12 Best Parkour Shoes In 2018: Reviewed, Rated & Compared

Parkour can be a lot of fun and it’s becoming a popular pastime for many in America. What most people don’t know is that you need the proper parkour shoes for the experience to be the best it can. How would you know which styles to choose from?

You don’t have to be confused about all the options on the market. That’s why we’ve put together a comprehensive guide to the best parkour shoes available. After reading through this guide, you’ll have a better understanding of the shoes you need and the difference they’ll make. Take your parkour skills to the next level.


Comparison Chart - Best Shoes for Parkour


Image 
Product Name
Type of Shoe
Colour Options
Amazon Rating
View Product
Nike Men's Free 5

Nike Men's Free 5.0​

Running Shoe

25 options

Onitsuka Tiger Ultimate 81 Fashion Sneaker

Onitsuka Tiger Ultimate 81​

Sneaker

23 options

Vibram Men's KSO EVO Cross Training Shoe

Vibram Men's KSO EVO​

Cross Training Shoe

Black, Blue/Black, Grey/Black, Black/Blue

Tiger Claw Feiyue Martial Arts Shoes

Tiger Claw Feiyue Martial Arts​

Martial Arts Shoe

Black, White

Bait x Bruce Lee x Onitsuka Tiger Men Tiger Corsair

Bait x Bruce Lee x Onitsuka ​

Sneaker

Grey/White/Plaid, White/Blue/Black

Nike Men's Free Rn Flyknit Running Shoe

Nike Men's Free Rn Flyknit ​

Running Shoe

44 options

Merrell Men's Glove 4 Trail Runner

Merrell Men's Glove 4 Trail

Trail Runner

Molten Lava, Nautical, Black, Vertical, Charcoal, Navy

DOUBLESTAR MR Unisex Vintage Canvas Rubber Sole Shoes

DOUBLESTAR MR Unisex Vintage Canvas​

Martial Arts Shoe

Blue, White

Take Flight Ultra Parkour & Freerunning Shoe

Take Flight Ultra Parkour & Freerunning​

Parkour Shoe

Shock Blue, Flame Red

Tsukihoshi YOUTH10 Mako Sneaker

Tsukihoshi YOUTH10 Mako ​

Sneaker

7 options


Why Do You Need Good Shoes for Parkour?


best parkour shoes

Parkour is more than just a hobby; it’s a full body, intensive workout that pushes every part of you to the limits. It’s running, aerobic exercise and climbing all wrapped up in one package.

During this workout you endure, it’s important to protect your body from harm. The impact of your feet on the ground while running and jumping could cause lifetime damage.

That’s why it’s especially important that you have good parkour shoes for your experience. With the proper protection and adequate resilience, you might even find that your parkour skills increase.


Features of Parkour Shoes


When searching for a pair of parkour shoes, there are certain areas you need to pay close attention to. This will help you to find the best pair possible.

Grip

During parkour, you need the ability to grip multiple types of surfaces. If the surface becomes unstable or slippery, you tend to avoid it. That’s why it’s more important to pick a single-piece sole. It should be made of soft rubber so it moves and bends with your foot.

It’s natural to want a shoe with a rubber compound because they last longer, but it isn’t your best option. These shoes make people think they can handle certain drops when in reality, they can’t. It causes a lack of sensitivity between the surface you’re on and your feet.

The single-piece sole ensures your foot makes as much contact with the surface as possible. Remember, more contact allows for more grip. These shoes are thinner so shock absorption won’t be as good.

Size & Weight

The ideal shoe for you is going to be lightweight. Heavy shoes are clunky and tend to hurt your ability to move efficiently. Keep in mind, this lightweight feature does also mean less shock absorption.

You also need to ensure that the size of your shoes is correct. Wearing shoes with an improper fit can often lead to serious injuries. Your feet should be snug and comfortable with enough space left over for impact. Your toes should never be pinched up. In addition, your heel should not slip during movement.

Padding

You might find varying schools of thought on this issue. Most people believe that less padding is better if you’re more advanced. If you’re a beginner, you might want to opt for the extra cushion. Overall, padding is going to lead to an improper technique. Yes, padding protects your heels during an impact, but you aren’t supposed to be landing on your heels.

By choosing a low padded option, you’re more apt to feel the surface below you. This allows for more control and helps you to run with a fluid motion.

Durability

You can’t expect any pair of parkour shoes to last forever. Let’s face it; you’re going to be hard on them. It’s possible that you could find a pair which is durable enough to last a few months.

To ensure that the pair you choose is durable, take time to read the reviews. You’ll quickly get an idea of how long they’ve lasted for others. Harder-soled shoes tend to last longer than ones made with synthetic materials.

Cost

When you’re determining the overall cost of the shoes, remember they aren’t going to last more than a few months. That makes spending $150 a little tougher for most people.

If you’re set on finding a pair of shoes in the best colors and styles, then you can expect to pay more. If you don’t care about that, there are plenty of cheaper options that do a great job.


12 Best Parkour Shoes Reviewed


Here are our picks for the 12 best parkour shoes on the market. We have covered mostly mens shoes but there also options for women and youths too. Additionally, some of the shoe models are designed for more than just parkour activities.

1. Nike Men's Free 5.0 Running Shoe

Nike Men's Free 5

Our Rating

Will These Shoes Fit Me?

79%
 Chance of Success

This pair of Nike parkour shoes offers a great blend of durability, comfort and weight. They’re well-suited to the movements of parkour and allow for a huge amount of control. Nike designed them to be stylish and sleek, but the material is lightweight and breathable.

The exterior of the shoe is a little thicker than some other options, but it offers more protection, especially for a beginner. Overall, many people feel like they’re wearing nothing at all because they’re so comfortable.

Their comfortability is also due to the asymmetrical lacing system which reduces pressure on the top ridge of the foot. Moreover, the rubber sole allows better grip so you'll definitely stay on your feet.

You may want to consider purchasing a size larger as some people believe they run small - such as H. Pighetti, who, however, seems pretty satisfied with these shoes:

This is my third pair of these shoes, and I love them. They do run very small, although I already knew this. Order 1/2 - 1 size up from your normal shoe size, and they should fit fine. I love all the room in these, and how incredibly comfortable they are. They feel like slippers".


Obviously, you’re paying a little more for this shoe due to the brand and style choices. If the look of your shoes is important to you, then this would be a great pick.

Pros

  • Durable
  • Very comfortable
  • Lightweight
  • Variety of styles available

Cons

  • Exterior is slightly thick
  • Laces can be too short

2. Take Flight Ultra Parkour & Freerunning Shoe

Take Flight Ultra Parkour & Freerunning Shoe

Our Rating

Will These Shoes Fit Me?

94%
 Chance of Success

This stylish parkour shoe is designed by traceurs to create an amazing feel. They also offer superior traction while remaining durable and flexible.

Considering how lightweight they feel, you may not ever want to take them off. You’ll enjoy the mix between durability and comfortability.

The sizing of the shoe seems to run in line with Nike, so use that as your gauge for ordering. Some other customers have commented on how exceptional quiet these shoes seem to be.

Keep in mind that this style does come with a hefty price tag or they would have been a 10 out of 10 for me.

Pros

  • Designed by traceurs
  • Lightweight
  • Quiet

Cons

  • Not many reviews yet
  • Expensive

3. Onitsuka Tiger Ultimate 81 Fashion Sneaker

Onitsuka Tiger Ultimate 81 Fashion Sneaker

Our Rating

Will These Shoes Fit Me?

85%
 Chance of Success

The Onitsuka are shoes with good grip for parkour. They offer intense durability and a lightweight build. This shoe offers a superior grip above many of the competitors, but they also look stylish.

There’s a small amount of padding to cushion some of those jumps, especially for beginners, and three ventilation holes on the rear midsole, which will absorb shock. The breathability of these shoes is also great, thanks to their synthetic fiber side panel and the mesh toe cap.

They do tend to run on the expensive side, but many people don’t mind the additional cost. Considering they last a little longer than the competition, they’re still a good value for the money.

In addition, they’ve been used by runners as well. If you participate in running and parkour, you’d only need to purchase one pair of shoes.

Consider ordering a slightly larger size as many of the reviews favor them being on the smaller scale. This is something that's actually been happening a lot recently in the shoe industry. According to Podiatry Today, Dr. Lisa Schoene (sports medicine specialist and certified athletic trainer) points out: 

the shoe industry has modified and changed the dimensions of most of their models (...) shoes have become increasingly narrower, shallower and even have had changes to the lasts with narrowing the outsole in the midfoot/arch area".


Because of this, you should always make sure to read enough reviews and do your research in order to get the adequate size for yourself; especially when you need shoes for tough sports like parkour.

Pros

  • Superior grip
  • Long-lasting
  • Shock absorbent
  • Minimal padding
  • Plenty of styles to choose from

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Stain easily

4. Vibram Men's KSO EVO Cross Training Shoe

Vibram Men's KSO EVO Cross Training Shoe

Our Rating

Will These Shoes Fit Me?

68%
 Chance of Success

The Vibram shoe seems to be one of the more popular options today. They aren’t quite like the ninja split toe parkour shoes but offer a similar concept.

This cross-training shoe is durable and doesn’t disintegrate after tough landings. The structure allows you to maintain proper form no matter what movements you are attempting.

While wearing this pair, you’ll notice intense flexibility and feel. They closely interact with surfaces due in part to the individual toe tips. The tips themselves offer some additional grip for added traction, along with the rubber XS Trek outsole.

One of the most popular reviews of these shoes, which has been found helpful by 180+ people, was written by Paul who is a personal trainer and would recommend them to their clients:

I wear Vibrams for casual use, working out, running (road and trails), hiking, and everything else I do, and I recommend them to all of my clients (I am a personal trainer and own a wellness center) - but it is extremely important for people that are new to such minimalist shoes to take it VERY slow when first re-acclimating your feet and entire body to less cushion, less support, and new movement patterns".


Just as Paul mentioned, more advanced users will gravitate toward this option because they are too lightweight for a beginner. There’s very little cushioning plus almost no protection against things like twigs. There’s a nice selection to choose from and the price is reasonable considering the advanced design.

Last but not least (very important, in fact): they do let you know that you should go up a size because the shoe runs small.

Pros

  • Durable
  • Doesn’t fall apart
  • Great for experts
  • Useful for different activities besides parkour
  • Intense flexibility
  • Grip on toe tips

Cons

  • Not meant for beginners
  • Little protection from the elements

5. Tiger Claw Feiyue Martial Arts Shoes

Tiger Claw Feiyue Martial Arts Shoes

Our Rating

Will These Shoes Fit Me?

74%
 Chance of Success

At first glance, you might not think these would be good for parkour, but in fact, they’re excellent ninja parkour shoes. They offer a simple yet durable canvas lace-up top. In addition, there’s a padded and light sole to the shoe.

The tread is just perfect for parkour activities while providing maximum traction for performance. While they aren’t available in many colors and styles, the price is low.

They can be used for a multitude of other activities as well. Many people that enjoy the minimalistic feel prefer these shoes for running and walking. Considering there are other uses involved, I’d say the value is excellent.

You’ll find that this shoe doesn’t hold up for months on end like a more expensive version would. Keep that in mind when you’re figuring out the overall cost.

Pros

  • Minimalistic design
  • Light sole
  • Can be used for many activities

Cons

  • Not available in many colors
  • Not as durable as more expensive options

6. Bait x Bruce Lee x Onitsuka Tiger Men Tiger Corsair

Bait x Bruce Lee x Onitsuka Tiger Men Tiger Corsair

Our Rating

Will These Shoes Fit Me?

84%
 Chance of Success

Looking at the parkour shoes review, I found this great gem; the Ultimate 81 model. It has been a choice for athletes for many years and offers a two-tone EVA midsole.

The flexible TPU heel also offers support and cushioning. This additional support makes it one of the best parkour shoes for beginners.

With increased stability and a revolutionized outsole, you receive traction and shock absorption. The synthetic fiber side panel and mesh toecap also help to keep your feet breathing.

There are only two color options with this shoe, but the cost is reasonable so that makes up for the lack of style.

Pros

  • Flexible TPU heel
  • Increased stability
  • Shock absorption

Cons

  • Not made for advanced users
  • Few colors to choose from

7. Nike Men's Free Rn Flyknit Running Shoe

Nike Men's Free Rn Flyknit Running Shoe

Our Rating

Will These Shoes Fit Me?

79%
 Chance of Success

This pair of adidas parkour shoes is more durable than some others on the market. They look like they would be heavy and in the way, but that isn’t true. They feel exceptionally light thanks to the synthetic material exterior. You will receive a little extra protection, but the weight is still kept low.

The sole is made from a solid rubber while the lugs are designed to provide some grip. Because of the rubber sole, you can expect it to last longer than other varieties. The mesh material provides breathability which is very important when practicing a tough sport like parkour.

There are plenty of colors for you to choose from, but with that comes an additional cost. In addition, the arch can cause some hindrance when attempting to balance on smooth surfaces.

Pros

  • Sock-like fit
  • Feels like moving barefoot
  • Strengthens the foot
  • Flyknit technology

Cons

  • Not for beginners
  • Expensive

8. Adidas Performance Men's Energy Boost 3 M Running Shoe

adidas Performance Men's Energy Boost 3 M Running Shoe

Our Rating

Will These Shoes Fit Me?

79%
 Chance of Success

This pair of adidas parkour shoes is more durable than some others on the market. They look like they would be heavy and in the way, but that isn’t true. They feel exceptionally light thanks to the synthetic material exterior. You will receive a little extra protection, but the weight is still kept low.

The sole is made from a solid rubber while the lugs are designed to provide some grip. Because of the rubber sole, you can expect it to last longer than other varieties. The mesh material provides breathability which is very important when practicing a tough sport like parkour.

Just remember (especially if you're a beginner), that having the right shoes is just one of many things you should do in order to stay safe when practicing parkour. A foot specialist who talks about this is Dr. Mitchell Wachtel:

Parkour is a sport that involves a lot of sprinting, jumping (and) landing (...) Your feet and legs can take a lot of abuse if you don’t know how to land safely. You should always land on the balls of your feet and never your heels. If you land flatfooted, you increase the potential of sustaining a serious injury".


So besides knowing how to land properly, if you do choose to buy these shoes, you will be happy to know that there are plenty of colors available, but with that comes an additional cost. In addition, the arch can cause some hindrance when attempting to balance on smooth surfaces.

Pros

  • Durable
  • Lightweight
  • Surprisingly protective
  • Minimal grip
  • Mesh provides breathability

Cons

  • Arch can cause issues
  • Expensive

9. Merrell Men's Glove 4 Trail Runner

Merrell Men's Glove 4 Trail Runner

Our Rating

Will These Shoes Fit Me?

83%
 Chance of Success

This premium option provides a great blend of protection and comfort. There’s no stopping the flexibility needed for your various movements with this comfortable sneaker.

The sole is made from one piece. This allows for a solid foundation when moving.

The lug depth is 3mm which allows for a safe navigation on uncertain surfaces like railings. 

The synthetic exterior makes the shoe lightweight and comfortable to wear.

The laces are placed in a way that offers a superior fit. These are one of the more expensive pairs of shoes you can purchase, but they’re available in a variety of fun colors.

Pros

  • Flexible
  • One-piece sole
  • Superior fit

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Might run large

10. DOUBLESTAR MR Unisex Vintage Canvas Rubber Sole Shoes

DOUBLESTAR MR Unisex Vintage Canvas Rubber Sole Shoes

Our Rating

Will These Shoes Fit Me?

75%
 Chance of Success

This pair of parkour free running shoes offers a woven canvas fabric upper.

In addition, the rubber sole and cotton lining offer a lightweight, breathable, fairly durable and flexible shoe. These aren’t just good for parkour but also Tai Chi and Kung Fu.

The rubber traction outsole is slip and oil-resistant. There are only two colors available with this shoe but they’re nice and classic, inexpensive and a great option if you’re on a budget. In fact, given the very low price, the clients seem to be pretty satisfied with these shoes:

I use this for parkour, and is a good shoe for that. Inexpensive, fairly comfortable, thin, can feel the ground, fits well. Not that durable, but that's to be expected. Not bad".


Some of the reviews also suggest that you should order a size higher as these tend to run small, but also keep in mind that they will stretch out after putting them on for about a week. In case they don't fit well, there is a replacement guarantee.

Pros

  • Very flexible
  • Lightweight
  • Fresh and breathable
  • Inexpensive

Cons

  • Only two colors
  • Tend to run small

11. Tsukihoshi YOUTH10 Mako Sneaker

Tsukihoshi YOUTH10 Mako Sneaker

Our Rating

Will These Shoes Fit Me?

50%
 Chance of Success

Even kids want to explore parkour, that’s why it’s important to find the best parkour shoes for kids.

They’re machine washable because you know that kids love to get dirty. In addition, the generous forefoot construction allows the toes to lay naturally for super balance.

The rubber outsole allows foot to bend properly, plus is durable and strong. They also offer a hook-and-loop closure for secure on and off. Inside the shoe, you’ll find a green-tea infused anti-bacterial insole that can be removed.

Genoa is a happy client who bought three pairs for her son and says he "loves these shoes":

The very best thing about them is the super flexible and relatively flat sole, which gets harder and harder to find in the big kid sizes. The same is true for the hook and loop (velcro) closure. They are also very light-weight (...) the soles hold up unusually well".


There are lots of colors available for purchase, but they can be pricey. Be sure that you order the shoes a half size down as the manufacturer recommends.

Pros

  • Machine washable
  • Green-tea infused insole
  • Plenty of styles available
  • Very flexible

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Tend to run big

12. Feiyue High Top Shoes

Feiyue High Top Shoes

Our Rating

Will These Shoes Fit Me?

72%
 Chance of Success

Kids love to be athletic and try new things. When you need to find the top parkour shoes for kids, look to the Feiyue brand.

This sneaker offers kids sizes and supplies a simple design. The durable, canvas lace-up top is comfortable, even for little feet.

It also offers a padded yet light sole so you can feel the ground you are standing on.

The high top aspect offers some additional ankle support when needed. They’re available in black and white colors and come reasonably priced.

At this low price, it won’t be a terrible thing when your kid’s feet outgrow the size.

Pros

  • Light padding
  • Ankle support
  • Low cost

Cons

  • Only available in higher sizes for kids
  • Not many styles

Best Brands


Finding the best parkour shoes for your needs starts by looking at the best brands available. Here are some of the top brands you want to look at.

Adidas

Adidas is another brand that offers shoes which work well for parkour.

While they don’t specifically reference parkour as the reason for the shoes, look through their running shoe line.

There you’ll find many minimalistic varieties that should work well for you.

Nike

Nike parkour shoes offer a minimalistic approach in their design. They provide a lightweight shoe that allows you to fully feel the surface you are standing on. The other benefit to purchasing a pair of Nike shoes is the durability. They’re designed to last longer than many other brands.

With Nike, you’ll find a wide variety of styles and colors to choose from so you can look good even while performing your parkour activities. The downside to that is you will have to pay for it.

Vibram

These parkour toe shoes offer a superior way to be one with the ground beneath you. 

On top of that, they’re designed to be comfortable and long-lasting.

Many people find that these become a favorite of theirs after wearing them.


Other Parkour Products


Here are some other parkour products you might find to be useful.

Hemoon Men's Running Trousers

 

Shoes aren’t the only thing you need when you take off in the air. You need your entire body to be comfortable while you’re running and jumping. That’s where this set of trousers comes in.


They offer an elastic waistband to fit most body shapes. In addition, they have the harem slim fit style. That allows you to have a fashionable look while still remaining casual.


They’re made of breathable fabric and come in more colors than you can count. They're also machine washable and have two big side pockets which can come useful.


For the price of them, it makes sense to own a few pair and be more comfortable doing parkour.


FASTBREAK Parkour Bag Backpack Daypack AERIAL

 

Don’t forget about the gear you want to take with you! This bag was specifically designed for parkour.


It remains tight to your body so your belongings stay secure. This is done through the use of a chest jacket and hip belt.


You can choose from two sizes; the medium holds essentials while the large holds even more.


It’s available in black, denim or olive to suit your unique tastes. The bag itself remains lightweight so you don’t even know you are wearing it.

Half Finger Gloves

 

Sometimes you need to shield your hands. This protects your knuckles as well from injury and impact.


The material remains a comfortable temperature and is odor-free. The fit is snug with a reinforced padded palm and adjustable wrist strap.


There’s minimal washing needed to keep these in good shape. They’re designed for long-term use in mind and machine washable if need be.


They dry fast and are good for use in a variety of sports. Keep those hands protected the same way you strive to protect the rest of your body during parkour.


Conclusion


Now you’ve seen all the gear that’s available to make your parkour adventure a success. By investing the time and money into the best parkour shoes, you set yourself up for an adventure. Protect your body and enjoy every moment of the free-spirited activity you love.

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