One of the most frequent questions we get from Parents and Students here at Freedom in Motion is about footwear for Parkour. Strikes have been marketing them selves as parkour shoes, lets see how they compare to other favorite brands.
Shoes are the only real equipment to consider when preparing for your Parkour training. You want to make sure you’re making an informed decision before you lay down your hard earned cash for something you hope to keep you safe and propel your training forward. We’re going to take a look at the Interval Knits by Strike Movement. This review is by Jimmy Davidson. Find him on Instagram at @jimmydavidsonpk
Cross Training Shoe With Parkour In Mind.
Strike makes fitness lifestyle shoes. Their shoes tend to perform well for athletes with an interest in many athletic hobbies. In particular, they specialize in cross-fit, gym fitness, weight lifting, and short distance runs. Their shoes happen to be pretty decent for parkour. The company realized this early on and began sponsoring a handful of parkour athletes to get their brand into the parkour shoe market.
Strike movement is a Canadian company. Their shoes are designed and manufactured in Vancouver, BC. Their company slogan and hashtag is #UNITEDBYMOTION. They go on to say that they are the “original movement brand”, not too sure about that one, but it’s good marketing I suppose…
@JimmyDavidsonPk jumping in Oakland, CA in the Strike Interval Knits.
Lets Jump In!
Interval Knit Stats At A Glance
I wore these shoes for about 6 months. I trained a few times a week and practiced a well-rounded set of skills throughout. I noticed that the first thing to go was the decorative text inside the shoe. Beyond that, these shoes held up exceptionally well over the months. Wall climbs and climbing skills tend to do the most damage to these shoes, which is typical for any shoe. These shoes performed well in regards to their durability. I have to admit, I killed my first pair of knits when I had them by a campfire. The heat melted the foam from 2 feet away. Avoid taking these on any camping trips or hikes, that’s for sure. If you stick to in-gym and/or urban use, the shoes hold up very well.
Many athletes report that the Interval Knit’s durability lasts considerably longer than the Strike Chill Pill Transits, another popular model for parkour training by Strike movement.
Only slightly less flexible than the good ol’ Feiyue, these shoes have a really good feel and flex to them. They are flexible in all necessary directions. The only part of the shoe that doesn’t bend is the heel, but that isn’t necessary anyway. The shoes have a decent amount of flexibility right out of the box. I personally don’t believe that one would need to break them in before they feel adequately flexibly.
Honestly, I love the rubber on these shoes. The density of the rubber provides both flexibility and a solid amount of grip on any reasonably grippy surface. The single rubber sole is a critical construction choice in any parkour shoe, so it’s nice to see it implemented so well here. I haven’t yet noticed a difference between the white and black versions of the rubber.
The grip does drop off a decent amount if the surface is wet. That combined with its water-vulnerable mesh, I don’t recommend these shoes for outdoor training in any areas that rain very often. Other than the grip loss on wet surfaces, which is pretty typical for most shoes, the grip does not wrap up and over the front bumper. If you tend to add lots of climbing and bouldering into your weekly training, you may destroy the front bumper of these shoes quickly. Some athletes have reported that the rubber on these shoes is particularly vulnerable to dust sticking to the rubber, rendering the surface slicker on smooth surfaces in dusty environments. Indoor training may require frequent dust wiping to clean the surface. No athletes reported this issue to be a deal breaker, however.
Strikes are not minimalist shoes as they have a considerable amount of foam padding. This could be good if your style includes lots of large jumps or freerunning over hard surfaces. They built this shoe with jogging in mind, so think one notch below the level of padding seen in a typical running shoe. Other good-for-parkour shoes that have about this much padding include the Vans Ultra Range or Onitsuka Tigers Ultimate 81. I’d say the Strikes fall in between these two, having slightly more than the tiger 81 and slightly less than the Vans.
Strike shoes tend to lean towards neutral colors. You won’t find anything too out of the ordinary in their color and style line up. In general, their shoes are fashionable and will pair well with most outfits. Their clean construction makes these shoes a respectable looking wardrobe choice in any casual or sporty occasion. The interval knits come in black and grey. Some of Strike’s other shoes, like the Chill Pill Transits come in more interesting colors.
About the same weight as any other running shoe. Not ultralight like a minimalist shoe, but not so heavy like a hiking or approach shoe. Once you wear them around a bit, you won’t even notice them on your feet. They fall neatly in the middle of the spectrum. The Strike Chill Pill Transits are slightly lighter with lower durability than the Interval Knits.
These shoes are expensive at $129 + tax and shipping. In fact, they are the most expensive shoes we have ever reviewed for parkour. The shoes are awesome but one could get yourself something very similar for about $40 – $60 bucks cheaper if you went for some Tiger Onitsuka 81s or the Van UltraRange. The Price point is easily the worst thing about this shoe. Given that most parkour athletes are younger with little discretionary income, the price may be the single thing that prevents Strike from fully penetrating the parkour shoe market. However, if you sign up for Strike’s newsletter on their web site the company sends out coupons and announces sales very often. From 20% off deals to buy-one-get-one-free events, I recommend never purchasing these shoes at full price. Get on their email list and patiently wait for a fat discount on your preferred shoe. It seems to happen once every two weeks or so (at the time of writing this article).
Lastly, Strike allows clients to set up short-term payment plans for a small fee using a 3rd party company. This further helps lower the price barrier. Though, be advised, one end up paying slightly more using this method in the long run.
I loved [them]… only issue was the price. I was able to get two different pairs of other brands with similar characteristics in close to the same price… @sphansel_pk15 from Colorado Springs, CO.
Additional Benefits For Parkour Athletes
Like we said above, these shoes are built to be multi-sport shoes. Their wide footprint lends a great sense of balance when lifting weights. Their website claims that the construction of the show promotes a mid-foot strike when running. If that is true, then that’s pretty neat if you go on short runs often.
Great for hot climates. This shoe breath very well. If you train in hot weather, these shoes will do a great job at helping to keep your feet dry and aired out.
New pairs of these shoes sometimes come with stickers and other goodies. Though I have received some with nothing but the shoes. It depends on how generous the person picking up your shoes is. The shoes always come with an extra set of shoelaces.
I’ve notice Strike sell out of certain sizes online and fail to restock themselves for several weeks or months at a time. This is an issue for those with large feet (10+) or very small feet. Some athletes say that the midsection of the shoe is rather tight compared to the wide toe box. I did not personally experience this, though I have pretty averagely proportioned feet. Not optimal for climbing styles. These shoes lack a stiffness needed in disciplines like bouldering or some highly technical outdoor climbing. Additionally, the lack of rubber on the toe of the shoe makes them vulnerable to head on abrasion.
Bad for cold or wet climates. The knit mesh on top of these shoes is in no way water proof. Running through some wet grass will result in wet socks. This in combination with is high breathability makes these shoes vulnerable to the weather.
Bad on rural terrain. In addition to its water & climbing weaknesses, the mesh of the shoe will not prevent dust and fine sand for entering your shoe. Hiking or walking on the beach could become a bit annoying once the toe box fills with tiny rocks or mud.
Parkour athlete Christopher Hollingsworth filmed an anti-review video totally ripping on a previous model of the strikes a few years back. It’s not very accurate, but it’s funny!
Spoof Review By: @parkourchris
Conclusion – Amazing Shoes, At A High Price
Overall, this shoe is pretty solid for parkour and freerunning training in a typical urban setting. Currently, they are my personal favorite training shoes. It’s a big hit to my finances when I need to order a new pair, but their durability and performance make it worth it for me. If you’re not bothered by the high price and you want superb feel, grip, and flexibility then I would highly recommend this shoe for advanced athletes.
I would not recommend these shoes for beginner athletes, athletes on a budget, athletes who have a lot of rock climbing in their styles, or athletes who train outdoors in wet weather often. Check out the Feiyues or Tigers insted.
What Do You Think?
We want to know what the community has to say. What was your experience with the Strike Interval Knits? Did you love them, or hate them? Let us know in the comments below!