parkour shoes

Merrell Trail Glove Review

Merrell has created an enormous name for itself within the minimalist industry. The company supplies shoes that embody the advantages of minimalist movement while still being visually appealing. The concept behind minimalist footwear is that nature designed your foot to be bare that and no shoe company can hope to enhance its design. By adding all the bells and whistles, many shoe makers really do take ill turns that can do additional damage. If you’re a traceur considering exploring the advantages of minimalist footwear, the Merrell path Glove is also the proper shoe to begin with and will presumably be the sole one you ever woumerrell parkour shoesld like.

With a name like Merrell Trail Glove, you ought to expect these shoes to be created with great care. Its omni-fit technology suggests that the lacing system is intended to supply a snug, however secure and tight encasing of your delicate foot. However, in contrast to lots of minimalist shoes, it provides a wider toe space to let your toes unfold well, which helps your toes avoid obtaining blisters. Its foot bed comes treated with associate antimicrobial answer that aims to tame odor.

Part of the shoes comfort comes from the fabrics that encourages amazing flexibility. But don’t you worry about support, the band at the rear end of the shoe is strong and won’t let your foot become more flexible than it should.

The Merrell Trail Glove presents a decent deal of sturdiness. The shoe was designed for running outside in nature—on trails, within the woods, through mountain ranges. So although it wasn’t designed for the urban jungle, it had been still designed with foot stress in mind. It had been designed to withstand the jagged rocks and random shreds of wood you’ll be able to expect to dot a forest path. The toe of the shoe is formed out of united rubber, so it ought to do fine once it comes up against concrete and metal. Behind that feature is a section of shock absorption material, which will keep your toes safe from stressful impact.

merrell trail glove

Does the price tag of around $100 turn you off? You’re not the only one. I’m frugal myself. Just remember that years of research and development have gone into minimalist footwear by dedicated professionals. It’s ultimately up to you to decide whether these parkour shoes are worth that kind of money.

A challenge you could run into with transitioning to the Merrell Trail Glove is soreness. Ultra-cushiony shoes teach most people very bad habits and allow us to be lazy. Trying to adapt those lazy movement habits to minimalist shoes will leave you in pain. Luckily, Merrell provides tons of information about how to undo the damage of walking and running with poor form and before long your ankles and calves and knees will be the best they’ve ever been!

All in all, the Merrell Trail Glove is a great parkour shoe. Is it the best parkour shoe? Can’t say for sure, only you know what’s best for you!

See if it’s the shoe for you by reading more reviews on Amazon!

Parkour Philosophy

Before starting parkour I was just a small, skinny kid with no athletic ability. I was never great at sports or impressing girls with my twig arms, but I decided to give parkour a shot anyways because I wanted to look cool. Little did I know that parkour and its philosophy would impact me in ways I couldn’t have imagined.


The Theory of Application

The fist aspect of parkour’s beautiful philosophy we’ll cover is the Theory of Application. Sounds all fancy-pants, but it’s really quite simple. Let’s separate this theory into three elements: utility, environmental reclamation, and human reclamation.

parkour philosophyThe aspect of utility is the one that is most obvious and quickly understood. Learning parkour is applicable in many situations.

If your house is on fire and you need to escape, if you must reach a certain place very quickly, or even you’re being chased by a malicious person, learning the movements associated with parkour can be very beneficial in all of those circumstances.

I personally find the next two elements of the Theory of Application more significant.

When you think of environmental reclemation, you probably have picking up trash and restoring landscapes in mind. Nope, that’s not it. Environmental reclemation is the act of taking back what is around us from those who would say that some things only serve one purpose.

Why should hand rails only be used for balance while walking? Who says that benches are for sitting only? Walls generally keep things in and out, but why shouldn’t I be able to climb them?

We walk around rich architecture and planned gardens not giving a single thought as to how we could move around them. Instead we follow rules and regulations placed on us by society to follow the status quo and not make things awkward.

Environmental reclemation is about about making the environment serve the traceur, not the traceur serve the environment.

parkour philosophy

The final element, human recelamation, is my favorite part of the Theory of Application. We reclaim ourselves. Once again, society and history tell us that our bodies can only move in certain ways, that we must fit in to the common method of doing things. The idea of human reclemation rejects those boxes that limit and label us.

Why should we be forced to walk when everyone else is walking? Who says our bodies don’t have the freedom to climb walls instead of use the stairs? Feet usually take us places, but what if I want to walk on my hands?

Our bodies are incredible and can be used in so many beautiful ways, but instead we submit to so many limitations that are simply meaningless creations of culture.

Human reclimation is about making the body serve the traceur, not the social norms.


The Theory of Practice

The second aspect of parkour’s rich philosophy is the Theory of Practice. This theory simply asks several questions:

  • Is parkour an art?
  • Is parkour a discipline?
  • Is parkour a sport?
  • Is parkour competitive?

The answers to the first two have been considered since the creation of parkour and have been given solid answers by the global community. Yes, parkour is an art. Yes, parkour is a discipline. But the next two questions are currently very controversial.

parkour philosophy challengeIt’s 2013 and parkour and freerunning are in another stage of transition. The world is beginning to see that these two arts and disciplines are able to be fashioned as competitions.

There have been three main competitions that have paved the way for parkour to become a full-fledged sport: The Ninja Warrior Challenge, MTV’s Ultimate Parkour Challenge, and G4’s Jump City: Seattle. These three television shows created a format where the movements, efficiency, and style could be graded, thus creating a competition.

Parkour “purists” didn’t encourage these shows. They argued that a discipline and art focused on personal progression and growth should not be reduced to simply another game show. They feared that the original intent of parkour would be destroyed.

The shows’ participants that responded to this claims, all prefessional athletes, by defending parkour as a competition using the Theory of Application. They argued that the “purists” were placing limits on environmental and human reclemation.

Once again, parkour is still an infant, and the fate of its place in competitions is yet to be decided. What do you think? Should parkour remain a personal challenge, or be allowed to become a public sport?

The final aspect of the philosophy behind parkour has already been touched on quite a bit: personal growth. This is what impacted my life the most.

The lessons I learned while doing parkour have penetrated into every aspect of my life. All those jumps that seemed too far, all those walls that seemed too tall, conquering them created in me a confidence that I couldn’t have found elsewhere. Fighting those fears, pushing my limits, and discovering my potential opened up a world of opportunities in other areas of my life.

Check out this excellent video from Daniel Ilabaca about how parkour has impacted his life.

Parkour Gloves – Should I Train in Them?

A lot of beginners to the beautiful art and discipline of parkour wonder at some point if it would be worth it to invest in gloves to wear while training. This idea comes pretty naturally after the first several scratches and scrapes. Our hands are just not used to gripping brick and concrete in the ways that parkour requires. But does that mean training gloves are a good investment?

Simply put, I do not recommend them for most traceurs. There are however, exceptions which I will cover after I tell you why bare hand is suggested strongly.

Why You Should Not Train in Gloves

Training parkour without gloves allows your hands to develop beautiful callouses that will harden and become more and more functional as time goes on. Hard callouses may sound nasty, but they’re wonderful. After several training sessions you won’t feel the burn and pain of scraped up and blistered hands. Yeah your precious hands won’t look so good initially with the developing callouses, but as they harden, a soft layer of skin will grow on the outer surface, allowing your hands to be somewhat soft again.

parkour gloves

The end of a long day

With those rock hard callouses you’ll be able to do things you never though possible. You’ll have super hero hands. Splinters will not be a problem, fumbled knives won’t draw blood, and metal bottle caps will be a twist away to liquid bliss.

You will also experienced increased grip with bare hand training. Most gloves will impede you from gripping objects and surfaces well and may even cause slipping due to the material.

But here’s the big thing: you can feel everything so much better when training with bare hands. Gloves will disable you from being able to feel everything you touch and give you a false sense of preparedness. When you want to do parkour without gloves when you typically do have them on, your inexperienced hands will not recognize the materials you come in contact with. Nor will the spacial awareness be the same. The padding and room between the hands, glove and surface will all be different.

I strongly recommend to train bare handed. You’ll experience better grip, spacial awareness, and you’ll have awesome strong hands.


Why You Should Train in Gloves

parkour gloves

A bit of protection from the elements

If you’re passionate about the softness of your hands, gloves are going to be great for you. I know of several women practitioners who prefer to wear gloves and keep their palms and fingers silky smooth. Without gloves, your hands are going to get roughed up a bit and will be sore every once in a while.

Conditioning is also a great time to wear gloves. Trust me, twenty pull ups on a bar rubs your hands ran and creates blisters. That’s just one example of a time when I wish I had gloves for conditioning. If I had saved my hands for the conditioning, I could have trained the parkour harder.

It would be acceptable to use parkour gloves if the weather requires it. Training when the temperature is low can be downright painful to the fingers. Gloves would lessen this problem.

If you’re going to buy parkour gloves, I have a few recommendations:

High Dexterity Pro

Grease Monkey Parkour GlovesGrease Monkey’s High Dexterity Pro gloves are good because they are meant for precision tool use. No, parkour doesn’t involve heavy machinery, but these gloves transfer over very well. A tight fit,  good grip, and remarkable durability make these $12 gloves a solid investment.

Youngstone Carpenter Plus

Youngstone Carpenter Parkour GloveThe other glove I recommend is the Youngstone Carpenter Plus. This glove is full of grip and boasts a tight fit as well. Originally meant for carpentry use, these gloves will protect your hand for a long time. For $15, that’s hard to beat!

No matter if you buy gloves or not, it does not determine the seriousness of your training. Do not let people look down on you because you use gloves or don’t use them. Embrace whatever decision you choose and run with it!

Good luck and be safe!

5 Essential Parkour Moves

Parkour is not a collection of moves, it’s an attitude and lifestyle. Make sure to see the article What is Parkour? before simply skimming this list of parkour moves and thinking you’re good. Don’t get me wrong, parkour is usually enacted through these movements, but it’s not the moves itself. This list is not definitive. It is a guide to the basics only. Use it as a starting point to progress to bigger and greater things by your own ability.

Parkour Precision



This is an extremely simple move, and you’ve probably done it many times. You simply look at a spot, and jump onto it from another spot. That’s  it. Most beginners jump and land with only one foot. You’ve probably noticed though that skilled practitioners use both feet to jump and land. Keep your feet together (unless you’re jumping from a run)!

This will strengthen many different muscle groups and teach you to trust yourself. In actuality, jumping with both feet gives you more precious, because all your focus is in front of you. Throw your feet in front of you just a bit more than you normally would to make sure you have the best view possible.

The glory days

That’s me (back in the day)

Monkey / Kong Vault

This is one of the iconic parkour moves that can be easily recognized. The monkey and kong vaults are very similar, but have a single difference that sets them apart. A monkey can be performed by placing your hands on an object (such as a rail) and jumping over it, having your legs go over the object and in between your hands, which never let go. It’s odd and awkward initially because it’s not a common movement outside of parkour.

While a monkey vault is appropriate in many situations when you need to go over an object after standing still, the kong is going to be best when you’re coming out of a run. Instead of placing your hands down first, you jump. Hard. Your hands go out in front of you and touch the end of whatever you’re jumping on, re-positioning your body to allow your legs to swing through like the monkey.

Parkour vault

Speed Vault

Speed / Safety Vault

The speed vault is the quickest vault in most situations. It simply involves jumping over an object at an angle and using a single hand to tap the surface to let your legs come back down. This vault enables the practitioner to run at full speed, vault, and continue running at full speed. Other vaults will slow you down or not allow you to return to the original position that you started the vault in.

Alternatively, the safety vault occurs when you place your outside / upper foot on the object and swing your inner leg through. Placing the foot down gives you just a moment to reconsider if you really want to vault that object before you go over. If you opt out, stopping completely or turn around into a cat are viable options.

Parkour Cat

The Cat Hang

Cat Hang

The cat is a parkour move that requires a bit of upper-body strength. Your hands are holding onto the top of a wall while your body is hanging down. To help you anchor, pull your knees to your chest and let your feet take some of the weight.

This position is very useful. You can jump off a wall onto another, then proceed to climb up or let yourself down. Don’t ignore the cat.


The parkour roll is arguably the most important parkour move to be confident in your ability to perform. I’ve seen people survive incredible falls by rolling. Of course on fail videos you don’t see people roll, because they’re just adrenaline junkies jumping off buildings. But the real practitioners know how to roll well.

This isn’t a gymnastics roll where you go straight on over. This roll is performed by starting with the back end of one shoulder, and ending up on the hip of the opposite side. Sound easy? I would say it’s one of the most difficult things to master. It takes great control to be able to perform the roll well – especially on concrete – without it hurting even a little bit. Check out Ryan Doyle’s excellent tutorial!

Those are the 5 essential parkour moves to know! There are many more, and many variations of the ones listed, so keep exploring and be safe! Discuss these movements with other traceurs on the American Parkour forums!