Brands of Minimalist shoes:
When shopping for shoes for this particular activity, you should know that there are few manufacturers who have developed shoes specifically for parkour, and that in the end – light running shoes with good grip and flexibility are encouraged. Even though they are relatively limited, there are footwear and sports companies which have developed shoes suitable for parkour and freerunning.
- VIBRAM’s five finger line of running shoes is suitable, because they offer excellent sensibility of the impact on the feet at all times. Extremely lightweight and minimalist, and yet providing safety and comfort, these are some nice shoes for barefoot parkour, and namely the Vibram FiveFingers KSO EVO shoes. You must remember though that if you have wider feet, longer toes or low arches you could find them uncomfortable.
- VIVOBAREFOOT: Another brand you should take a closer look at is Vivobarefoot, and especially the models Stealth Shoe, EVO Pure and the One. Offering excellent flexibility for the feet and with maximum breathability, the Vivobarefoot shoes will improve your natural foot to ground sensation, and will enhance the natural movement of the heels and toes. These are minimalist shoes made with ultra-thin and light soles, so they might not be the best choice for people with low arches or flat feet.
Brands of Heavy Impact Shoes:
- ASICS: If you prefer to buy heavy impact shoes for your parkour or freerunning practice, then ASICS could be the brand for you. Given the experience of the Japanese sportswear manufacturer, we can safely say that some of its sneakers are perfect for parkour, and namely the Onitsuka Tiger Ultimate 81 model. It is a classic sneaker but with nice arch support, breathability, durability and providing excellent cushioning and yet great sensibility of the ground by the feet.
- NIKE: Nike too offers several models which are great for parkour and steep climbing. One of the top companies in the production of sports shoes for men and women, Nike has some models which are very suitable for these activities, especially the Flex 2015 and Nike Free Run shoes. They are durable, flexible and breathable.
- PUMA: Another manufacturer who makes some great shoes suitable for parkour is PUMA. A perfect model for this purpose is the Faas 500 V4, which is affordable, well made and has a comfortable toe box plus sufficient breathability. So, for a heavier impact parkour shoe, you should consider PUMA as well.
- FEIYUE: Chinese sneaker producer Feiyue also makes some models which are very suitable for parkour. Known for their flexible, light and comfortable shoes “for flying”, Feiyue has a few models which are made for martial arts and for other activities which require excellent foot impact sensation, lightness and flexibility, such as the Tiger Claw and the Los models.
- MERREL: Some models by Merrel shoes are also appropriate for parkour. The lightweight, breathable and comfortable Vapor Glove model offers a snug fit and like other shoes by Merrel offers excellent flexibility and ground impact sensation.
FEATURES TO LOOK FOR:
When looking for the best shoes for parkour or free running, there are several features to be taken into account. First of all, the weight of the shoe is very important because the lighter it is, the less the added weight to your body, which will allow for more natural and free movements.
The soles of the shoes are also very important. For demonstrating better techniques, the soles should be thin, in order to improve the natural sensibility of the feet of the environment, allow for better sensation of impact when falling and thus help reduce the risks of injuries while practicing parkour or freerunning.
The design and material of the soles of the shoes are also important for a better performance, improved traction and durability of the shoes, so choose soles which are one piece, because they are more durable and it is less likely for separate segments to fall off.
Also, it is recommended you get breathable shoes if you plan to practice intensively.
Sensibility: Choosing shoes with arches can improve the safety level for precision landings, but then again flexible and thin-soled shoes without arches will include the sensibility of the foot to impact, so it is a matter of personal preference when picking shoes with arches or not. Plastic arches should generally be avoided because of the increased risk of slipping.
Last but not least, the cost of the shoes is possibly important to you, so unless money isn’t a problem weigh out your possibilities and possibly consider getting shoes which are not so expensive because if you practice parkour or freerunning actively it is likely your shoes will wear out quickly.