So you think you have what it takes to compete on American Ninja Warrior (ANW)? The two main things you can do to prepare for the course are training like crazy and getting the right pair of ninja warrior shoes.
Year after year we see the strongest ninjas get knocked out of the competition by simply slipping on an easy obstacle. Although these mistakes are heartbreaking they can often be avoided by having the correct shoes for the obstacle.
You don’t want to train for an entire year just to end up taking a swim on one of the first 3 obstacles. Be smart and get a dedicated pair of ninja warrior shoes and use them during your training sessions.
When picking out the best American Ninja Warrior shoes we looked at the following qualities.
- Rubber – Makes sure you don’t slip
- Comfort – These shoes need to fit right
- Value – We all have a budget
We will be diving into these qualities deeper in the next sections.
The rubber on your ninja warrior shoes is what keeps your feet secure while tackling those pesky balance obstacles. Most shoe manufacturers use their own rubber on the soles of their shoes. This is okay for average everyday people, but it doesn’t cut it for Ninjas!
The main rubbers that are trusted by the ninja warrior community are Vibram and Five Ten Stealth.
Vibram rubber is a favorite for general ninja warrior obstacles. It has superior durability and sticks to all different types of materials. This rubber will excel on uneven surfaces and slick balance obstacles. This rubber is most often found on Merrell and New Balance ninja warrior shoes.
Five Ten Stealth rubber is popular with the rock climbers in the ninja community. Stealth rubber will perform best on rough and edgy surfaces. This rubber is ideal for primarily upper body obstacles that require the use of your feet. This is the perfect shoe for the late stages of the ANW finals.
Comfort for American Ninja Warrior shoes is somewhat complicated. First and foremost, your shoe needs to fit your foot right. If you size your shoes too big you might risk some performance. The best ninja warrior shoes are snug but not tight. This ensures that you will perform at your best when running over any crazy balance obstacles. As a rule of thumb, you will want to size your ninja shoes a half size down from your regular shoes.
The other component of Ninja Shoes is the structure of the shoe. Do you want a minimalist shoe or a well-padded (regular) shoe? This is mostly up to personal preference, although if you can handle it, a minimalist shoe will provide you will an edge over the competition. They offer the most feeling and flexibility.
This may surprise some of you that price is a factor when choosing the best ninja shoes. The reason price is important is that you will most likely end up purchasing a few pairs of the shoe you end up choosing. You will do this for a number of reasons but the most likely is too have a pair for training and a pair for competitions. You might even want a separate pair of shoes for different styles of obstacles.
Although the price of your shoes will not directly affect your performance on American Ninja Warrior, it will affect how to use your shoes and if you decide to purchase two or more pairs.
Best American Ninja Warrior Shoes
Below is a list of the best ninja shoes of 2018. If you don’t see your favorite shoes listed below make sure to tell us in the comments below. Enjoy!
The MX40V1 New Balance Ninja Shoes are perfect for the beginner ninja. These shoes offer great cushioning and comfort while still providing excellent performance. The Vibram sole will keep you on all the obstacles and the Rapid Rebound insole will keep your joints happy.
Vibram doesn’t only make awesome rubber, they make shoes too! These barefoot shoes are the most extreme minimalist shoes around. The Vibram KSO EVO shoes are only intended to be used by advanced users. This would not be an ideal beginner shoe or the only shoe you have. Barefoot shoes are mainly used to strengthen your foot. This shoe would be perfect as a secondary shoe to use only for training.
Women’s Version Here: Vibram KSO EVO Women’s
Rubber: Stealth S1
Sticky rubber at its finest! If you’re a Rock Climber you probably already have a pair of these. The Five Ten Access Approach shoes are the #1 Stealth rubber shoes for ninja warrior. These shoes will stick to all the textured materials that ANW used on its obstacles. The Five Ten Access shoes will stick their way through anything you put them through.
Women’s Version Here: Five Ten Access Women’s
The Merrell Vapor Glove is the best shoe for ninja warrior! It feels like a Glove to make balance obstacles a breeze. This shoe features a perfectly designed Vibram rubber shoe designed to outperform in all conditions. The Vapor Glove 3 is by far the best minimalist shoe for ninja warrior.
The ultra-flexible sole allows your foot to strength in a way that most shoes won’t. This shoe also come in with a very reasonable price tag. This makes the Merrell Vapor Glove 3 the Best Buy for Ninja Warrior Shoes!
Older Model Shoe Here: Merrell Vapor Glove 2
Women’s Verison Here: Merrell Vapor Glove 3 Women’s