parkour uk

York Takeover – The New Parkour Competition Format Highlighting A More Inclusive Approach.

At Parkour UK, we want to highlight community competitions and events that happen throughout the year.

As the world is slowly adapting to life after the initial COVID outbreaks, social contact is slowly starting to return to normal for the first time in two years.

After two years of very few parkour events, both internationally and nationally, parkour events and competitions have started to pick up again.

The newest of these community-organized parkour competitions include “Takeover” events.

Takeover events are when an individual or group from the parkour community spends some time compiling a list of challenges in their city. Parkour practitioners will then descend onto the city, trying to complete as many challenges as possible in a set time frame (Typically a day or two.)

The first of these events popped up in the UK earlier this year, the first being the Sheffield Takeover.

Since then, a second Takeover event has been held in York, with another being announced in Liverpool for November of this year.

The York Takeover had 50 Parkour Challenges under 4 categories.

  • York Classics: A collection of challenges celebrating the heart of York Parkour, and the people who have trained there.
  • Old School: A collection of challenges inspired by the Yamakasi, focusing on grit, strength, and endurance.
  • New School: A collection of challenges inspired by recent trends in Parkour. Think spins, funk, and tekky weirdness.
  • Flow: A collection of challenges involving the smooth linking of movements together.

The event had a prize pool of over £400, split evenly between the Men’s and Women’s divisions. Within the last few years, the vast majority of the parkour community has been pushing for equal prize money in competitions for men and women. Community-organized parkour events have been leading this change within the sport.

A parkour event in Norway, called the “Oslo Movement Gathering” also donated £100 to help with equal prize money.

I spoke to Sam Coppack. Sam is a “Professional Member” at Parkour UK and hosts the Parkour Coach Companion podcast. He is also responsible for hosting the York Takeover event a few weekends ago. He kindly gave me some insight into the event from an organizer’s perspective and gave some tips on what to do if you want to host your own city takeover event.

So, getting started, I asked where the inspiration for the York Takeover came from.

“The Sheffield Takeover was a major inspiration for our York Takeover event. Their 2-day, 100-challenge format was a big success, and I felt that it was a new, interesting strand of parkour street competition. I absolutely loved the experience, and as soon as I got home, I began thinking about the logistics of a York Takeover event.

I also have to give huge credit to people like Renae Dambly, who on my podcast, The Parkour Coach Companion, explained her “Search and Destroy” jam, which had a similar format.”

Sam is mostly by himself in the York scene. The planning of the event took almost a month of dedicated hard work and preparation. This involved taking photos of all the challenges, annotating them, announcing and advertising the event (mostly through social media), building a spot map for York, and managing prizes, such as money and discount codes from parkour brands.

Parkour UK, group of parkour practitioners, York Takeover 2022, Parkour UK
The York Takeover Event – Phot from @York_Gents Instagram

“I spoke to lots of people online and sought after some advice from the organizers of the Sheffield Takeover, Adam Dore and Liam Norbury. On the day, Ollie (Sam’s Housemate) had been building a spreadsheet for the points recording, and I sought more help from Dean Stimpson about the scoring and other logistics. He gave me some moral support.

I was very nervous, and honestly, I put a bit too much work on myself.”

Of course, like any casually organized parkour event, there were some concerns.

“Weather, injuries, and being moved on from spots were the main areas of concern. Thankfully, the weather held out, and there was only one significant injury (a sprained wrist), and only got moved on from a few spots. I was disappointed to find that, in the morning prior to the event, there had already been an incident with the residents, but I gave a strong word to contestants which seemed to work for the rest of the day.”

I asked Sam if he thought the day was a success and if he had any areas of improvement for next time.

“I can happily say it was a success. We managed to sell over 50 tickets for the event, there were few injuries, and we were only moved on from a few spots. I received a lot of praise throughout the day, and afterward too. York has never seen so much parkour in one day. There was something special about seeing people jumping around every corner you turned.

We pooled enough money for a Women’s category and a 16 and Unders category too. This helped attract students from up North. NBDs (Never Been Done Challenges) were conquered, Greggs was eaten, and Instagram was flooded with hundreds of challenges being completed.

My format was experimental and a little complicated, but gave contestants an interesting experience, and catered to a broad skill set.

The scoring was very full-on. Ollie sat inside for about 6 hours, and both Dean and I had to help throughout. We had to postpone the awards ceremony because we hadn’t finished, meaning some people had already left for their trains. We got some of the scores wrong, including the women’s podium, which was frustrating and embarrassing.

More hands on deck were definitely needed, and we could have perhaps staggered the points onslaught by enforcing a midday break, where everyone submitted at the same time, rather than relentlessly.

Some feedback from the community also mentioned that the event felt a little rushed, with only 6 hours to complete 50 challenges. For some, this sense of adventure was a great way to test themselves, but for others, it drained the enjoyment of training.

We could have advertised earlier and harder, especially to get more women to get involved. We only had 3.”

I went on to ask Sam about the future of Takeover events, and whether or not he would like to see more.

“I would love to see more Takeovers. They are a fantastic way to get a real sense of a city and are exciting to those that thrive on treasure hunting and exploring. I’m already excited for the confirmed Liverpool Takeover this year, as well as whisperings from many other communities making moves. I expect we’ll see a number of takeover events next Spring when the sun comes back. The scope is massive. If they catch on we could be seeing Takeover style events across the world, and that would be wonderful.”

Sam kindly gave me a list of advice for organizers of Takeover events, which I have detailed below.

  • Get a team together to organize the event.
  • Ensure it’s fair, equal, and inclusive (Both people and skill levels)
  • Don’t be afraid to be a bit experimental, new ideas can spread.
  • Communicate with previous organizers of Takeover events.
  • Advertise clearly, but ask questions to the community.
  • Think carefully about your points system.
  • Be clear, and strict, on your challenges.
  • Consider safety aspects and respect for the city and the people within it.
  • Find the best parking locations.
  • Advertise hard, and don’t be afraid to reach out to brands for sponsorship and donations.

A huge well done to Sam and all of those involved in the organization of the event. Make sure you follow the York Gents on Instagram by clicking the link here.

Get Started With Parkour – A Guide To Shoes

Unlike most other sports, parkour does not require a load of equipment to get started.

All you need is some joggers and a pair of parkour shoes and you’re good to go.

When it comes to shoes, however, some of the top Google search results are for “The Best Parkour Shoes.”

To help you #GiveParkourAGo, we have compiled a list of what to consider when choosing your parkour shoes and a list of what the community is wearing right now.

Photo by


Before we start, there are loads of videos online that explain this in great detail. We have listed one from Kie Willis of Storm Freerun below. You can give that a watch before you read the rest of the article.

Kie Willis from Storm Freerun talks about parkour shoes.

There are 3 factors to consider when choosing a shoe for parkour & freerunning. These factors are grip, cushioning & durability.


The grip on your shoes is without a doubt one of the most crucial things when considering what shoes to wear for parkour (For beginners, it is also one of the most neglected!).

Without the grip, when you’re jumping to walls and rails or trying to climb up a wall, there will be little to no friction. With that in mind, we recommend opting for shoes with a flat rubber sole, instead of foam.

Flat rubber soles help you maximize the amount of friction between yourself and the surface you’re jumping to.

The Farang Elevate Parkour Shoe boasts a single sole piece of rubber, perfect for parkour. – photo by Farang.

Any kind of rubber sole is great for grip. However, we recommend going for a flat, single piece of rubber on the sole of the shoe. This is incredibly important on the ball of the foot and toe section of the shoe.

Having rubber that is sectioned on the bottom of the shoe runs the risk of snagging and tearing on surfaces quite easily. As mentioned in Kie’s video, sectioned soles aren’t all bad. If you find a shoe with a sectioned sole, try your best to go for vertical sectioned cuts, rather than horizontal.

The photo to the right is taken from the ‘Farang – Elevate’ parkour shoe, which boasts a flat, single sole piece of rubber on the bottom.


With cushioning, your personal preference really comes into consideration here.

Within the last few years, loads of participants in the sport have opted for skate shoes, popular for their ‘zero-drop’ aspect.

The term zero-drop means little to no cushioning at all. Popular shoes within the sport include the Nike Alleyoop’s or the Adidas 3MC.

If you’re new to the sport, then perhaps to start with, you would like to opt for cushioning that is more supportive of the arch and the heel. This can also be the case for those who may be training with lots of heavy impacts.

Adidas offers a wide range of thicker shoes, which can be found on their website or in your local high street sports store.

However, you may want to work on your technique, and touch and really want to feel your landings when training. That is really where the zero-drop aspect comes in. It goes without saying that when you train with less cushioning, you are going to feel the landings a little bit more, which in turn, will allow you to work on your technique, touch, and landings.

We’ve attached three photos below demonstrating what a high-cushioned, mid-cushioned, and zero-drop shoe looks like. Each is worn by the parkour community.


Finally, we have durability. There are some key things to look for when it comes to the durability of the shoe. You want to look for a shoe that is incredibly durable but doesn’t weigh too much.

We recommend looking for a mesh upper. The mesh upper allows the foot to breathe whilst training. Make sure to also check that the toe area is reinforced. Mesh without the toe cap will result in the mesh tearing easily. For a good example of this, check out this image of this Adidas shoe.

If you look on the left-hand side, you notice there is a little bit more protection in the area of the big toe. This is to add durability to help reinforce the mesh.

This allows the shoe to be incredibly lightweight, but also durable. It is the perfect combination of both.

With durability, you get what you pay for. It may be worth investing a little bit more money into your parkour footwear just for longevity purposes.

What does the community recommend?

On our Instagram, we asked the parkour community what shoes they are wearing right now. We’ve attached some of the most common answers below!

Supporting Parkour Culture

With parkour being a sport that is still in its infancy, we really try to promote and support parkour culture wherever we can.

We’ve listed below some parkour companies that have created parkour-specific trainers. These are designed by practitioners, for practitioners. These options are a little more costly than some of the big brands such as Nike or Adidas, but by purchasing from a parkour brand, you are helping support the parkour industry.

Team Farang – The Farang Elevate and Elevate Light Parkour Shoe

Storror – The Storror Tens (Another shoe is also in the works)

Storror Tens Parkour Shoe
The Storror Tens parkour shoe

The Strike Movement Haze (WaveZilla Edition)

Strike Movement Wavezilla Shoe
Shoe image by Strike Movement

The Ollo Alpha Shoes

Ollo Alpha Parkour Trainers


When it comes to parkour shoes, there really are no right or wrong shoes. Through my decade of experience in parkour, I have tried and tested many different pairs of shoes, some may not have worked for me, but other people have found them perfect.

Test out some shoes over time, and see which ones work best for you. And if you find any hidden gems, make sure you let us know!