What’s Better: High or Low Top Converse for Lifting?

Both high and low top converse/ chucks are good picks for weightlifting. However, factoring in your needs and preferences based on the guidelines we provide would help you decide which one works best for you.

Converse shoes have been around since the 1920s and had already become a staple by the 1940s. Famous for their legacy in basketball, they went on to become not only one of the leading brands in athletic footwear but also one of the classic day-to-day rockers. 

The Chuck Taylors All Stars, Converse’s most popular model, became a go-to pair for weightlifting and powerlifting alike and to this day these are still going strong. Picking between high and low top chucks can be confusing which is why we put together everything you need to know about them in this blog post. 

Why are Converses So Popular?

converse shoes
converse shoes

It’s still a mystery how shoes that were first targeted at the basketballing community became a leading pick for powerlifting. The now Nike-owned company began its gradual ascent to fame with the growth of strength training sports. 

Obviously, they aren’t as good as Olympic Weighlifting shoes but here are a few reasons why it’s still a favorite even among elite powerlifters: 

  1. Having a Stable, Flat, and Thin Outsole 

When doing deadlifts and squats it is important to be aware of the position of the foot and remain sturdily planted on the ground. This is why most weightlifting shoes come with hard outsoles.

Converse shoes have solid, thin, and flat outsoles mimicking what it would feel like to lift weights barefoot and perfectly grounded.

Here the surface you are lifting on plays a key role too. Consider switching to a solid platform that would provide the feedback you need for a good weightlifting experience. Here are the best weightlifting platforms that do just that.

  1. They Provide Ankle Support

You might ask “is ankle support needed when lifting weights?”. Yes, it is vital that you push off the ground from a place of control. 

Converse shoes have a comfortably sturdy outer wall giving enough support to keep the ankle as vertical as possible whilst allowing you to complete a squat/ lift with minimum mobility.

  1. Comfort

Lifting weights with most CrossFit shoes or running shoes can become a nightmare. Mainly because they weren’t built for that. 

Converse shoes despite not being originally intended for weightlifting have been able to provide the comfort gym shoes always needed. 

  1. Affordability

You can get converse shoes almost everywhere for half the price of weightlifting shoes. If weightlifting shoes aren’t a must for you, converse shoes are easily and closely the next best. 

  1. Style and Versatility

Your chucks look great. They can be worn for more than just the gym and this means they’ll come out of the wardrobe several times a weak and still,

  1. They’ll Last

Converse shoes are made of highly durable material. I think it’s obvious by the fact that they can be used for weightlifting. However, ideally, they are not used for running and Crossfit exercises. 

Are Converse Chucks Suitable for Squats and Deadlifts?

a man doing a lift training
a man doing a lift training

If you want to get specific with your weight training then barefoot shoes and deadlift shoes are better options. However, beginners and intermediates who are more focused on strength training in general would find no issues with Converse shoes.

On the topic of weightlifting, if you are looking for the best barbells for your home gym to have a seamless experience squatting and deadlifting consider reading through our compilation of the best budget Olympic barbells under $200.

Chucks for Deadlifting

High top and low top Converses are great for deadlifts because they offer a 0mm heel-to-toe drop/ offset which is ideal for achieving the stability required. The outsoles of Converse shoes are made of incompressible rubber that can withstand heavy weights without losing stability.

Chucks for Squats

Having zero offset comes as an advantage for some and a drawback for others. Zero-drop becomes an issue for lifters who do not have the flexibility and mobility required to perform a full squat.

This is why some weightlifting shoes have a slightly higher heel that makes squatting low easier on the ankles and lower back.

High Top or Low Top Converse for Lifting?

high top vs low top converse for lifting
high top vs low top converse for lifting

Why High Top Converse Shoes Might be the Best for you?

  1. Ankle Support and Stability- For weightlifting, the High Top Converse with its much more fitting design and higher collar gives it a slight edge over the low top counterpart because of the support it offers. Obviously, the support provided by high tops to your ankle isn’t a huge determining factor here but it can help take a wider stance when performing squats.
  1. Slightly More Durable- High top Converse users vouch for its slightly better durability. Low top shoes do resist a lot of wear and tear but will not withstand the pressure from doing squats as well as high tops. 
  1. They Look Great Even For Daily Wear- High Tops make good shoes not only in the gym but pretty much throughout your day as they make a great piece of fashion. 

Why Low Top Converse Shoes Might be the Best for you? 

  1. Ankle Mobility- One might differently word the “ankle support” given by high tops as “restricted mobility”, which makes sense too. The high tops can sometimes be uncomfortable on the lifter which is why many lifters opt for Low Top Converse shoes.
  1. Comfort- Using Low Tops feel nearly as convenient as lifting weights barefooted. There’ll be no more binding and pinching when you are going for those low squats.

Best Converse Shoe for Lifting?

Our top pick for the best Converses for lifting is the Chuck Taylor All-Star High-Tops! They have great traction and provide almost everything you can expect from an excellent weightlifting pair of shoes.

high top converse
high top converse

What about those annoying high collars? Well, if it’s impeding your movements, you could consider folding the collars down or leaving the laces off the top few holes. There! You’ve got your very own versatile pair of shoes. 

Best Tips for Weightlifting?

We hope that our blog post gave you insight into picking the shoes that would work best for you. Converse shoes are good picks for weightlifting unless you are an advanced workout-specific powerlifter/ weightlifter. 

Here on our website, our goal is to bring you everything you need to make your fitness goals a reality. We work to bring the best recommendations and guidelines to your fingertips.

This is why we encourage home workouts. If you are still unsure about switching to home workouts have a quick read of our definitive article on building your dream home gym in 2022

If you need help picking the best equipment for your home gym, you will find these posts useful:

  1. The Best Half Racks for Your Home Gym – Updated for 2022 – Home Gym Strength
  2. 10 Best Home Gym Cable Pulley Systems – Updated for 2022 (homegymstrength.com)
  3. 13 Best Doorway Pull-Up Bars That Don't Require Screws – Home Gym Strength