8 Reasons Why Converse Are Great for Lifting


Everyone knows Chuck Taylors, the shoes that haven’t changed in over 50 years. You might have been in the gym before, and seen a big guy lifting a lot of weight, wearing converse. You also might have thought “Why the hell is he wearing converse?”

The truth is, converse are the best shoes for most lifters. You might already know some of the reasons why, but here they are anyway:

  • Chucks Have Flat Soles
  • Converse Are Cheap
  • You’re Closer to the Ground
  • Chucks’ Soles Have Less Cushion
  • Converse are Easy to Find
  • Chucks Are Just Comfortable
  • Converse are Old; They Know what they’re doing
  • Looks and Aesthetics of Converse

Many people wear running shoes to the gym, which is fine if you’re running. But for people trying to lift weights, they don”t work too well. Converse are flat, which helps you balance all of that heavy weight that you’re lifting, and gives you a steady base.

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Wearing Chuck Taylors puts you closer to the ground. With some certain weights, you have to lift weights off of the ground. Being closer to it helps you lift more weight with less work and less stress to your muscles. Some shoes have 1 inch plus soles, but with converse, you’re basically on the ground.

Unlike many shoes, Converse barely have any cushion. This might not sound good, but it’s beneficial for weightlifters. With many leg intensive workouts, you push up off of the ground. Having cushion restricts your leg movements and makes it harder to perform the lift.

If you go into any shoe store you’ll be sure to find them, as well as on countless sites online. But walk into the same shoe store and it”ll be hard to find weightlifting shoes. Even if you do find them, they won’t be cheap.

Converse are also cheap, but they’ll last you a long time. You can grab a pair of Converse off of AmazonOpens in a new tab. for pretty cheap, which isn’t bad for a quality pair of shoes. Meanwhile, weightlifting shoes will set you back at least a hundred dollars.

Your feet are a lot more important than you might think they are. They determine your posture and structure of your muscles. Making sure that you have the proper shoes and support can decide if you make it or break it in weightlifting.

Chucks Have Flat Soles

A lot of weightlifting and running shoes have curved soles, to help with support. While this is helpful for walking, running, and wearing shoes in general, weightlifters need something more flat for good support. Flat shoes might sound bad, but in some cases, like weightlifting, they’re really helpful.

Flat shoes help you push more efficiently off of the ground during lifts like squats and deadlifts. It’s been said that the best shoes for weightlifting are no shoes, which isn’t very practical.

Converse, or Chuck Taylors, are probably the best example of this. Along with having good support that goes up the ankle, with high tops, Converse are incredibly flat compared to other shoes. Converse are also notoriously made out of canvas, which makes them lightweight.

They’re used by many professional as well as casual weightlifters and powerlifters because of how flat they are. As I mentioned, flat shoes don’t necessarily sound like a good thing, but for weightlifting, the benefits are incredible.

If I haven’t said this enough, flat shoes are great for weightlifting. When you do a workout like a squat or a deadlift, you’re pushing yourself up off of the ground. While you’re pushing, it’s important that you have good support. Like I mentioned before, the best shoes for weightlifting are no shoes.

However, most gyms probably wouldn’t let you workout barefoot. When you’re in bare feet, you’re the closest possible to the ground, as well as having the flattest, hardest surface to balance off of.

The shape of your feet is important to your posture, as well as the alignment of your muscles. Getting adequate shoes for weightlifting is important, but it’s also important to have good shoes in everyday life.

Converse may be great for powerlifters and weightlifters, but there are much better options for outside the gym.

When walking or standing, you need more support than a flat Converse. Running shoes, dress shoes, or most casual shoes are great options. Keeping your feet healthy will help keep the rest of you healthy.

Converse Are Cheap

Black low top converse sitting on a table.

Unlike most weightlifting shoes and normal shoes, converse are pretty cheap. You can get them anywhere, usually around 50 or 60 dollars.

Don’t forget that just because the price is cheap, the quality doesn’t have to be cheap too. Converse may be inexpensive, but they don’t sacrifice anything in the way of quality.

I got my converse for around 50$, and so far they’ve lasted me 3 years of almost every day use. Keep in mind that just because a shoe, or anything for that matter, is expensive, doesn’t mean that it’s high quality.

Many of the most reliable things you can buy are relatively cheap compared to flashy expensive things.

Converse are found all over the internet. Their prices are usually around $50, depending on color and size. Again, you can get Converse From AmazonOpens in a new tab. starting at about $30.

They come with free shipping, as well as free returns if you don’t like them or if they don’t fit. Amazon is one of the best places to buy shoes online, compared to other sketchy shoe websites where you don’t know what you’re getting.

Someone buys a pair of Chuck Taylors every 43 seconds, according to ComplexOpens in a new tab.. At one point, they even had as much as 80% of the market share for sneakers in the USA.

As one of the most popular shoes ever in the United States, they wouldn’t have gotten there with a high price point, or being low quality. For a small amount of money compared to other shoes, Converse will last you years in and out of the gym.

You’re Closer to the Ground

Like I mentioned earlier, Converse have very thin bottoms compared to other shoes. This means that when you’re standing, you’re closer to the ground.

This may seem trivial and insignificant, but for some lifts, like deadlifting, it makes a whole lot of difference. Being close to the ground can give you an advantage over other weightlifters, or just improve on yourself.

If you know what deadlifting is, you can skip this paragraph. Otherwise, keep reading. When you deadlift, you’re doing a mix of bending and squatting down to grab the barbell off the ground.

You then straighten your body and stand back up, bringing the bar and the weight with you. Then, you repeat the first few steps and set the bar back on the ground.

Now back to how Converse play into this. As I said, Converse are really close to the ground. Can you see how this effects deadlifting?

If your feet are closer to the ground, the distance that you have to lift the weights is a lot lower. This makes it easier for you to lift more weight or hit more reps during your workout.

Many shoes have thick rubber soles, that lift you up off of the ground. Then you have Converse, which have some of the thinnest soles I’ve seen while still providing support.

It might sound insignificant, but that small difference in your distance from the ground can make a world of difference for competitive weightlifters, powerlifters, or anyone wanting to lift more in the gym.

Chucks’ Soles Have Less Cushion

Person standing on the street, wearing black converse.

Converse also have less cushion on the bottom than most shoes. Normal training or running shoes often have a lot of cushion, and this is a good thing.

Cushion helps support your feet and makes shoes more comfortable throughout the day. This being said, when you’re weightlifting, cushion is the enemy.

In lifts like the deadlift or squat, you’re pushing up off the ground with your feet and legs. If your shoes have big cushions in the soles, you’re pushing down on that before you actually push the ground.

If you’re wearing shoes like converse, you have a more direct connection with the ground. Having the ability to push directly off of the ground right away, you can lift more steadily, and with more stability.

If you have too much cushion, your stance might be unstable, especially if you’re holding a lot of weight. Converse get rid of this issue and help you lift with better form.

Converse are Easy to Find

Three pairs of converse, blue, black, and white.

Chuck Taylors are also really easy to find. Walk into any shoe store or any shoe website, and you’ll most likely see a pair of converse somewhere.

There’s a reason they’ve been around for a hundred years with minimal changes in their design. This is in sharp contrast to traditional weightlifting shoes.

Most shoe stores don’t carry weightlifting shoes, and if they do, they won’t be good or cheap. Online stores won’t either unless it’s a weightlifting specific store, and the ones there definitely won’t be cheap.

As I mentioned, Converse are the opposite. If you want a pair, they won’t be hard to find.

Converse are Old; They Know What They’re Doing

As I mentioned, Converse, the company, is old. In fact, the company has been around since 1908. This means that they’ve been making shoes for over 100 years, and their shoes haven’t changed much during all that time. That should tell you that they’ve figured out how to make their shoe pretty well, and even today, 111 years later, Chuck Taylor’s still get the job done.

Chucks Are Just Comfortable

Converse shoes are comfortable. They may not be comfortable on the same scale as slippers, or no shoes at all, but as far as shoes go, they’re great. Most weightlifting shoes are far from comfortable, and many people have complaints about their feet hurting while wearing them.

This is yet another reason why, in my opinion, Converse are better for lifting than weightlifting shoes themselves.

Looks and Aesthetics of Converse

The look of Converse is another selling point over conventional weightlifting shoes. Most weightlifting shoes are honestly pretty ugly, and may even get you some negative attention.

This being said, Converse have an iconic look that everybody recognizes, and most likely won’t draw attention of any type. If looks are a factor for what shoes you buy for lifting, Converse are the way to go.

Squats: Barefoot vs Wearing Shoes

I mentioned this before, but going barefoot is actually a great option for when you’re squatting. This is because it gives your feet a natural connection with the floor, and improves your form while lifting. This being said, squatting barefoot isn’t always an option.

If your gym is dirty, has a policy against no shoes, or you aren’t comfortable going barefoot around other people, you aren’t missing out on many benefits. The vast majority of people squat while they’re wearing shoes, so I’d say it’s fine for you to do the same.

Your Feet are More Important than You Think

Your feet are probably the most important aspect of your posture, lifting form, and flexibility.

This makes it very important for you to have the best shoes possible. The way that your feet interact with the ground, as well as their form, both impact the posture of your back, spine, and shoulders.

If you have poor shoes, your posture and form will suffer. Make sure that you get a good pair of shoes, like some Converse.

Converse and Running: Should You Do it?

While Converse might be a great option for lifting, they’re not running shoes. Lifting weights and running require very different things from your body, and while Converse are great for some things, if you’re going to run, you should pick something else. I’m not going to say that you can’t do it, but you may end up injuring yourself or having worse performance if you do.

Pete Schenkel

My name is Pete Schenkel, and I've been into weightlifting since I was a teenager. Now, my main focus is growing Powerful Lifting and putting more information out there. In fact, I'm also currently working on becoming a certified personal trainer.

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