Barefoot | Anti shoe Review for Parkour

Best all around “shoe” for those who value form the most

The design of the human body hides a secret parkour shoe. You don’t have to go to a store, spend any money, or find the right fit to access this shoe. With such an intense and direct connection with the ground beneath them any athlete can hone their parkour form to perfection. Think of a cool jump you can do. Maybe it’s in a parkour gym, maybe it’s outside on a wall, maybe a roof gap, or a rail precision. Now think about whether or not you could do that jump barefoot? When I think about that in my training I’m compelled to take on a new perspective on my form. I think if I can’t do that jump barefoot then I probably have room for another 30% improvement in my form, at least! Training barefoot obviously removes all the padding so in order to take impact on hard concrete surfaces and have enough grip for big jumps you MUST have perfect workable form or face a possible injury . It prevents you from taking too much risk that your body might not be quite ready for. In order to train safely it also means taking it slow. Even if you’ve trained parkour for a long time you will want to take it slow and ease into training barefoot to give your skin, muscles, and joints time to grow stronger to eventually perform at a high level without the comfort of shoes. To those who say training barefoot limits your ability is wrong. With enough barefoot training, anyone can do sick roof gaps and big standing precisions at height even on slick surfaces.

Let’s jump into the review!

This scoring system refers to how much of a particular attribute bare feet have. The scoring does not refer to the workability of each attribute. 

Durability: 4/5

Once you toughen up your feet over weeks or months of bare foot training you would be surprised how tough your feet are capable of being. What other shoes heal themselves during standard recovery time? None. Your bare feet recover beautifully and become stronger with proper training!

To be fair. If you have soft baby feet, your durability might feel like a 1/5 for the first few sessions. I promise your body will get stronger.

Parkour bare feet after training
Parkour feet after a day of training.

Flexibility 5/5

Normally the flexibility of a shoe refers to how much natural range of motion the shoe will allow your foot and ankle to achieve. So obviously if we remove the shoe, you now have 100% of your own personal range of motion to work with.

That said, you should absolutely work on your ankle and foot mobility to increase your personal range of motion.

Grip: 3/5

Great grip on most surfaces as long as your feet aren’t sweaty. Slick surfaces can be tough to grip until you’ve really gained those feet callouses. Medium grip isn’t actually a bad thing because it forces you to have perfect form when performing moves that demand grip thus ensuring perfect move execution. The grip these shoes offer also gets better over time and never wears out as long as you start building up the toughness of your feet before doing a full day of roof cat leaps training. 

doing parkour and climbing in bare feet
Jimmy Davidson climbing barefoot. @JimmydavidsonPK on Instagram

Padding: 0/5

We have to give padding a zero, since well you literally have no padding.

Padding is for wussies anyway. And maybe broken glass. 

Looks: 5/5

You’ll get weird looks for sure but the natural shape of the foot is quite unique in a sea of mainstream shoe designs. Your body is beautiful. Here’s to a body positive 5/5 score.

Side note. Did you know there are instagram channels dedicated to feet and foot modeling? We were shocked too.

doing parkour and climbing in bare feet
Nathaniel Culver climbing in bare feet. @tallguyjumps on Instagram

Weight: 5/5

It feels like you’re not even wearing shoes.

Price: Free

Free! Not only are these shoes free but you don’t even have to get up to put them on!

Drawbacks

You might become TOO good at parkour if you train barefoot and that could lead to a life that is eventually too easy…

TO be real though. Some times you will want shoes for higher impact training or to simply protect your feet while you give them a rest. So barefoot might not always be the best choice depending on your location, and training intentions for the day.

Conclusion

Bare feet training is a great options to mix into your training. Doing so will help strengthen your lower body in ways shoes simply will not. However you really do need to be vigilant and pace yourself along the way to avoid injury. We highly recommend that all levels of athletes mix some naked feet into your training.

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