I've been spending a bit of time catching up on all that I have missed during my week long absence, and while scouring the Chatroll parkour archives I stumbled across a conversation between a newer traceur and my friend Francis. The newer traceur Jyuun ask whether or not wearing gloves was a good idea. I have also recalled seeing conversations elsewhere in the past where someone will ask what types of protective gear should be worn. There are protective pads and helmets and gloves available all over the market for sports, but which are suited for parkour?
Prior to getting into the different forms of protection, something should be clarified. When training, everyone is prone to injury, it happens; but it's not about how many times you fall, but how many times you stand up, and it's standing up that takes some effort. If you feel that you need certain protection and I say don't use it, by all means use it; do what feels best for you. Not everyone is the same and not everything that I say or suggest will work for everyone, that's just how it goes. The following are simply statements and opinions of my own, and it is up to you to use your judgment and decide what you will do, for there are no definitive right or wrong answers. If you wish to wedge yourself amongst a small bundle of pillows, that is your choice. I always mean to emphasize safety, but trying too hard to be safe can occasionally be detrimental to your cause.
Some people in response to the question of protective gear have replied by looking at the gear some people in "extreme sports" wear, having not practiced or tried parkour properly before. It is that reason that they suggest such inane things as elbow pads for parkour. How many times while training parkour have you injured your elbow? Maybe you got a little scratch when you fell backwards and landed on your arms, but other than that there aren't many circumstances where elbow pads are beneficial. By no means do elbow pads interfere with regular maneuvers and they can certainly be worn if you so desire, but if you don't own any it is definitely not worth the money to go buy a pair.
I've seen other traceurs wrap handkerchiefs around their wrists to prevent scraping on wall runs and turn-vaults on thick objects among other things; I wouldn't do any more than that as anything thicker could compromise movement and would just be irritating. The wrist however are quite likely to scrape if you are doing any wall runs or vaults and if you wish to prevent scrapes and scarring, it is ideal to wrap them with a handkerchief or a sweat band type wrist wrap.