Most people know that Converse shoes are excellent for weightlifting because of their flat and stable soles. Moreover, the absence of excessive cushioning also improves the lifter’s proprioception as well as the efficiency of their workouts.
But what many athletes don’t know is that they might be using the wrong type of Converse for weightlifting. That’s right; traditional sneakers can be divided into two broad categories – high-top or low-top.
While both of them share many similarities, they have some major differences as well. These small distinctions can actually determine which one is the more suitable option for you based on your demands and requirements.
So without further ado, let’s dive straight into the debate of which type of Converse is more suitable for lifting!
High-Top Converse vs Low-Top Converse: Head-to-Head Comparison
Whether you are wearing a low-top Converse or a high-top Converse, both share some inherent qualities that make them suitable for weightlifting and even powerlifting.
For example, both have minimal cushioning and feature a 0-millimetre heel drop for supporting heavy-duty lifting.
But despite these significant similarities, they have some differences as well. Based on these differences, you can actually figure out which type of Converse is best suited to meet your bodybuilding and weightlifting requirements.
Basis of Comparison
Features a wider design on the front portion of the shoes.
Features a narrower design on the front portion of the shoes.
Not good for dynamic movements because of the prominent ankle lock-in.
Better for free-flowing movements as there is no ankle lock-in.
Features a hard cushion.
Features a soft cushion.
Comparatively more durable as workout shoes.
Comparatively less durable when subjected to excessive stress and pressure.
Provides a great degree of ankle support while working out.
Provides lesser ankle support compared to high-top alternatives.
Features a more stylish and futuristic design because of the added ankle collar.
Features a more traditional and basic design.
Range of Motion
Restricted range of motion despite the greater degree of ankle support offered.
More flexible range of motion for supporting compound exercises.
Comparatively less comfortable than low-top alternatives.
Comparatively more comfortable because of the simple design features.
As you can see, there are some significant differences between high-top and low-top Converses when it comes to the performance and features offered.
While the differences may seem minute, choosing the right type can actually determine how efficient lifting in Converse would prove to be.
For example, consider that you have the popular Chuck Taylors for your gym requirements. If you use high-top Chucks, you will have greater ankle support. So, it’s highly suitable for people having ankle issues. But they might also restrict your range of motion in the foot because of the added collars.
However, if you use the low-top alternatives, lifting in Chuck Taylors would feel more flexible as they allow more free-flowing and dynamic movements.
So, these differences can dictate which of the two can fully meet your requirements without any shortcomings.
When you think of the word Converse, your mind would automatically think of high-top designs. That is because a lot of the original Converse shoes featured ankle collars for enhanced support and increased attractiveness.
High-top Converse shoes are exceptional for weightlifting because of the kind of ankle support and stability that they offer. The higher cut of the shoe also ensures that the wearer experiences a snug and comfortable fit around the feet.
As such, there is minimal risk of ankle sprains or twists during complicated weightlifting movements. Moreover, high-tops are significantly better than the low-top alternatives when it comes to durability and withstanding the test of stress and pressure.
All of these factors combined make high-top Converse a popular option in the weightlifting community.
Here is a list of pros and cons of using high-top Converse shoes for lifting:
- Provides exceptional ankle support and stability.
- The upper portion of the shoes is made of high-quality materials to make them more durable.
- Great for weightlifting as well as for everyday wear.
- High-top converses offer more responsiveness compared to other types of converses.
- Limited foot mobility during complicated exercises due to the restrictive nature of the added collar.
- Not suitable for dynamic workouts involving various movements.
- Might feel uncomfortable when worn for prolonged periods at a stretch.
Low-top Converse shoes are also highly suitable for weightlifting applications because of their flat soles and lightweight build.
Moreover, they allow a greater range of motion because of the absence of the ankle collar. Thus, these shoes are excellent for exercises that require more ankle mobility, like lunges.
Similarly, low-top Converse models are also more suitable for dynamic workouts that might require flexible and free-flowing movements.
Based on the combination of these factors, low-top Converse shoes have also become a popular alternative for weightlifters, despite being less impressive in terms of ankle support and durability.
The various pros and cons of low-top Converse shoes are as follows:
- Allows for a greater range of motion and promotes ankle mobility during complicated movements.
- Low-top shoes are more comfortable and mimic the feel of performing exercises barefoot.
- Low-top Converse models are relatively lightweight and provide more breathability compared to high-top shoes.
- Low-top Converses provide limited stability and support for weightlifting exercises.
- Limited ankle protection because of the lack of a collar.
- Fairly basic design
Which is Better: High or Low-Top Converse?
Both high and low-top Converse shoes are excellent for weightlifting. However, your choice should be based on your individual requirements and preferences.
High-top Converse shoes have better ankle support and provide more stability. Moreover, they are more durable and long-lasting compared to the low-top alternatives. The presence of a collar also ensures that the ankle is guarded at all times.
On the other hand, low-top shoes provide greater ankle mobility and freedom of movement. They are also comparatively lighter and more flexible. While they do have a minimalistic appearance, the absence of heavy design features also makes them more comfortable for wearing during workouts.
Based on all the information, we can conclude the following:-
- High-top Converse shoes are more suitable for people who require extra ankle support or have a history of ankle injuries. Similarly, people looking for long-lasting shoes should also go for high-top models only.
- Low-top Converse shoes are better for lifters who prioritize flexibility and comfort while weightlifting. It is also meant for individuals who prefer a minimalist approach to footwear while exercising and are okay with the idea of having to buy a new pair regularly to replace the old and deteriorated ones.
For a regular person, it would be quite difficult to feel the difference between a high-top Converse and a low-top Converse.
Both of them serve the same function – to assist in weightlifting by providing a more natural feel while working out. However, the slight differences in their build, quality of materials, and design can make a huge impact on which one is better for you.
Knowing the different areas of comparison between the two will certainly allow people to make more informed and intelligent decisions to support their workout goals.