With all the variety out there it might be difficult to hunt down the best parkour shoes. It’s a tricky thing to balance out all the requirements for an optimal shoe, such as weight, grip, durability and cushioning. And we as people have differing tastes, some focus on the grip and some on the cushion. It’s all a matter of how the shoe is to be used. If you operate on a softer surface a low profile shoe would do fine. If you do big jumps on hard surfaces then more cushion is called for. Climbing style parkour benefits from a good grip. It’s a matter of what kind of parkour you’re doing.
To ease with finding the optimal shoe we have put together a list of what we think are the best parkour shoes at the moment.
Here Are The Top 5 Parkour Shoes
Adidas Performance Men’s Ultra Boost
These performance shoes are pretty much built with parkour in mind. They offer solid grip, durable materials that adapt to your feet and ultra cushioning for those big landings. In a word these shoes are a great all around shoe for parkour if you’re not sure if you’re going to work on soft or hard surface or if you’re going to do landings from up high. As with any highly cushioned and padded shoes one there is one caveat – soft surfaces like sand or lawn can be risky for your ankles due to uneven landing angles.
Vibram Men’s V Trail Runner
Vibram Five Fingers are renowned for their original approach at low-profile shoes and tactile feel. They feel so natural that you might forget to take them off when you go to bed. These shoes offer superb grip and are so light you won’t even notice wearing shoes. Optimal for softer surfaces, low height parkouring and for climbing obstacles. Cool fact: Five Fingers were originally created / marketed for sailors, canoers and other marine hobbyists as shoes to use in wet environments – barefoot runners adopted the shoes to their own purposes and Vibram shifted their focus accordingly.
Nike Men’s Free 5.0 Running Shoe
These shoes are smack in the middle between a high-impact cushioned shoes and barefoot shoes. They have a wedge like profile that is thickest in the heel and thinnest around the toes so that you get cushioning for your heel strikes and landings but retain much of the tactile feel with your toes. It’s a solid balancing act between barefooting and fully cushioned shoes. The grip isn’t as impressive as with more traditional barefooting shoes so any super-smooth or wet areas might prove to be challenging.
PUMA Men’s Faas 500 V4 PWR Cool
PUMA Men’s Faas 500 V4 are, simply put, great parkour shoes. They offer solid grip, full cushioning and long-term durability. They shine not only by their bright color but also with their ability to keep your feet cool during those hot summer days. The shoes are also lightweight so you can keep parkouring longer.
Feiyue Martial Arts Shoes
If you’re looking to get affordable low-profile shoes then Feiyue is the way to go. These shoes are simple yet durable thanks to their canvas top. They provide a top-notch grip for which reason they are really good for wall work like wall flips. Good all around parkour shoe but due to their low profile not the best shoes for landings on hard surfaces. Cool fact: Feiyue shoes are favored among Shaolin monks.
If you didn’t find what you wanted on this page you can also see all of our recommended items on a one page list.
Here’s a quick link to all of our shoe reviews.
On a budget?
Best parkour shoes under $75
Few things to keep in mind when choosing your parkour shoes
Thickness of shoe soles
The thinner the shoe the more sensitivity you have. That can be a double-edged sword. On one hand (or foot rather!) you have increased feel with the ground which converts to greater balance – and on the other you have decreased capability to absorb shocks from landing up high. Unless you have superhuman cat landing skills!
Weight of the shoe
Weight of the shoe has traditionally implied how good it is in absorbing shock. These days with new material technologies it isn’t anymore so. Well, not isn’t fully so. Let me explain: You can’t wrap your feet in paper and hope they are protected, right? But you can’t wrap your feet in a tonne of protection as that would make it hard for you to run, jump or even walk! But there is some truth to the old paradigm of heavier shoes having better protection. It’s just a matter of comparing the best shoes of today to the best shoes from 10 years ago. The weight difference would be huge – the modern shoe would be lighter and would also offer more protection. So there it is.
Does it fit?
This is a big one. No matter how expensive or impressive the shoe is otherwise – if it doesn’t fit then you are compromised. Bad fitting shoes will make you trip on your own feet, make you susceptible to injuries (Strained ankles are the leading injury in most running sports! Ouch!) and also all the supportive and protective constructs of the shoes will be in the wrong places. So get shoes that are snuck and comfortable, not too tight and not too roomy. Think of Goldilocks and The Three Bears and you’re good.