When it comes to casual shoes, Converse might be the most popular choice out there. Whatever your occasion, wherever you are going, there is a good chance that a pair of converse shoes can complete your outfit. Some people even wear it while working out in the gym.
But running is a whole other ball game.
Running requires a lot of footwork. And the converse is not the best choice of footwear for this type of activity. Sure, there is no law against running in converse. But it will not be as comfortable as running in a pair of dedicated running shoes.
I have tried running in converse shoes and experienced first-hand the issues that you might face with it. In this article, I will give you a complete rundown of why converse might not be the best choice if you are going on a run.
Are Converse Good for Walking?
While converse might not be the best choice as your running shoe, for walking during your daily commute, they can be a good choice. These minimalist shoes are quite lightweight, and comfortable. So, if you have to keep wearing a pair of shoes the entire day, it might as well be a converse.
However, keep in mind that the interior cushioning in converse is quite light. In some models, it is entirely non-existent. So, if you are planning on walking for miles, you are in for a lot of trouble. Because of the lack of cushioning, you will start feeling foot ache after a while.
The rule of thumb with converse is- casual stroll down the block or just a few hours, you’re all good. But with long walks or hikes, the foot ache is going to creep in eventually.
Are Converse All Stars Running Shoes?
All Stars by Converse might be their most popular line of shoes and that too for good reason. Heck, I have a couple sitting on my shoe shelf because it looks so classy and stylish. They give off an athletic vibe which on a converse can look quite attractive.
However, don’t let appearances fool you. All Stars are not in fact running shoes despite how they look or are publicized. They have very minimal arch support and do not have enough cushioning or padding for them to be comfortable to wear while jogging.
You can give it a whirl (God knows I have), but the resulting foot ache will not be pleasant. So, yes- All Stars has an “athletic look” but the design does not support running.
Can You Run on The Treadmill in Converse?
Well, there is no law against wearing converse on a treadmill. If I wanted, I could even wear slippers. But whether you should run on a treadmill in converse is a whole other thing.
Since converse is not a great choice as running shoes, there is no reason it should be good for use on a treadmill.
Running on an open road or running on a treadmill is, in essence, the same experience. It activates similar muscle clusters in your body. Whatever complications you would face while running in a converse will be present if you are running on a treadmill.
So, in short, the answer is- no, you shouldn’t, but you can if you don’t have any other shoes to wear to the gym.
Are Converse Good for Cardio?
If you are doing equipment-based cardio, then converse can work perfectly. Converse shoes are also a good choice for powerlifters or any sort of lifting exercises in the gym. In simple terms, these shoes can work well for any exercise that does not require a lot of foot movement.
Why Is Converse Bad for Running?
Converse shoes are an excellent choice for casual wear. But when it comes to running, its quality falls way below expectations. Here are the main reasons why converse shoes are not a good alternative for running shoes.
1. Lack of arch support
Arch support is an important feature to have in a running shoe. When you are running, your feet are not lying flat. Instead, there is a distinct arch in the middle part of your foot in the shape of a cup. With a converse, there is no arch support.
This means, the bottom part of your shoe is completely flat and will not provide any additional support in the arch to absorb shock. Because of this design, running in converse daily can lead to long-term back or hip pain not to mention the immediate discomfort of foot ache.
2. Lack of heel support
The heel of your feet also requires some attention when running. A good running shoe comes with a curved heel that can cup your feet snugly to ensure you have a comfortable running experience. With converse, however, you will find no such feature.
Converse shoes come with a flat heel which provides no security for your heel while running. While running in a converse, your heel will constantly bump against the heel of the shoe causing a lot of friction. The friction will, in turn, cause foot ache and joint pain over time.
3. Flat outsole design
The flat outsole design of the converse is also not optimal for running. It provides no extra support or shows any shock-absorption capacity which is a must-have in any shoe that you are planning to use for running. Typically, if your task involves a lot of movement, a converse is not exactly ideal.
However, for static exercises and activities such as skating, the converse is a great choice. Because of its flat outsole design, you will have excellent stability and balance when you are standing in an upright posture. So, for weightlifting or similar tasks, converse shoes are quite good.
Basically, any task that prioritizes balance over constant movement is converse-friendly.
4. Non-breathable upper
A must-have feature of a running shoe is breathability. Most running shoes come with mesh or nylon upper that is extremely breathable. This material also wicks moisture and regulates the flow of air inside your feet. Since running generates heat inside the shoe, this feature is essential.
However, converse shoes in most cases come with a non-breathable canvas upper. This can trap heat inside the shoe which can lead to blisters when you run with it. The heat becomes even more problematic, especially when you don’t have a top-shelf converse.
5. Heavy and Tough
Yes, I know; converse shoes are not that heavy. But when you compare it to a proper running shoe, the difference becomes as clear as night and day. Because of the gum sole rubber used in converse manufacturing, these shoes tend to be tougher and heavier than any running shoe.
Needless to say, you want your running shoes to be as light as possible. The lighter the shoe is, the easier it will be for you to run in it. Besides, converse shoes are quite tough and rigid. It cannot flexibly mimic the motion of your feet when you are running.
How Bad Is It to Run in Converse Shoes?
Yes, you can use converse as running shoes. However, the answer to this question is not that simple. There are some who do not have any issues with using converse as a running shoe.
I, for one, absolutely hate running in converse. It gets extremely uncomfortable, and it feels like I will lose my balance with each step I take. On the other hand, I have a friend who is perfectly fine with running in converse.
In most cases, running in converse is not very comfortable. If you are looking for a pair of shoes for jogging, I would suggest getting a proper running shoe for the best experience.
Are Converse Shoes Comfortable?
When it comes to casual use, converse shoes are quite comfortable. If you are wearing it around the house, or to a family party, the converse is not a bad choice at all. Your feet’ size and shape also play a role in whether the shoe is comfortable to wear or not.
Typically, people with a flat foot have a better experience wearing converse shoes since these shoes are completely flat. You also want to wear thick socks with your converse for more comfort. These shoes have little to no cushioning on the inside. So, wearing it barefoot is not the best idea.
Honestly, I can understand the temptation of using your old converse shoe as an alternative for running shoes. But if you want a good experience, there can be no replacement for a proper running shoe. The converse is designed as casual footwear that is more suitable for activities that require less movement.
My advice would be to invest in a proper pair of running shoes if you want to take on jogging. It would make your experience a lot better and also help you get more out of your exercise. Hopefully, now you understand why converse is not a good choice for running.