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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. :)

Lifting in Chucks

On minimalift

Lloyd asks: do friends let friends lift in Chucks?

A good pair of weightlifting shoes is the most essential purchase for any serious lifter. This is not the area to skimp. Go for the top end and buy the best quality. Same goes for barbells, for that matter. I own three pairs of shoes and expect they will last me for the next 30 years. Think of your weightlifting shoes as lifetime investments.

I lifted in Chuck Taylors (Converse All Stars) for some weeks when I first started lifting. It's not great but safer than anything with a squashy heel. Friends do not let friends lift in running shoes or with small plates or bits of wood propping up their heels. Much as I love Dave Draper and Arnold those old photos gave a lot of people the wrong idea.

I know some powerlifters who use low and high ankle Chucks. It seemed to suit their squatting style and they were well strong. Never mind those brutes though; if you want to be a weightlifter you need weightlifting shoes. I like the ones that have a wooden heel and can be resoled. Some of the cheaper models out today will begin to compress under big weight, so be aware of that.

My favourite shoe makes: Adidas Adistar 00, 04, 08, Adidas Ironwork II, III, Asics TOW727, Risto. Round these parts getting hold of any of these will be an expensive mission, so find a reputable cobbler and have them build something similar.

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