Best Parkour Shoe

The best parkour shoe for parkour training

Today we are going to talk about the best parkour shoes to wear for training.

It’s important to choose the right kind of shoes for training. If we wear the wrong shoes for training, we could slip on wall runs and rail precisions, get bone bruises from heavy impacts on the feet, lose sensitivity with the feet and make it harder to balance, cause us to feel heavy and lose height on our jumps, or even worse we could severely weaken our feet and throw off our alignment which can lead to all sorts of horrible ankle, knee, and back problems!

SHOES VS BAREFOOT

There’s been a big barefoot craze surfacing in the parkour community and even in main stream fitness but is it really better for the feet to train barefoot vs shoes that have been specifically designed and tested to give better performance?

Well the answer is yes and no. Here are the pros and cons.

Training barefoot is certainly better for your alignment, sensitivity, and for strengthening the feet. It’s how the human body was naturally designed and can be built up to handle a lot more stress and activity than most people realize.

The problem with barefoot training is that most people’s feet are very underdeveloped due to the shoeswe have been wearing all of our lives. So our feet are weak and soft. They can not handle rough terrain, high stress, or heavy impacts.

It will take most of us years to build up our feet enough to handle the stress for training an intense discipline such as parkour. We would injure ourselves very easily.

Also, you will always be able to go harder and get better grip with the right type of shoe.

Now the main problem with shoes is that they act much like a cast around the foot. The muscles in the feet atrophy and weaken, the natural alignment of the foot gets thrown off over time, and you will begin to have problems with the feet that can lead to problems all through the body.

The trick is to do both barefoot training and training with a good shoe. This way you can slowly build up the feet and also go for bigger moves or train on terrain that requires the extra support of a shoe while you build your feet.

For example, when I do light training, I go barefoot or use a “barefoot” shoe. When I’m doing heavy impact training that I know my feet can’t quite handle without the extra support, I go with a good running shoe.

I personally have two pairs of shoes.

#1– A minimalist shoe that provides me with the barefoot feel. No cushion, wide toe area so the toes can spread out and move, no extra ankle support, and a soft sole and body so the shoe can flex and move with my foot.

#2– A heavy impact shoe that provides me with the extra support. Nice cushion, tighter fit, and a harder sole and body for better resistance.

THINGS TO AVOID WHEN PICKING SHOES

#1-Avoid shoes that have any type of plastic on the soles or arches of the shoe. This makes the shoe very slippery when landing precisions, especially on rails.

#2-Avoid heavy and bulky shoes!

#3-Don’t wear skater shoes! (I say this because I have had a lot of people in the past ask me if skater shoes were good for training)

#4-Avoid shoes that don’t have laces or ways to secure the shoe.

#5– Avoid shoes that don’t have a solid sole. Meaning that the bottom rubber sole is cut in different pieces and not one single piece. The soles that are in different pieces tear easily.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR

#1-You want a shoe that provides the best grip possible for climbing up walls, walking and leaping on rails, and for overall traction.

#2-You want a shoe that is light but also provides good support and cushion for your feet.

#3-You want a shoe that is very comfortable on your feet.

#4-Shoe that provides good sensitivity if possible.

THE BEST SHOE FOR YOU!!

Usually if you are first starting out you will be doing a lot of training with a shoe to get a that has more cushion and a little bit stiffer in structure.

The reason for this is that our form will most likely be a little sloppy and we want a shoe that is very forgiving for bad form.

If you’re an experienced tracuer, want to train on low impact moves and flow, or want to gradually test and build your feet and form, you will also want to go with a shoe that provides more sensitivity and flexibility.

This shoe will not be as forgiving as the stiffer shoes with more cushion but will give you greater balance, control, give you more height in your jump, and strengthen your feet while improving your overall alignment. (Also great for ground flips)

THE INSIDE SCOOP

Here’s what I have noticed in the PK FR community when it comes to shoes.

Most of the seasoned highly skilled traceurs, wear feiyues or something similar for their flexible, sensitive shoe and they were kalenji’s or a cheaper running shoe for their high impact shoes.

The advanced traceur trains a lot and goes through shoes quickly. It is pointless to spend high dollar on shoes. Unless they are sponsored by a certain shoe, then of course they wear their sponsor’s shoe.

The inexperienced practitioner usually pays up and wears the most expensive freerunning specific shoes, which really don’t make that much of a difference, especially when you equal in the costs.

WHAT I WEAR

I personally buy Fieyues for my flow training and buy the cheapest running shoe I can find for my high impact shoe, which is usually new balance, Aisics, or Saucony.

This combination has worked great for me and saved me tons of money.

THE SHOE LIST

But to each his own, that’s why I’m going to list some of the popular shoes people have been wearing and tell you what they are best for. That way, you can check them out and try them on yourself, if you need to, and find your perfect shoe!

[Minimalist Shoes

-Vibram 5 Fingers (These have pretty much developed their own following. I personally don’t like them. They look goofy to me and don’t provide enough support. Also because of their individual toe design they will not allow as much freedom with the toes and will not perfectly fit everyone. But a ton of people love them.)

-Feiyues (Some of my favorite shoes. Great for flow and flips, low cost, and look really cool. Have a wide toe section that gives your toes plenty of room for movement. But they do wear extremely fast if you are training hard parkour and don’t provide a lot of support)

-VIVOBAREFOOT Shoe “Aqua Light and Neo” (Recomended by Ryan Ford, these are great minimalist shoes. I got to try them out for a day and they feel amazing. The rubber on the soles are more durable than the Feiyues so they will last a lot longer. If you like Feiyues then you’ll love these. However, they are a lot more expensive than the Feiyues.)

[Heavy Impact Shoes]

-Kalenji (Haven’t work any my self but have heard only amazing things about them. They stopped making them for a little bit but came out with a newer version not too long ago.)

-Five-10s

-K-swiss Arayiaki (These have mixed reviews. Heard they are good shoes but not worth the price.)

-Reebok Free

-Nike Dart

-K-Os  (Low cost but I’ve heard mixed reviews. Some love them, some say they only lasted for about two weeks. )

Any cheap New Balance, Asic, and Saucony running shoe is always worth a try.

Of course those aren’t all the shoes that are good for parkour that have ever been produced. It’s a short list and I will add more soon. But it is a good list to start out with.

 

If you have any other parkour shoes that you have tried or recommend leave a comment below!

Hope this helps you find your perfect shoe!

Safe Training,

Jonathan

P.S. For more in depth tutorials and training check out the new Online Parkour Academy! [Click Here]

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  • albert bumatay

    hi sir jonathan =)
    i have tried FILA as my training shoes to our parkour session once a week and the other one is my ADIZERO 1.5 basketball shoes =)
    well, those 2 of my shoes is good and properly fitted to me though sometimes I felt unsure using my ADIZERO because it cost a lot to buy again if ever it would be destroyed =)
    but anyways Im still looking for another FILA shoes that I could wear in our Parkour session next week, so, sir jonathan Im hoping for your kind reply toward my message. thanks a lot. =)

  • KAIN

    i use fila and pro ace both r kinda good but i dont kno if its ok to use hightops for parkour (my pro ace is a high top )

  • disqus_zUJRkEeEjF

    It helped me a lot. Thank you!

  • Angelo James Mordini

    My shoes are good for my support when I do higher falls I feel no impact with or without parkour rolls but they have little room for toes and I feel thier hard to make Sharp quick movements. Can u send me a email about The Nike Dart because I think it will be hard for me to find VIVOBAREFOOT.

  • A few pros endorse the Puma Faas 500. You can find a review on the puma faas 500 and a few other parkour shoes here: http://extremeparkourshoes.com/

  • Alex Stafford

    Hey Jonathon
    I wanted to know is it a good idea to were gloves while doing parkour / training. I was looking at websites and they were saying don’t were gloves but others are saying do. Please tell me if I should were gloves or not

    • Ryan Hilton

      That all depends on where, when, and what you are training on. If you are training at a spot where there are a lot of sharp edges or things you can get cut on it might be a good idea to wear gloves. If it is cold out it is good to wear to wear gloves so that your fingers dont get cold and you cant hold on to something and fall and get hurt. Training without gloves will strengthen your hand so overtime it wont hurt as much if your hand hit something sharp or anything like that. Also, it depends on what kind of gloves you are using to train. DO NOT use gloves that will slip when you are trying to hold onto something. Its kind of like parkour shoes, if you wear gloves you want them to be light weight, flexible, and have some grip on them so that you dont slip.

    • dominic

      Do wear them. If you jump wall or climb buildings you should wear them , it makes it so that your hands don’t slip. Trust me I had experience in slipping and losing my grip.

  • Nick Cold

    I use “ollo”..great pk shoes. developed by traceurs. http://www.ollopk.com/

  • subash

    dunlop volleys are better for parkour. They are cheap, flexible to run up walls or to land in a good way

  • Ethan Specht

    Hey, gloves are like a “cast” on your hand just worse. All they do is make it to where you can’t feel your surroundings. If there is water in a rail or the top if a wall is more slippery that it looks how are you supposed to know? I disagree with gloves and parkour.

  • Umair Niazi

    Thanks John I really wanted to ask you this, but I guess you got ahead of me,

  • Jonathan Ferland-Valois

    Hey Tapp brothers! Hope you guys are doing good! My favourite shoes ever for parkour were the Merrell Gauley Waterpro. The soles weren’t too thick but thick enough to protect the feet from sharp ledges and help absorb a bit heavy impacts, and the adherence was the best I’ve ever seen. I could do precisions on metal rails in the rain without even feeling like I’m going to slip. The only down side to it was that the laces were elastic cords and would eventually rip in half, but I always could just make a knot and keep using them. Can’t find then anywhere any more, but I ordered the two last black pairs of size 9 on eBay. 🙂

  • Muhammad Gaffer

    i saw on a different website it is good to wear indoor shoes

  • Nice It helped me a lot. Thank you!

  • vittorio

    my opinoin on gloves is cut the fingers. you wont be able to get grip on wall climbes.

  • DEMITRIUS MCCLENTON

    I use adidas

  • Jimmy

    Are the Vivobarefoot Freud Leather a good shoe for parkour? Because i have heard they dont have to good of grip?

  • efe doğuer

    I was thinking about buying ZEMgear 360 shoes do you think they are good?

  • Farzad Karami

    Hi Jonathan its Farzad .I’m a newcomer in Canada Calgary and I know about parkour.but I don’t know where can I play parkour.I have a lot of experience about that ,I play parkour about 12 years ago .this picture below that’s me.8 meters back flip.

    • Michelle Preuss

      Hey frazad i live in high river and i would love if someone could show me some stuff im very new and it would help alot!

  • kota

    K-swiss tubes are quiet good

    • Thomas Kehoe

      im 12 and i do a lot of freerunning/parkour. the k swiss shoes are great but where can i find some that have my size. all they have are 7’s and have small feet

  • sarah mcdonald

    Hi to all!
    Besides parkour I also train kung fu for many years and I realized that the shoes I use for kung fu (martial arts shoes in general) are very suitable also for parkour. Nevertheless recently I decided to invest some money to my parkour passion and I have chosen Vivobarefoot Neo and well ok have to admit that they are bit better. But any sneakers suitable for martial arts are good enough. Check the weight, arch, sole and material.. it´s crucial. (read more here http://www.bestparkourshoes.org/)

  • Tobias

    It sucks because they dont sell all of that kind of shoes where i live the only sell talks and that is shoes for sport like rugby an football.

  • jaxon

    do the converse all stars work very good?

  • Simone Parrini

    Hi everyone,

    I use “Merrel Trail glove” (minimalist shoes) for flow training and Asics running shoes for big jumps in forest and so on. A nice day to everybody 🙂 Simone

  • Markus

    I’m currently using the Nike Freerun

  • Pink Panther

    I wear interior soccer shoes and they work very well for me…They’re Nike Tiempo.

  • Harsh Motwani

    Hey i m harsh and i am from indiai use goldstar running shoes for my training ita one of the cheapest shoes in india it only cost about 4 us dollars and i found them quite good. And i attached one image below.

  • Илья Барановский

    От би його Українською хтось переклав… Бо бачу стаття файна!

  • John Black

    I use the Vibram Five-fingers, and they work amazing, although I get asked if they are comfortable a lot! They are. They don’t wear out super fast, but what I love is that you might as well be barefoot, but it protects from scratches, cuts, and other dangerous foot things! I live in the country, so we have gravel, and that makes things hard to go straight barefoot on(I tried it-painful!) and these are the best parkour shoes I’ve found so far. Also, the grip is amazing too!

  • Daniel Paruszkiewicz

    Hey Jonathon,
    I am looking for a parkour shoe that is a high top, which ones would you recommend? Also, what types of gloves would you wear if you are training in winter weather?