Parkour Footwear - What to look for in a Parkour shoe
There is a lot to offer in the way of sporting footwear and many brands built on running shoes make for great Freerunning shoes with some brand's actually having specific Parkour shoes designed for the activity in question. Some big Parkour brands such as Storror, Jiyo, Ollo, Know Obstacles and Tempest have designed and branded shoes of their own, for the community from the community.
Although a lot of these shoes compete with the big brands in function and style, they usually lack when it comes to affordability, especially considering Parkour activities eat shoes up.
My advice when students ask about the best footwear is to describe what to look for and try out a few different styles to find a shoe they like, rather than suggest the best shoe I have found. This is because everyone is different in anatomy and movement style so the qualities of shoe I enjoy may not fit someone else.
Some notable shoes I should mention as suggested from the community are; Reebok Joggers, Puma Cabanas, Feiyues, Storror Tens, Ollo APKs, KO Shoes, Vans Ultras. Each of these shoes vary a fair bit in design and function yet are all beloved by a fair portion of the Parkour community worldwide proving that sometimes you will have to experiment with what you between your feet and the ground when jumping on stuff.
- Value for money; As many of the positive aspects for the lowest price
- Durable; They are going to take a pounding
- One piece tread on bottom; Less likely to break off in bits, more overall friction
- Flexible; Will need to develop foot/ankle mobility when training
- Comfortable; Once worn-in they should feel like foot gloves
- Light; Doesn't have to be a feather, but hard to jump with weights attached
- Minimal Arch/Thick Sole; This is a tricky one because if you are a beginner or enjoy big impact jumps but your feet (specifically your arch and heel) aren't trained for it then a bit of padding will help soften the blow. However I would suggest not taking jumps you can't take without the aid of a heel cushion and training impact from the beginning with flat bottomed shoes with minimal impact and build up over time for the best results.
With these characteristics you can search for a running shoe that is unique to yourself and still offers the foot protection and grip you need to train safely and in comfort without smashing the bank because the shoe has "Freerunner" on the box. That being said if you follow a Parkour brand and enjoy their content and merchandise then feel free to support them and see what their ideal shoe would be like to train in.
About the Author
With many years studying technique and safe practice of Parkour, Connor utilizes these to focus on creative movement using simple surroundings for his own training.
He hopes to be able to share this method of creative expression to his students to see them too enjoy movement even if only given one unassuming obstacle.