The Floating Steps is an obstacle, firstly introduced as the first obstacle on American Ninja Warrior 8 in every qualifying city, replacing the Quintuple Steps from the past three American Ninja Warrior seasons. It is similar to the Quintuple Steps, but there are a few key differences:
- There are still five steps, but the steps are much smaller and steeper, and each step is higher up than the previous step.
- After the fifth step, competitors must jump and grab the hanging rope (similar to the Step Slider), and swing to the landing platform to clear the obstacle.
Like the Quintuple Steps, several competitors typically failed on the obstacles due to rushing the obstacle or losing the grip from the rope. While this usually occurred with rookies, there have been a few instances where veterans have been eliminated by the obstacle, including:
- Jonathan Brown (during American Ninja Warrior 8's Atlanta qualifiers),
- Devin Harrelson (during American Ninja Warrior 8's Atlanta qualifiers and American Ninja Warrior 9's Kansas City finals),
- Luci Romberg (during American Ninja Warrior 9's Los Angeles qualifiers),
- Nathan Tucker (during American Ninja Warrior 9's Kansas City qualifiers),
- Dan Holguin (during American Ninja Warrior 9's Denver qualifiers),
- Grace Sims (during American Ninja Warrior 10's Miami qualifiers)
- John Loobey (during American Ninja Warrior 10's Indianapolis qualifiers),
- Anthony DeFranco (during American Ninja Warrior 10's Philadelphia qualifiers)
- Rose Wetzel (during American Ninja Warrior 10's Minneapolis qualifiers) and
- Meiling Huang (during American Ninja Warrior 10's Minneapolis qualifiers)
During American Ninja Warrior 8's Los Angeles qualifiers, one competitor (Luke Matthews) tried an interesting technique by only running on one side of the steps, skipping the second and fourth steps. However, he botched the landing when he failed to get a firm grasp on the rope and failed. The attempt was similar to another failed technique on the Quintuple Steps during American Ninja Warrior 7's San Pedro (Military) qualifiers, when Kevin Jones ran on one side of the steps as well, which just like Matthews, resulted in an ill-timed landing.
During Celebrity Ninja Warrior: Red Nose Day 2, the rope was placed closer from the fifth step, in order to make the obstacles easier for celebrity competitors.
For the Floating Steps on American Ninja Warrior 10, there was a minor modification to the obstacle, in which the third step was placed steeper than the other 4 steps. Also, the obstacle only appeared during city qualifiers, as it was replaced by the Archer Steps during city finals round. Later, the Shrinking Steps replaced the Floating Steps as the first obstacle during city qualifiers round on American Ninja Warrior 11.
Several Ninja Warrior's international formats have been used the Floating Steps to replace the Quintuple Steps, including:
- Ninja Warrior UK (since Ninja Warrior UK 4), and
- Australian Ninja Warrior (since Australian Ninja Warrior 3).