Converse Are Good Lifting Shoes: Here’s 7 Reasons Why

Have you been taking a look around the gym and seen a lot of people wearing Chuck Taylors while doing squats and deadlifts? Here’s why Converse are good for lifting:

Converse shoes are good for weightlifting and powerlifting because they have flat, hard soles which help you push more efficiently off the ground during strong lifts like squats and deadlifts. They also provide ankle stability, especially the Converse high-tops.

Did you know that Brian Shaw, one of the world’s strongest men, has been seen competing while wearing Chucks? In this post, we will show you why Converse shoes are good for lifting.

Are Converse Good For Lifting?

Converse Chuck Taylor All-Star High-Top

  • Flat soles help you push more efficiently off the ground during squats and deadlifts.
  • Minimal cushioning does not let your ankles to wobble during a lift.
  • More comfortable than traditional lifting shoes.
  • They are not expensive.
  • High top sneaker design provides better ankle support and stability.
  • Gum rubber outsoles with slip-resistant tread pattern grip the floor very well.
  • They look cool and stylish.

Did you know that Brian Shaw, an American strongman competitor and winner of 2011, 2013, 2015, and 2016 World’s Strongest Man competitions, recommends Chucks?

He thinks that Converse Chuck Taylors have flat soles which help him feel more connected to the ground. Also, the minimal cushioning does not cause the ankles to wobble during a lift.

One of the strongest men in the world, Brian Shaw, lifts while wearing Converse 
(image courtesy of

Less stability is going to take away from how much weight you can lift. Converse shoes have flat soles which provide great stability to help you push off the ground.

The above reasons should entice you to try Chuck Taylor for lifting, considering Brian Shaw, one of the world’s strongest men recommends them.

But if you are still not convinced, here are 7 reasons why Converse shoes are good for lifting:

1. Converse shoes have flat soles

The biggest reason why Converse shoes are great for weightlifting is due to their flat soles.

Flat soles give you optimal stability on each foot by helping you maintain a neutral arch. This is important when performing powerful lifts like squats and deadlifts. 

In order to maintain a neutral arch, you need to reinforce these three points:

  1. Big toe joints
  2. Little toe joints
  3. Heels

Putting pressure on these points at the same time creates a stable “tripod”, which brings up the arch on each foot and keeps all the pressure distributed evenly while performing a lift.

With this foot tripod, you are essentially grounding and planting the feet throughout the entire range of motion. This allows you to recruit all the hip stabilizers and rotators efficiently, as well as give you enough ankle mobility to perform the movements.

In short, the flat soles of Converse shoes allow more force to be applied to the ground.

You will be shocked to see plenty of weightlifters and powerlifters, both professional and casual, wear the Converse Chuck Taylors just because of their flat soles.

2. Converse shoes have minimal cushioning

Another good reason to wear Chucks for lifting is because of their minimal cushioning.

The soles of Chuck Taylors are very thin and do not compress easily. They allow you to “feel the ground” and develop a little bit of torque by twisting your feet with your foot tripod.

As a result, you are keeping yourself stable while performing the lifts and getting as much poundage out of each one, as much as you can.

Thick-soled shoes, like running shoes, would not be appropriate for lifting because your feet would be too far away from the ground as you exert energy.

Performing lifts, like squats and deadlifts, with running shoes, can open yourself up to injury and decrease performance as you are not recruiting the right muscle fibers. 

Chucks will help you achieve this because they have minimal cushioning, allowing you to feel more contact with the ground beneath you, rather than being boosted up artificially.

3. The outsoles have a good grip

You need shoes with non-slip outsoles to give you maximum grip while doing powerful lifts, like squats and deadlifts. This allows you to keep your feet steady at all times.

Some exercises, like the sumo deadlifts, are more prone to slipping because of their unique stance. To perform the exercise effectively, you need shoes with good grip and traction.

Thanks to the gum rubber soles and slip-resistant tread pattern of Converse shoes, you can train without worry because the shoes will grip the floor very well.

Chuck Taylors are also known for their waffle outsole pattern, which provides an excellent grip that allows you to plant your feet on the ground without slipping and sliding.

Remember, you need good shoes that are slip-resistant during weightlifting, and Converse Chuck Taylors should be more than good enough for the job.

4. The high-top design provides ankle stability

There are two versions of the Chuck Taylors: the low-tops and the high-tops.

While both versions of Converse shoes have flat soles, minimal cushioning, and excellent grip, it is the high-top version that will provide better ankle stability for lifting weights.

Brian Shaw doing squats and rows while wearing Converse (

There are many muscles that cross the ankle joint, including the gastrocnemius, soleus, posterior tibialis, flexor hallucis longus, and peroneus longus and brevis.

In addition to strengthening these muscles, you would want to wear high-top shoes like Chuck Taylor to provide more support while helping to stabilize the ankle joints.

5. More comfortable than traditional lifting shoes

As far as lifting shoes go, Converse shoes are very comfortable.

They may not be as comfortable as most sneakers, but compared to traditional weightlifting shoes, most of which are far from comfortable, Chuck Taylors feel heavenly.

As long as you give the Chucks enough time to break in, they support your feet very well.

Converse Chuck Taylors split the difference between the comfort of running shoes and performance from traditional weightlifting shoes.

In fact, one powerlifter by the name of Mark De Joya added 20 pounds to his squat instantly when he changed over from Nike Free running shoes to a beat-up old pair of Chucks.

And just by wearing Chucks, he turned his 1RM deadlift weight into a 2RM weight in a week.

In a nutshell, he felt welded to the floor in Chucks. His posture improved instantly and he didn’t have to mentally keep making sure his weight stayed on his heels for either lift.

So if you are a casual powerlifter, or you are just starting out, there’s nothing wrong with trying out a pair of Converse Chuck Taylors for your next gym session.

6. Converse shoes are cheap

Another great reason to wear Converse shoes to the gym is due to their low price.

In fact, Converse shoes are worn by lifters who don’t want to spend money on Olympic shoes (no shame in that, Olympic shoes are expensive).

Most weightlifting and training shoes will set you back more than $100. In some cases, CrossFit shoes can cost you up to $200, which can be considered expensive.

Converse All-Stars, on the other hand, cost between $40 to $70. That price point is reasonable enough for beginners, or anyone looking to not break the bank.

In short, Converse is one of the best budget shoes available for weightlifting.

7. Converse are cool and stylish

Cheap does not mean that Converse shoes are low-quality. In fact, many lifters choose to wear Converse shoes due to their vintage and retro look, especially when they are worn out.

Inspired by basketball, the unique look of Chuck Taylor offers a cool and stylish aesthetic for anyone looking to stand out in the gym.

Rather than going for the traditional weightlifting shoes which are honestly mediocre at best, you get to look your best while wearing a pair of Chucks.

Traditional weightlifting shoes can look bland and downright boring because they are often dominated by a mediocre black color with little to no accents.

If you want something different, then Converse shoes are the way to go.

Final Verdict

Converse Chuck Taylor All-Star High-Top

  • Flat soles help you push more efficiently off the ground during squats and deadlifts.
  • Minimal cushioning does not let your ankles to wobble during a lift.
  • More comfortable than traditional lifting shoes.
  • They are not expensive.
  • High-top sneaker design provides better ankle support and stability.
  • Gum rubber outsoles with slip-resistant tread patterns grip the floor very well.
  • They look cool and stylish.

Now you know whether Converse is good for lifting or not.

In short, Converse shoes are great for lifting. Not only do their flat soles help you feel more connected to the ground, but the minimal cushioning prevents your ankles from wobbling.

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