People often ask us for recommendations for parkour shoes, so we decided to create this handy guide. If you decide to purchase any of the shoes we recommend through Amazon, please do so by following the links on this post so that your purchase supports the gym at no extra cost to you!
There are three main things that make a shoe good for parkour:
1. You want the shoe to have one solid piece of rubber for the sole, as opposed to sneakers with many small sections of rubber that can tear away individually, thus creating an uneven grip surface.
2. You want the rubber to be the soft, rubbery type, rather than the plasticky or foamy type. This allows for better grip on surfaces.
3. You want the sole to be pretty thin, so you have a good "feel" for the obstacles. This will make things like balancing on rails way easier than if you can't feel anything through thick shoes.
Popular shoes for parkour
With the info above, you can judge for yourself what shoes are good for parkour. However, since we have already gone through the long process of trying so many out ourselves, you could choose to just try a pair of one of the following options we recommend:
1. Saucony Bullets: This is a very popular shoe for parkour due to it's minimalist design, grippy rubber and hip retro look. The toe box has a very thin sole, which is good for feel and it has a bit of a thicker heel, as opposed to a "zero drop" shoe, which we find is helpful in absorbing bigger impacts from landings to hard surfaces. In our experience, these are "true to fit", so if you order your normal size from you should be fine. One thing to keep in mind is that the sole wears through somewhat quickly, which is the trade off of having such soft, grippy rubber.
2. Onitsuka Tigers: Probably tied with the bullets for most popular parkour shoe, the Tigers share many of the Bullets' positive characteristics. One note for these is that there are multiple versions of the shoe and not are all equally suited to parkour. The best ones seem to be the Serranos, which is the link we provided above. The soles on these tend to last longer than bullets, as well.
3. Merrell Vapor Glove: Probably the most minimal shoe on our list, the Vapor glove lacks the slight heel that the Bullets and Tigers have. You will feel everything in these, which is definitely good for rail balancing, but you should make sure to have really good landing tech before training in these because there is nothing absorbing impacts but you. The soles on these last forever, however the material connecting to the soles can tear. We find that they run about a half-size too big, so keep that in mind.
4. New Balance 20V7 Minimus: For those of us with wider feet, this shoe is a great option as compared to the others, which are slightly more narrow. However, there is a bit more of a built-in arch to them than the others listed so far, so keep that in mind.
5. Feiyues: These shoes are a classic in the parkour world. They are popular with beginners because they offer many of the minimalistic and grip advantages of the other shoes listed, but at a much lower price. However, we've worn through a pair of these in a weekend of hard training, so take the lower price with a grain of salt.
So there it is, years of trial and error condensed into a short blog to save you the trouble. We hope this has been helpful to you in your parkour journey! If it has, please remember to purchase the shoes by following the links on this page so you can show your support for us at no extra cost.