What comes to mind when you think of jump rope? Playgrounds, fun, perhaps recess? While jump rope does have all these lighthearted connotations, it’s also quickly becoming an intense, competitive sport.
Unlike the innocent jump rope of our rose-tinted schoolyard memories, competitive jump rope is a physically demanding activity that requires suitable footwear.
Not only will going into this sport wearing any old clunkers give your opponents a distinct advantage, you put yourself at risk of picking up a nasty injury such as shin splints or jumper’s knee.
Not to worry, though, champ. Having done days of research, I’ve discovered the five best shoes for jumping rope you can buy. With a pair of these sweet soles beneath you, you’ll be a serious contender.
Best Shoes For Jumping Rope – Reviews
I see no merit in burying the lead here, folks. Every moment we spend chatting could be spent refining your technique, so let’s dive straight into some reviews.
Inov-8 F-LITE 235 V2 Cross Trainer
The F-Lite 235 V2 from Inov-8 ticks all the jump rope boxes. Featuring an exceedingly slim outsole, they offer unparalleled flexibility, giving your feet the freedom they need to lift you off the ground with ease.
Despite this ever so moveable design, they don’t skimp in the support department either. The EVA midsole reduces the shock of impacts and recoils beautifully to help you spring back into their air on your next jump.
As you can surmise by looking at them, the thin mid-shoes cradle your foot, offering tons of support during lateral movement, but the toe box widens, giving your toes plenty of breathing room to splay out naturally as you jump.
The rubber grip extends towards the end of the toes, providing maximum traction at every point of your jump preparation, and the vented upper ensures you stay cool, helping you to focus on your rhythm.
To top it all off, the 235s earn the “Lite” in their name by weighing in at a minuscule 8.225oz, reducing fatigue during long jump sessions, ensuring you outperform the competition.
- Thin Outsole – Offers tons of flexibility.
- EVA Midsole – Reduces pressure on feet and knees.
- 8.225oz – Some of the lightest sports shoes on the market.
- Wide Toebox – Room for toes to move naturally.
- Fit – Tend to run a half size larger than you’d need.
Nike Metcon 4 Cross Training Shoes
Threaded with Nike’s proprietary Flywire technology, the Metcon 4 offers an incredibly stable feel, while using the minimum amount of material to provide the necessary support across the essential areas of the foot.
Fewer materials make for a lighter shoe, which is essential to jumping rope, helping to keep you feeling fresh as you jump your way beyond the 10-minute mark.
The Metcon 4 also features a super lightweight midsole cushion in order to kill off the impact vibrations, and the thin, flexible outsole never gets in the way of the natural biomechanics of your feet.
Crafted from a fine mesh, the upper brings in a lot of air to keep your feet feeling fresh, allowing you to push yourself further with each jump-training session.
The heel protrudes ever so slightly for smooth transitions during a run, but not so much that it’ll catch on the rope, and the heel-shaping is very flat, providing extra clearance space with each jump — perfect for double unders and TJs.
- Mesh Upper – Keeps your tootsies chill.
- Flywire Technology – Reduces overall weight and offers extra support.
- Drop-In Foam Midsole – Minimizes shock and vibration transmission.
- Thin, Flat Outsole – Allows feet full range of motion.
- Price – You do pay a small premium for the Nike pedigree.
- Fit – Tend to run a half-size small.
Reebok CROSSFIT Nano 7.0 Cross Trainer
Featuring a form-hugging mid-section and a spacious toebox, the Nano 7.0 from Reebok supports your arch without leaving your toes feeling claustrophobic, which is conducive to rhythmic, flowing jumps.
An incredibly flat outsole provides tons of stability when you’re flat-footed, but the flex in the ball of the toe prevents them from feeling inarticulate as you land and take off.
The bootie-heel keeps your ankles feeling strong, reducing the chance of awkward landings and strains, while the molded sock-fit lining gives them an almost second-skin feeling.
A breathable upper helps to prevent excess sweating, reducing internal friction and staving off blisters, so you can train for longer.
Mellowing harsh impacts, the cheval-molded midsole reaches full compression incredibly quickly, then springs back, providing a bit of extra zing during rapid-fire jump rope sessions.
Soft but not mushy feeling or unresponsive, stable but not restrictive, the Nano 7.0 holds the perfect tension between comfort and performance.
- Cheval-Molded Midsole – Takes the pressure off your joints.
- Spacious Toebox – Stretch your toes out!
- Mesh Upper – Limits sweat and prevents formation of blisters.
- Forefoot Groove – Adds tons of flex.
- Molded Sock-Fit Lining – Feels snug but not restricting.
- Price – They cost a pretty penny.
- Reebok Shoes
- Low-cut design for added mobility
Vibram Five Fingers V-Trail 2.0
With individual toe spaces and an incredibly minimal profile, I see the Vibram Five Fingers Trail 2.0 as the perfect bridge shoe that can ease you into barefoot jump rope.
The 2mm EVA insole softens the impacts of small jumps, protecting your ankles, knees, and back as you train, and the sock liner prevents internal shifting, ensuring maximum energy transfer between your feet and the floor.
Mesh uppers let cooling air rush in at all times, and the utter lack of rigidity in the fabric makes for a highly flexible, second-skin feel.
They’re a little heavier than other shoes on my list, but I feel they more than make up for it with the 3D Cocoon technology molded into the sole, that protects the ball of the foot (the most used area for jump rope).
- Non-Rigid Upper – Ultimate flexibility.
- Breathable Mesh – Prevents overheating.
- 3D Cocoon Technology – Protects the ball of your foot.
- 2mm EVA Midsole – Reduces vibration transmission to the joints.
- Weight – Could be lighter.
- Fit – Order half a size up if you plan on wearing socks.
- Polyester fabric upper with added lamination around the toes to prevent seam splitting
- The new upper is also more water repellent than the previous version
- Bungee laces with adjustable toggle closure for a secure fit
- Fabric linings
- Vibram 3D Cocoon technology is molded into the sole for rock stopping protection and unparalleled grip on wet and dry surfaces
Xero Shoes Prio Cross Training Shoe
A simple, clean-cut design, Xero Shoes’ Prio celebrates minimalism in the best possible way. Boasting a non-elevated sole, they don’t impose on your body’s dynamics or force a shift in your center of gravity. Rather, they provide a platform to enhance your natural sense of balance.
Despite being insanely thin, the sole has a surprisingly responsive feel, providing a dynamic recoil to help you nail the next jump.
The lightweight design never leaves you feeling sluggish, so you can challenge yourself with greater rope speeds, while the 2mm midsole takes the bite out of the impacts as you jump your way to glory.
- 2mm Midsole – Cushions but doesn’t get in the way.
- Non-Elevated Sole – Neutral shaping works well with natural center of gravity.
- Responsive Outsole – Adds a spring to your step.
- Barefoot Feel – Lightweight and nonrestrictive.
- Durability – Not as tough as I’d like.
- COMFORTABLE, FOR-EVERYTHING SHOE - Whether you’re out on a run, trying out a new trail, hitting the gym, or toeing a slackline, you’ll love the Prio’s combination of freedom and protection
- XERO DROP SOLE FOR PERFECT POSTURE - The Xero Drop sole offers a non-elevated heel and is low-to-the-ground - this allows proper posture, balance, and agility for all-round performance
- ULTRA-THIN BAREFOOT DESIGN - Wear with or without socks. The optional 2mm insole lets you have more or less of a “barefoot feel” depending on your mood
- VEGAN FRIENDLY - Xero Shoes believes in promoting healthy and sustainable lifestyles which is why the Prio is made with zero animal products
- GET THE RIGHT FIT with FREE Domestic Exchanges - This shoe runs 'true to size." If for any reason that's not the case for you, contact us for a free domestic exchange of your 'like-new' shoe
Best Shoes For Jumping Rope – Buyer’s Guide
The problem we face when searching for jump rope shoes is that, technically, they don’t exist — boo!
As it stands, there are no companies that make dedicated jump rope footwear, and while that will hopefully change as the profile and momentum of the sport builds, we need to find a way to get by until then.
The good news is that there are tons of shoes out there that are sort of, well…accidentally great jump rope shoes. You just need to know what you’re looking for.
Unlike gigantic leaps that require a lot of explosive power generated in the quads, the energy required to do those small, measured jumps each time the rope swings around is primarily generated by the muscles in our feet.
In order to continuously launch us up off the ground without fatiguing, it’s essential that our footwear allows our feet to flex and bend with little to no restrictions.
Flexible shoes tend to have much thinner outsoles and airy fabric uppers. They facilitate natural, unimpeded movement.
If you’re going to dominate at that next jump rope event, you need to feel light and agile, which means any shoe that acts like an anchor is strictly out of the question.
The key to a great jump rope shoe is keeping things as light and airy as possible. You want it to feel like you aren’t wearing anything at all, almost like a second skin.
Luckily for us, most sports shoes these days are made from lightweight materials, which makes this search for the shoe that doesn’t technically exist a little easier.
As someone who’s struggled with knee issues their whole life, I know firsthand how important shock absorption is in shoes.
Jump rope may not seem like the most intensive sport in the world, but it does involve tons of impact. Though we’re only doing little jumps, the pressure will eventually build up and take its toll on our knees, shins, and backs.
A supportive yet springy midsole can take the sting out of each jump and add oomph to your next, all while keeping our joints happy and healthy, allowing you to jump rope harder and for longer.
Of course, the larger the midsole is on a shoe, the more shock it can absorb when we land, but we need to keep things as streamlined as possible, so finding a balance between shock absorbency and sole size is essential, which brings me to my next point.
Thin, Flat Soles
We play it pretty fast and loose as it is when we jump rope, sometimes avoiding contact with the rope by mere millimeters. The smaller our shoes are, the more space we have to work with and the more time we have to execute our jumps, so we need to stay away from elevated heels and platforms.
A lot of running shoes also have an extended heel to smooth out pronation as our feet return to the ground, propelling us forward. It’s an ingenious design, but for jumping rope, it’s nothing but a trip-hazard. You need to look for a shoe that keeps things nice and tight. Less is more!
You should also disregard shoes that have any distinct grooves or awkward shaping in the edge of the sole that the rope could catch on.
Jump rope requires a constant rolling of the arch, so if our shoes aren’t up to scratch in that area, we’re going to fatigue quickly and may even develop some nasty strains.
You can tell how supportive the arch of a shoe is by testing for lateral flex. This is done by holding the shoe upside from the outsole in both hands. Now try to twist the heel towards your body while twisting the toe away. The more resistance the shoe exhibits, the stronger the arch support should be.
Supportive Heel Collar
It may not feel like it, but when we jump, our heels are never completely centralized, which means they’re a little off-center when we land too, increasing the risk of a sprain.
A supportive heel collar helps to keep your feet and heels aligned and secures your heel in the shoe, thereby reducing the chances we’ll roll an ankle, relegating us from the jump rope action for what could be months.
Much like when you run, your feet expand as you jump rope. Combine that with the way your toes naturally splay out before and after a jump, and you’ll need some serious wiggle room in that toe box.
Grip is everything when it comes to jump rope, especially if it takes place on polished, wooden gymnasium floors. If our shoes don’t generate enough traction, every time we come in for a landing, we’re at risk of falling on our bums, causing plenty of pain and even more embarrassment.
To prevent this unfortunate event from ever happening to you, you’ll need a shoe with a quality rubber outsole and a grip pattern with a good balance of contact points and traction ridges.
Ten minutes of jump rope is the equivalent of running an eight-minute mile, so it stands to reason that you’re going to get hot and sweaty, especially your feet
Unfortunately, the hotter your feet get, the more uncomfortable they’ll become, affecting your focus and rhythm, but a shoe with a breathable upper with vented sections will allow the passage of air, keeping you cool, calm, and collected.
Best Shoes For Jumping Rope – FAQ
Before we go our separate ways, I thought an FAQ section would be a great way to tie things up neatly and fill you in on some details that slipped through the cracks of the buyer’s guide.
Q: Can I jump rope in Converse?
A: Don’t get me wrong, I love Converse. I’ve been wearing a mixture of Chucks and Vans my whole life, and as far as casual wear goes, I don’t see that changing, but Converse are an objectively bad choice for jumping rope.
While they are an incredibly flexible shoe, they offer little to no arch support, they have a flimsy canvas collar, and they don’t have a springy midsole.
Q: Is it OK to jump rope without shoes?
A: Yes, it’s absolutely okay to jump rope barefoot. In fact, forgoing shoes can actually help you build up your foot muscles; however, it can take a while to train your feet, so you’ll be stuck working on basic movements on low-impact surfaces indefinitely.
Q: Can I use basketball shoes for jump rope?
A: In many ways, basketball shoes are fantastic for jumping rope. They’re insanely supportive, comfortable, and designed from the ground up to help people with jumping and landing.
My only gripe is that they tend to be quite bulky, providing too much of a target for the rope to catch on and trip you up or ruin your rhythm.
Q: Is it OK to jump rope every day?
A: As long as you don’t push yourself too hard, you can definitely get at least a little jump rope in every day.
Daily practice is a great way to improve your skills at an accelerated pace, and it will help you burn some calories and stay in shape.
My only advice would be to listen to your body. If your knees or ankles are starting to feel a little sore, take the day off and allow them time to rest and recover.
Q: Why does jumping rope hurt my shins?
A: It sounds like you’re experiencing shin splints – pain caused by the inflammation of the muscles around the shinbone. This may be due to the fact you’ve been wearing the wrong kind of shoes.
That’s your lot from me, fellow rope skippers. Did any of the shoes on my list catch your eye? Each of them brings something special to the table that will help you refine your techniques and take your jump rope skills to the next level.
In my opinion, the Inov-8 F-LITE 235 V2 Cross Trainer has the most rope-friendly features, but as everybody’s feet are different, you may well be better off with one of my other suggestions. It all depends on what sort of foot-feel you’re after. Happy hopping!