Parkour, or free running, is a particularly fun recreational activity that combines specific skill sets; flexibility, a daring mind, a quick brain, and bodily speed. With all the flips and kicks and turns, parkour is a thrill from the beginning to the end, even though it can be physically demanding. Your ability to perform stunts on short notice will be significantly impeded if you do not get access to enabling gear like parkour shoes. This guide profiles some of the best parkour shoes online.
The Best Parkour Shoe
Saucony is well known for making athletic shoes, so it’s no surprise that the Saucony Originals Men’s Bullet Sneaker is our top contender. These super slim shoes fit like a glove and thanks to its rubber outsoles, you can land softly while doing parkour or any other outdoor activity. The company redesigned the 1985 original Saucony Bullet, removing the spikes and other designs of the authentic track shoes to make it street worthy. The bullet now has a super low profile, and it’s made with nylon and suede for a more casual look, and rubber outsoles.
The Bullet is highly functional and durable, and it also has rubber soles and a removable insole. The sleek silhouette is in honor of the original 1985 bullets. However, the retro look is laced with soft fabric lining with more cushioning at the tongue and collar for more comfort and support. If you’re still not sold on these shoes, then maybe the EVA midsoles that can absorb shock, cushion your feet and give your excellent support will do the trick.
Rubber insoles and outsole
- Weight12 ounces
Lightweight and flexible
It has excellent grip for any surface
They are very comfortable
It has no arch support
It has minimal padding
If you’ve never bought a pair of laceless sneakers, then give it a try with the Onitsuka Tiger Mexico 66 Slip-On Classic Running Sneaker. But why is it laceless? Because it’s a slip-on, much like a pair of vans, you won’t have to worry about laces coming undone. Slip-ons are typically convenient and comfortable; the Mexico 66 is made from top quality material and soft cushioning on the footbed for more extended periods of activity.
The overall aesthetic of the 66 is low-top retro, made from premium white leather and stitched the classic red and blue ASICS stripe. The 66 features heel-cross reinforcement for top-notch stability. Although you can lace these shoes up, they are still a great fit without laces because the tongue is stitched to the inside panels of the upper. Apart from perfect snugness, the 66 features a heel flap that supports you as you put them on. For more amazing shoes check out our guide to the best high tops.
- BrandOnitsuka Tiger
- ModelMexico 66® Slip-on-U
- Weight12 ounces
They are comfortable to wear, thanks to the heel flap
Lightweight and comfortable
They are incredibly snug, despite the lace-less design
It is not as cushioned as most shoes
They do not give arch support
Picture a pair of gloves, now picture them as a pair of shoes, that’s precisely what the Vibram Men’s V Trail Runner looks like but with laces. Like most minimalist shoes, the Vibram is exceptionally lightweight but gives your feet excellent protection from uneven ground. The 3D Cocoon embedded in the outsoles makes the pump thin. It is made from flexible mesh which is dispersed around your feet as you go about your activities.
The Vibram gives you extra grip on wet and dry surfaces with its mega grip soles that provide superior grip and rubbed longevity. The V- Trail has an impressive Vibram 3D Cocoon technology molded into the sole which gives you extreme protection from rocks and is extended into the ball area. The designed is a multi-directional lug for overall grip for steep terrain.
100% polyester and spandex
Breathable Poly Fabric sock liner
Lug Design Outsole
- Weight2 pounds
These shoes are perfect for runners
The lug provides quality grip
Flexible and molds to feet
The toe part of the shoes is quite short
The shoes run small
The color of the pump might bleed
Lovers of barefoot running will enjoy the Merrell Men’s Vapor Glove 3 Trail Runner. This shoe is the perfect balance between minimalist and comfort. Unlike most minimalist shoes, the sole of the Vapor Glove is thick enough to give you a right level of protection under your foot. You might not want to take these out on rocky areas, but they perform excellently on gravel and the road. The Vapor Glove 3 features a Vibram-brand rubber outsole made from a new and improved compound called the TC5+rubber, so you know you’re getting value for your money and feet.
This outsole is lighter than previous Vapor Glove models, and it features 2mm lugs for extra grip on any surface. The soft outsole is high on wet and slippery rocks, but don’t expect a minimalist shoe to give you top-notch underfoot protection. The midsole of the Vapor Glove 3 uses compression-molded ethylene-vinyl acetate (CMEVA) that provides comfort and flexibility for your feet while running.
100% Mesh, TPU
Vibram TC5 outsole
- ModelVAPOR GLOVE 3-M
- Weight12 ounces
The shoes allow ventilation
They are durable
It has a soft outsole
There’s minimal midsole cushioning
The material is not durable
Going on a hike? Pick the Evolv Men’s Cruzer and reach the top. At first sight, these shoes do not have the “I’m for hiking” appeal, it looks more like a cross between a bowling shoe and a pair of vans. But, they offer much more, including excellent traction and stability.
The Cruzer is a lightweight canvas lace-up slip-on walking shoe. It has a thin upper material and a tight fit to keep your foot in place as you climb steep rocks. This is also a barefoot shoe for people that prefer a slight feel of the ground while walking or hiking. The front of the Cruzer features a smooth edging pad, which is perfect for gripping between rocks as you climb and incredible for edges.
Microfiber lined memory foam insole
- Weight2.88 pounds
It has sticky rubber insoles for good grip
A foldable heel that turns into comfortable slippers
Flexible and lightweight
Soles are not suitable for prolonged wear
They run small
The material feels cheap
We all know Puma, so there’s absolutely no reason to go into detail about their resume when it comes to sports shoes. So, we have the Ignite; one of the most versatile and high-energy running shoes. The build of the shoes doesn’t particularly scream “freerunning shoes,” but they hold up pretty well when it comes to parkour activities.
They come with Puma’s IGNITE Foam midsole, which provides you with optimal cushioning and that extra power you need to propel you forward as you move your feet. In addition to that, there’s a dual mesh upper and dual midsole design that gives you adequate feet support and flexibility. As you can probably guess, the shoes themselves are already lightweight. Perfect for jumps and flicks, won’t you say? Love running? Check out our review of the best zero drop running shoes for our top picks.
Lowered midsole height
Articulated chevron design
Flex groves at the forefoot
- ModelIGNITE DUAL-M
- Weight3 pounds
They’re light and very flexible
A breathable mesh gives you the right kind of dry clean feeling
They don’t look like much, so don’t expect to wear these out
Take Flight is one of the lesser known brands to feature on our list, and they make an entry with this bulky, dominantly-built footwear. At first glance, it’s pretty obvious that these shoes look a bit much. However, do they have the features to match that look and provide the right kind of support for parkour? Well, they pretty much can.
The Take Flight shoes designed with a special type of rubber compound, which helps their soles improve their grip on the ground. This, in addition to an outsole pattern, makes the shoes by far the “best grip” options on the list Moving on, we have a dual sock liner design, as well as the manufacturer’s unique “Compression Landing System” that ensures a proper fit (regardless of your leg’s width) and the right amount of protection as you move. The shoes also have excellent cushioning, effective transitioning, and enough traction to keep you moving for hours on end. If you love training, make sure you also check our guide to the best cross training shoes.
Compression Landing System
Dual sock liner design
Special rubber compound
- BrandTake Flight
Optimum grip for your feet
Perfect cushioning effect
They weigh you down, thanks to the bulky design
We know what you’re thinking; the shoes don’t look like they’re much. With Nike Men’s Flex Experience Rn 6 Running Shoe, there is absolutely nothing special. The mesh material makes them breathable (and by extension your feet feel airy and dry), and there’s a synthetic rubber sole that can last quite long.
However, beyond that, there really isn’t anything more. To top it all off, the shoes don’t look visually appealing, so you can’t purchase them as a fashion statement as well. In general, you really won’t be missing much if you choose to skip this option. However, its affordability earns it a place on our list nonetheless. Find more great products like this by checking out our guide to the best trail running shoes for women.
Mech outer body
The soles are hard, so they won’t keep you comfortable
Parkour Shoe Buying Guide
How We Chose Our Selection Of Parkour Shoes Reviews
Reviews - Parkour shoes are just like every other type of product. A lot of people have used them in the past, and they probably have opinions about the shoes that we have selected. The moment we began listing shoes and selecting our best choices, we made sure to head down to retail platforms to read what past users have to say about them.
We were extra careful when selecting the reviews. Our goal was to bring everything together. We looked at every single aspect of the shoes and their reviews, along with what makes people rave or throw them away. This way, we were able to aggregate the reviews, and compare how each pair fared with others as regards dispensing the specific duties of freerunning shoes (and the general duties of shoes as well).
Brands - Brands are a part of our culture. They distinguish one company from another, and the fact that some brands seem to be popular and more successful than others is a testament to the shifting social preferences of today's customers. For every product, there's a brand name that dominates. For parkour shoes, there are some brands that users expect on the list. Also, these famous brands have products that are much easier to find, so we started with those.
We collected the free running shoes of famous brands and measured their pros and cons, as well as their relative abilities to meet up with what was required of them. From there, we balanced things up a bit by looking at the offerings of less popular brands.
However, the goal here wasn't to include lesser known brands in our guide. We only featured lesser known brands that had quality products (or at the very least, products that were able to compete with the more popular ones) in our list.
Price - Price is the major sticking point in many buying decision, and more often than not, it ends up being what determines whether a person can ultimately make a purchase or not. The issue of price is perhaps the most difficult one to work around. This is because apart from price, we also had to consider the worth of the products as well. A product that is being priced at a specific cost needs to be worth its weight in gold. If it's not, then it's not offering customers value for money. We found some products like these and we were quick to take them out of our list.
Features To Look For In Parkour Shoes
Sole - When it comes to the sole, you have to consider two other things; the strength, and the material of the sole. Some materials are generally stronger than others, and this means that you can wear the shoes much longer, without having to deal with the sole chipping off. However, when it comes to the material of the sole, you will need to consider this because a comfortable material will keep you from having to feel the effects of the floor as you take your stride. So, these are the two significant factors that you need to remember as far as the sole of parkour shoes is concerned.
So, keep in mind that these are parkour gear. You will be using them for some high-intensity exercises (flips, kicks, and all), so they would need to be durable and grippy to the floor. You need shoes with good grip for parkour because terrible grip can easily cause accidents. However, when the soles of your shoes can hold a firm grip on the floor, then you will have no issues with that.
Weight - Weight is a significant factor, and you will definitely need to keep an eye out for this. It's pretty simple; as it is with all types of shoes, you don't want footwear that will end up weighing you down. It is especially important when it comes to parkour sneakers. Parkour is a general activity that has a lot to do with your ability to be flexible and move quickly. To do this, you sure don't at shoes that will keep like you're carrying dumbbells while you walk. So, make sure that you're selecting flexible shoes and light in weight. It is very crucial
The weight of the shoes will also come in to be vital when you're done with your parkour activity. When you're tired and you need to get back home for a shower, you sure don't want to be seen on the streets or in the park holding your shoes and walking with your bare feet because your shoes are just too damn heavy, do you?
Fit - Also, you need to keep an eye out for how the fit of your shoes for parkour and freerunning are. Parkour running shoes come in different designs, shapes, and builds, and it is very vital for you to ensure that a prospective pair fits your feet in such a way that they are comfortable and your feet can stay firmly locked inside the shoes. Parkour shoes that don't fit will end up falling off your feet comfortably, and they won't provide the type of rigid placement and support that you need to dish out your parkour skills effectively. Also, you'll find that in the long run, shoes that have a terrible fit tend to be very uncomfortable as well. Less comfort means less value for your money, and you'll be looking to get a new pair of shoes sooner rather than later. This is why the fit of the shoes is essential, and it's why you have to consider it a great deal.
Arches - The arches of your shoes are what provide two essential functions; stability and shock absorption.
Stability helps ensure that you can stand correctly in these shoes, and it also goes a long way in affecting your overall posture whenever you have the hoes on. As for shock absorption, a pair of shoes with proper shock absorption will help you take faster strides, without feeling the full effect of your feet colliding with the solid ground. So, make sure that the parkour shoes you're looking to get have aches.