your shoes, you can easily do it with a 1-handed tug.
  • Ditch the socks. Especially if you're wearing swamp shoes. Socks will absorb moisture and heighten discomfort. Just make sure to cover your feet in Vaseline or Glide to keep your them from chafing.
  • When it comes to your sports bra, wear one that doesn't have a low V-neck, but rather one that presses up against your chest (without any kind of gap). This way you'll get muddy outside of your bra and keep your cleavage clean.

RumbaTime Scottish watch Nathan run belts


  • I normally like to accessorize but mud runs don't lend themselves to cute accessories. I'd stick to functional accessories like wrist pockets or belt pockets. Go for nylon with a zipper closure. I'm a fan of the Nathan Shadow Runners Pack (shown above). PLEASE avoid leg warmers at all costs. Wearing them is like the stupidest thing you could do.
  • For keeping track of time, RumbaTime's everything-resistant watches are easy, cheap and stylish. I'm blowing bagpipes over their NEW Scottish Vandam Watch (shown above). It will keep you from messing up your super expensive fitness watch.
  • Wear I even have to explain why?
  • If you run the Down & Dirty race, the course will take you into a nearby ocean or river, which you'll have to run or quickly wade through. This was my favorite part because I took a few seconds to wash off some mud and cool down in the water. But my point is: if you have performance apparel that doubles as swimwear, you might want to consider wearing it. Especially if it dries fast and has a thick liner to keep your boobies from pointing the way. There are race course markers for that. But maybe you're the helper type, and if so, that's mighty kind of you...err, I mean that's mighty kind of THEM!




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