Spartan/Craft launch a new OCR shoe – Guarantees them for one year!

Spartan Craft RD OCR Shoe



When Spartan entered a long term deal with Reebok back in 2013, the industry was excited to have shoes designed specifically for obstacle racing. Sadly, the early models never lasted long, under even moderate conditions. Reebok tried several more times over the years, and yet never got it quite right.

In March of 2018, Spartan and CRAFT Sportswear entered a global partnership, naming Craft “official performance apparel and footwear” sponsor. The two companies began selling co-branded apparel almost right away and promised the OCR world a new shoe in 2019. Earlier this year, Altra made a Spartan branded King MT 1.5 model, which confused some in the community who have been waiting for the new Craft/Spartan creation.

Finally, this morning, Spartan and Craft announced  The “Spartan by Craft RD PRO OCR Running Shoe”. Here’s the kicker, they are GUARANTEEING them up to one year. We spoke with Spartan CEO Joe Desena yesterday. He has been doing intense tests (as only Joe can) with them and wanted to put his customers at ease since it went so poorly the last time around. Customers will have to pay to ship the shoes both ways, and there is some other fine print, but the guarantee covers the following conditions:

“If: [1) the sole has split or is removed from the upper, 2) the outsole is worn through into the midsole, 3) the stitching has failed, resulting in a split or torn seam, 4) the upper is damaged, forming a hole, or 5) the eyelets are detached from the upper.

This covers most of the places that the Reebok shoes failed in so many times. I am very curious to see how these shoes hold up. The first things that jump out at me (without holding them) is that certain racers hate speed lacing (I happen to love it). Second, At 295 g (10.4 ounces), they are heavier than several current well-loved OCR shoe brands like the aforementioned King MT, the VJ XTRM, and Hoka Evo Jawz.

Here is an interview with Mike Lunardelli, the VP of Merchandise over at Spartan Race recorded this afternoon.

Spartan Craft Pro OCR Shoe

Here is the official press release :

Today, Spartan and CRAFT are announced an OCR footwear line to address the needs of the sport’s athletes. Designed in partnership with Spartan’s athletes and CRAFT Sportswear’s team of designers engineered and tested the Spartan RD Pro by CRAFT to ensure it stands up to the rigors of the world’s largest obstacle course race brand.

The Spartan RD Pro by CRAFT focuses on what every OCR athlete needs out on the course:

  • Superior Drainage – CRAFT has engineered Hydrain ™ technology to quickly and effectively evacuate water from the inside of the shoe.
  • Total Grip -The OBSTA-Tech ™ outsole system was engineered to conquer. The lug system provides traction on varying outdoor terrains while the X shaped design pattern on the forefoot and upper ensures optimum grip at the unique angles created by uneven terrain. The midfoot area is reinforced in order to give stability and traction for climbing.
  • Built for Speed – The RD PRO comes loaded with a speed lace closure system and ARC-Foam™ (Active Response Cushioning) technology. ARC was developed to provide an optimum ride for runners.
  • Built to Endure -The RD PRO is “virtually indestructible” according to Spartan and CRAFT. The
    quick-dry and easy-clean nylon upper get you to the next race while the ObstaTech™ KPU engineered cage adds enhanced mid-foot flexible ribs, heel stability layer, durable toe cap reinforcement and added lateral durability to prevent blowouts.

Spartan Craft RD OCR Shoe

The Spartan RD Pro by CRAFT can be pre-ordered as of today for $140 USD on and will be available in a variety of colors for men and women including the red, blue, green and yellow used in Spartan’s variety of event distances.

If you want to take a peek at the new New Spartan Shoes, click here.

Bonus: Go to the bottom of this page to see a video of the tests Joe Desena did on the shoes.

New Spartan Craft Shoe Joe Desena




Matt B. Davis

is the host of the Obstacle Racing Media Podcast and the author of "Down and Dirty-The Essential Training Guide for Obstacle Races and Mud Runs". He is also the only (known) #wafflehouseelite obstacle racer.
  1. Great video of Joe running them over but unless I’m being run over by a Silverado on the course, it’s just a smoke screen until we get our hands on them. I’m concerned about the weight and then add mud and water to them, I’m saving my money for the new VJ bois

  2. These shoes look SUPER sexy, and if they actually are as durable as they say they are then that is great! BUT… They do look like pretty heavy shoes, they have the hole draining system instead of a breathable upper, that drop looks like its more than 4mm so it may be a deal breaker for some of those racers who are seeking a more minimalist kind of racing shoe (which is the kind of shoe I prefer), and they talked a lot about the durablility of the upper and not much about the durabililty or function of the rubber (and if this rubber is like most, its pretty easy to burn through the rubber in 300-500miles of running and its pretty easy for the elite and age group runners to get that mileage in less than a year. Your average weekend warrior may be just fine and make the rubber last through the year.) Its great that they have their “obstatech” designs, but these designs have qualities just make me question their actual efficacy on the course. Will they make it through a Spartan Race? Based on the tests I’m sure it will make it through a race just fine… But is it the BEST shoe for SPEED, GRIP, RUNNING, DRAINAGE, and RUBBER LUG DURABILITY? Time will tell.

    I am willing to give these shoes a try when they come out, but it will take a lot for them to make me part with my inov-8s.

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