Best Shoes For Jumping Rope (Minimalist/Basketball/Training)


If you have started jumping rope then you will quickly understand that you should not be jumping barefoot. As a beginner, your body isn't used to the constant impact of the ground, and your shins and joints are going to feel it. Also, you're going to be regularly hitting your feet and toes, which will hurt, and your feet are going to send you a strong message of the support/stability/flexibility required to aid jumping rope.

Yet the dilemma people face when looking for the perfect jump rope shoes is that there are very few manufacturers out there with shoe designs specifically for jumping rope. This means that we have to look outside of the box and for shoes designed for other sporting activities that best suit our needs.

So, I have compiled a list that is split into 3 sections - for those who want the barefoot experience with added protection, for those who want ample cushion and rebound, and for cross-training/running sneakers. The shoes chosen have specific features for different styles of jumpers, and I hope you can find some that make your skipping experience a pleasure!

best shoes for jumping rope

In a Hurry? Check Out The Top 3

Shoe NAME

kEY aSPECTS

Great for

CHECK PRICE 

  • Minimalist         
  • Lightweight +    flexible               
  • Fits like a glove 

vertical & lateral jumping

  • Influence speed
  • Comfortable       out the box        
  • Great support    

vertical & lateral jumping

  • Lightweight +     flexible                
  • Durable               
  • Spacious toes    

vertical & lateral jumping

Full Reviews

Barefoot/Minimalist Shoes

Boxing/barefoot shoes are more narrow, and lack arch support. Having a smooth, flat sole can be beneficial for those who want to feel grounded, or looking for a barefoot experience with added protection for the toes and other areas of the feet.


1: Vibram Men's KSO EVO Cross Training Shoe


One of the most minimalistic shoes you can buy, and if you feel most at home jumping rope when barefooted yet want good foot protection, and a functional lacing system, then these will deliver a one-of-a-kind experience for your workouts.

The uppers are made of lightweight and airy polyester mesh with PU film protection and reinforcement, for added stability. There is also a five-finger design that hugs the toes, gripping the feet firmly in place. Aside from being one of the most lightweight barefoot shoes available, they are regarded as one of the most flexible shoes you can wear, with a thin 2mm insole and 3mm outsole that encourages natural skipping motion and to land naturally to ensure the barefoot experience while jumping.

Vibram is known to make high-quality rubber soles that are going to grip to any surface you put them to the test on, and you will have no worries about slipping and sliding in these. The rubber also covers the toe area for added protection.

Summary: A great barefoot minimalist shoe, and if you like the feeling of jumping barefoot yet want some added protection from heavy rope knocks, then these will suit you perfectly.

The Good Stuff:

  • Suited to vertical and lateral jumping
  • Minimalistic design
  • Extremely lightweight and flexible
  • Easy lacing system
  • Fits like a glove for the feet

The Bad Stuff:

  • Some durability concerns
  • Narrow toe box

2: Everlast PIVT Low Top Boxing Shoes


This low-top boxing shoe features a hybrid design with an enhanced build for comfort and gym use while being easy to maneuver around the boxing ring, being highly supportive, meaning lateral jump rope movements will be a breeze.

The shoe weighs in at just 0.8kg and the uppers feature an open weave mesh and microfiber that makes them both lightweight, and breathable, alongside a soft suede for aesthetic appeal. They feature XS TREK technology engineered for increased sensitivity to movement and aid stability throughout both vertical and lateral jumping. They also have a higher ankle style and padding that will secure the feet comfortably inside the shoes.

In contrast to regular boxing shoes, they have a memory foam insole that adds a nice layer of cushioning on the inside, while being flat enough to be able to feel the ground beneath. This model also features a Michelin® Technical Sole for maximum traction support, while being flexible and adaptive to your movements, designed to make moving side-to-side a breeze.

Summary: The flatter styling is perfectly suited to those who like to feel grounded, and the memory foam insole and thick rubber tread encourage comfortable movement and will work well in the gym or indoor surfaces.

The Good Stuff:

  • Suited to vertical and lateral jumping
  • Really flexible
  • Ultra lightweight
  • Durable build
  • Budget friendly

The Bad Stuff:

  • Not breathable
  • Being a hybrid build, they are heavier than the average boxing shoe
  • No arch support

3: Adidas Men's HVC Wrestling Shoe


These are a minimalistic, lightweight, and flexible offering from Adidas that is suited to those who want good support while feeling grounded.

The uppers are constructed of single-layer mesh, and synthetic leather/suede overlays for a combination of thin, breathable, and flexible fabrics. They are supportive, and the elastic ankle strap ensures a lockdown fit and great ankle support, influencing steady vertical and lateral movement. Being a wrestling shoe, the footbed has very little padding, no arch support, and zero drop, and is suited to those who want to feel connected to the floor while jumping.


The sole features pivot points in key areas of the foot. This enables a seamless transitioning of weight, adding flexibility throughout and especially in the balls of the feet for easy footwork when constantly jumping up and down. The sole is also 2.75mm in height, helping your feet stay connected with the ground, and also have a reliable gummy grip preventing unnecessary slips from occurring.

Summary: A minimalistic offering from a conventional shoe manufacturer, these shoes aid natural agility and flexibility of movement, and will serve those looking to feel grounded and strapped in.

The Good Stuff:

  • Suited to vertical and lateral jumping
  • Good for those who enjoy the feeling of being grounded
  • lightweight, flexible and supportive 
  • Affordable

The Bad Stuff:

  • Size-up if you wear a half size
  • No arch support
  • Not suited for jumping on hard floors such as concrete

Basketball/Volleyball

Basketball and volleyball shoes are highly supportive of the ankles and are designed to quick movement, and are a natural choice for many when it comes to finding shoes to jump rope with, as they often provide high levels of cushioning and rebound. 


4: Nike Men's Air Zoom BB NXT


This isn't a signature basketball shoe, and it doesn't need to be, as it sells itself with the design. It combines the lightweight appeal of a volleyball shoe with the impact protection of a basketball shoe, making these a fan favorite for those who jump rope!

The uppers are constructed of lightweight mesh fabric that is covered in a textured print for a breathable, comfortable feel. Inside there is a padded tongue, soft lining and a cushioned react insole, and these are comfortable and supportive out of the box. Also, the laces are unusually strong and supportive, staying firmly in place.

The nylon side material provides secure lockdown and there is support at the back to firmly cup your heels in place, while also adding comfort. There is a full-length Nike react foam midsole providing soft cushioning. There is also a moderator plate that acts as a stabilizer for the feet and also adds torsion support for a quick change of movements. It also helps spread the impact force of jumps throughout the midsole to enhance the Zoom Air cushioning experience.

You will sit higher off of the ground in these, but once you adjust to this your jump rope experience will be enhanced, as the cushioning is excellent. There are also 2 zoom pods in the forefoot area that add a spring to your jumps to help you push off the floor with ease.

They have a very grippy rubber sole with a circular tread supporting multi-directional movement on a variety of surfaces, and the outsole rises up onto the toe area to protect them from rope knocks!

Summary: Combining the cushion of a basketball shoe and the agility/speed of volleyball shoes, these might be the answer you have been looking for.

The Good Stuff:

  • Suited to vertical and lateral jumping
  • Light and influence speed
  • Comfortable out of the box
  • Great support and cushion

The Bad Stuff:

  • Some durability concerns
  • Not suited to quick lateral jumping

5: Nike Men's Lebron 17 Basketball Shoes


If you are looking for a for 30 mins-1 hours vertical jumping session then will work wonders. They will also suit those of you on the heavier side, as the cushioning system has been widely received as excellent.

They feature Knitposite upper material that is thick yet also soft and comfortable and helps lock down the feet on the footbed. However, your feet will heat up after prolonged use, which may or may not sway your decision.

There is no doubting these are some of the most comfortable shoes you will ever jump rope in. On the inside, there is a comfortable smooth lining and a cushioned insole. They also feature two different types of cushioning. There is an air max unit in the heel and 2x zoom cushioning pods in the forefoot, and the spring and rebound effect is perfect for landing on your front foot, as it absorbs so much impact that it will stop it traveling through your joints to your knees!

Given the quality of materials used, these sneakers are on the heavy side, and while suited to vertical jumps, they may feel clunky when moving side-side. The sole is made of firm rubber and provides enough traction for vertical jumping or indoor activities.

Summary: For extended periods of vertical jumping, these are great. They will also suit those on the heavier side, the cushioning system is one of the most comfortable out there. They are also suited for colder months and will keep your feet warm and cozy while practicing your jumps.

The Good Stuff:

  • Suited to vertical jumping
  • Advanced cushioning system
  • Supportive and suited to those heavier people
  • Look great

The Bad Stuff:

  • Too bulky/heavy for some
  • Can get hot after prolonged use
  • The traction is not suited for wet or slippery surfaces

6: Mizuno Men's Wave Momentum Volleyball Shoe


These shoes are both lightweight and influence speedy movements, being supportive, and adding enough cushion to stay comfy throughout workouts. The uppers are constructed of complex stitching patterns that integrate overlapping synthetic nylon and materials working in unison for a flexible, sock-like, comfortable fit.

The fitted design continues on the inside, with ample cushioning and a sock-like bootie construction that will hug the foot for good lock-down, conforming to foot movement due to the flexible, fitted material. The footbed features a cushioned and removable insert. The lightweight midsole and forefoot area are also flexible, adapting to multi-directional jumps while also providing a rebound effect.

They are highly responsive to lateral jumps and feature Mizuno WAVE Technology, which distributes shock throughout the shoe platform, adding a layer of stability and reducing the risk of injuries. They also have a Dura Shield for added toe protection from annoying heavy rope knocks.

These are light and fast with responsive underfoot cushioning in the forefoot area and will strike a balance of not being too soft and foamy like some other styles, or overly hard either. Underneath the extra grade rubber outsole will keep you on your feet whether you choose to jump indoors or outdoors.

Summary: This shoe allows for fast movements and adds a spring to your jumps, all whilst providing a secure home for your feet. Highly recommended.

The Good Stuff:

  • Suited to vertical and lateral jumping
  • Light and influence speed
  • Comfortable out of the box
  • Mizuno Wave technology
  • Futuristic design

The Bad Stuff:

  • Not as cushioned as basketball or running shoe designs

Training Sneakers

Some of you are used to wearing cross-training/running sneakers in the gym, or outside etc, and you want to find shoes that are suited to your workout routine, including jumping. The shoes listed will be suited to different activities, such as running, jumping, and general gym workouts. 


7: Reebok Men's Nano 9 Cross-Trainer


A good all-around training shoe, these have received construction updates from previous Nano versions, making them the most comfortable and supportive version of the Nano's for many fitness enthusiasts! 


They are highly supportive, and the breathable flex weave upper construction promotes comfort and helps give the feet a locked-in feel. The previously used plastic heel cup on the Nano 8 has been replaced with a wrapped TPU layer that ventures from the outsole to the midsole on the side and back of the shoe, working in harmony alongside the bootie construction and angled-in heel design for a locked-in feel and great support while jumping. 


This shoe has a low heel drop meaning that it will encourage you to lean and jump on your forefoot without the heel feeling heavy. The sole wraps up onto the toes and there is a leather layer under the flex weave at the toe area, for added protection from abrasion and knocking your toes with the rope. The sole is also split and provides a separation from the forefoot and heel, adding valuable flexibility needed for jumping on your forefoot.


Summary: For those looking to bridge comfort and stability while jumping, and for general workout routines, these will do the job nicely, supporting both vertical and lateral movements. 

The Good Stuff:

  • Suited to vertical and lateral jumping
  • Balance stability and comfort
  • Lightweight and flexible 
  • Durable overall design
  • Spacious toe box

The Bad Stuff:

  • The laces are overly long
  • Poor grip on wet surfaces

8: Nike Free RN Flyknit 3.0


The minimalist style of these shoes will make jumping rope a quick and easy experience. 


The forefoot is flexible, and as you will constantly be putting pressure on the balls of your feet, these will easily bend and mold to your jumps. they are also super light which makes it feel you are wearing socks/barefoot. There is a removable cushioned foam insole.

Given there is no lacing system, security is essential. Fortunately, these provide comfort and lockdown for the feet. This is provided by an elasticated construction of thick and flexible Flyknit material running throughout the upper, that runs under and over a non-stretchy wrap-across construction, securing any tension provided by pulling the Flyknit material with the pull tab around the tongue area. This provides enough lockdown for jumping and feels perfectly natural.

The midsole comprises of a full-length single-density foam that is very flexible. There is a 4mm heel drop which means that the heel sits near the height of the forefoot and gives a flat feeling when jumping, and a natural motion for landing on the balls of the feet. The Nike Free outsole is also made of foam and gives enough traction to secure you on your feet in gym settings.


Summary: These shoes are slick-looking, lightweight, and suited to your vertical jumping routines, driveway workouts, and so on.

The Good Stuff:

  • Suitable to vertical jumping
  • Lightweight and flexible 
  • Balanced support/cushioning 

The Bad Stuff:

  • Not for wider feet
  • You may require more support if not used to the laceless design

9: Under Armour Men's Charged Assert 8 Running Shoe


These are suited for those who like their comfort and cushioning while jumping rope, these will also keep your feet secured, and joints feeling supported throughout your workouts.

The uppers are made up of a lightweight mesh construction with a 3 color digital print, making for a breathable experience. They provide a stable environment for your jumps, and there are also leather overlays for added stability that help to lock in the midfoot region of the shoe. Also, inside there is a padded & plush tongue and collar, and an EVA sock liner, providing soft, step-in comfort and aiding a stable jumping experience.

There is also a padded footbed, that works hand-in-hand with the midsole that is loaded with compression molded foam, delivering responsive energy return to the user on impact to the ground.


Underneath there is a solid rubber outsole that is strategically placed to cover high impact zones in the feet, providing added durability in these areas. There are also deep flex grooves in the midfoot and forefoot making them flexible and adaptable to changes in foot movement.

Summary: These shoes offer a balance of flexibility and cushion, and will suit those who have joint issues and need the added padding on the inside.

The Good Stuff:

  • Suited to vertical and lateral jumping
  • Built for indoor training
  • Lightweight and flexible 
  • High levels of cushioning/Comfortable out of the box
  • Affordable

The Bad Stuff:

  • Some reports of durability concerns

Buyers Guide

There is no one style of shoe that will suit everyone's feet perfectly.  Everyone has different anatomies, and some people have flat feet, weak ankles, and individual preferences that require different footwear. 


However, if your feet and ankles are experiencing discomfort of any kind then they are going to send strong messages of what kind of support they require, and the best shoes for you are going aid your feet and jumping experience, to prevent injury.


So, let's have a look at some important qualities you may want to consider when buying shoes to jump rope with.


Lightweight Design

When it comes to the weight of your shoes, in most cases, when jumping rope it is important to have a lightweight shoe that adapts to the intensity of your workouts without feeling bottom-heavy. This is especially true for lateral and multi-directional movement, as a heavy design will cause you to be sluggish. 


In some instances, however, such as for vertical jumping, heavier designs will suffice, as they will often have extremely good cushioning and high levels of rebound and energy return.


Breathability

Flexibility and breathability usually come in one package. On training shoes, we often see breathable knit Mesh fabric such as open weave mesh, and microfiber flex weave constructions that all promote both a lightweight and breathable experience.

This same goes for the interior lining, and fabrics such as polyester and nylon provide a soft yet secured fitting, and are moisture-wicking drawing moisture away from the body, helping airflow throughout the shoe.


Flexibility

When jumping rope we bend our feet so that impact pressure is placed on the balls of the feet, and therefore shoes are required that bend to natural movement. So, you want to look for a shoe that allows flexibility throughout.


How much though is down to personal preference.


For instance, if you are prone to getting sore feet, the stiffer sole of a basketball shoe may suit you better, but if you crave supple movement, or want to stretch your foot to the fullest range possible then the flexibility of a barefoot or training/running shoe allows for more flex throughout. 

 

Support

When jumping rope you are placing pressure upon your midfoot and forefoot and not striking with your heel. Therefore, avoid shoes that have an elevated heel, or a high platform such as some running styles, as a lower heel drop throughout the midsole will promote better form and make it easier to place pressure forwards and land on your front foot while jumping. 


Arch Support

When jumping rope your arches will absorb a lot of pressure, and for those of you who are not used to jumping barefooted or in flatter style shoes lacking arch support, you need to find shoes with arch support for added shock absorption and to prevent injury. 


For ample support, running/cross-training sneakers place an emphasis on supporting the arches, as every step you take is potentially harmful to them without the proper support.


Ankle Support

We all have memories of twisting an ankle, and with such an active activity as jumping rope, ankle support is essential for your wellbeing.

For additional ankle stability, look out for a supportive heel cup/counter that gives added protection, helping lock the ankles in place. Also, high-top boxing and basketball-style shoes provide additional ankle support to support quick and directional changing movement.


Stability

A Flex weave upper construction helps provide a locked-in feel. Some uppers also contain PU film and other reinforcements running over the upper material helping lock the foot in place. Other supportive materials include Knitposite, which resists stretching, providing a Sock-like, tight feeling, hugging the feet, helping firmly keep them in place.

Other features that can help with stability include Mizuno WAVE Technology, which upon footstrike distributes shock evenly throughout the shoe platform and aids balance. Also, side straps will provide added lockdown for the feet and ankles, and an adjustable, full-length lacing system can secure the entire feet and ankles in place.


Impact Protection

Protecting the joints is essential. Every time you jump up and down onto the ground there is a forceful impact, with your ankles and knees flexing to absorb the this. As you will be jumping 1000's of times, this means 1000's of impacts to the floor, and if you wear shoes that are not cushioned effectively, then the impact will travel through your feet/ankles/knees, and your joints are going to feel stuff the next day and may become damaged over time.


Footbed 

Insoles serve different purposes, but their primary purpose is to add a layer of underfoot cushioning. Some offer additional benefits such as Nike React insoles providing energy return to the user, which aids those wanting to jump higher.

Other shoe styles include memory foam insoles, providing softer padding that works well in flatter designs. Also, if you use custom-fitted insoles then make sure you purchase shoes with removable insoles.


Jump Surface

So, when choosing shoes, suitable cushioning is required for the surface you are jumping on. Balance is essential here. On the one hand, you don't want the cushioning to be overly soft as this can negatively affect the ankles, creating stability problems and potential ankle rolls/injuries.


On the flip side, if you are not used to it then a lack of cushioning when jumping on a hard surface can equally harm your feet, joints, and connective tissues around the tibia. You will be more susceptible to painful shin splints, and if you continue jumping on hard surfaces these can worsen over time, causing more harm than good.

For example, if you prefer a flatter, barefooted shoe experience then you may be using Vibram's or boxing/wrestling shoes with a limited footbed and sole padding. In this case, you will be fine to jump in the gym or at home on softer rubber mats and floors, which will provide some added impact protection.

Conversely, if you enjoy a cushioned basketball/cross-training sneaker with thicker form-filled midsoles and air units, you should be fine to jump outside on driveway concrete or other hard surfaces, as your shoes will provide adequate support. In this case, avoid overly soft flooring, as too much compression can be equally damaging to your muscles/ankles and other joints.

Finally, If jumping outside then avoid windy days, grass, gravel, and other uneven surfaces, as these can potentially help catch the rope on something and cause unwanted issues.


Traction

Having some supportive rubber traction on the outsole is essential during your workouts as this will keep you grounded, and the last thing you want to happen is to be slipping when moving laterally jumping rope.


If you are jumping in shoes with flatter, smooth soles you will want to avoid jumping outside and will need to jump on a rubber floor, or another surface that will need to give the traction. 


However, a tread that is overly thick or protrudes underneath can also cause issues, as it has more chance of making contact with the rope, and this needs to be avoided.


Rope Type

For Speed/Agility Ropes

If you are working with a lighter rope and focused on your agility, balance, timing, and speed, then you need shoes to match. For instance, A nice lightweight design with a flex throughout the shoe and especially in the balls of the feet, alongside ample cushioning.

For Weighted Ropes

Flat-footed Vibram's and other barefoot shoes may suffice for agility training with thinner rope styles, yet heavy ropes require you to protect your toes. If your feet aren't protected then as you become fatigued, without proper footwear you face the chances of knocking your whole foot backward and potential injury will occur.

Also, you need to protect yourself from hurting your toes, and if you are using heavy ropes you may require a shoe that helps with a 'bounce-back' motion to assist propulsion, ensuring you consistently jump high enough to not get caught by the rope.


Additional Tips

  • As a beginner, listen to your body, as it needs to slowly adjust. Too much jumping can lead to issues such as shin splints, so start your training slowly, gradually increasing volume. 
  • Your shoes are there to adjust to your biometrics and not the other way around. So if you feel your shoes are negatively influencing your jumping form, swap them out for something else. 
  • The feet have 250,000 sweat glands and jumping shoes will be prone to smell. Prevention techniques include rotating them to let them air out for a day or so, or using odor-free socks. 

If you are considering learning to jump rope, take a look at the vid below for some helpful tips!


Thank you for reading.



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