When it comes to looking for a great pair of shoes to train parkour in, you may be overwhelmed by the number of choices available. There are many different styles that you can choose from, so knowing a little about what your preferences are will help make the process much easier.

There’s not really a ‘one style is best for all’ when it comes to parkour. For this reason, there are several things that you will need to consider, certain things to look for and even certain things to avoid when you start shopping for your shoes.top-parkour-shoes-guide

Don’t make the mistake of looking just at the price tag. You can find an excellent pair of training shoes for a low price that is perfect for training and ones that may be specifically labeled for this kind of training may end up not being worth all that extra money. Don’t simply pay for a label.

Compare: The 10 Top Rated Parkour Shoes of 2016

Onitsuka Tiger Ultimate 81

Onitsuka Tiger$$$4.9
New Balance Minimus MT10V4

New Balance$$$$4.8
Vibram Spyridon

Tiger Claw Feiyue Martial Arts ShoesTiger Claw$$4.6
Vivobarefoot Evo PureVivobarefoot$$$4.5
PUMA Faas 500 V4Puma$$$4.6
evolv Cruzer ApproachEvolv$$$4.5
Adidas Performance Energy BoostAdidas$$$4.6
Take Flight 1.0 ParkourTake Flight$$$4.7
Merrell Bare Access 4Merrell$$$$4.6

Are you thinking of buying a pair of new parkour shoes in the near future? If so, then you really need to check out the information below. Today we are going to look at five different pairs of shoes that are really becoming popular. Not only are all five of these shoes fashionable but they are also very comfortable to wear. Let’s dive deeper into each of these shoes to see which pair might be the right ones for you!

Onitsuka Tiger Ultimate 81

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“I was looking for a pair of shoes that would take a lot of abuse but still allow me to look great. When I came across the Onitsuka Tiger Ultimate 81 Fashion Sneaker I was very pleased with their look. But once I got them on my feet and hit the trail I was in love!”

If you are looking for a parkour shoe that also looks amazing on your feet, then the Onitsuka Tiger Ultimate 81 Fashion Sneaker is perfect for you! This shoe is made from a combination of high-quality leather and durable fabric that is easy to clean. A very comfortable shoe the 81 comes with a thick and rugged rubber sole that will absorb shock very nicely. If you do a lot of parkour training this shoe will help reduce stress on your feet and keep you going strong. The two-tone EVA midsole and its flex channels at heel will allow you to wear these shoes all day and still feel great when the day is over. If you are looking for a sporty classic looking sneaker that feels good on your feet, then this is the one for you.

New Balance Men’s MT10V4

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“My old parkour shoes had finally given out and I needed some new ones. I was looking around on the internet for a new pair when I came across the New Balance Men’s MT10V4 Trail Shoe. I read a lot of positive reviews on them and decided to buy them. When I got them home and tried them on I was very happy to find how comfortable they were. Now I am set for my next outing!”

Do you love to look fashionable while out performing parkour? If you do, then the New Balance Men’s MT10V4 Trail Shoe is the perfect shoe for you. This shoe which is imported is made with a blend of textile and synthetic materials that are great for repelling stains. A highly durable synthetic sole will bend when you need it, helping to keep your feet comfortable even on the roughest surfaces. The low profile of this shoe looks very appealing to the eye and helps let your feet breathe. The lace-up closure system will keep these shoes on your feet and will help prevent slippage that might cause blisters. This is great if you are going to be running in these shoes all day.

Vibram Men’s Spyridon MR

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“Last summer I was shopping around for parkour shoes when I came across the Vibram Men’s Spyridon MR Trail Running Shoe. I was a bit skeptical at first because most shoes simply can’t keep up with my parkour style. But after I ordered them and put them to the test I was pleasantly surprised! Now I own two pairs.”

The Vibram Men’s Spyridon MR Trail Running Shoe has both style and comfort. Made from super-strong polyester these shoes will take a lot of abuse and still keep going. Great for cross-country running as well as parkour these shoes will keep your feet dry. A tough rubber sole is thick enough to absorb the shock of the trial which is perfect for those who do a lot of running. Difficult surfaces are no match for these strong shoes. A Molded 3D COCOON nylon mesh midsole helps protect the arches of the feet and are super lightweight, so they won’t slow you down. A wave grip outsole help keeps your feet from being injured on sharp surfaces such as rocks. If you are looking for the perfect shoe for long runs over difficult terrain this is the shoe for you!

Tiger Claw Feiyue

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“I have been practicing martial arts for over 20 years now. But I have always had trouble finding the right shoes to wear. That is until I found the Tiger Claw Feiyue Martial Arts Shoe. These shoes are the perfect balance between comfort and performance and I would recommend them to anyone.”

If martial arts are one of your favorite hobbies, then the Tiger Claw Feiyue Martial Arts Shoe is for you. These stylish yet functional shoes are the perfect accessory for anyone who is super active. A beautiful black and white pattern makes these shoes look great and they will match nicely with any type of workout apparel you wear them with. The tread on these shoes will work great with any type of martial art style and will help you keep your balance on just about any surface. The sole of these shoes are padded for your comfort but is lightweight enough not to slow you down. A canvas lace-up top will help secure the shoes on your feet and will not let you down when you need it the most. If you are into parkour these shoes will also do very well for you!

Vivobarefoot Men’s EVO Pure

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“When I first found the Vivobarefoot Men’s EVO Pure Running Shoe I was super happy. I simply loved the way they looked so I bought them right away. When they arrived I used them the very next day on a 5K run. They were very comfortable during the run and my feet felt great all day!”

Do you love to be stylish while performing parkour? If you are the type of runner that likes to stand out from the rest, then the Vivobarefoot Men’s EVO Pure Running Shoe is right for you. These shoes are very vibrant and pleasing to the eye. Made from synthetic fabric, these runners are super easy to clean and will repeal even the hardest stains. This makes them great for running in less than perfect environments. A Dri-Lex performance lining helps keep your feet high and dry. This will help prevent blistering which is a common problem among runners and parkour performers. The hexagon outsole is perfect for running on both pavement and on the dirt trail. If you need a well-rounded running shoe these shoes will fit the bill perfectly.

What is a Parkour Shoe?

Brand names can be very important but just because the shoe has “parkour” in the description does not mean it’s a good quality shoe. Things you can do to help narrow down the field of choices include reading reviews, looking at customer comments from consumers that have purchased and are currently using the product you are interested in.

What are some of the questions you may ask yourself when searching through the different styles? Things like:

  • Do you want a minimalist shoe or one with padding?
  • What grip are you looking for?
  • Is flexibility really important?
  • Where are you running; trails or in the city?

These are all questions that would determine the type of parkour shoe that will be the best for your needs. When you are choosing a shoe for a specialized activity, you want to make certain that you look at the styles of shoes that will meet all of the requirements you are looking for.

What to Look for

The following features are what you want to look at and compare when you are researching the different styles that are available. Taking the time to do some homework and research now will save you the hassle of purchasing a pair of parkour shoes that are not going to fit your needs and preferences.


The amount of grip a parkour shoe has is very important. Possibly the most important aspect you will consider and compare. When a shoe doesn’t have the right amount of grip, the risk of slipping is great which can cause injury as well as a delay in improvement in your training. The best type of grip for this type of shoe will be a fairly flat bottom and not with cleats like a football or soccer shoe has. Look for shoes with a lot of flat surface area.


Another important feature to examine when it comes to choosing the right parkour shoes is the amount of cushion it has. Although a lot of cushion feels good, having too much can cause you to become sloppy when it comes to training. This is due to the landing technique becoming poor since you really won’t be able to tell what kind of landing technique you have because of that extra cushion.

Another pitfall to having too much cushion is that it can make parkour participants think that they can handle larger drops than they may be ready for.   Look for shoes that have little cushion so you can learn to develop the right technique that you need to excel. Even though it may be uncomfortable at first, you will learn how to land gracefully and easily and this discomfort will expedite the process. Many traceurs recommend shoes with very little cushion and thickness for this reason.


Participating in the kind of activities you will be doing such as climbing, jumping and vaulting, you don’t want to be weighed down unnecessarily by heavy shoes. The lighter weight the shoe is that you purchase, the more freely you will be able to move around.   Heavy shoes end up feeling like weights added to your legs and can cause undue fatigue and even clumsiness.


Another consideration is the flexibility of the shoe you are considering. If they don’t bend, you’re going to lose control. You will be landing on small surfaces and even rails so having shoes that bends enough for your foot to wrap around what you’re landing on improves your technique and prevents slipping and falls. Another factor that inflexible shoes will affect is climbing.

Make sure that the front of the shoe bends so your toes don’t end up bending. Now there can be too much of a good thing, so look for the right amount of flexibility; too much and the shoe won’t support your foot. It’s more common to find shoes with not enough flexibility but too much can happen in some styles.


One of the drawbacks that you may find with the soft rubber soles of some parkour shoes is that they will wear down quickly. They do provide fantastic grip but it can be the tradeoff for having that grip. Harder, rubber soles can endure a lot more training but provide you with less grip. Which is more important will be different for different parkour participants. Checking the customer reviews on specific shoes can give you a good idea of the durability and grip of some brands that you are considering.


Do you have a budget that you are looking to stick to? It is always good to have an idea of the price you want to stick to when it comes to your parkour shoes. You want to purchase the best shoe you can find for the budget you set. If you are able to set a higher budget that will open up a lot more choices for you, but ultimately you want to set a budget that you are comfortable with and will be able to stick to and still get a good quality product.


A shoe that has arches is preferable to one that does not. Arches in the shoes help you perform more precise landings. In some cases, when you are landing on an edge of something, the foot slips forward. An arch in the shoes allows you to drop the heels and then when landing on the edge locks the foot into the arch.

If the shoes you are considering have a thin sole and are very flexible, you will find that the natural arch of your foot provides enough in the way of safety during these edge type landings. Make certain that you avoid the style of shoe that has hard plastic in the arches. This can cause dangerous slippage when you are climbing or landing on rails and has the potential to cause injuries due to the increased slipping possibilities.


Fit is extremely important when it comes to choosing the best parkour shoes. You will be running, jumping and climbing so the fit of your shoes is extremely important. You don’t want to purchase a shoe that slips off your foot or one that rubs massive blisters. Training will be interfered with if you are trying to deal with the pain of a bad blister. This is very a very important aspect to consider according to American Parkour and Australian Parkour Association.

Sole Compound

The soles of parkour shoes are made from different kinds of rubber. The type of rubber that is used to create the soles will determine several things like how long the shoe lasts and how well it grips. Softer types of rubber will wear out faster and have to be replaced with new shoes and harder types of rubber can cause slipping on maneuvers like arm jumps.


All of the information that has been listed above should give you a very solid foundation in which to research these specialty shoes and determine which ones are great choices and which ones may be of lesser quality. With all of the choices available, it can feel overwhelming to try and sort through them.

The information in this guide is designed to provide the features to look at and compare and to inform you of what makes a great parkour shoe. Having the right equipment is crucial to enjoying this activity and doing the best you can at it.

When your equipment is subpar, that will affect your progress, your performance and your abilities as well.   Now you are armed with the information that will guarantee you will choose a pair of parkour shoes that will be perfect for you.

 By now you should have a very solid understanding of what makes great parkour shoes and ought to be considering the ones I have recommended. But it’s up to you now to decide which shoe is for you. Will you go with the gripping Ultimate 81’s, the flexible Five Fingers, or the well-rounded Minimus?

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