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Can You Wear Converse to the Gym?

Imagine you’re at the gym, and all of a sudden, you notice people wearing Converse. That’s an unorthodox choice for gym footwear, but are these shoes good for working out? Can you wear Converse to the gym and not regret it?

You can wear Converse to the gym during your lifting or squatting days. The flat sole of these shoes gives you balance and stability to secure a firm footing, two essential benefits for weight lifting. However, don’t wear Converse for running on the treadmill because they lack proper support for runners.

It’s fascinating, really. While the brand didn’t make the Converse for those specific purposes, they’re suitable footwear for specific exercises. Continue reading to learn the pros and cons of wearing these shoes to the gym.

Are Converse Good for Lifting Weights?

Converse shoes are the ideal footwear for lifting due to their flat soles and convenient cushioning. These two features give you proper support for your feet while also increasing balance to back up your posture. Plus, high-ankle Converse shoes improve stability when you put your body under a lot of stress.

Here’s how Converse can improve your lifting experience.

Flat Shoe

Converse shoes come with flat soles, which are not good for running, but they’re super helpful for lifting. These flat shoes grant you a flatter surface to support your feet while putting pressure over them. A flat sole also helps you maintain a consistent posture over a solid base.

Less Cushioning

As opposed to normal shoes, Converse shoes don’t feature too much cushion. This is a benefit for powerlifting or squatting because the cushioning won’t become an obstacle that would interfere with your performance. 

  • How Is It That Less Cushioning Can Improve Your Performance?

It’s simple. When you wear flat shoes, you make contact and push off the ground with more efficiency.

When you wear shoes with thick rubber soles, you will push down on that same cushioning before pushing off the ground. That’s not good for squatting or deadlifting, which are two workout exercises that require you to have excellent footing.


Surprisingly enough, Converse shoes are often far more comfortable than actual powerlifting shoes. They adapt to your feet well, and the fabric is breathable to let airflow to the interior area. Even if you sweat a bit, it won’t get nasty down there.


Converse Chuck Taylor shoes keep your feet protected in a snug fit to guarantee your posture and flexibility are optimal while lifting. As a result, your feet can interact with the ground without bending in awkward positions. 

A Fancy Look

Finally, Converse are good-looking shoes in general. There’s a lot of variety in sizes and colors, so you can find one that fits perfectly. Make sure to get a pair that fit your feet well to enjoy all of the benefits mentioned above. Loose shoes would cause your foot to slide out and create dangerous situations.

Affordable Shoes

Why buy expensive footwear for lifting if Converse shoes offer much of the same benefits for less money? Gyms can be expensive enough, so saving a few bucks is always a plus.

Can You Run on a Treadmill in Converse?

Converse are not proper footwear to run on a treadmill. The shoes lack proper heel support, and they also feel a bit heavy when compared to actual running shoes. Here’s a list of reasons why you shouldn’t use these shoes for running in general.


Converse casual shoes are a tad heavy, which is not ideal if your purpose is to exercise your body on the treadmill. The weight of these shoes doesn’t allow you to run nimbly, and it can also affect your running form. 

Flat Design

Unlike classic running shoes with a ramped-down toe section, Converse shoes have a flat design instead. Because of that, they don’t promote proper forward foot roll. This issue significantly affects your ability to run smoothly.

Lack of Heel Support

While wearing low top Converse shoes, you’ll notice that there’s not much arch support. This particular design highly contrasts genuine running shoes, which come with a cup-shaped heel and proper arch support. 

Without proper support, running may inevitably lead to foot injuries.

Lastly, the heel area is not optimal to keep your foot secure. Converse shoes have a flat or vertical heel, which doesn’t prevent your heel from sliding out.

Are Low or High Top Converse Better for Lifting?

High-top converse provides more stability, while low tops improve your flexibility. Since you don’t really need that much ankle mobility for lifting, use high-tops may be the better choice for lifting.

However, many people would argue that there’s no significant difference between one or the other. Both Converse styles are great because of the support they provide to you. As a result, it’s ultimately your decision to choose which one you like the most.

What About Lifting in Vans?

Vans are suitable weightlifting shoe alternatives for lifting and squatting because they have flat, hard soles as well. Therefore, this type of shoe has plenty if not the same benefits as wearing Converse. Plus, Vans are budget-friendly. If you’re a casual lifter and need affordable shoes, you may want to consider Vans.

Can You Lift Barefoot Instead?

If you feel like your footwear is slowing you down, lifting barefoot actually makes a lot of sense. The purpose of lifting shoes is to keep your foot in a firm and rigid position, which you can achieve without any shoes. Ultimately, you will still have a sturdy base to deal with the pressure of lifting weight.

Squatting is also possible without wearing shoes. Overall, any exercise that requires you to use intrinsic foot muscles benefits from barefoot training.

The thing is, not all gyms may accept this practice. Thus, you must make sure to know the sanitary rules and the dress code to be aware of the boundaries of your gym.

So, yeah! If you want to ditch your comfortable Converse shoes or Vans, you can lift and squat barefoot as long as the gym allows it.

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About Ben Adler

I'm Ben, a passionate fitness enthusiast on a mission to help you achieve your fitness goals. With a love for lifting and building a well-rounded physique, I founded Swole Class to provide beginners with the guidance and knowledge they need to navigate the gym and embrace a healthier lifestyle. Join me on this journey as we unlock our potential and inspire greatness together. Learn more about me