One of the most frequent questions we get from parents, athletes, and students here at Freedom in Motion is about footwear for Parkour.
Shoes are the only real equipment to consider when preparing for your Parkour training. You want to make sure you’re making an informed decision before you lay down your hard-earned cash for something that you hope to keep you safe and propel your training forward. Today, let’s take a look at the Onitsuka Tigers Serrano by Asics. These shoes come in two slightly different versions, the Serranos, and the Ultimate 81s. The shoes are nearly identical with some slight changes in padding and flexibility. Here, we’re going to be talking only about the Serranos. Click here to see our review of the Ultimate 81s
Collectively, we at Freedom in Motion have tried just about every shoe out there, and have discovered the top shoes for parkour. A number of our athletes have found the Onitsuka Tigers Serrano to be contenders for their favorite shoes. However, despite the shoes being well rounded, some athletes think they may be lacking in certain areas for particular movement styles. Keep reading to find out how YOU would like them!
Onitsuka Tiger Serrano
A multi-sport shoe, for parkour.
In 1949, Kihachiro Onitsuka created the first ASICS shoe in his living room in Kobe Japan, under the Onitsuka Tiger name. Onitsuka Tiger, the forerunner of ASICS, was born in 1949. The brand began with Kichachiro Onitsuka’s commitment to promoting youth health through sport and since then, the Onitsuka Tiger stripes have become synonymous with premium performance.
Due to its flat rubber grip and well-rounded balancing, the Serranos have been a tried and true favorite of parkour since the beginnings of the sport. I suppose it makes sense that a multi-sport shoe would end up being a solid choice for parkour athletes alike.
Serrano Stats At A Glance
Durability: 5- Stars
Some athletes report having these shoes for up to two years! In very heavy use, the shoes tend to last at least 6 months. For casual wear, you can expect closer to a year or more depending on your style. These shoes have some of the best construction in the game. That’s to be expected from a long-standing shoemaker such as Ascis. Typically, the first Major part to wear down is the rubber under the ball of the foot, which is typical for a shoe. If you get your shoes wet often or scale a ton of abrasive walls, the front rubber bumpers may begin to peel away after 6 months or so, which is mostly cosmetic. Currently, no shoe on the market lasts longer than Onitsuka Tiger 81s or Onitsuka Serranos.
Flexibility: 3.5 -Stars
The shoes are flexible enough, nothing to write home about, yet fair enough to get you through your training day without any problems. If you do yoga or other movement practices with these shoes on as part of your warm up, you may feel an urge to take them off for some better foot and ankle mobility. While training parkour, however, the shoe’s flexibility is a-okay and gets the job done!
The Serrano boasts a grippy uniform rubber coating covering the entire bottom of the shoe. The particular type of rubber on the shoes tends to perform well on wood, paint, brick, concrete, and metal. The interwoven triangle pattern on the shoe’s grip provides some decent traction and holds up for a decently long time before wearing down to smooth rubber. Once smooth, the rubber still provides a quality stick. The grip and coverage of these shoes is a huge asset for the brand. The only drawback is that the somewhat flat grip surface can slip on some wet surfaces like grass or wet concrete, as reported by some athletes.
Padding: 3 -stars
The Serrano features one layer of foam padding. The particular level of padding is obviously a bit more than a feiyue (near minimalist) but much less than the Vans Ultra Range shoes. The Serrano fall neatly in the middle of how much padding and how soft parkour shoes tend to be. We don’t recommend these for those looking to get a huge amount of feel and feedback from their feet, however, they are still great when transitioning into movements with higher levels of impact when over concrete.
Looks: 4 -Stars
The shoes come in a variety of colors yet. They are much better looking than your average running shoe, but the typical serrano color pallet may not look quite as nice looking as the Vans Ultra Range or the Strike Movement interval knits (review on strikes coming soon). If you color match your shoes to a fly outfit, they may bump up to a 5-star shoe in this category.
Crosstraining and multi-sport shoes tend to be on the average to heave side of shoes. However, the use of natural fibers on the Onitsuka Tiger Serrano makes it lightweight compared to other multisport shoes in its class. They have an average weight and quickly become comfortable on an athletes foot after a few moments of training in them.
Price: $65 – $85
These shoes are on the upper end of the price spectrum for parkour footwear. However, because they have such high durability and are so well rounded, athletes are highly likely to feel like the price matched the quality of the shoe. If the price is still just too high, there are much cheaper alternatives to these shoes. Try Feiyues if you’re looking for something less expensive. Sometimes deals with these shoes can be found across the internet. Good luck in your search! >>Click here<< to compare colors and pricing.
Additional Benefits of the Serrano
- Very comfortable
People find these shoes to be very comfortable. The inner sock lining and the thick foam make these shoes a joy to stand and walk around in.
- Great Construction
its mesh forefoot is airy, which prevents the toes from getting blisters and keeps feet drier. The use of natural fibers on the Onitsuka Tiger Serrano makes it lightweight compared to other multisport shoes in its class.
- Vegan shoes
The onistukaTiger website states that the Serranos are part of their vegan shoe collection. This means the materials, including the glues used in the shoe, are synthetic or derived from plans and use no animal products.
Drawbacks of the Serrano
- Uneven Wear
Many users report the grip on the ball of the foot is always the first thing to fail on Tigers. Overall, even this part of the shoe lasts a decently long time, it’s just something we have noticed many users mentioning about the shoe.
- Awkward feel for flatfooted athletes
Flat footed athletes have specified that the partly raised portion on the heel gives an awkward feeling. They eventually get comfortable to the feel after a few sessions.
- No Trickers?
We noticed that athletes who tend to do a lot of tricking in their style, tend to not wear Tigers. This may be due to the 3-star flexibility and average to low feel of the show.
Conclusion: A well-rounded shoe, a safe purchase!
The Onitsuka Tiger Serrano shoes are a stylish and well-rounded shoe. They are adequate for a wide variety of movement types and are solid shoes for beginners and professional athletes alike. If you have the money for them and are looking to be a well-rounded athlete, we highly recommend these shoes for parkour training.
Where to purchase?
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What do you think?
We want to know what the community has to say. What was your experience with the Serrano? Did you love them, or hate them? Let us know in the comments below!
Other Shoe Reviews By Freedom in Motion
- Feiyue | Martial art shoes for Parkour
- Vans UltraRangers | Casual surf shoes great for parkour
- Onitsuka Tiger Ultimate 81 | Multisport parkour show
- Strike Movement | Cross training parkour and CrossFit (Coming Soon)