5 Best Shoes for Ninja Warrior to Buy in 2022

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Fighting for one of the top places in American Ninja Warrior requires more than sheer prowess and capability. You need to think ahead and arrange for a proper support system to ensure maximum performance.

In today’s article, I’ll be reviewing the five best shoes for Ninja Warrior to maximize your agility during the rigorous training period. Alongside the reviews, you’ll get to go over the necessary tips and tricks to overcome the struggles associated with choosing these shoes. 


What Kind Of Shoes Does A Ninja Wear?

Here’s an age-old dad joke for you. What kind of shoes does a ninja wear?

The answer is Sneakers.

Get it? No better way to be a ‘sneaky’ ninja than wearing some comfortable ‘sneakers’.

Despite the running joke, it’s true that ninjas, or at least, people training to overcome the witty obstacles in the Ninja Warrior course wear mostly sneakers for agility and comfortability.

But the normal comfort-based sneakers wouldn’t pass in cases like these. After all, signing up for Ninja Warrior is no easy task.

Experienced ninjas and trainers often wear custom-made sneakers to maximize their potential performance. Usually, the following types are their go-to shoes/sneakers –

Rubber Sole Sneakers

Sneakers with top-of-the-line rubber soles can benefit the ninjas in two specific ways. Firstly, these shoes are solemnly silent. 

You can run through the whole course without letting a screeching noise out. And secondly, they bounce off the ground a whole lot better due to the rubberiness. Another simple yet effective trick that greatly helps out Ninjas.

Malleable Sneakers

Your shoes need to move as you’re moving alongside them. Heavy shoes/sneakers are absolute no-gos if you’re training to be a ninja.

Hence, the sneakers should have malleability so that they can adapt to your positioning promptly. People often confuse malleability with softness – which is another mistake.

While soft materials are encouraged and appreciated in such cases, too much softness will wear the sneakers down. A non-toxic malleable composition will both provide support and ensure the longevity of the shoes.

Low-Top Sneakers

NBA players, Ninjas – basically athletes of all types always go for low-top sneakers. High-top sneakers come with a high collar and cover the entirety of your ankles in the process.

Low-top sneakers, on the other hand, do the exact opposite to improve your agility. Additionally, Ninja Warrior training activities are jam-packed with running & jumping action.

Without low-top sneakers, you might chafe easily and even hurt your ankles accidentally. Low-tops can also activate the leg muscles faster, which can help out with your reflexivity. 

Key Benefits Of Wearing Quality Shoes For Ninja Warrior

Key Benefits Of Wearing Quality Shoes For Ninja Warrior

The quality Ninja Warrior shoes can help you achieve the following perks:

Prevents Slippage

You can’t run through the demanding courses with shoes that slip easily. Imagine having a perfect run through the segment of the warped wall only to slip on one of the walls at the end.

Customized Ninja Warrior shoes can help to prevent slippage and improve your performance. 

Restricts Muscle Distortion

While running or going up the walls/hooks, bad fitting and positioning can distort your muscles.

Yep. Muscle distortion doesn’t always happen due to a lack of warm-ups. With proper shoes, you can offer more safety to the leg muscles.

Lightweight Support

Ninja shoes are supposed to support the ninjas, not weigh them down.

Soft and lightweight sneakers help to maximize your overall efficiency by providing that non-existent feel. When the shoes fit right, they just feel like another part of the body itself.

Enhances Flexibility

Special features like rubber soles, malleable texture, etc. can enhance your flexibility.

More flexibility will generate more power. Ninjas can’t compromise on flexibility, as it solely helps them to stay light on their feet. 

Boosts Confidence

The right pair of Ninja Warrior shoes can boost your confidence like nothing else. 

The courses are already challenging enough. That’s why, knowing that you’ve got a reliable pair of incredible shoes on – already is a huge confidence booster from the get-go.

How Did We Come Up With Our List?

Every year, hundreds of thousands of kindred sporty spirits sign up for Ninja Warrior training. And their very first course of action is to find a pair of training-appropriate shoes.

Today’s article came into existence to help out these first-timers with their rigorous journey. Our dynamic team members questioned many veteran Ninja Warrior toppers and winners to gather trusted material about usable shoes.

From there, we went through trials and errors of our own to come up with today’s list of top five.

If you, too, are just starting out and have no idea about the best shoes for Ninja Warrior, the following reviews will surely help you out.

Reviews Of The 5 Best Shoes For Ninja Warrior

The long-awaited reviews are finally here. Make sure to go through the reviews in detail to figure out the best-suited shoes for yourself.

#1. Best Overall: Vibram Men’s KSO EVO Cross Training Shoe

Key Features:

  • Imported fabric layout
  • Patented Vibram soles for agility
  • Low-top shaft measurements

The Vibram Men’s KSO EVO Cross Training Shoes are the definition of all-rounder ninja training shoes. They have an impeccable design focused just on agility and maximum strength.

The lightly padded tongue system will make you feel like you’re running on clouds. Plus, the serrated blade lugs act as great multipliers for both gripping capacity and sustainability.

What I Like

  • Speed lacing system for time-sensitive occasions
  • Trek outsoles for harsh training sessions
  • Imported fabric suitable for cold machine wash

What I Don’t Like

  • Runs small hence confusing at times

What Other Reviewers Say:

While the customers were satisfied with the build and custom design, many felt blindsided by the customer care executives. They didn’t seem to receive proper support from them.

Other than that, the shoes were lightweight and extremely effective comfort-wise. 

Editor’s Opinion:

If you’re looking for a good pair of custom shoes for Ninja Warrior training, you should start off with these. The lightweight properties alone will help you prepare a lot better.

#2. Best For Grip: WHITIN Men’s Minimalist Cross-Trainer

Key Features:

  • Rubber soles for better grip
  • Anatomical structure for natural comfort
  • Zero heels to toe drop for malleable strides

The WHITIN Men’s Minimalist Cross-Trainers are great training shoes for Ninjas and athletes everywhere. The wide anatomical toe box really helps to improve your agility by letting your toes move around freely.

Furthermore, the thin flexible soles move as you move right by. The soles are also flat and have a zero-drop structure – which can help you to take natural strides and stick your landings.

What I Like

  • Flat and flexible soles for a barefoot feeling
  • Wide toe boxes for better maneuverability
  • Removable sock liners for extra malleability 

What I Don’t Like

  • Sizing issues despite claiming to be true to size

What Other Reviewers Say:

Reviewers whole-heartedly loved these pair of Cross-Trainers from WHITIN. They were a fan of the anatomical shape and thought it helped out with their posture issues significantly.

These bad boys passed with flying colors for both obstacle courses and regular usage. Even the hardest obstacles didn’t seem to wear down the soles and toe boxes.

Editor’s Opinion:

I’d highly recommend the WHITIN Men’s Minimalist Cross-Trainers if you’re looking for a minimalist but reliable pair of training shoes.

#3. Best For Adjustability: Merrell Men’s Vapor Glove 4 Fitness Shoes

Key Features:

  • Vibram TC5+ construction for comfort
  • Merrell Barefoot Tech for better stabilization
  • Low-Top 100% imported fabric arch protectors

The Merrell Men’s Vapor Glove 4 Fitness Shoes are available in five colorful variants so you can match up your ninja attire accordingly. They’re specifically designed for hiking and trailing purposes out in the wild. The minimalist construction is both comforting and durable.

With these fitness shoes, you can train for hours without feeling tired. The shoes can adapt to all sorts of terrains and can support you through muddy and dry places equivocally. The eye-catching vibrant colors score enough style points as well before the judges.

What I Like

  • They’re absolute beasts for rough terrains
  • Provides manageable arch support for ankles
  • The enhanced grip works like a charm

What I Don’t Like

  • They do take some time to get used to

What Other Reviewers Say:

The shoes are true to size but they do have a visibly smaller toe box compared to the previous versions. Hence, if you’re used to using the earlier vapor gloves, these may feel a little too snug and restricting.

But for competitive sports, very few shoes can beat these pairs of fitness shoes. 

Editor’s Opinion:

I personally loved this pair of Merrell’s. They’re worth the hype and definitely can be your trusted buddies during the Ninja Warrior trials.

#4. Best For Stretchability: New Balance Ninja Shoes [Unisex-Adult ZANTV3]

Key Features:

  • 100% synthetic and imported construction
  • Lightweight yet solid rubber outsoles
  • No-sew upper construction for stretchability

The New Balance Unisex-Adult ZANTV3 Ninja shoes are perfect if you’re looking for something comfortable and reliable. The sleek fitting adjusts everyone and helps you stick to every single landing effortlessly.

With these shoes, you no longer have to worry about the shoes flying off in different directions while performing impressive somersaults. Alongside the sleekness, the fresh Zante V3 foam ensures proper smoothness and prevents both slippage and chafing issues. 

What I Like

  • Designed from an athletic perspective
  • An affordable option for beginners
  • The lace-up system is hassle-free

What I Don’t Like

  • Runs small and narrow arch support

What Other Reviewers Say:

While users were satisfied with the pretty looks and affordability, they were unhappy with the overall low top arch support. They deemed it too narrow for proper flexibility.

However, once you adapted to the shoes, the arch system loosened up accordingly. 

Editor’s Opinion:

I’d suggest these New Balance Ninja shoes for beginners looking to kick off their training phase with a bang. They’re stretchable, smooth, durable, and most importantly, comfortable.

#5. Best For Affordability: ASICS Women’s Cross Freak 2 Running Shoes

Key Features:

  • 0.75″ heel for enhanced arch support
  • Synthetic rubber soles for bouncier steps
  • Patented trusstic system for reducing weight

You can’t get better shoes for ninja training than the ASICS Women’s Cross Freak 2 Running Shoes in under 50-100 bucks. They’re designed to hold their own in multiple terrains effectively and can support ultra-hard training sessions.

They’re available in a few different gorgeous colors. Apart from the mechanical effectiveness, they’ll surely turn everyone’s head just by showcasing the playful colors. 

The Freak 2 makes great use of the trusstic system – which enables these shoes to provide as lightweight of a feel as possible without harming the internal structural integrity.

What I Like

  • They have the prettiest designs and colors
  • They feel incredibly light on the soles
  • The arch support is great for muscle pains

What I Don’t Like

  • The removable spikes need better instructions

What Other Reviewers Say:

Considering these shoes come in under only 50 bucks, users were obsessed right away. From your local sporty kids to veteran Ninja Warriors, everyone took to these shoes kindly.

They loved the heel protection and lightweight properties of these shoes. However, many were disappointed to discover that the shoes ran way too small as advertised beforehand.

Editor’s Opinion:

I loved my morning runs and then afternoon ninja training sessions with the Freak 2. Hence, I’d suggest getting them if you’re running low on cash and need some reliable helpers. 

Buying Guide Of The Best Shoes For Ninja Warrior Training

Buying Guide Of The Best Shoes For Ninja Warrior Training

Here’s a list of all the special features you should look out for while buying shoes for Ninja Warrior training sessions.


The material of the shoes should be your first and foremost concern while buying shoes. Comfort, durability, washability – all these features are directly dependent on the material.

You should look for non-toxic and environmentally-friendly fabric for both the softness and breathability of the shoes. Usually, the imported fabric shoes with no-sew surfaces are great for elasticity and adjustability. 


You can’t have Ninja Warrior shoes without flexibility. Extra hard surfaces can even lead to uneventful occurrences such as ankle sprains and muscle distortions during training sessions.

Rubbery soles with no-sew surfaces can offer you the flexibility you deserve as a ninja. If you’re buying from any physical outlet, make sure to bend the shoes in your hand to test ’em. 

Gripping Capacity

If the shoes have rubber bottoms with spikes, they’re already a great contender for Ninja Warrior courses. These spikes can heavily influence the gripping capacity by increasing the friction between the surfaces.

Again, many training shoes come with removable spikes as well. If you’re experiencing too much friction, these types of shoes can come in handy at times.


While longevity mainly depends on maintenance and exhaustion limits after the actual purchasing, you should check for potential weak links beforehand.

For instance – if the outsoles seem too loose or the toe boxes seem too thin, then you should probably look elsewhere. 

Arch System

Always go for low-top shoes i.e. shoes with lower arch support systems. The higher ones will restrict movement for your ankles.

They might even cause bad chafing during the constant running and jumping. You probably wouldn’t realize the damage due to the adrenaline rushes during the runs. But the damage will hit hard once you settle down.

Waterproof Properties

The perfect Ninja Warrior shoes should also have waterproof properties for enhanced sustainability and workability. Whether it’s a muddy terrain or a marshy one – your shoes should support you through everything. 

How To Keep Your Ninja Warrior Shoes In Peak Condition For A Long Time?

Here are a few tips and tricks to keep your training shoes in peak condition:

  • wash them as soon as you’re done training for the day
  • don’t delay the washing as the sweat, mud, dirt, etc. will settle down fast
  • don’t use hot water and corrosive liquids to wash the dirty shoes
  • read the instructions manual intently before removing the spikes, washing, etc.
  • use socks or sock liners to keep your shoes from smelling after a long day

Frequently Asked Questions

What to do if the ninja warrior shoes keep chafing my inner soles?

Comfort is absolutely non-negotiable when it comes to choosing the best shoes for ninja warrior training. The trials are already exhausting enough to eat away at your soul. You don’t need chafing from your shoes on top of that series of unbearable events.

Hence, if your training shoes keep chafing your inner soles, it’s best to just get rid of them. Comb through the market for better running shoes more suitable for your feet.

How To Prevent Chafing During The Hard Trials In Ninja Warrior?

Chafing mostly occurs due to poor design and fitting issues. So, to prevent chafing from happening in the first place, double down on these two features before buying the shoes.

Furthermore, you can try using special talc for better grip and moisture-wicking properties. In addition to improving the overall gripping capacity, this can help to prevent chafing too. 

How many hours of training is too many hours of training?

To prepare for the competitive trials in Ninja Warrior, no amount of training can ever feel enough. But it’s important to rest as well.

Too much training can drain both your energy and break down your running shoes too. Additionally, you should never keep training for multiple hours consecutively.

According to many experts on Ninja Warrior Training, six hours of training every day with proper downtime in between is enough for preparing your body and mind in the best way possible. 

Should I use a brand new pair of running shoes for different stages in Ninja Warrior?

While it may seem like a great idea at a first glance to use brand new shoes for maximum performance – it’s a self-destructive idea, to say the least. Shoes, especially running shoes, need to break down casually to a certain extent so they can adapt to your feet and running styles.

Hence, if you use brand new shoes for someplace like Ninja Warrior, you won’t be comfortable during the runs at all. Instead, you’ll face a lot more hindrance than usual and by the time you get settled, time will run out. 

Should the ninja warrior shoes definitely have water-resistant properties?

Many obstacles in the Ninja Warrior focus on avoiding the water at all costs. 

For instance – in the unstable bridge, cliffhanger, warped wall, etc. segments, you’ll immediately lose upon coming in contact with the water underneath. So, many might think that water-resistant properties aren’t as important for Ninja Warrior Training Shoes.

But again, they couldn’t be more wrong. And here’s why:

During training, you’ll surely fail and fall into the water at least a thousand times.

Even in the wintertime, sweat will easily accumulate in your shoes during training.

Without moisture-wicking properties, the Ninja Warrior Running shoes wouldn’t last a day. 

What are the cons of using crease protectors with my ninja warrior shoes?

Crease protectors are great for preventing creases in your top-notch running shoes. However, using low-quality plastic protectors can restrict the overall flexibility of the shoes.

The lack of flexibility will slow you down. Needless to say, you can’t afford to lose even a second if you want to complete the courses within a record time before everyone else.

Does using the same running shoes during trials and actual runs yield better results?

The results depend on preferences and overall usability. Usually, unless the shoes have been worked too much, it’s not a bad idea to wear the same running shoes. Wearing new shoes can throw your game if they don’t fit properly. 

Can I replace my running shoes with normal sneakers for someplace like Ninja Warrior?

Running shoes have different specifications than normal sneakers. They can offer more agility and have better resistance to wearability.

As such, using normal sneakers for the competitive courses in Ninja Warrior can prove harmful to both the shoes and the runners.

Final Word

Flexibility and adjustability on the spot are the key points for securing the best shoes for Ninja Warrior training courses. However, you can’t compromise on the comfort either.

I would recommend the Vibram Men’s KSO EVO Cross if you’re looking for a trusted pair of ninja training shoes. Bouncy steps and snug feeling – this pair of shoes can provide both.

After getting the shoes, don’t forget to wash them properly every time they get dirty. And make sure to break down the shoes for a few days before using them in an official run.

That’s it for today. Have fun training and let me know about your Ninja Warrior experiences!

Leave a Comment