Much attention and discussion is paid to finding the best shoes for parkour, but relatively little attention is paid to finding the best gloves for parkour. Parkour is a high impact sport and stressful for the entire body. And the hands are certainly no exception. After all, rough concrete, pavement, metal pipes, and splintering wooden beams aren’t exactly known for being easy on hands. After enduring the wear and tear that one’s hands inevitably undergo during training, many beginners and experienced practitioners alike think of using gloves.
But is it a good idea to use parkour gloves? And if so, what are the best gloves for parkour? These aren’t necessarily easy questions to answer, but let’s start with the first one.
Whether to wear gloves or not when training parkour is a pretty controversial topic in the parkour community. It is a question that inevitably comes up in every forum. In many other sports and disciplines, if gloves are needed for grip, protection, or to enhance performance, there is no debate about whether to use them or not. In contrast, it is generally argued that gloves should not be used for parkour. There are three important reasons why.
In many cases, your bare hands will actually have better overall grip. You don’t have to worry about your hands moving around inside the gloves or worse the gloves failing in some way.
Even the thinnest and most sensitive gloves are far worse than bare hands for feeling everything around you. Gloves reduce the feedback you get from different surfaces. This can reduce control and make it harder to adapt mid technique since you might not be able to feel a surface change subtly.
It’s certainly not essential to wear gloves during the activity, but with excessive movement and grip, your hands can soon become sweaty. Fortunately, the three pairs of gloves we’ve discovered are all sweatproof. They’re also breathable to reduce your chances of slipping and help improve your comfort every time you wear them.
Over time your hands will toughen up and become conditioned for parkour.
While gloves certainly have disadvantages, they also undoubtedly have some advantages. And unlike some who think that gloves should never be used for parkour, I think they have their uses in certain circumstances.
Cuts, blisters, and bruises can easily end training and force practitioners to wait until they are healed. Gloves can let you get back to training sooner or prevent injuries from occurring in the first place.
Some techniques and certain environments are simply brutal on your hands and even experienced traceurs will only be able to endure so much. If you are practicing the same move over and over and it is punishing your hands, gloves can be a very useful training tool.
Everyone who has trained in a cold environment knows how quickly your hands can start to feel numb and how much this limits your training. Gloves can make the difference between being able to train during harsh weather or not.
Some people are not willing to condition their hands or simply unable to because of things like their profession.
If you are shopping for a pair of gloves, there are several important features to look for. Gloves should provide a high degree of sensitivity for the fingertips, have a high grip material throughout the palm, be durable, and have a secure fit.
These full-finger fitness gloves provide an excellent grip and design that adapts to your hand’s shape and size. Developed with a curving motion, these fitness gloves offer exceptional flexibility and comfort, so you are always protected. Thanks to the relief pads present throughout the entire gloves, you won’t feel any impact or soreness on your hands throughout any of your moves. If you’re prone to sweating, you’ll appreciate the terrycloth pads within the gloves to keep your hands dry and odor-free.
These are another pair of gloves suitable for parkour. They’re designed with a breathable material to ensure cool air remains trapped in the gloves, and moisture and warmth can escape. RDX designed these exercise gloves with a supreme grip at its core. That’s why these gloves feature suede leather along the palm to provide an exceptional grip, no matter the surface you come into contact with. However, don’t fear that the leather features limits your flexibility as the handstitched elements offer exceptional resilience all the time you wear these gloves.
For colder weather, you will need warmer gloves. While they have their limitations and you will need to modify your training, it is simply part of the deal if you want to train during certain conditions. At the very least, they are useful for putting on and warming or rewarming your hands up during breaks in training.
If you want to avoid using gloves or whatever reason, there are several things you can do to deal with the demands of parkour on your hands.
Calluses can protect the hand but they also have a tendency to tear off. This is both annoying and painful if you want to continue training. The best advice is to be proactive. You can reduce calluses in a number of ways and lessen the chances of them tearing. The simplest way is to use a cheap and widely available pumice stone to sand them down.
Small cuts can be protected with band aids. Generic athletic tape is highly useful for very minor scrapes and injuries. It can also be used for preventative measures. Here is a simple tutorial depicting how to tape a hand if a callous has or is about to tear.
After Training Sessions
There are a variety of salves, balms, and oils that can be useful for taking care of your hands. Joshua Tree’s Climbing Salve and Climb On! Bar are both highly regarded in the climbing and CrossFit communities.
Unfortunately, there is no real answer as to whether or not you should wear parkour gloves when training. The topic is likely to remain a hotly debated issue though I do think they can be incredibly useful in some instances. Really, it is a question you should answer for yourself. If you haven’t tried using gloves before, pick up a pair and see if you get any value out of them. If you practice in gloves all the time, try taking a break from using them. See what impact it has and if they are really needed.
Do you use gloves for parkour? What is your hand care routine like? Leave a message in the comments.
Parkour (and its fancier cousin, Freerunning) is fast becoming one of the most accessible sports. Unlike most sports, you don't need a ball, protective equipment, a team, or any specialized field. Just put a pair of shoes on and you're ready to take part in quickly traversing the terrain you're in. Whether you are making your way downtown, running through the wilderness, or running through hallways, Parkour is all about speed and efficiency. When a Parkour practitioner, or traceur, wants to bring supplies, the best backpack won't be the same one they use for class. The process for choosing a Parkour backpack has to have mobility in mind.
Size and Shape - When choosing the best Parkour backpack, the first thing to keep an eye for are bags that have the right size and shape. Seeing as Parkour involves a lot of running, jumping, climbing, and twisting around, a lightweight bag is necessary. Larger bags can throw a traceur (Parkour practitioner) off balance.
Durability - After choosing the right size backpack, you will want to ensure that that the bag is durable. Parkour, especially when performed in urban environments, can involve a lot of rolling or sliding past different surfaces. These surfaces range from concrete, metal, stone, brick, or wood, and this takes a toll on the backpack itself.
The best Parkour backpack will be made of thicker material, such as Kevlar or any scratch resistant material that can take a beating. Good Parkour backpacks are also waterproof to stand up to rain and puddles.
Style - The best Parkour backpacks also reflect the personality of the person wearing it. Choosing the right color, shape, and style is important. A unique bag will set you apart from every other traceur; especially in cities with a thriving Parkour scene. The best packs will also contain whatever it is that an individual needs and values for their run, such as water bladders or cellphone holders.
Fit - The ideal Parkour bag has an ergonomic fit, meaning that it fits snugly to the body. Just like a bag that's too big, a bag that swings around on your back can throw you off balance when running and jumping. Also a loose strap or bag can catch onto a rail, branch, or any protruding object. That leads to falling, or worse- choking injuries.
Versatility - Ability to be useful in a variety of different settings and uses.
Price - Depending on how serious you are about Parkour, will determine whether you need a budget friendly bag or need to focus on functionality. A cheap bag may be flimsy or have limited space. A bag that is more suitable may be too expensive. Every runner has to choose the bag that suits their needs.
Comfort - An uncomfortable bag can wear on you and cut your run short.
Storage Capability - The more a bag can store, the more useful the bag is. Seeing as the best Parkour Backpacks are smaller, this often creates a unique challenge.
While a good Parkour Backpack can also be useful for students, daytrippers, or public commuters, a regular backpack won't be of much use to traceurs. The best Parkour Backpacks are small and sleek whereas most backpacks are too large to be comfortably used during Parkour or Freerunning. They can easily get caught on something. A regular backpack is more useful to travelers, students with a heavy workload, or anyone that needs sheer storage capability over anything else. The best Parkour Backpack is for someone focused on mobility.
When running at the brisk pace used for Parkour and Freerunning, storing things in your pockets isn't always the best idea. The pockets may be thin and small, which could lead to the contents uncomfortably scraping against your legs or falling out altogether. Depending on the type of shorts or pants you're wearing, you may not even have a lot of pocket space. A good backpack gives you storage space for essentials without inhibiting your run.
While all you need for a good Parkour session are comfortable running shoes, there are some items that can serve a traceur or freerunner well. These items are:
Besides a traceur or freerunner, many people would enjoy a small lightweight backpack. Someone who uses public transportation to go to school or work also often use packs to carry items that won't fit in their pockets such as their lunch, extra pairs of socks, paperwork, notebooks, or small tools. A large backpack would complicate their commute on crowded buses and trains. Day trip travelers who do a lot of walking fall in the same category. A Parkour pack can keep anyone light on their feet and ready to maneuver.
The best backpack for Parkour may come in a multitude of sizes and shapes but below are some of the top backpacks available for Parkour, Freerunning, or Hiking purposes. We will evaluate the best backpacks by price, durability, size, and overall quality on a 5 point scale.
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The Aerial Pack won't crumble at the slightest pressure, but nothing really sets it apart as far as durability goes. One point of caution: the internal contents of the bag aren't as protected as they can be, so even if the bag holds up, the contents may not. Roll with caution.
The medium size of this bag can fit 10 liters of content inside, making it a fairly roomy bag. Combined with all of the Aerial Pack's compartments, it can hold a fair amount of content in an organized fashion.
Fastbreak's Parkour Aerial Pack is a solid investment for more serious practitioners, and may very well be one of the best backpacks out, but it may not hold up to extensive rolling and collisions.
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Unlike Fastbreak's bag, Camelbak's backpacks were created with hikers in mind, not traceurs. The major selling point of their bags are portable water for long hikes in the wilderness, and not high impact running in downtown areas or college campuses. You can easily damage the accessories on the bag by “going too hard.”
The Hydration Pack is lightweight and stays in place on your back. Great for freerunners who pull off flips after a dead sprint and need not to have to compensate for weight swinging around on the back. The water bladder on the bag is removable, which can make the bag even smaller.
The bag is fairly low priced with all of its functionality considered, it's lightweight, and it's stable.
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Made with padding and mesh, Osprey's bag is both durable and comfortable. It doesn't have a rigid frame, so it still has limits, but should suit the purposes of most people that use it.
They clearly made the bag with the run in mind. It's compact, with several compartments. If this bag is too small for your needs, it can be attached to larger Osprey bags to further increase the storage capacity and compartmentalization.
More than the Camelbak or Fastbreak packs, this bag is a traceur's backpack. Versatile, compact, affordable, and comfortable.
Criteria that helps anybody choose their personal best backpack will differ as needs do. If you are into Parkour or Freerunning, your needs will include a backpack that doesn't hinder you from the running, sliding, flipping, jumping, and rolling that comes with your territory. Choose the best backpack with your lifestyle in mind.
The Osprey Daylight Backpack is in a class of backpacks hikers refer to as "day packs" for using on short trips. Some of these backpacks include hydration (an interior bladder) while others focus on roominess or organization. The best day packs are durable, provide several pockets, are lightweight, and have adjustable features for comfort. The term backpack originally evolved from huge, external frame packs used for overnight trips, able to stuff in every conceivable gadget. But the rise of superstore outlets like REI has changed the outdoor gear market, so "backpack" covers an incredible array of options.
The Osprey Daylight Backpack is a lightweight pack large enough for most moderate day trips, but not recommended for overnights unless you are an experienced ultralight backpacker. It is a daypack that meets the needs of most hikers, but is especially suitable for those who want to grab and go, and who do hikes ranging from one to five hours. It comes in a class of day packs that are designed to be used only on day hikes, but compared to its competition is smaller with less capacity. It has a sleek design and if you are a seasoned traveler and pack well, is versatile enough for most single day outings.
The Osprey Daylight Backpack implies it's meant for daytime, but sunrise to sunset may be too many hours on the trail. This compact unit has a 13 liter capacity, but only weighs one pound! The pack comes with a bladder, standard in these types of day packs, so carrying a water bottle is unnecessary. It has two pockets and an easily removable hip belt. The Osprey Daylight Backpack has an internal frame that fits torso sizes 15 to 22 inches. The nylon Double Diamond Ripstop fabric is durable, and there are two main compartments for easy access.
The Osprey Daylight Backpack can be purchased at Amazon or most outdoor gear shops for a very affordable price.
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If you are searching for a similar Osprey product, there is an Osprey Daylight Plus Backpack. The manufacturer recommends that you try these packs out and compare fit.
We will review the Osprey Daylight Backpack to three close competitors:
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Carries plenty, depending on needs for day hikes. Somewhat larger day packs will provide more space, but 13L or 793 cubic inches is sufficient for most hikers in most conditions. We retain one star because some individuals, particularly larger hikers, might prefer more space for a light jacket or extra base layer.
The features on the Osprey Daylight Backpack include padded straps, removable belt, bladder capacity (optional), two large main compartments, excellent trouble-free zipper style, side mesh pockets, and slotted foam to improve cooling on the hiker's back.
Highly rated in design, as are nearly all Osprey products, this back includes maximum space for minimum weight. The design does not involve extraneous pockets that never get used or mesh that gets in the way of stashing and removing gear. The hydration reservoir can be used to stash a tablet if the hiker is taking along tech gear, and attaches to Osprey Add On-series packs if a roomier system is desired.
Osprey stands behind its products fully. If purchased at REI through membership, the Osprey Daylight Backpack can be returned for any reason for a full refund. If purchased at other retailers (including Amazon), the warranty covers tears, defects or other problems.
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The Gonex is an honest product that pretty much says it all in its name. The Gonex is lightweight, easy to grab and go, made for a variety of travel situations, and is technically a backpack. The Gonex ultralight includes 20L of space and three zip up compartments. It comes in eight colors, is foldable, and comes with large mesh pockets for extras. This pack has the handy feature of folding itself inside out into a much smaller case for tossing into luggage while traveling. This pack weighs 185 grams, or 7.2 ounces, so is lightweight.