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Parkour Shoes and Reviews

On Jumping on Entrepreneurship

As parkour has grown in popularity, a lot of companies have created and sold parkour shoes. A lot of people ask me what is the best shoe for parkour, so I’ve put together this guide to the most common shoes people might suggest for parkour. This is by no means an exhaustive list, these are just the most common ones that I have enough experience with to review.

One quick note: I am a big fan of minimalist shoes. There’s a lot of research out there that shows that the more padding and cushioning a shoe has, the MORE damage it does to your feet, knees, and hips. That’s out of the scope of this article though.

Full disclosure: In early 2010 I received some free Ariakes from K-Swiss. This has not influenced my review, but I wanted to be transparent.

K-Swiss Ariake [caption id="" align="alignleft" width="150" caption="K-Swiss Ariake Parkour Shoe"][/caption]Price: Around $100

Description: This was the first shoe created and marketed specifically for Parkour. They’re made by K-Swiss. They sent a lot of free pairs out to traceurs a few years ago to help spread the word about being a Parkour shoe. Many people wearing Ariakes got theirs for free, either directly from K-Swiss or from someone who got them from K-Swiss. They also come in lots of different (and crazy) colors, which can be a pro or a con depending on your preference. :)

Socially Conscious Companies

On Boredom At Its Worst

Stumbling through Whole Foods, I saw a pair of shoes I really liked. Now I had previously laughed at the idea of people buying shoes at Whole Foods, but for some reason I was really attracted to this pair of shoes from a brand called FreeWaters. I looked it up that night and found out it's so small / new that it doesn't even have a Wikipedia page.

Now the reason Whole Foods sells it (or at least the reason I believe so) is that it has a social mission: to provide clean water throughout the world. For every pair that FreeWaters sells, one individual will be able to drink clean water for a year. Now I was mainly attracted by the style of the shoe, but their mission gave me the final edge to go ahead and buy the shoes.

This "social responsibility" of companies has been popularized by TOMS, the other shoe vendor you will find at Whole Foods (the only grocery store I know that will sell shoes but not Cinnamon Toast Crunch). For every purchase of a TOMS pair of shoes, the company pledges to donate one pair of shoes to someone who needs them.

TOMS shoes have surged in popularity. Almost every single girl I know has a pair, and so do some guys. In my opinion, without the social mission, the company would have not been able to see the success it sees. The marketing the company has done has been phenomenal. It truly is a win-win. The shoes by itself are a tad pricey (for the minimal nature of the shoe), but consumers feel justified when they know their efforts are going to help out someone in need. And plus, the shoes are significantly cheaper than let's say the new Nike Free Run. When debating whether to buy the Nike Free Run or TOMS for a new pair of casual shoes, the TOMS are cheaper and make the consumer feel good about themselves.

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