Most of us are familiar with parkour and have seen it either in person or in films, but what exactly is it? Well parkour is actually a really simple concept, it’s about getting from A to B using logic and creativity to overcome obstacles. This means where some people might see a wall and go round, a free runner might look to go up and over.
While parkour is a simple concept it’s not easy in practice. Extreme athleticism combined with gymnastic abilities are used in parkour to maneuver and efficiently overcome challenges. Despite how easy a professional may make it look, it takes a lot of training to be good at and years of practice before you can do it effortlessly.
The origins of parkour lie in France where Raymond Belle developed the style in the 1980s. It was primarily an urban sport which appealed to young people in cities, with practitioners being called traceurs. During the 1990s and early 2000s it’s popularity began to grow internationally.
Parkour has taken off massively in the 21st century and made its way into the mainstream. Videos and clips of traceurs have gone viral with the help of social media and left viewers astonished at their feats.
More and more people are getting involved in the latest trend but before you start training to throw yourself off a building you will need to get kitted out properly.
What You Need in Parkour Clothing
Parkour is all about the freestyle and there’s no set dress code or uniform you’ll want to adopt. However if you’re going to be smart about it you’ll realise that given the risks involved having the right clothing will make a big difference.
Clothing for parkour is fairly casual and while there are specialists (which we would recommend) you could go to a lot of high street stores to get what you needed. With that in mind before you get to the there are a couple of key attributes to parkour clothing:
- Light clothing
Parkour involves a lot of fast paced movement and you need that flexibility. You’ll also likely sweat so having light, breathable clothing is a must.
When you’re out doing parkour you’re going to risk injury a lot, especially if you’re learning. Your feet will take most of the impact so you’ll want a pair that offer cushioned protection when landing. Also make sure you have shoes with strong grip to limit the falls in the first place!
Comfort is key when you want the free range of movement. A lot of traceurs opt for a loose fitting outfit for the full range of movement, but if you prefer tighter fitted clothing that can do you well. Ultimately if you’re comfortable you can focus more on the task at hand.
The Best Parkour Clothing Brands of 2020
Given the description above it might seem that any brand will do however, if you’re looking to perform at the highest level you want the best gear and there are some excellent parkour brands out there.
For us there are a couple of characteristics that make a parkour brand attractive. Number 1 is the range of products. We like to see a range of choices but ultimately quality is more important, especially in an activity with this much wear and tear. Top brands offer tailor made clothing which is suitable for parkour.
Secondly we look for style. Parkour hasn’t just taken off because it’s a fun activity, it’s become popular because it’s so stylish and cool. The fluid motion and spiderman-esque moves look incredible so you need a style that will match them.
Finally, we have to consider price. Price isn’t everything and everyone has a different budget but it is important. Make sure you’ve considered your price range beforehand and be realistic with your expectations. Just because you can’t afford to spend a lot doesn’t mean you can’t get some value.
There’s a lot of choice out there but we’ve identified what we think our top 3 brands are based on these criteria:
Take Flight Parkour Clothing
Take Flight are one of the better known companies around and you’ll see them everywhere. They have a big presence in sports retailers and even more online with a large selection of different products. Take Flight have the full range in stock from shoes and socks to accessories so you can get everything in one place.
Take Flight have done well for over 10 years offering good quality parkour gear that looks and feels great. The brand is reliable and looks good, a strong option when you’re looking for the best.
Farang Parkour Clothing
A relatively new company, Farang Clothing was founded by freerunners and they definitely know their stuff. They too have a wide range of parkour clothing which can be found in outlets and online. What sets Farang apart is the fact that they combine styles and designs from across the world to make something unique which stands out.
Norml Brand Parkour Clothing
This brand was also formed by freerunners and has the full range of gear available. This one has made the list because it’s more affordable than our other two but still offers some great value. The quality is still good and the styles look great so If you’re learning or just starting off it might be worth looking at this slightly cheaper alternative.
These are just our top 3 picks but there’s loads of choice out there. Just remember that quality is the name of the game in parkour because that clothing needs to last.
Making a Complete Parkour Outfit
As we said there are a lot of different companies out there and we thought it would be useful to build an outfit from the ground up using all our favourite parkour clothing brands:
It all starts with the shoes in parkour because you need a pair you can trust to offer grip and protection. This pair by Take Flight is made to be durable and flexible so it works for training and with its all black colouring it looks good too. This is one of the newest models out there and is currently our top pick.
Socks: Footy Sox
Socks are practically as important as the shoes because without the right pair your feet will be exposed. This pair by Footy Sox are designed to give you the most grip possible, perfect for activities like parkour. Made from knitted fabric they are durable and won’t tear even under strain. Fast drying and breathable, these socks are getting very positive reviews from users.
These Farang Clothing parkour pants are the most striking we’ve found and definitely stand out from the crowd. Designed with a fitted, but loose feel these pants are perfect for parkour with two zip pockets to keep valuables safe. Made from breathable cotton they’re ideal for any traceur. We have plenty of other parkour pants suggestions as well.
Finally, for our training top we’ve gone back to Take Flight opting for a long sleeve t shirt to give maximum protection. This stylish grey T shirt is made for performance with a breathable polyester. Unlikely other performance tops it doesn’t tightly cling to your skin so you will still have that loose feel for maximum movement while training.
Parkour Clothing Brands For Your Needs
All of these elements and brands come together to give you a great looking parkour outfit. They combine the key elements of protection and comfort in a way that will allow you to train effectively and stay focused.
When it comes to parkour clothing brands everyone will have their own style and preferences. There’s no right or wrong answer so just make sure you like how you look and feel while doing something you enjoy.