Converse Shoes Look Better Worn Out and Dirty (Here’s Why)

Did you know that some people have an obsession with wearing dirty Converse shoes? It’s certainly mind-boggling. But do Converse actually look better dirty?

There seems to be a consensus that dirty, worn, broken-in Converse look better than brand new ones. Perhaps it’s the same sort of thinking behind torn jeans. Many say an old pair has many stories to tell, figuratively speaking. A nice style of shoe—such as Converse—looks good new or worn.

However, it’s important to understand that “dirty” does not mean “trashed”. In this post, let’s explore some of the reasons why Converse shoes look better when dirty.

Are Dirty Converse Shoes Cool?

Before we dive into this topic, here’s a disclaimer:

Cool is a subjective opinion. What you think is cool may not be cool for someone else. At the end of the day, you should wear items that make you feel good.

Some people personally hate the fresh-out-of-the-box Converse look. They think that the more dirty, the better, short of actual holes and rubber tearing.

However, when we say “dirty” we don’t mean filthy and ripped. The natural dirty look means that the canvas gets dirty from normal, everyday wear.

It takes time to achieve that beautiful and natural dirty look in Converse shoes.

Some people would take a new pair of Chucks and scrape them or jump into puddles of mud and dirty water just to speed up the process, but the end result is simply not the same.

Putting Converse in the washer is also not a good idea.

The only way to achieve a natural dirty and worn-out look is to wear your Converse every day, or you can buy a used pair at a garage sale, thrift store, or eBay.

If you don’t believe that many people like the appearance of dirty Converse shoes, then why would Converse sell Chuck Taylors purposely made to look dirty?

Converse Chuck Taylor All-Stars Basic Wash:

Listening to its customers, Converse gave the Classic Chucks an aged makeover. The dirty-wash treatment gives these classic Chucks a vintage look, straight out of the box.

That just goes to show that many people think that dirty Converse shoes are cool.

Why Do Converse Shoes Look Better Dirty? 

There are three reasons why Converse looks better when dirty and worn out.

Perhaps the biggest reason why many people think that Converse shoes look better worn out and dirty is that they lend a vintage appearance.

In fact, many people think that the dirty look is cool because it gives Converse shoe character much like the wear on denim, leather jacket, or leather boots.

Not only does a dirty look give Converse shoe character, but it lends satisfaction. Wearing a pair of dirty Chucks also means that you don’t have to worry about stains.

Here are three reasons explained further:

1. Gives the Converse shoes character

One of the biggest reasons why Converse shoes look better dirty and worn out is because it gives the shoe character. Some people would suggest that sneakers are meant to be well-worn and the dirty look is how you are supposed to wear them.

It’s no secret that every pair of Converse shoes need a break-in period. Being dirty and worn out, makes the shoes look “real” or broken in. 

There is nothing wrong with the clean look, but box-fresh Converse shoes don’t have that vintage character you only find in denim, leather jacket, or leather boots.

This is the reason why Converse has decided to create the Chuck Taylor All-Star ‘70s shoe soles off-white, giving the shoes that broken-in look right out of the box.

Many sneakerheads believe that having something broken in looks better because wearing shoes that are pristine looks like the shoes are wearing you rather than you wearing them.

2. Personal feeling of satisfaction

Another reason why some people prefer dirty Converse shoes is the feeling of satisfaction.

Owning a pair of dirty and worn-out Converse shoes provides an unexplainable feeling of satisfaction, given the fact that the shoes have been through a lot.

Some people believe that wear and creases are inevitable, so they don’t make a fuss about them and just let the shoes be. It gives the shoes a sign of good use.

The genuine dirty look takes a lot of consistent wear to achieve, and some people believe that once Converse shoes are washed, they lose their “authenticity”.

In fact, some people managed to keep all of the Converse pairs they have worn since high school to the point where the rubber turns into a shiny brown color from the stains.

That just goes to show how people adore dirty Converse shoes because they are satisfying.

3. Not having to worry about stains

Last but not least, having Converse shoes that are dirty and worn out means that you don’t have to worry about dirt and stains, particularly during wet seasons.

Most people tend to embrace both. They have shoes in clean and dirty conditions.

Sure, a clean pair of box-fresh Converse shoes look great, especially in the summer. However, wearing them in the winter while worrying about water stains is not a good idea.

One of the reasons why shoe lovers embrace dirty Converse shoes is to wear them during winter and wet conditions. They can wear their Chucks without having to worry about dirt, water, and stains, all the while without looking “scruffy”.

Dirty Converse shoes are also perfect for very dirty jobs. For example, it’s a good idea to wear your worn-out Chucks to change the oil of your car instead of a clean pair.

Our Recommendations

At the end of the day, it really depends on the look you are going for. Dirty Converse shoes are cool as long as you wear them properly.

Ripped and trashed skinny jeans work great with an equally dirty pair of high-top Converse shoes. The same goes for beat-up camo cargo shorts.

However, the same worn-out Converse shoes would not work so well when paired with a clean, casual pair of khakis or shorts.

Our advice?

Keep one pair of dirty Converse sneakers just to wear for “trashy” casual occasions. You should also keep a fresh pair of Converse shoes to wear with clean shorts or jeans.

Now you know the answer to the question: do Converse look better worn out and dirty? It really just boils down to what you are wearing and the look you are after.

You may also want to read: