So what is considered the proper clothes for parkour? In a sport such as this, you want clothing that won’t restrict your movement at all. You need cloth that will let your skin breathe. You need to be comfortable. Most of all, considering the moves and speed you’ll be going at, you don’t need to wear anything that is at all bulky. So what are the best parkour clothing choices?
Sports wear usually tends to be the parkour clothing of choice for many traceurs. The fabrics are usually breathable, and lightweight. The design of them allow for the best freedom of movement. Not all sportswear mind you, but the looser fit types.
Your clothing doesn’t need to be anything expensive. As a matter of fact, many traceurs prefer cheaper, off-brand, clothing that’s easier to replace. You’re clothing will get a lot of wear and tear from your training and runs through your courses. Not to mention they’ll get dirty quite often depending on where you’re doing your training. You’ll end up having to replace most of often enough that the expense of high end clothing just won’t be worth it. Unless you’re competing and are trying to impress someone, don’t go for broke with your training clothes.
Tops & Outerwear
So let’s get a bit more specific into what types of parkour clothing you should be looking to get. What you’re wearing depends entirely on what season you’re doing your training in. Bearing in mind you want something comfortable and lightweight, loose t-shirts and tanks tops in lightweight and absorbent materials such as cotton are your best choices during the summer months.
As it gets cooler, hooded sweatshirts are great pieces to add on. The key to staying warm as the months get cold is to layer. You don’t want to bulk up, as it will do nothing but serve to restrict your movements. For example in the winter months, layer up with warmer fabrics. Wear long sleeve t-shirts, and hooded sweatshirts. You might consider adding on a zippered sleeveless vest on to keep your core temperature warm. If you get too hot, you can take it back off.
When it comes to trousers, you never really want to leave your shins and knees unprotected from rough surfaces during your wall runs and climbs. Some do wear shorts in the summer months, but I wouldn’t recommend it. Instead go for lighter weight long trousers or cargo pants. Choose ones that are in a lightweight material. It needs to be a relaxed, or loose, fit that allows you freedom of movement and will help keep you ventilated.
Popular styles during any time of the year, traceurs prefer sweatpants, relaxed fit track pants, harem pants, and cargo pants. Be careful if you choose to run in denim jeans. The finish in some of those can be very stiff and heavy. If you’re going to wear them, try to find some that’s a bit more distressed and soft. Those tend to be a bit lighter in weight, and have more freedom of movement. During the hotter months, choose a thinner material trouser. If it’s getting a bit colder, choose them in a warmer material.
Now with the colder months, you can start layering up a bit. Wear a thinner material track pant, and layer another pair of trousers over the top. The bonus with layering is if you get wet if you’re out in the snow, usually only the outer layer will get wet while the inner layer keeps you dry.
This one can be useful in some situations, especially if you’re training in rougher terrain. However some will argue against it. They say being bare handed is essential in parkour. For one, you can’t build up the calluses on your hands if you always have them covered. Plus, in inclement weather (such as in rain), the gloves will only be a hinder to you. You just may lose your grip at the wrong moment. They may be a good one to keep for certain situations, but it’s a decision you’ll have to make on your own. To learn more, you can read my guide – Best Parkour Gloves: The Ultimate Traceur Guide.
It’s a small thing, but can be very helpful. It doesn’t have to be anything expensive. Just a standard woven sports band is fine. You just need to make sure you’re not getting one that will be too restrictive or tight on your wrist. The point of having one is to protect your wrists from getting scratched up during wall runs or climbs. It can also help you keep your wrist steady. It’s really up to you if you feel you need one or not. If you get into situations that bother your wrist a lot, it will be a good investment for you.
This is an interesting question. There’s two schools of thought on which shoe is the right one to use. There actually is a shoe or two out there specifically made for parkour. There not entirely necessary, but they’re out there. What you’re looking for depends on which school of thought you’ve been taught.
First, most will tell you that a decent track running shoe will serve many traceurs just fine. You’re looking for something that is lightweight. It needs to have good cushion to protect your cushion from your running, jumps, and drops. But it also needs to have excellent traction and grip on the soles for the climbs, jumps, and other moves you make.
The alternative is to use an indoor training shoe. It has a thinner sole and very little cushion or support. The idea is to give you a better training experience. You have better contact with the ground because of the thinner soul. Because of that, you’re forced to adjust the way you train. You will learn to land softer for one with shoes like that. The pro of a shoe like this is they’re much cheaper to buy. The con is that you’ll go through them very quickly, thus you will buy them more often.
I’ve created an ultimate guide for the best parkour shoes which will be useful for you. Do check it out!