Even though the founder of parkour David Belle has claimed that the best shoes for parkour are bare feet, which should allow for the training of more resilience and strengthening to the feet, this is quite a dangerous and painful idea. The reason is that modern-day feet are soft and not used to barefoot walking in uneven terrains and surfaces, and can easily be injured during the vigorous parkour exercises. This is why, more manufacturers have started designing and producing shoes which are especially made for parkour. It is the shoes which we have been wearing all our lives that have made our feet so gentle and underdeveloped, which is why they are seen by some parkour traceurs as a hindrance to the proper use of the muscles in the feet.
The characteristics of the best parkour shoes
There are several characteristics which are important for a good parkour shoes. As we mentioned, they are many sports shoes which can be used for many other sports, like crossfit.
Naturally, it should fit the foot perfectly and comfortably, because training parkour in uncomfortable shoes can turn into an unbearable experience. Of course, comfort doesn’t mean that the inside should be cushioned all over, but rather that they fit well and yet still leave some sensitivity in the feet for the different surfaces and movements. This is necessary in order to strengthen and further train the feet.
Another important characteristic to look for is durability. Given the serious and vigorous training exercises, durability is important, because you don’t want to have to be buying new sneakers every other week.
The sole of the good parkour shoes needs to have the proper grip, flexibility and design to allow safe and effective training, much like basketball shoes. As a rule of thumb, the soles have to be thin and flexible, in order to keep the feet closer and with better sensitivity to the ground and landing surfaces. The soles can be made different materials, some providing a better grip and others which will last longer.
The construction is very important, too. The one piece sole is much more durable than soles which are made of a variety of different segments, so choose a pair with whole one piece soles, if you don’t want part of your soles falling off during your training sessions.
As for the arch support, you should avoid any footwear with hard plastic in the place of the arch, because this could lead to bad injuries and a lot of pain if landing inappropriately. Of course, beginners can try shoes with good arch support for more stability at first, but they too should choose the models to be with flexible soles. Otherwise, by wearing minimalistic shoes, the arches become strengthened and well developed.