We looked high and low for the best goods to get you over your next obstacle this spring! Check out some of our favorite tested and approved gear for serious OCR athletes.
2XU Elite MCS Compression Tights
Climbing under, over and through obstacles can be taxing on your body and your gear. We look for race day apparel that provides the muscle support we need and can withstand some OCR rough and tumble action. There’s some awesome compression apparel out there for athletes — we’ve tried it all — and our testers particularly love these men’s and women’s compression tights from 2XU. The MCS Compression Tights offer athlete-proven power and protection against muscle trauma and the elements when you’re crawling and climbing in your next event. Additionally, the graduated compression provides impressive recovery benefits post exercise. Front panels have PWX FLEX (70D) focused on the quads, and rear panels have PWX WEIGHT (105D) focused to the hamstrings and calves. ($119)
Merrell All Out Crush
Merrell likes to say there are enough epic obstacles during an OCR; your footwear shouldn’t be one of them. With the tried-and-true, All Out Crush, a mesh, TPU, and synthetic waterproof upper helps lock the foot in place. This versatile, self-draining trail runner is built to get you across the finish line and still clean up for your next adventure. When they are clean, they look awesome to boot. Weight: 8oz per 1/2 pair. ($100)
Zamst Bracing Products
What do 2016 Super Bowl MVP Von Miller, renowned high-alpine mountaineer Melissa Arnot, and NBA All-Star Isaiah Thomas have in common? They all rely on Zamst braces to stay healthy and perform at the top of their games. We’ve used Zamst knee braces for years, each engineered to combat specific injuries, and they’ve kept us on the trail, bike, and road many times over. Check out the Filmista ($39.99) for lightweight ankle protection and the JK-Knee Band ($17.99) for knee stabilization.
XX2i Australia1 Sunglasses
The Australia1 is XX2i’s only performance sunglass featuring interchangeable temple arms-strap system for intense athletic activities. The sunglasses also incorporates a removable padded insert for extra protection against the elements, and a unique wraparound style for enhanced peripheral vision, ideal for OCR. The Australia1 is available in Matte Black, Matte Tortoise, and White & Black and comes standard with polarized lenses that employ 4K optical technology for the utmost frame durability and lens clarity. All XX2i shades come with a 365-day money back guarantee and a lifetime warranty for frame and lens. ($125)
New for Spring 2017, the ultra-minimalist FiveFingers V-Train is out for both men and women in a variety of colors and is unique for training, barefoot-style running, yoga, and gym work. The V-Train is the perfect training shoe for use in and out of the gym, developing every foot muscle. OCR fans take note, Special Rope Traction Lugs in the arches are for rope climbing! ($115)
Reebok Spartan Stealth LS Training Shirt
Reebok engineered this lightweight Spartan Stealth long sleeve training shirt with a unique compression weave for muscle support during wall climbs and arm work, as well as for faster recovery. The breathable fabric moves sweat away from the body and dries quickly after a romp through the mud. Antimicrobial fabric adds a barrier between your skin and bacteria, always handy for OCR days. Available for men and women. ($70)
Farm to Feet Socks
Farm to Feet makes 100-percent American socks using a recipe of U.S. materials, U.S. workers, and U.S. factories. In their sustainability driven, state-of-the-art facility, they have a range of advanced knitting machines which allows them to use the perfect machine to create the perfect sock for its intended use. For its latest sports sock, the Raleigh, designed for running and other aerobic activities, they knit with ultra soft 19.5 micron wool on a 200-needle machine. Using their 3D Active Knit Technology, they created complex multi-dimensional patterns to enhance wool’s inherent ability to manage moisture and heat buildup while maximizing comfort and durability. It’s a great mix of targeted cushioning and targeted ventilation in a lightweight wool sock. Check out the crew length version of the Raleigh ($21), or the Blue Ridge Compression ($38). Blue Ridge Compression features graduated compression for increased blood flow and reduced muscle fatigue.
Rudy Project Duffel Pro 56
The Duffel Pro 56 takes your gym bag up several notches and will make your Type A tri- friends jealous. This stylish bag is lightweight and extremely durable. It has several features including a ventilated shoe compartment, custom built for multi-sport athletes. With 180 degrees of main storage access, this technically cool duffel also features an interior zippered mesh compartment, reinforced side handles, and an adjustable and detachable shoulder strap. An easy-access top pocket makes grabbing and storing your keys, phone and other vital personal items a cinch. ($149.99)
Suunto Spartan Sport Wrist HR
Suunto’s first wrist-based HR GPS watch, the Spartan Sport Wrist HR, features best-in-class Valencell biometric analysis for accurate optical heart rate in a light, durable, user-friendly package. The outdoor-grade color touchscreen provides perfect contrast in all light conditions and durability out on the course. Eighty pre-built sport modes come standard, with customizable screens providing unlimited options for in-activity views. On-screen navigation use activity-specific heat maps from Suunto Movescount aids in route discovery around the world. ($499)
–Author Aaron Bible is a lifelong outdoorsman, writer, photographer, gear tester and multi-sport athlete. He lives at 9,000 feet in Nederland, Colorado, with his growing family. Follow them at @team_bible_travels.