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The Gear You Need for Parkour Training

by:Joy Summit      2020-10-19
When it comes to training for parkour, gear plays a very small role in the overall picture. There are however a few basics to cover. Almost all parkour gear will fall into two categories: things you wear or take with you while training, and items to help with your workouts.
Parkour Shoes
Parkour shoes have one of the biggest debates out there today concerning parkour gear and to be honest, there isn't any reason to get worked up about it. A good parkour shoe will be light, semi-flexible, have a durable rubber sole and be comfortable to train in. At this point in your training, debating over which shoe is best is like asking whether you should buy the red guitar or the green guitar. It really doesn't matter so just pick one and start playing!
There are multiple parkour specific shoes out there, but I have found that cheap running shoes work very well starting out. I personally wear a pair of old Nikes so it really comes down to personal preference. Here are a few options to choose from that might help you decide.
Nike Darts - These are the shoes that I personally use. These are Nike Dart 9s but I have been using all the Dart series since I first started with Dart 6s.
Nike Free Runs- A lot of traceurs are moving towards more flexible shoes. While they typically don't last quite as long, but these Nike Free Runs are also great shoes with fantastic grip for rail work, wall runs and other climbing. There are multiple different thicknesses and flexibility levels for these shoes as well. These shoes are setup on a scale of 1-10 with 10 being most like a normal running shoe and 1 being very similar to running bare foot. I would recommend starting in the middle somewhere with +5 or +3. If you haven't been doing barefoot activities regularly, it won't help you to jump into it all of a sudden. It takes time for your feet to adapt to constant barefoot running or lack of support.
The parkour specific shoes that I have tried like the KSwiss Ariakes and Five Ten shoes aren't very comfortable in my opinion. If you feel that they are more comfortable though, go for it and let me know how you like them!
Parkour Clothes
Just like with any other workout, you don't need parkour specific clothing to train. All you need is weather appropriate workout clothes. I typically where a tee shirt and sweat pants. I know many traceurs that train in shorts or even jeans so it really comes down to personal preference. There are a few parkour clothing brands out there though and almost all parkour coaching organizations have their own clothing. Here are a few of the prominent clothing brands:
Parkour Generations Store Take Flight Apparel 3Run Clothing
Backpack
Since the nature of training for parkour involves a lot of movement, many traceurs have started to carry small backpacks with them when training. All you need is something to hold a water bottle, keys, wallet, phone and any extra clothing you may need. Actually, the smaller the pack, the better because it won't jostle around when you are running as much. Here are a few quality bags that work really well for parkour.
Eddie Bauer Trekker Pack - This is the pack that I personally use. It is extremely light weight and has a chest strap which holds it stable when running. It isn't waterproof though. (I didn't want to spend the extra cash)
Camelbac - These bags are very well made and also come with a bladder for water which negates having to take a water bottle with you. I like them a lot and know multiple traceurs who use them regularly.
There are many more brands out there, so just have a look around and see what you like. As with the shoes above, you don't need a name brand or even any brand to become a world class athlete.

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