Best Shoes for Jumping Rope
We tested 37 products and found the Saucony Bullet (men) and Gel-Rocket 9 (women) to be the best shoes for jumping rope.
I’ve personally clocked in hundreds of hours jumping rope for boxing, cross training and general fitness. We spoke to over 20 Crossfit, boxing and jump rope athletes. We researched regular, weighted, speed and beaded rope separately.
For women, we picked the ASICS Gel-Rocket 9 volleyball shoe. It has a wide toe box, incredible cushioning and good grip on all surfaces. The outsole is specifically made for jumping, with a tread pattern that directs weight to the ball of the foot. The shoe is buttery soft and light on the feet.
For men, we like the old-school Saucony Bullet because of its incredible foot feel. It’s comfortable on the foot, with good sensory feedback and breathability. The low-tech nature of the shoe means it’s light, adding no extra weight to your jumps.
Other models we tested excel at specific things. If you want a gym shoe that’s good for boxing, lifting weights and circuits, get the NOBULL model (men | women). For Crossfit, get the INOV-8 Flite 245 (men | women).
Below, we’ll cover top shoes for jumping rope for different surfaces and sports. We’ll discuss specific features to look for. We’ll finish by answering some frequently asked questions about jump rope shoes.
Now keep reading to learn more about our top picks!
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Table of Contents
Best Shoes for Jumping Rope (Men)
This old-school shoe is my personal favorite. The upper is nylon with suede overlays. It’s bendy, breathable and light on the foot. It also dries fast after training.
The eyelets go all the way up to the ankle, giving the joint lateral stability without limiting dorsiflexion. This basically means you get ankle support that doesn’t limit your jumping. The reinforced sole front cushions the toes and forefoot well.
The absence of a midsole in the forefoot means the sole is very bendy up front; perfect for jumping. The ankle collar is well-padded, and the soft tongue is nice for jumping.
Feet-feel is an immediate 10/10. The toe box is elevated above the heel section, giving you natural standing and jumping biomechanics. It’s a good facsimile for jumping rope barefoot.
The EVA midsole has mild arch support if you have flat or elevated arches. The toe box is nice and wide. It also has a little extra length to it, as the Saucony was initially a running shoe.
The lacing system makes up for the extra wide, extra long toe box by giving you a snug midfoot fit. The front of the shoe is reinforced with suede. Although suede can be a tricky material to maintain, you can clean it by using a crepe brush, applying cornstarch or baking soda, leaving it overnight, or using a suede rubber.
The sole goes up to the toe box, protecting the shoe from rips and tears when you jump.
The one downside to the shoe is that it’s best for people with decent jumping technique. If you’re completely new to jump training, it may not have enough cushioning for you.
- Bendy, breathable, and light
- Supports the ankle without limiting mobility
- EVA midsole provides arch support
- Elevated toe box promotes natural jumping biomechanics
- May not provide enough cushioning for those new to jump training
Best Shoes for Jumping Rope (Women)
This is a volleyball shoe, meaning it’s specifically made for jumping. The midsole is soft foam with extra cushioning under the forefoot. It’s made to give you peak shock absorption at toe-off and landing; perfect for jump rope training.
The outsole is very grippy. It performs well on hard and soft surfaces. It has flex grooves that keep the forefoot area flexible. The circular imprint under the ball of the foot guides the foot to land on its ball every time.
The rubber sole is light and stable through long rope skipping sessions. Trusstic System Technology stops the shoe from twisting during movement.
The upper has excellent breathability. It’s mostly mesh, with synthetic leather overlays for durability and style. The sole extends all the way up to the toe box, making it more durable.
The shoe is nicely cushioned on the inside, with the collar and tongue being especially soft. The toe box is roomy and runs a little long, which we want for jump training. The shoe itself has an overall relaxed fit.
- Soft foam midsole provides extra cushioning under forefoot
- Grippy outsole performs well on all surfaces
- Mesh upper offers excellent breathability
- Long toe box is perfect for jumping
- Relaxed fit may not feel snug enough on some feet
Best Shoes for Jumping Rope on Concrete & Hard Floors (Men & Women)
The Crossfit Nano has a thick-but-bendy rubber outsole. It has strong arch support built into it. It’s abrasion-resistant, which is important for most types of concrete.
The outsole covers some of the toe box, protecting the shoe from impact when you’re jumping. This toe guard is especially good for weighted jump rope training. It stops thick, heavy jump ropes from banging against your toes.
The midsole is thinner in the midfoot and thicker in the forefoot, with good shock absorption. Jumping on concrete can give you shin splints, plantar fasciitis, etc – so this is very helpful. The shoe bends easily, supports the foot arch and absorbs impact well. Everything we want for concrete and hard surfaces.
The upper is stretchy and soft. Flexweave technology lets it maintain shape despite its flexibility. It hugs the foot and stabilizes the ankle laterally, with high eyelets and a high heel section.
The mesh is breathable and soft. The toe box is wide with a little extra length. It’s bigger around the big toe and smaller around the pinky, giving you extra wiggle room without getting too chunky.
This shoe was made from with the Crossfit community’s inputs. The Reebok Men’s Crossfit Nano model is made specifically for men, the Reebok Women’s – for women. They look similar but are not the same model, so make sure you order the right shoe.
- Toe guard protects your toes during weighted jump rope training
- Thick midsole provides good shock absorption
- Flexweave technology in the upper stabilizes the ankle
- Thick rubber outsole adds weight that might not be ideal for every jumper
Best Barefoot Shoes for Jumping Rope (Men & Women)
The Xero has a bendy, flexible outsole with flex grooves running through it. It’s so flexible you can fold the shoe around itself. Despite being so thin, the outsole is puncture-proof and abrasion resistant. It comes with a 5,000-mile warranty from Xero, which tells you how tough it is.
You can adjust the level of cushioning the Xero gives you. The outsole is 4mm; the removable insole is 2mm. By inserting and removing the insole, you can get more or less cushioning.
The shoe is roomy and spacious with a wide toe box and a relaxed fit. The lacing system “pulls” your foot into the insole, making the shoe fit like a glove. The high eyelets mean the shoe gives good ankle support.
The tongue and ankle collar both have soft padding. The rest of the shoe uses softer padding. It feels like a soft-but-snug sock more than a shoe. It’s also very light and breathable.
The toe box is reinforced with a layer of synthetic leather for durability. Also, we have to mention that our testers were very fond of the shoe’s colourways.
- Puncture-resistant, flexible outsole
- Wide toe box offers wiggle room
- High eyelets provide good ankle support
- Soft padding gives this shoe a sock-like feel
- Synthetic leather ensures durability
- The thin insole provides minimal support
Best Gym Shoes for Jumping Rope (Men & Women)
NOBULL is a new footwear company that launched in 2015. This cross training shoe is their flagship model. It’s lightweight, breathable, and flexible. It has an incredibly bouncy, cushioned outsole with flex grooves under the forefoot.
The upper incorporates a seamless one-piece SuperFabric, which is flexible and stylish. It’s also tough, consisting of guard plates applied to a flexible mesh layer. The plates protect your feet and toes from impact, especially with weighted rope and speed rope jumping.
The outsole extends up towards the toe box. This is good for planks, push-ups and other horizontal work. The low ankle collar and high heel section provide ankle stability and make the shoe even more breathable.
Marketing materials say the shoes “move like a ninja”. They’re not far off. This is a very mobile shoe; good for boxing, crossfit, circuits, lifting and jump rope training. If your gym has treadmills with decent shock absorption, the NOBULLs make for a good running shoe for treadmill.
Last but not least, the NOBULL is light and comfortable. It’s well-padded on the inside, feeling soft and snug when laced up. The toe box is wide, the fit – relaxed.
- SuperFabric is lightweight, breathable, and flexible
- Outsole provides cushioning with flex grooves to aid mobility
- Low ankle collar and high heel section provide ankle stability
- Arch support may be lacking in comparison with other options
Best Shoes for Jumping Rope Outdoors (Men & Women)
The Minimus 20 V7 is a lightweight, flexible shoe that feels great on softer surfaces like grass or sand. Its Vibram rubber outsole is grippy, flexible and light; specifically designed for trail.
The shoe has the kind of uniform, flat sole you want for a jump rope workout. This gives you a natural standing posture and walking gait. The sole is nice and bendy. The foamy midsole layer extends into the forefoot, cushioning the foot when you jump.
The outsole extends up to the toe box, giving you a solid base for jumping and landing. It’s thick enough to protect you from weighted and beaded rope impact.
The upper is 100% synthetic. It’s lightweight, comfortable and breathable. It has an assymetrical molded foam collar that gives the ankle a firm but supportive grip. It also has an assymetrical toe box that’s roomy but compact.
The shoe has a narrower fit than other models on this page, but comes in a wide version. The eyelets run at a low angle to the sole, supporting and gripping the midfoot and ankle while being roomy on the forefoot.
What really sells us on this shoe is the Vibram outsole. It has incredible sensory feedback. It makes balancing easy. It’s also light, which is important; a heavy shoe will really weigh you down on some outdoor surfaces.
- 100% synthetic upper is lightweight and breathable
- Vibram rubber outsole offers excellent grip and makes balancing easy
- Midsole foam extends to the forefoot to provide cushion when you jump
- Made for soft surfaces like grass or sand, this shoe may not be great on hard surfaces
Best Fingered Shoes for Jumping Rope (Men & Women)
This Vibram cross trainer shoe gives you the benefits of barefoot jump training while keeping your feet safe. The outsole is Vibram rubber: the world’s best for grip strength and durability. It’s only a few mm thin and molded to the shape of a human foot.
The sole is fingered, meaning each toe gets a separate sleeve. This lets the toes and metatarsals splay out as wide as you need them to.
The shoe upper is stretchy and flexible. It’s polyester mesh, meaning it’s breathable and water-resistant. It has PU film overlays and a quick-lace system that keep the shoe snug through the whole foot.
The ankle collar and “tongue” section are both padded. The mesh part of the upper is surprisingly durable and tough; the heel has a faux suede overlay for extra toughness. The Drylex sock liner wicks moisture away from the foot as you train, keeping you dry and comfortable.
Now let’s talk jump training. The outsole and upper both bend well; the sole is only 2mm thick. They let the foot bend and flex easily. The fingered build of the model lets you stay on your toes and forefeet at all times.
The outsole is tough and durable. It performs well on concrete, trail, hard floor and any other surface you can think of. It doesn’t do well on wet or frozen surfaces – but you won’t be wearing these out in the rain or snow anyway. If you want the benefits of a barefoot jump rope workout without any of its risks, this is the right shoe to get.
There are many similar barefoot models (read: rip-offs) on the market. None have managed to replicate Vibram’s best-in-class mold or its world-famous rubber.
- Vibram rubber is world’s best for grip strength and durability
- Durable mesh upper is stretchy and moves with the foot
- Quick-lace system keeps the shoe snug
- Fingered designed may not be comfortable for everyone
Best Crossfit Shoe for Jumping Rope (Men & Women)
The Inov-8 are the best cross training shoe for skipping rope. It has a flexible, grippy, durable outsole. The outsole has a little bounce to it and performs well on all surfaces, but especially. It’s abrasion resistant and, more importantly, flexible. It has flex grooves at the bottom – and also through the sides of the midsole.
This is something we’ve never seen before. It makes the shoe bend easily even though the outsole is thick and tough. The heel and forefoot have thick, foamy midsole cushioning which provides shock absorption. The outsole goes all the way up to the top of the toe box, protecting your toes from heavy and beaded rope. This tech is literally called Rope Guard – so you know this was designed as a jump rope shoe.
The upper is light, stretchy and breathable. Instead of using overlays for durability, it combines different mesh textures. Some are more breathable; others are thicker to maintain shoe shape and improve durability. The mesh is tough and durable despite being light. The toe box is assymetric, meaning it’s wider around the big toe and smaller around the pinky.
In addition to being great for jumping rope, this shoe is good for both running and lifting. Its toe box is level with the heel, meaning the effective heel drop is 0. Good for all lifts, but especially the squat, the deadlift, the clean and the snatch – where you need natural body posture. For running, the rocker sole in front means you get an easy heel-to-toe transition. This is clearly a shoe made for cross training enthusiasts, by cross training enthusiasts. We appreciate the effort and thought that went into it.
- Flex grooves on the midsole allow the shoe to bend easily
- Rope Guard tech protects the toes
- Stretchy upper combines multiple mesh textures for ultimate durability
- Level toe box promotes natural body posture
- May not provide as much arch support as other models
Jumping Rope Shoe to Avoid (Men & Women)
Many review websites recommend the Nike Metcon as a jump rope shoe. This surprised us because no consumer, doctor or athlete recommended it to us… So we bought a pair to investigate.
Turns out, this is not the right shoe for jump training. Just look at its sole. It’s thicker and tougher around the middle, and it extends all the way up to the ankle. This makes the shoe rigid and immobile around the midfoot. It makes getting on the ball of your foot difficult, which is awful for jumping. The toe box has a little width to it, but it’s not wide enough. This is more of a lifting/running shoe.
Other than that, the shoe is nice. The sole has excellent arch support. Together with the high eyelets, it supports and stabilizes the heel for lifting. The rocker sole has flex grooves, giving you an effortless heel-to-toe transition for running.
The heel is well-cushioned and firm on the foot. The toe box is elevated to give you a natural standing posture for lifting and cross-training. The mesh is lightweight, breathable and durable. The padding is nice and soft, especially around the collar.
In other words… This is a good shoe – just not for jumping rope. And while we love Nike, they’re not well-known for jump shoes. Their basketball shoes rock, but those are for running, lateral movement and occasional jumping.
When people ask us about the best Nike shoes for jumping rope, our best advice is to look at other brands. ASICS, whose models inspired the first Nikes ever made, has better models and a similar foot feel. If you’re considering the Nike Metcon, give the Gel-Rocket 9s (Men | Women) a try first.
- Sole provides great arch support
- Heel is well-cushioned and firm
- Thick sole makes the shoe rigid and immobile
- Toe box is too narrow for comfortable jumping
Key Features for Rope Jumping Shoes (Buyer's Guide)
What makes for a good jumping shoe? Here’s a list of features to look for. It’s based on feedback from Crossfit, boxing and jump rope athletes. I also add a few things learned from hundreds of hours clocked in skipping rope myself.
A Flexible Shoe Sole
When you’re jumping, you’re landing on the toes and the ball of your foot. Shoes with a rigid sole don’t bend enough to let you do this comfortably. We need a flexible shoe sole that bends and flexes easily. This way, you can jump rope with good technique.
This usually means two things. First: thick, maximalist soles aren’t an option. These are very rarely flexible. Look for light or moderate cushioning. Second, you want features that improve sole flexibility. Lateral flex grooves that let the sole bend easily are a good example. Third, you must avoid supportive shoe models with rigid arc support frames in the midsole and outsole. If you need support, it should come from the insole.
A Relaxed Fit with a Roomy Toe Box
Any jump training means landing on the forefoot. When you land on your forefoot, two things happen. First, the toes and metatarsals (forefoot bones) splay out against the ground. Second, the foot lands on the forefoot; sometimes at an angle. To accommodate this, we need some extra space in the toe box and the forefoot area.
We want a wide toe box; not a long one. A long toe box can scrunch up when we jump, quickly becoming uncomfortable. We also want shoes that have a wide base. A wide base gives your metatarsals and toes a lot more space to splay out. Last but not least, we want shoes with a relaxed fit and/or a stretchy upper that can let the forefoot splay out.
Alternatively, you can just get fingered shoes. Training in these approximates the feeling of jumping rope barefoot. It gives your toes all the room they need.
With good technique, jumping rope isn’t hard on the foot, ankle or knee joints. But when you’re just starting out, it can be hard to keep jumps light. That’s why it can be nice to have some cushioning.
The trick is to look for cushioning in the forefoot rather than the back of the shoe. Many shoes put cushioning in the heel and midfoot area because that’s where runners land. This is no good for jump training. Athletic shoe models with an EVA midsole that cushions the ball of the foot are good. So are shoes with gel pads under the forefoot.
Two types of support are relevant to jump rope training. First, arch support. People with high arches tend to underpronate; people with low arches tend to overpronate. Doing either while jumping can destabilize the ankle and overload the foot. It can lead to knee pain, sprained ankles and impact injuries like plantar fasciitis. To avoid all of this, we want light arch support.
Additionally, some shoes give the ankle lateral stability. It’s hard to find shoes that do this well without reducing dorsiflexion, i.e. movement to and away from the ankle. Still, it can and does happen.
Jumping and landing up to 60 times per minute means your body’s always moving. If your feet slip at any moment, you’ll sprain an ankle, fall, etc. This means we want grippy shoes. A rubber sole with a good tread pattern and a wide base is best.
A Flat Sole
Heel drops are a common design in sports shoes, but these are actually bad for you. They switch up your foot posture and body posture. They can stop you from landing on the ball of the foot, encouraging midfoot landings instead. This isn’t optimal for jumping. Get flat and low-drop shoes.
If you jump on abrasive concrete, you’ll want a shoe that’s abrasion-resistant. If you jump on uneven trail and sand, look for balance and stability features. If you’re skipping rope on soft grass, you might want less cushioning and better sensory feedback. Always keep the surface you’ll be jumping on in mind when picking a shoe.
Weight and Breathability
Jumping rope can be an aerobic or anaerobic activity. In both cases, it makes the heart beat faster and increases body temperature. To prevent sweaty, sticky feet, we want breathable upper materials. Mesh is good; perforated leather can be fine too. If the shoe has moisture-wicking properties, even better.
Weight-wise, we want the shoe to be as light as possible. Otherwise, it’ll weigh your feet down and tire you out fast. Heavy shoes can also give you bad rope skipping technique by making you overcompensate for their weight. In my experience, cross trainer models made for lifting can be on the heavy side; be careful with those.
Pro Tip: Shop in the Afternoon
Your feet swell up and grow in size during an intense jump training session. The same thing happens towards the end of the day. The best way to make sure your shoes aren’t too tight is to shop in the afternoon, or after sports. Otherwise, you risk buying shoes that become uncomfortably tight during training.
What are the benefits of barefoot rope jump training?
First, jumping rope barefoot gives you good technique. It teaches you to jump without any extra weight on your feet. It also teaches you to cushion your landings using your joints instead of shoe cushioning. This can prevent ankle, knee and back pain down the line. Apropo, make sure to choose proper shoes for lower back pain. This way, you’ll prevent future problems from occuring.
Second, jumping rope barefoot builds foot strength fast. Your toes and feet do a lot of work and there’s a lot of ankle dorsiflexion. This maintains foot and arch health, preventing flat feet in some athletes.
Why do my feet hurt after jumping rope?
Your feet hurt after because of inflammation in your ligaments. This is generally a result of tight jump rope shoes, weak foot muscles, or poor technique. If the pain persists, hire someone to take a look at your jumping biomechanics.
The Saucony Bullet is flexible, lightweight and breathable. Its sole cushions the forefoot while giving it excellent grip. The shoe has an excellent foot feel and can be laced up for ankle support. Other shoes might have more tech, but the Saucony combines minimalist features, cushioning, a roomy toe box and an attractive price point. Easily my top choice.
The ASICS Gel-Rocket 9 has incredible forefoot cushioning and grip. It has a rope guard and a reinforced toe section, protecting the toes. It bends easily around the middle despite a relatively thick sole. It can support the ankle well when laced up all the way. Our testers really liked the circular imprint on the outsole that keeps you on the ball of your feet when you jump. Like the Bullet, the Gel-Rocket 9 is inexpensive.
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