Short Distance Obstacle and Trail Race Essentials

UPDATED 31/03/2023

With so many choices, options, brands and styles available to get you at the start line, through your race and help you recover, how do you choose?

We recently set up the mobile run shop at True Grit Brisbane obstacle course race and equipped many racers on the day with gear to kit them before, during and after their race.

To make it easy for you, we interviewed many racers over the weekend and reviewed all orders to provide you with your TRAIL AND OCR SHORT COURSE ESSENTIALS.

Below is a curated selection of the most popular products purchased by our customers for short to mid course trail and obstacle course racing.

The list is by no means exhaustive as people can be very particular with their choices. Factors such as the climate, how long you will be on course and the type of course all influence someones gear they need to run or race. If you have the questions on gear, we have the answers! Hit us up for advice on gear, running and racing.

1. Saucony Peregrine 13 - Mens and Womens

Saucony Peregrine 12

The Saucony Peregrines are well known for their superior performance over short course trail runs. However with their amazing PWRTRAC outsole offering phenomenal grip, these shoes have made their mark on the muddy race scene.

They are lightweight and handle water and mud very well.

We've got funky new colours in store that are sure to grab your attention, check em' out.

2. VJ Sport XTRM2 and Altra Lone Peak 7


No doubt a crowd favourite and made their mark exceptionally well on the OCR circuit. Most elite racers are running VJ Sport shoes in one capacity or another. They are known for their speed, grip and durability as shoes on OCR races traditionally are put through very harsh conditions. These shoes definitely should be in your OCR rotation.

However let's not discount them on trail only events and runs. The grip on these shoes is seriously outstanding. If you're up against gnarly hills on your next training run or race or technical single tracks, The new VJ XTRM are a shoe that won't disappoint.

The Altra Lone Peak 7 is Altras lead off road shoe in their line up. Now equipped with a seamless, stitch-less upper that’s lightweight and durable. It has an upgraded MaxTrac™ outsole offering stickiness and grip underfoot while an Altra EGO™ midsole helps achieve the perfect combination of responsiveness and comfort. Let your feet move naturally through nature with Original FootShape™ Fit. This legendary trail and mud runner is calling for some rugged OCR adventures. Will you answer the call?

3. Injinji Crew Length Toe Socks

Injinji toe socks crew length

Made from 100% wool, if you haven't tried a toe sock you don't know what you're missing. There is always reluctance from a buyer if they've never tried toe socks before and we agree: they do feel a little wierd when you first put them on. But once you slide your foot into your shoe, lace up and start running you'll wonder how you ever did without. 

Once you go toe sock, you'll never go back! We recommend the crew length toe sock which protects the lower part of your leg from rope and cargo burns.

4. Raidlight 4 Pocket Stretch Belt OR Ultimate Direction Ultra Belt 6.0

Raidlight 4 pocket stretch belt

Looking for a super comfy minimalist pack for your short course? The Raidlight 4 Pocket Stretch Belt is sooo comfy! It has multiple easy access pockets around the belt and a zippable front pouch to secure valuables and phone. There's room for gels, keys, first aid kit and also small flexible water bottles. A very popular choice by short to mid course racers. We use these belts ourselves at Run Vault and highly recommend!

For something with a little more room, the ultimate direction ultra belt 6.0 is a great option. The Ultra Belt does it all in a minimal package with a comfortable adjustable waist strap that stays in place with little bounce.

5. Nathan 4L  and Raidlight 6L Running Packs

Nathan 4L running vest
Raidlight 6L running vest

The 4 and 6 litre options form Nathan and Raidlight are a very popular choice for short to mid distance runs and races. They are built for performance and host an array of features including adjustable straps, zippable water resistant pockets and the capacity to carry a lot of fluid, food, gels and spare running gear. 

Running packs are a popular option if you will be out on course for a longer time so you have your necessities on hand when needed.

These size packs are a great choice for any time up to around a few hours.

6. Body Glide Anti Chafe Rub

Body Glide Anti Chafe Rub's the worst! Body Glide for him and her are popular choices for muddy, gritty and dusty races. Unfortunately for most of the sales we do at events, it's AFTER people have run! Too late! Be sure to liberally apply your body glide anti chafe rub before you suit up for your race. 

7. Edge Electrolytes Hydration

Edge Electolytes

Cramps come on when we least expect them. The Edge Electrolytes range are a pure ocean source of magnesium and other essential minerals providing you with all the electrolytes you need to stay hydrated and keep your muscles moving. It's a product and hydration source the Run Vault team swears by.

8. Clif Bars

Clif Bar

Compact, packed with flavour and 300 calories, these vegan bars are perfect for a pre, mid or post run snack. They are easy to digest with a large selection of flavours available. Get your white choc macadamia chocolate fix without the guilts!

9. Huma Gels

Huma Gels

We have the hardest time keeping our shelves filled with these amazingly tasty gels. They are so easy to digest and taste very natural. Each gel is approximately 100 calories, some of them have added caffeine to give you that powerful instant boost needed to bring home the bacon at the chequered flag. 

All natural gels, easy on the stomach.

10. Trail Gaiters

Trail Gaiters

Protect your feet with the Altra Trail Gaiter. The strapless design works on any trail shoe but is perfect when paired up with an Altra GaiterTrap equipped shoe.

It's a very frustrating and painful experience when stone and debris find their way into your shoe, then an inconvenience having to stop mid run to remove your shoe and shake out the free loaders. 

Gaiters are a great option to reduce the chance of debris finding its way in.

11. Ultimate Direction Handheld Clutch

Ultimate Direction Handheld Clutch 5.0

Ideal for the trail or ocr athlete that wants the bare essentials in hand (pardon the pun) intended. A great option to sip your fluids on the go and stash a gel or two for your nitrous boost. 

You're still able to grip and swing at your pleasure on obstacles with it in hand. One option we find works well is strapping the clutch around your wrist while in an obstacle frenzy. 


These options should keep you outta trouble for your next trail or ocr. We are restocking often so if you don't see your size or colour preference or product available, get in touch and we'll do our best to help! 

See you at the next one!



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