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The Most Minimalist Shoes in Existence

On Tynan

I had a bit of a love affair with the Vibram Five Fingers. Todd got a pair right before we headed to Tokyo on Life Nomadic 2008, and I was jealous the whole time. Near the end of the trip Vibram graciously sent me a pair (intentionally delayed until after the running of the bulls, because they didn't want to be associated with that), and I wore them as my only shoes for a couple years afterwards.

I love how the Five Fingers feel, I love how they look, and I love supporting such an innovative company, BUT.... they smell terrible.

If you wear them as your primary shoes, you have to wash them every five to seven days or they smell really bad. When you live in an RV, this is difficult to do well, and when they're your only set of footwear, it's annoying to wait for them to dry. So I began searching for a replacement.

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. :)

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