Ocriocx Sparta

  • Product Review
  • 21 Jan 2019
  • Alan Moore


Having now done almost 100 miles in my Sparta’s I thought I would share my opinions

Billed as a multipurpose trainer suitable for trail, canicross, swim run and orienteering as well as OCR,

A lot of people are comparing these to icebugs, mainly because the amazing John Ovenden who brought Icebugs to the UK has brought these also, But I am going to put the record straight instantly - they are nothing like Icebugs, they are wider in the toe box, they don’t pinch the Heel area and they feel much stronger, infact the only similarities is the same colour sole - my opinion these are better

I will be narrowing all my reviews done to a few key parts and ranking them out of 10

Grip, Comfort, drainage, Support, Durability


I have now tested these on a variety of terrains and heres the thoughts

Dry Hard rocky Trail- 10- They grip brilliant no slips whatsoever

Dry Dirt Trail - 10 - Gripped 100%

Dry Wood - 10 - Both running on wooden slats and also on wooden obstacles gripped perfect

Dry metal - 10 - 

Wet Rocky trail - 9 - They grip on the smaller rocks and when going up hill they grip perfect on the big slimed rocks too, my only issues was coming down hill on a big wet rock, I put the heel down first and it slid about an inch before the front foot landed and stopped the momentum 

Wet Dirt trail 10 - Uphill and down do issues 

Wet Wood - 9 - Using the forefoot and these are perfect but again like wet rocks, if you go heel first you get a little slippage 

Wet metal - 8- when going over metal A frames there is a little lateral movement - but only like every other shoe I tested like this

Real muddy terrain -8 - Not billed for mud but still tested and I was surprised how much grip they offered going up and down hill and even on the traverse, yes I slipped but only 3-4 inches before purchase was restored

Icey ground - Yes I ran on some ice and they gripped almost instantly

Score 8.5 / 10

for a trail shoe I think they offer much more grip than you expect


These hold the foot nice, the heel grips the foot well without pinching, the toe box is roomy but not so that the foot slides around, when running over real rocky ground I felt very stable in them and they responded well to my foot movement. With these having a 10mm drop also the cushioning is great, usually after about 12k I start to get dumb on the balls of my feet but in these I had nothing like that. The My first run out in them was a 16 mile straight from the box and I had no hot spots, no rubbing, they just felt so comfortable- check out what I wrote below from that first run

Score 10 / 10


These are made of a waterproof / non absorbent upper which can either be good or bad on shoes I have found.

In this instance it works, Yes they do allow water in but they also allow water out, its not the upper thats water proof but the fibres used and what that means is that they don’t retain water, 

When running and swimming in these the water poured in like any other shoe but when I goy out onto dry land and ran a few steps the water was pushed out through the upper and the feet actually felt dry.

To prove this watch this video below

Score 9 / 10


For me this is crucial to running OCR as we go across so much uneven ground and the foot is put under so much force that a shoe needs to be able to help, These do just that, the heel is held firm but not tight and this means that should you roll your ankle the shoe helps protect it from twisting and means as the ankle rolls and your natural body movement moves the foot to protect it, then the shoe instantly respond to this movement

The mid foot area is roomy enough to let you foot move so as not to rub but when the foot slide laterally it soon stops it giving it that extra bit of support over rocky grounds, 

The shoe is flexible enough to allow you to run uphill on the toes but also stiff enough to give you extra support when going over rocky ground

Score 9 / 10


After only 100 miles I don’t think I am in a position to talk about durability at the moment, but let me add that I have ran through bracken, and brambles, I have caught them on branches and sticks while running through woods and so far they have stood up to all that without getting snags or torn

The wrap around toe area is double stitched and looks tough 


One thing I want to bring up about these is the colour sole - not to everyones liking but I think its great, I do a lot of night time running ioff road with just my head torch to show me the way and with these soles being so bright they shine up and I can see exactly where I am putting my feet, 

Overall I am going to give these shoes a huge thumbs up with a

Score of 9 / 10

I like the fact I can just slip on and run, no matter what terrain, they feel super comfy and I am confident they deliver where ever I go, in fact they have fast become my go to running shoe for off road training runs

If you are interested in a pair check them out here at Fenland runner at the time of printing they are only £89 and I think thats a great price for such an awesome multipurpose shoe

Alan Moore

Alan Moore