One of the best ways to transform your body and get in shape is to start getting involved with parkour. There’s quite a steep learning curve, but once you get into it you’ll start to see the benefits to your mind and body almost instantly.
The rise of parkour has been meteoric and over the last 10 years the number of parkour practitioners (traceurs) has almost doubled. Social media has facilitated this by sharing content across borders and allowing people to share and develop ideas to help others.
Parkour is accessible to everyone because you only need your own body. That being said you need to make sure you’ve got some key pieces of kit before you start or you might run into some trouble.
You Need a Pair of Parkour Shoes
One of the must have elements you need to have for parkour is a reliable pair of shoes. You might be tempted to dust off the old casual trainers and give them a go, and while for other sports that might work fine, for parkour you risk some serious injuries.
Parkour shoes have evolved over time and now they have come to a point where they add a lot to performance. They have a lot more grip than casual trainers and come with built in protective features to look after your body. Casual trainers might be your usual go to, but for parkour you will need to upgrade.
The good news is that there’s a lot of choice out there and you won’t need to break the bank in order to afford them. There’s loads of specialist parkour brands offering parkour shoes but even traditional sports shoe brands now have ranges of running shoes which are suitable for parkour. In fact it’s with these well known sports brands that you can find some great value for a new pair of parkour shoes.
Top 3 Best New Balance Parkour Shoes
New Balance has been in existence in one form or another for over 100 years. In that time they’ve grown a global empire producing sports shoes and activewear. Their slogan is ‘we were born to move’ which is pretty much the catchphrase of parkour, so it’s no surprise they have shoes perfect for freerunning.
New Balance combine function and fashion in their products because they don’t believe that performance should compromise the look or feel of a shoe. They’ve built a name for themselves by supporting athletes and offering everything an individual needs to get out there and succeed.
New Balance have a lot of well made top quality products. We’ve looked and identified our top 3 parkour shoes from their collections which are perfect for any freerunner looking to upgrade their trainers.
New Balance M390Bw2 Running Shoes
Available in signature black and white, or orange and blue the New Balance M390Bw2 running shoes are made with the classic style of New Balance. While this has a lot of the same qualities as a running shoe you can see that it’s been made stronger and adapted for tougher conditions. With increased grip, padding and additional features, this trainer is definitely up to the challenge of parkour.
The New Balance M390Bw2 has a synthetic outside which defends against the elements. Inside is a mesh overlay and textile overlays wrap closely round your foot to give a secure hold. A removable imeva midsole has been included as extra padding and protection, giving another layer to absorb any impacts.
Unlike some other running shoes New Balance have opted to put additional padding in the base of the shoe. A heel 1.5 centimeters tall has padding inside and offers increased impact resistance for landing. This model is lightweight and built for speed with no heavy materials used to add weight.
The New Balance M390Bw2 may not look like much at first glance but beneath the surface there’s a lot of different elements in play that make this one of our top picks:
- Built for Speed
Everything about this shoe is made for speed. The lightweight materials used mean they only weigh 599 grams which means you’ll barely even feel it. This, combined with the tight fit, means you’ll have maximum flexibility in this shoe.
- Impact absorption
Made with a rubber sole, a large padded heel, a removable insole and a padded collar there’s a lot of protection at play to defend your feet when moving. Plus there’s a heel counter at the rear of the shoe to offer even more protection. Whether you’re running or landing from a height the shoe is built to take the impact so you don’t have to.
The entire interior of this shoe is made with an advanced mesh structure. This has tiny holes which allow airflow in and around the shoe. This lets your skin breath and prevents the build up of moisture from sweating, keeping you clean, fresh and dry.
All in all New Balance have created a sports shoe that’s suitable for a range of disciplines. It’s not specifically a parkour shoe however the features mentioned above prove that it is up to the task. The reviews of the New Balance M390Bw2 are very positive and it’s scoring 4.5/5 stars overall. The lightweight and cushioning makes it feel like you’re walking on air, taking the pressure off your feet
The New Balance style is pretty iconic and they guarantee quality in their shoes. This means a longer life for your trainer and great value for money for you.
Second on our list is the 790 training running shoe which is one of the most popular models that New Balance have created. This is another shoe which has been built for speed, offering a range of features to keep you moving and prevent you having to slow down. They’re designed intelligently to offer you a full range of movement without having to slow down.
The New Balance 790 training shoes are made without seams and as one overall unit. This helps protect the shoe because there’s little to no risk of them tearing or breaking. Synthetics are used all over with textiles on the inside giving a more comfortable feel.
The signature of this shoe is the ABZORB heel. This has been created by New Balance to counteract the impact that can be felt from extreme physical activity. While this is useful for running, it’s invaluable for parkour and once you’ve got used to it you won’t want to go back
Finally, but potentially most importantly, New Balance have made this shoe with optimal grip. This will give you traction on a variety of surfaces and can even be used in wet conditions.
The New Balance 790 training shoes are classic sports shoes that could be used for a variety of sports. They’ve made our list because we think they can give specialist parkour shoes a run for their money with these features:
Not an uncommon theme in sports shoes, but the New Balance 790 training shoes are ridiculously light. Weighing under 300 grams these shoes really are built to get you places. The breathable mesh allows airflow around your feet but also keeps the entire shoe as light as possible. Perfect for parkour where you need all your speed and strength.
New Balance are one of the most stylish brands around with their signature logo sitting prominently on the lip of the shoe. Compared to other parkour trainers these look a lot more natural and could easily be used casually or when training. Available in 8 different colour palettes you should be able to find one that suits you.
- Affordable Protection
For the protection offered in this shoe you would have expected a bigger price tag but New Balance are living up to their name and have managed to strike a balance here. The ABZORB heel and unique heel offer a level of protection found in the mid range trainer but you can pick this pair up for as little as $30.
New Balance have used some high quality materials to create a high quality shoe. It’s perfect for parkour and will let you get the most from your workout. Users have rated this 4.5/5 with the only criticism being the sizing. Make sure you pick one size up from your usual to ensure these fit correctly.
We’ve potentially kept the best New Balance parkour shoe til last here as the Vibram Minimus is the perfect companion for any freerunner. This shoe has made the top 5 list on several parkour websites because of the traction and longevity of the trainer.
The tight fit of the trainer mean that you might not even realise you have them on and the flexibility in design will give you the full range of motion you would have with your bare feet. With 3 unique designs the Vibram Minimus is where form meets function and the result is impressive.
These shoes are made entirely from synthetic materials, with fabric used on the interior. A foam molding helps the shoe to fit closely and preserve the shape of the trainer. A lightweight Vibram sole is built into the shoe which will let you feel everything underneath you in detail.
These shoes features a burrito tongue which also helps keep it in place while you’re wearing it. A Revlite midsole has been added into the shoe to give more impact resistance and help protect your feet.
New Balance have used some high quality materials to allow you to move quickly unimpeded in this shoe. Light and responsive, it’s perfect for parkour.
The Vibram Minimus has a number of key aspects that make it perfect for parkour but we’ve identified the features for why it’s made our list:
- Strong Traction
The New Balance Vibram Minimus is made with a Vibram sole. This offers optimal levels of traction and increased grip even on wet surfaces. For traceurs this means a shoe you can rely upon when the terrain gets tricky.
- Invisible Feel
These trainers are made with foam molding to allow them to hug your feet tightly. Whether they’re laced up on not this means they won’t slide or fall off. On top of this the trainers are so light, under 400 grams in weight for increased speed. All of this means you’ll have full freedom and you might even forget you’re wearing them.
- Long Lasting Comfort
The number one thing that users are commenting on is the comfort of these shoes. A lot of performance shoes are suitable for short term use but you wouldn’t want to keep them on afterwards. The New Balance Vibram Minimus are suitable for all day wear and perfect for long distance sessions.
This New Balance parkour shoe is slightly more expensive than the other two but still a lot cheaper than competitors at $85. With incredible traction and breathable materials it’s not hard to see why users are rating this a perfect 5/5. If you’re looking for a long lasting, high performing pair of parkour shoes then look no further.
Choosing New Balance Parkour Shoes
With any niche activity it’s always tempting to go with the specialist brand. Certainly there are a lot of parkour brands which offer a range of different shoes and most of them will do you fairly well, however New Balance has created a mainstream alternative that is much more affordable.
New Balance have been making shoes for a long time, so it’s no surprise they can cater to parkour needs. They pride themselves on spending money entirely on product research, rather than promotion, so they can reach new heights in the industry.
The innovation in their shoes adds a lot of value and makes them a good investment when selecting some new parkour shoes. The 3 listed above are good not only for beginners but for experienced traceurs too, so if you’re in the market then make sure you check these out.