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How Do I Choose the Best Shoes for Parkour?

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  • Written By: Patti Kate
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 01 August 2014
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To choose the best shoes for parkour, shop at a specialty shoe store or sporting goods store. You will need shoes that will not wear thin in a matter of weeks or months. Your shoes will need support, and, just as importantly, a decent amount of grip to the soles.

Be sure you shop at a shoe store that is staffed with knowledgeable sale associates. You'll need properly fitting shoes for this type of sport, and finding them may be easier if you ask for assistance. Also keep in mind, if the shoes are too loose or too wide, you may be risking injury as you do your routine.

Comfort is essential when selecting your shoes for parkour. If your feet ache or hurt, you will not be able to perform and will tire quickly. Try several pairs of shoes, and walk around in them. Try on both shoes as this will provide an accurate feel. When you go shopping for your new shoes, wear the same type of socks as you will for your parkour routine.

You'll need a pair of lightweight, yet supportive shoes for parkour. Avoid buying shoes that are bulky, regardless of how comfortable they feel. Even if shoes seem comfortable when you try them on, if they are heavy and cumbersome, you will not be able to maximize your performance.

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The sole of the shoe should also be taken into consideration. Avoid shoes with bulky or extra thick soles. You'll do best with flat soles, as you can control your movements more precisely.

Another consideration when shopping for shoes for parkour is to avoid any type of mesh material. Mesh tends to rip with wear and you may not get much use from this type of shoe. For the best value, choose shoes for parkour that are solidly constructed of leather or canvas.

Look for cushioning and flexibility in the shoes you select. Traceurs, especially those new to the sport, need extra padding in their shoes. This will help support the ankles when performing precision jumps.

Before you shop for shoes for your parkour activities, read consumer reviews. Check how various brands of athletic shoes rate. Look for all of the aforementioned features, plus how they rate for durability and wear. A shoe sale may be great, however, it won't mean a great deal if the shoes need to be replaced in a few months.

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Discuss this Article

SarahSon
Post 4

@sunshined - That is a good point you made about the shoes. I can understand why when buying shoes it would be critical to find a store.

There are several online stores where you can get a lot of other parkour gear though. Since I don't live close to an actual store, I rely on the internet for the information and gear I want to purchase.

Not only do I find competitive prices online, but have also been able to find some great forums where I can talk to other people who enjoy this activity.

sunshined
Post 3

My son really enjoys parkour and loves to be involved as much as he can. Even though I don't always like to hear about what he has to go through for parkour training, he doesn't plan on quitting any time soon.

One thing I would recommend when looking for shoes, is to not buy them online unless you specifically know what you are getting.

My son bought some online shoes thinking they would work, but they did not work out for him. He ad already worn them a few times before realizing this, so could not return them at that point.

Now if he is looking for a new pair of shoes, he makes sure and tries them on at the store and walks around in them to make sure they have the right fit.

whiteplane
Post 2

I have been involved with parkour for many years now and I have tried just about every kind of shoes there is trying to find the pair that will give me an advantage. For me the best pair of free running shoes are the super thin running shoes that are favored by barefoot runners.

You have probably seen these in commercials or in stores. They are very light and have a minimum amount of tread at the bottom. There is a space for each one of your toes and the shoes hug your feet very closely.

I've found that these shoes help me get traction and speed but they do not effect my balance. Most shoes are pretty neutral when it comes to parkour. They do not make you better or worse, they are just there. These make me better.

truman12
Post 1

Having a good pair of shoes is important if you want to really go for it with some of your parkour moves. But lets be honest, it's about the athlete and not the shoes.

You can get the best pair of shoes in the world and still not be able to do the moves. One the flip side, you can have the cheapest most worn out pair of shoes in town and be able to do incredible things.

So don't get too hung up on the equipment. Parkour is about the body. You have either got it or you don't. No pair of shoes will change that.

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