Just over a year ago, I compiled three posts of some of the best shoes for Parkour.
A lot changes in a year, and in that time, we (the Parkour community) have tried different types of shoes!
As promised to some parents (who's kids are begging for some of the latest PK kicks) and our students, who want to start taking their training more seriously, here are some of the latest shoes that work, don't work, and what to try and what to avoid!
So to start off with, what makes a good parkour shoe?
I could go into a whole list of details, but I want to try and make this blog a quick read. To sum it up, Kie Willis made a killer video talking about what to look for in Parkour shoes. The link to his video is here;-
If you don't have time to watch the video, I'll sum up what he said.
Grip:- Rubber bottoms (Good for friction on the surface.)
Vertical rubber as opposed to horizontal (Horizontal means there is a higher risk of tear on the bottom of the trainer when landing on surfaces)
Cushioning/ Padding :- PERSONAL PREFERENCE COMES INTO PLAY HERE
Zero drop or padding? How are you training?
Technique - Touch, control, lower drop, less cushioning.
Beginner or those taking higher impact - more cushioning, thicker sole on the bottom.
Look at the density of the foam on the bottom of the shoe (the bit between the sole and bottom of the shoe)
The Nike SB Solar Check ( see below) are the perfect example of a Zero Drop Shoe. There is no foam, just the rubber on the bottom and then the insole of the shoe.
The KO shoes (Left) are a shoe with very little foam, but just enough that it helps with impact and cushioning.
Something like the Adidas Essential Star ( See previous shoe blog here -> https://www.crawleyparkour.org/blog/the-best-shoes-for-parkour-part-3 ) Have a good amount of cushioning and support on all areas of the foot.
Durability:- Durability = weight, whats the weight of the shoe?
Uni sole is better, segmented risks lower durability.
How much are you training? If you're constantly training shoes won't last as long as casual training.
Okay so, now that the lengthy wording and sum up of what to look for is out the weigh, I'm going to jump ( No pun intended) into the shoes that, over the last year or so, we've discovered are good and bad for Parkour.
REEBOK CLASSIC NYLON
Okay so I know I mentioned these shoes in my last shoe blog, but OH LAWD are they a gem. A lot of our coaches & students are now on the Reebok game (still waiting for that commission) and within the last year, the Reebok Classic have become a staple shoe in the Parkour community.
I used these and went to the NIKE CHECKs afterwards, before getting another pair of these, they're so good that it made me question why I went for a different shoe in the first place. Look for the soles with the little circles on them, avoid the raised wave ones!
PROS:- Single rubber sole, medium amount of cushioning, this shoe is great once you've worn them down. The Nylons are very durable (although my last pair only lasted three months due to excessively training 6 days a week).
CONS:- Leather ones aren't as durable, so avoid them! They are also a little bit costly for adult sizes, going up towards £60. If training excessively and constantly (6 days a week for example) you do tend to wear away the soles quickly!
The Reebok CL JOGGER
Very similar to its REEBOK CLASSIC NYLON counterpart, this Reebok shoe is essentially the same as the classics, at half the price. These are the ones I am using right now, as well as Drew and many of our students. The foam in the sole is slightly thinner, and the colourways are pretty dope.
The sole on the bottom is a jagged pattern, but isn't raised! Very comfortable, but take slightly longer to break in as opposed to the Nylons!
Pros:- Cheap, cheerful, last a long time! Comfortable!
Cons:- Take slightly longer to break in.
find them here! https://www.sportsdirect.com/reebok-royal-classic-jogger-2-mens-trainers-124019?colcode=12401940
NIKE SB SOLAR CHECK
A Nike skate shoe which is simple and stylish. I've worn these out training and then casually. They're a comfy shoe and have a single rubber sole, and they were incredibly grippy and durable. They had one of the best grips on a shoe i've had to this day!
They come in a range of stylish colours and aren't too pricey either, they were the perfect shoe when my Reebok's gave up and I was on a budget. However, when I went back to the Reebok's, I realized I missed the cushioning, which these shoes lack. They have a very nice innersole that provides some slight cushioning that comes free with the shoe. They're perfect for low impact, technical training, but as an everyday training shoe when you're taking high impact, you tend to feel the surfaces a lot more.
Pros:- Amazing grip, stylish, range of colours, extremely durable, good for technique and landing training, cheap.
Cons:- Lack of cushioning.
New Balance 247:-
When I first got these shoes, I didn't like them. They only cost me £33 (which was a bargain) but after a couple of training sessions, I binned them off and went back to Reeboks.
Come March of this year, when my Reebok's gave in and I didn't have the money to get a new pair, i went back to these and was surprised with them.
The grip on the bottom looks a little bit like a beehive/honey comb. Skeptical at first, it actually turned out to be rather durable and good for training. Dom Tomato and Ed Scott have both used this shoe multiple times.
There is a nice amount of cushioning on the bottom, not too much, not too little. My only concern with them is the entire top is made out of mesh, and if you snag it on a wall or a rail, the risk of ripping it is incredibly high, so durability wise on that front, they may not hold up too well. However, the bottom of the shoe is incredibly durable. And these bad boys are comfy as heck too! The arch on the bottom, however, is foam, which means a lot of slip and slidin' if you hit those rail precisions wrong!
Pros:- Rubber, honeycombed sole is durable. Comfy, mesh top makes the foot breath easier. Incredibly light.
Cons:- Mesh top could break easily. Innersole slips around a little. Foam arch.
These shoes have become a staple in the Parkour community over the recent years. A shoe with little cushioning, these seem to be a top choice of practitioners who have just started out or who are that bit more experienced.
Slick, stylish and in a range of colours, these single rubber soled shoes are very comfy and durable for training. You can find these in places like TK MAXX, or online! There are many styles of puma suede though, so that could get confusing whilst you're shopping.
Pros:- Stylish, good for beginners or those more advanced, durable, single rubber sole.
Cons:- Less cushioning, multiple options could be confusing.
So, that's the updates on the shoes we've been using and our thoughts on them! Remember to drop us a message or approach us at the end of the coaching sessions if you have any questions.
Train safe dudes and dudettes.