young man doing parkour

What to Wear for Parkour to Be Comfortable and Safe

Deciding what to wear for parkour shouldn’t be a significant challenge. You’re going to need great footwear, comfortable clothes, and a few other items to be safe and healthy while you perform. The style of your clothes won’t matter much and should match your standard look.

However, some items are wise to consider when starting up in parkour. These were chosen based on the area they protect and the level of protection they offer. While you shouldn’t wear safety gear when performing, these clothing items will keep you as protected as possible.

Headwear Options

Headwear is a bit of a controversial discussion when investing in parkour gear. Many people think that headgear is a waste of space and that it only weighs you down when performing. However, others always include some hat when deciding what to wear for parkour. If you decide you want one, you need to make sure it is rather light.

For example, beanies are a popular choice for many parkour competitors. While they may not be the coolest looking hat, they are light and stick to your head while you perform. Others prefer baseball caps to protect their eyes and their face from the sun. Try to find a brand that shows off your style to rock some cool parkour moves.

District Slouch Beanie
  • 55/45 acrylic/poly
  • 70/30 poly/acrylic (Light Grey Heather)
  • 100% cotton (Dip Dye)
New Era New York Yankees MLB 39THIRTY Heathered Black Neo Flex Fit Hat
  • Embroidered graphics
  • Flex-Fitted hat
  • Team color Pop embroidered logo

Shirts Should Be Comfortable

You’re never going to see a parkour competitor rocking out in a button-up or a suit shirt because they are too stiff and limiting. And even if you get an extra-large button-up shirt, the chance of burst buttons is too annoying. So when planning what to wear for parkour events or practice, try a t-shirt that is comfortable and which isn’t too loose or tight.

Shirts that are too tight will constrict your movement and may rip during competition. Shirts that are too loose may catch on something while you compete. Athletic wear is usually a good idea because it is designed for competition. You can also wear a hoodie over your shirt for extra padding.

H2H Mens Sleeveless Fashion Hoodies Zip-up with Pocket Black Asia M...
  • Designed by Korea.
  • Style no: #JNSK25
  • Lightweight, Slim Fit, Front Big Pockets, Various Solid Colors, Sleeveless Zip up Casual Hoodie. And We recommend This...
Defy Gravity Jumping Building Gap Premium Hoodie Sweatshirt Medium...
  • 90%/10% cotton/poly, (Light Steel and Ash are 85%/15% cotton/poly), with low pill, high stitch density fabric.
  • The design is printed with new age printing technology, direct-to-garment. It is printed with a water-soluble and...
  • It is cured with a heat treatment process to ensure the color-fastness and lasting durability of the design.

Protecting Your Arms and Hands

Tiger Fitness gloves

Your arms and hands are going to be getting beat up when competing in parkour. Most traceurs have scars up and down their arms due to rolls and other moves that use the arms. That’s why some (particularly beginners) like to wear a little padding in these areas. Some will wear elbow pads to avoid joint damage, though this may also limit your movement when competing.

Others always put on a pair of gloves when deciding what to wear for parkour. Gloves are often ignored by more seasoned traceurs, especially if they are purists about the sport. They believe that your hands should be used for touching various items to ensure they are safe. If you decide to wear gloves, finger-less, half-fingered, and full-fingered types are available.

Tiger Fitness Best Crossfit Gloves with Sweatband, Wrist Support &...
  • WORKOUT HARDER: The INTEGRATED SWEATBAND in our wrist strap allows you to wipe off your sweat and workout harder without...
  • LIFT MORE WEIGHTS: Wrist strap offers adjustable wrist support for your grueling Crossfit & weightlifting workouts....
  • DELAY FATIGUE: Extra silicone layer on the palm delays hand fatigue & offers extra grip for pull-ups, chin-ups, Filthy...
Youngstown Glove 03-3110-80-L Carpenter Plus Gloves, Large
  • Features a shortened index, middle and thumb to provide true fingertip dexterity when handling small nails, wires, nuts,...
  • The glove features non-slip reinforcement on the palm, fingers, thumb and saddle for increased grip and lasting...
  • Soft Terry Cloth is sewn onto the top of the thumb so workers can comfortably wipe away sweat and debris from their face...

Comfortable Pants for Your Legs

Like when choosing your shirt, you need to pick a pair of pants that are comfortable and flexible. However, comfortable doesn’t mean that you should pick an old pair of jeans that you love wearing around the house. They are probably going to be too worn out to use and may be too baggy for competition. That’s why many traceurs prefer shorts when planning what to wear for parkour.

Many parkour competitors wear stretchy cargo pants, sweats, track pants, and gym shorts during practice and competition. Remember, though, that wearing shorts does eliminate the protection on most of your lower legs. For those who are learning the sport or who slip a lot, this may end up causing you a lot of bruises and even cuts. Try to strike a balance between your skill level and the protective quality of the pants.

UNTAMED Flow Parkour, Training and Freerunning Sweatpants Pants, 100%...
  • SOFT, WATER-REPELLANT FABRIC: These cotton sweatpants don't need months of wearing them in before they fit. Made with...
  • BAGGY SWEATPANTS FOR MEN: These sweatpants feature a baggy cut with wide legs and performance features that provide a...
  • ON-TREND DESIGN: With deep colours and clean lines, these men's running pants create an on-trend look when paired with...
HEMOON Mens Jogging Pants Tracksuit Bottoms Training Running Trousers...
  • Machine washable
  • Adjustable fabric drawcord for custom
  • Comfort flex waistband

Do You Need Backpacks?

Beyond shoes (which we’ve saved for last), there isn’t much more to wear for parkour. That said, some traceurs enjoy wearing a backpack to carry a change of clothing or replacement shoes. You can also bring paperwork for the competition, snacks, and even water with you in a backpack.

Competing or performing with these backpacks is going to be more than a little awkward, though, so make sure you have a place to store your backpack if you want to bring one. Many practice facilities and competitions spaces have lockers that you can rent. However, competing in the real world may make it necessary for you to keep your bag in your car.

UNTAMED Fastbreak Aerial M Parkour and Freerunning Sport Backpack,...
  • STRONG AND DURABLE MATERIAL: This parkour and running backpack is crafted with high-quality, long-lasting polyester plus...
  • PROTECTIVE STORAGE SPACE: With an overall waterproof finish coupled with durable zippered and interior pockets, plus a...
  • PROVIDES A CLOSE, SECURE FIT: Featuring elastic and adjustable hip and chest straps, this heavy-duty running backpack...
CamelBak HydroBak Hydration Pack 50 Oz, Black/Graphite
  • Lightweight cycling Hydration pack: The HydroBak cycling Backpack is exceptional for those short Bike rides; The 50...
  • More water per sip: hydration in this lightweight backpack is supplied by a 1.5 liter crux reservoir, designed for...
  • Built for simplicity: when all you want is water, this minimalist bike pack has you covered; with enough water for a 2...

Shoes Are the Most Important Gear to Consider

several pairs of Take Flight Parkour shoes

Last, but not least, is the type of shoes that you use when practicing parkour. We kept this item last because shoes are the most important consideration to make when preparing for an event. That’s because during a parkour competition, you’re going to be on your feet the whole time. As a result, you need a pair of shoes that are both comfortable and supporting.

Typically, most traceurs buy cross trainers for their events. These shoes provide excellent cushioning and a rather excellent grip. They are also quite durable for parkour shoes. That said, you don’t have to go crazy buying the most expensive shoes on the market. That’s because parkour shoes typically wear out in just a few months. It is wiser to invest in a few medium-priced models of a shoe type that you like to wear.

Onitsuka Tiger Unisex Ultimate 81 Shoes, 11W, Black/Black
  • Suede Overlay: Complementing its sedate silhouette are the premium suede heel and toe lining, which stay true to the...
  • Lightweight Materials: Synthetic fiber side panel and a mesh toecap to improve breathability and keep it lightweight,...
  • Cush-Hole Shock Absorption: The three ventilation holes on the rear midsole provide top-notch shock absorption, meaning...
Vibram Men's KSO EVO Cross Training Shoe,Black,40 EU/8.0-8.5 M US
  • Runs small, Go up a size
  • Lightly padded tongue & speed lacing system.Care - Machine Wash Cold / Air Dry
  • Serrated blade lug design.Select half size up or down

Final Thoughts

By now, you should have a pretty good idea of what to wear for parkour. You have a great pair of shoes with strong grips on the bottom and a pair of gloves for your hands. However, you’re also rocking a great pair of pants and a comfortable shirt that gives you maximum movement freedom.

If you can think of any other clothing items that make parkour more comfortable and safer, please don’t hesitate to comment below. We’re always excited to hear great ideas from our readers. There’s a good chance that you know what to wear for parkour and can suggest something we overlooked.

District Slouch Beanie
  • 55/45 acrylic/poly
  • 70/30 poly/acrylic (Light Grey Heather)
  • 100% cotton (Dip Dye)
New Era New York Yankees MLB 39THIRTY Heathered Black Neo Flex Fit Hat
  • Embroidered graphics
  • Flex-Fitted hat
  • Team color Pop embroidered logo
H2H Mens Sleeveless Fashion Hoodies Zip-up with Pocket Black Asia M...
  • Designed by Korea.
  • Style no: #JNSK25
  • Lightweight, Slim Fit, Front Big Pockets, Various Solid Colors, Sleeveless Zip up Casual Hoodie. And We recommend This...
Defy Gravity Jumping Building Gap Premium Hoodie Sweatshirt Medium...
  • 90%/10% cotton/poly, (Light Steel and Ash are 85%/15% cotton/poly), with low pill, high stitch density fabric.
  • The design is printed with new age printing technology, direct-to-garment. It is printed with a water-soluble and...
  • It is cured with a heat treatment process to ensure the color-fastness and lasting durability of the design.
Tiger Fitness Best Crossfit Gloves with Sweatband, Wrist Support &...
  • WORKOUT HARDER: The INTEGRATED SWEATBAND in our wrist strap allows you to wipe off your sweat and workout harder without...
  • LIFT MORE WEIGHTS: Wrist strap offers adjustable wrist support for your grueling Crossfit & weightlifting workouts....
  • DELAY FATIGUE: Extra silicone layer on the palm delays hand fatigue & offers extra grip for pull-ups, chin-ups, Filthy...
Youngstown Glove 03-3110-80-L Carpenter Plus Gloves, Large
  • Features a shortened index, middle and thumb to provide true fingertip dexterity when handling small nails, wires, nuts,...
  • The glove features non-slip reinforcement on the palm, fingers, thumb and saddle for increased grip and lasting...
  • Soft Terry Cloth is sewn onto the top of the thumb so workers can comfortably wipe away sweat and debris from their face...
UNTAMED Flow Parkour, Training and Freerunning Sweatpants Pants, 100%...
  • SOFT, WATER-REPELLANT FABRIC: These cotton sweatpants don't need months of wearing them in before they fit. Made with...
  • BAGGY SWEATPANTS FOR MEN: These sweatpants feature a baggy cut with wide legs and performance features that provide a...
  • ON-TREND DESIGN: With deep colours and clean lines, these men's running pants create an on-trend look when paired with...
HEMOON Mens Jogging Pants Tracksuit Bottoms Training Running Trousers...
  • Machine washable
  • Adjustable fabric drawcord for custom
  • Comfort flex waistband
UNTAMED Fastbreak Aerial M Parkour and Freerunning Sport Backpack,...
  • STRONG AND DURABLE MATERIAL: This parkour and running backpack is crafted with high-quality, long-lasting polyester plus...
  • PROTECTIVE STORAGE SPACE: With an overall waterproof finish coupled with durable zippered and interior pockets, plus a...
  • PROVIDES A CLOSE, SECURE FIT: Featuring elastic and adjustable hip and chest straps, this heavy-duty running backpack...
CamelBak HydroBak Hydration Pack 50 Oz, Black/Graphite
  • Lightweight cycling Hydration pack: The HydroBak cycling Backpack is exceptional for those short Bike rides; The 50...
  • More water per sip: hydration in this lightweight backpack is supplied by a 1.5 liter crux reservoir, designed for...
  • Built for simplicity: when all you want is water, this minimalist bike pack has you covered; with enough water for a 2...
Onitsuka Tiger Unisex Ultimate 81 Shoes, 11W, Black/Black
  • Suede Overlay: Complementing its sedate silhouette are the premium suede heel and toe lining, which stay true to the...
  • Lightweight Materials: Synthetic fiber side panel and a mesh toecap to improve breathability and keep it lightweight,...
  • Cush-Hole Shock Absorption: The three ventilation holes on the rear midsole provide top-notch shock absorption, meaning...
Vibram Men's KSO EVO Cross Training Shoe,Black,40 EU/8.0-8.5 M US
  • Runs small, Go up a size
  • Lightly padded tongue & speed lacing system.Care - Machine Wash Cold / Air Dry
  • Serrated blade lug design.Select half size up or down

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