Converse can match any outfit and it’s a popular street-style shoe like Vans. It was originally used by basketball players, but that was before well-engineered athletic sneakers were introduced to the market.
It is possible to run in a good pair of Converse shoes, however, it’s not recommended. Converse shoes, including the Chuck Taylors, are flat, lack arch support, and it doesn’t make for performance-quality running shoes. It’s more comfortable to use as a casual shoe rather than as an athletic shoe.
Even though Converse may have been designed for running, it’s not ideal. If you don’t have another pair of running shoes, and the Converse shoe is your only option, what would be the downside of using it?
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4 Disadvantages of Using Converse as Running Shoes
Although Converse now offers shoes designed for movement, such as the Run Star Motion, classics, such as the Chuck Taylor All Star are still the most popular and widely used—even for running, however, there are drawbacks to using them.
They are flat. Even though it is originally created with basketball in mind, Converse is not suited for running. This is due to their flat shape and thin rubberized soles. A ramped-down toe area is preferred by runners for efficient strides. This is the reason most running shoes have a midsole that gets slimmer as it reaches the toe.
It is crafted with a lot of rubber. Another reason running in Converse shoes is not the best idea is because they are too heavy. The classic Chuck Taylor for men weighs around 0.87 lbs. per shoe, and it is one of the lighter shoes the brand offers. Others, like the One Star Low, weigh at about 1.30 lbs. per shoe (source), so can you imagine running with that weight on your feet?
It is partly made of canvas. Running shoes need to be well-ventilated and while the canvas used in Converse shoes is flexible, it is not breathable. Since the upper section is made of canvas, there is a lack of damp proofing, making running in puddles or rain difficult.
It lacks heel support. A typical pair of running shoes have a cup-shaped heel and arch support, which Converse shoes don’t offer. If you run using shoes that don’t offer this support, it will cause foot injuries.
While there are drawbacks to running in Converse, it is still possible. Comparing the classics, the high tops offer more support compared to low tops, but you have to keep the high tops lacing snug to get it.
Is Converse Good for Other Exercise?
According to Monara Dini, a doctor of podiatric medicine and associate clinical professor at UCSF, doing benches, squats, and deadlifts in flat shoes are beneficial. It allows you to push using the heel, which is necessary when carrying heavier weights. This also includes other types of static-style workouts, such as rowing machines or exercise bikes.
Cardio workouts such as treadmills are a different story, but it will all depend on the intensity level of your cardio. Some might require a specific style of shoes that are more durable and suitable.
Finding the Best Shoes for Running
Every running shoe is different, so before you put your foot in a new pair, knowing some little details about the shoes that will be with you for the long run is important. Take note of the following points to help you with your buying process:
Where Do You Plan to run?
Pavement, rocks, muds, or in the gym? There is a specific type of shoes that are designed for this type of environment. Road-running shoes are for pavements because they are light and flexible, designed to stabilize feet. Trail-running shoes are for off-road routes, because of their bigger cleats and better grip, and Cross-training shoes for gym workouts and other balance activities to have more contact with the ground.
If you want to know if trail running shoes are really worth it, make sure to check out our article, here.
How many cushions do you prefer?
Cushioning is determined by two aspects: The stack height and firmness of the foam. The foam absorbs all the impact as you hit the ground. Choosing the thickness or firmness of the midsoles depends on your personal preference—some need it more than others. To help you decide, it’s best to try it on and see how they feel.
What type of gait support do you need?
Runners know the type of support they would need, and some choose a neutral shoe. However, depending on your pronation level – the natural way a foot rolls inward once it hits the ground determines the support you need.
So, what are the best shoes for running? Here are five of the best, according to Runner’s World:
1. Hoka One One Rocket X
2. Nike React Infinity Run FK2
3. Under Armour Flow Velociti Wind
4. Adidas Ultraboost 21
5. Nike Zoom X Invincible Run
The best way to find the perfect running shoe is to try it in person and see how they fit.
5 Tips on Getting a Good Running Shoe That Fits
Each brand of shoes is different, so ahead of time, plan and know what you are looking for. Remember these following tips if you don’t want to own a pair that will make you regret buying it in the first place.
1. Know your feet’ measurements. Over time, your foot size changes, so it is important to get your feet measured before trying on a pair.
2. Try shoes at the end of the day. Your feet tend to swell, and it is the largest at the end of the day which prevents you from buying shoes that are too fit or too small.
3. Leave little space in the toe box. Keep a thumb’s width of space, allowing you enough room to wiggle your toes.
4. Human feet differ in size, so try on both shoes and base the fit on the larger one.
5. Bring insoles and socks that you will use for running as it will affect the way the shoes will fit.
Brand new running shoes don’t need a break-in, so make sure it’s comfortable from the get-go. Common reasons a brand new pair of shoes hurt is due to the size being too small or it’s not the right type of shoe.
As mentioned above, using Converse for high-intensity cardio exercises can cause you some discomfort.
Also, remember to re-measure your shoe size. As you age, the size of your feet changes. Weight gain or loss, surgery or pregnancy can affect the size of your shoes.
Converse Products Best for Running
If you’re a fan of Converse and prefer it over other brands for running, they have transformed their iconic Chuck Taylor into a running shoe named Converse Run Star Hike. They have kept the upper design, but it has a thicker sole and more cushioning.
It has received good reviews, mainly because of its unique look that catches everyone’s attention. According to reviews, sneakers are comfortable to wear even if they are elevated. And the fit isn’t too narrow, making it suitable for everyday wear.
In addition, the OrthoLite insoles provide good arch support, and it manages moisture. This type of cushioning can see you through a good long session of running, trekking, or hiking session.
If you are in the middle of buying a solid shoe for high-intensity workouts, find one that fits. Do not buy shoes just because it looks good, find one that is flexible and allows you to do a wide range of movements and can be used for anything.
Although it is okay to run in Converse like the classic Chuck Taylors, it would still be advisable to save them for the daily casual wear that doesn’t require you to do some running or jumping. It can be tempting to stick with Converse since some brands offer expensive running shoes, but you have to think about the possible consequences if you still opt to use them.