Converse, like Vans, are a very popular street-style shoe that aren’t designed for running. While it’s possible to run in a good pair it’s not advisable. Reason being they are a flat shoe and lack arch support.
Outside of running however – and depending on the style – Converse can work in terms of other forms of exercise. Synonymous with basketball, the modern day Converse is ironically better suited to more static sports. Like weightlifting for example.
Can You Run in Chucks?
When most people think of the brand Converse they think of the iconic Chuck Taylor All Star, “Chucks”. A high-topped sneaker born out of 1930’s America, it’s a style known the world over. Especially thanks to the varying patterns, color and signature lines the style has bridged over the past decades.
Despite originally being designed with basketball in mind, Chucks aren’t that well suited to running and jumping movements. This is mainly down to their thin, rubberised soles. As well as their flat shape.
Chucks typically have less cushioning than your average running shoe too. As well as a lack of damp proofing, due to being made from canvas. This could make their use in outside rain particularly tricky.
So while it is generally not recommended to run in Converse Chucks, it’s of course still possible. Especially if you’re already used to minimalist running gear. Or if you have a favorite pair of insoles that could be added to them for extra arch support.
Can You Do Cardio in Converse?
Depending on what type of cardio you do Converse could work. Gym-based work that is relatively static in style, like an exercise bike or a rowing machine, shouldn’t impact on the use of Converse all that much.
Treadmill or elliptical-based work-outs might be a different story however. But again this comes down to broadly how much cardio you are doing and at what level of intensity. Heavier work-outs will probably call for a more durable, sport-specific style of shoe.
Further reasons for Converse not being the best choice when it comes to cardio are include the following:
- Unsupported insoles
- Vertical heel
- Heavy weight
The inside of most running shoes have a cupped-shape heel and good arch support. This is what most Converse lack. Increasing possible risk of injury.
The heels on Converse are very flat compared to the curve of a cardio shoe. This means they’re more likely to impact or slip on the foot as you make rapid movements.
The high rubber content of Converse makes them heavier in weight compared to training shoes or other mesh-based sneakers. This could make cardio-based activities more intense.
Are Converse Good for Walking?
Due to their lack of interior cushioning it’s generally not a good idea to walk long distances or many hours in a Converse shoe. Everyday use, coming and going from shops or the office though, should be fine. Especially if your Converse are sized correctly.
If you’re planning on travelling with Converse for example, you can usually expect to do more walking than you would back home. In this case it’s probably better to take a shoe with more support. And save your Converse for everyday wear in or around the hotel or resort.
Wearing a pair of Converse around the house is probably their best use case.
Are Converse Shoes Comfortable?
Whether you find Converse comfortable or not comes down to your feet. If you’re rather flat footed though the lack of padding or arch support might actually suit you well. And the opposite if you have a strong arch.
Another thing worth noting is where and how you wear a pair. If you live in an area prone to heavy rain-fall Converse are going to be damp and uncomfortable for long-term use. The same can also be said for if you plan to wear them without socks. Especially if your feet tend to sweat.
Why Do My Converse Hurt?
The most common reasons for Converse hurting comes down to two things:
The first is usually a problem when you buy Converse too small and they pinch your toes. Making it very easy to get blisters in both the heel and ball of the foot.
Using Converse for heavy impact cardio or fast-spaced sports, as we’ve already discussed, is another reason for them causing discomfort. Especially if you require ankle support.
One thing worth noting is that since Nike’s acquisition of Converse they’ve been actively working on making the shoe a more comfortable fit. The Chuck II, for example, is reported to be much better than its predecessor in this regard.
Some people might be able to run in Converse, especially if they have flat feet and prefer a more minimalist running style. For the majority of people though? Due to their lack of support, cushioning and relative flatness, they’re often overlooked.
Most athletes and sports people prefer the modern running shoes and sneakers for their increased level of support.