If you are an extreme sports lover, you probably heard of parkour. When it comes to all extreme sports, it’s very important to have the proper equipment, including clothes and footwear.
There are various clothing and footwear options when it comes to any sports activity, but parkour is a little bit more specific.
Although doing parkour in boots sounds impossible, it can be done safely and comfortably. In fact, there are some manufacturers that specialize in parkour boots and they are very popular among professional practitioners. Parkour footwear needs to be comfortable, made of breathable material, and have flexible soles.
In today’s article, we are going to discuss different and most appropriate clothing and footwear options for this intense sport.
Table of Contents
- 1 What Is the Best Parkour Footwear?
- 2 Can I Parkour in Boots Safely?
- 3 Types of Parkour Shoes
- 4 What Should You Wear for Parkour?
- 5 Do You Really Need Specific Footwear and Clothes for Parkour?
What Is the Best Parkour Footwear?
Parkour represents a training discipline while using some movement created from military obstacle course training. In this sport, traceurs try to get from one point to another in a compact environment.
They do it without helping equipment and in the fastest possible way. Parkour includes climbing, running, swinging, jumping, quadrupedal movement, etc.
As you can see, the only gear traceurs have is their clothes and footwear. Together with the parkour technique, clothes and footwear can make a significant impact on movement while directing airflow during parkour sessions.
When choosing the right footwear for parkour training you need to make sure you pay attention to certain details. There is some official footwear for parkour, and there are standard sports shoes that can be used for parkour training.
Whichever you are going to choose, parkour footwear should have the following characteristics:
- Flexible sole with an average thickness
- Light-weight shoes
- Breathable air mesh
- Good shoe grip
- Appropriate arch support, flexibility, and cushioning
- Durability minimum of 6 months
- Reasonable price
Can I Parkour in Boots Safely?
Parkour training in boots may not be the first choice for everyone, but it’s not impossible either.
It may sound strange to imagine yourself in boots while doing parkour, but it’s actually quite comfortable and convenient. Of course, you can’t parkour in any type of boots, but you can find some of them on the market that can be safely used for parkour.
Tabi Boots for Parkour
Tabi boots or Japanese split-toe boots are popular among traceurs. These types of boots look pretty interesting. If you imagine ninja turtles’ feet, you’ll get a better picture.
Split-toe boots will equip you with warmth and protection while giving you some needed space between toes. Tabi boots allow you to maintain more balance and control. That’s what makes them a great parkour choice when it comes to footwear.
Just bear in mind that if you don’t have tabi boots that can be worn in bare feet, you’ll need to buy a specific set of socks, because the toe is divided from the rest of the fingers.
Besides split-toe boots, you can also find various types of split-toe parkour shoes. They are all made from lightweight materials and could provide you with a comfortable feel during your parkour activities.
If you decided to train in tabi footwear you’ll probably need tabi socks as well. Luckily there is a wide offer of these socks, you can check out some of them and buy them on Amazon.
Types of Parkour Shoes
Besides the parkour boots we mentioned, there are a lot of different types of parkour shoes. Some say that regular track running shoes will do just fine, others say you can use indoor training shoes.
The first one has a good cushion so it can protect you from all the jumping and dropping. On the other side, indoor training shoes have thinner soles, and the idea is to give you a better training experience and provide you with better contact with the ground.
Here you can check out some of the other parkour shoe options.
Minimalist Shoe Brands
There are few manufacturers on the market who have designed shoes, particularly for parkour. They made light running shoes, also known as minimalist shoes, they have good grip and flexibility.
The offer is quite limited for now, but we found two brands that developed shoes suitable for parkour.
This is a five-finger line of running shoes that is great for parkour training sessions. They offer a great sensibility of the impact that you can feel on the feet during training.
Although they are quite minimalist, they provide safety and are very comfortable. Vibram FiveFingers KSO EVO shoes can even be used for barefoot parkour.
But bear in mind, if you have wider feet, long toes, or low arches, these types of shoes might be uncomfortable for you.
Here is another brand you should check out if you looking for lightweight parkour shoes. These three models can be a great fit for you: Stealth Shoe, EVO Pure, and One.
These models offer great flexibility and breathability. The Vivobarefoot offers shoes that will improve foot-to-ground feeling and can intensify the natural movement of the feet. Minimalist shoes are made with ultra-thin and very light soles.
Again, if you have low arches or flat feet, these might not be the best option for you.
Are Vans Good for Parkour?
Not all Vans’ shoes are good for parkour. Most Vans shoes are suitable for skating rather than parkouring. But, a few Vans shoe models can be an ideal option for parkour. UltraRange can be a good parkouring choice.
What Should You Wear for Parkour?
If you are considering starting with parkour training, you probably asked what clothes you should wear during training. The proper clothes for parkour are something that won’t affect your movement at all.
The clothes that you’ll be wearing must let your skin breathe, and you should feel comfortable in them. You must consider the moves and speed you’ll be going at, and avoid bulky clothes. Only comfortable clothes will allow you to do high parkour jumps. Check below some of the best parkour clothing options.
Sportswear is usually the first parkour choice. This is quite logical because this type of clothes is breathable and lightweight. You don’t need expensive clothing. Most traceurs love cheaper, off-brand clothing.
That way you won’t have to worry if you tear something during a training session. So keep it affordable and simple.
Tops and Outerwear
When you dress for parkour training you must consider the season you are training in. If you train during the summer months and warm weather, loose t-shirts will do just fine, but when it comes to colder weather: think layers.
You should layer up with warmer fabrics. Put on long sleeve t-shirts, and hooded sweatshirts. You can also add on a zippered vest. If you get too hot during training, you can easily take off any piece of clothing.
When choosing parkour trousers, you should make sure your shins and knees are protected from rough exteriors. Instead of shorts go for lightweight long trousers or cargo pants. They need to be relaxed and loose, so you can move freely and have good ventilation. A lot of parkour practitioners wear baggy pants. Besides the ability to help air flowing, baggy pants represent a subculture image. They became some sort of traceurs’ dress code.
When it comes to gloves, there are divided opinions. They can be useful in rougher terrain situations, but at the same time they prevent building up the calluses on your hands, so your hands will naturally stay gentle, which is not so great for parkour.
Gloves can also be a problem in rainy weather, because you may lose a grip at the wrong moment. So, be aware of the pros and cons of wearing gloves while training parkour before you decide whether to wear them or not.
What Are the Best Gloves for Parkour?
If you decided to buy gloves for your parkour training here is the list of some popular gloves on the market:
- Steel Sweat Workout Gloves
- Black Diamond Crag Half-Finger Climbing Gloves
- Mad Grip F50 Pro Palm Knuckler Gloves
- Harbinger Fingerless Weightlifting Gloves
- Seibertron S.O.L.A.G Gloves
- Trideer Padded Gloves
- Crown Gear Gloves
Wrist guard is a small thing that can make a great difference. You don’t need to spend a lot of money on it, just find some standard sports brand.
The wrist guard shouldn’t be too tight on your wrist, it just needs to protect you from scratching during wall runs and climbs. It can also make your wrist more steady.
Do You Really Need Specific Footwear and Clothes for Parkour?
Before you decide to start with your parkour training, be sure to check if this is a good sport activity for you. Parkour is an extreme sport, it’s not easy and can cause serious injuries if not done properly. Don’t worry, there’s no age limit (you can start at 19, for instance). However, you’ll need a lot of will and practice.
Besides that, you’ll definitely need to consider what type of footwear and clothes you are going to wear.
In the beginning, you should see what’s most comfortable for you, and try not to spend too much money on any type of clothes, but also make sure not to buy something of poor quality.
After you equipped yourself with desired clothes and footwear, be aware of your limits and abilities. Parkour requires leaving your comfort zone, just like any other extreme sport.