Are Converse Good for Running? Are They the Right Choice for Your Runs?


Converse are beloved worldwide for their timeless style. While they have undoubtedly earned their place in the world of fashion and streetwear, the question remains: Are Converse good for running?

In this article, we will explore the suitability of Converse sneakers for running, taking into consideration various factors such as cushioning, arch support, ankle support, outsole, comfort, breathability, and more.


Before we dive in,

I highly recommend you check out my in-depth comparison of Converse vs. Vans. I hope it will help you make the right choice for your next pair of shoes, so don’t miss it!

Are Converse Good for Running?

Let’s address the running question first before diving into other aspects. Converse sneakers, unfortunately, aren’t the ideal choice for running. They lack the essential support and cushioning that running demands.

Running isn’t just about putting one foot in front of the other; it’s about protecting your feet and joints from the impact of each stride. That’s where specialized running shoes come in.

They’re engineered with features like plush cushioning, stability, and arch support to minimize the risk of injury and enhance your performance.

In comparison, Converse sneakers, with their flat soles and minimal arch support, are better suited for casual everyday wear or low-impact activities. They don’t offer the protection and support needed for a run.

But, if you’re determined to hit the pavement in Converse, it’s best to keep your runs short, no more than 2 miles, and stick to flat surfaces. However, for longer distances or regular running, it’s a smart move to invest in proper running shoes.


Dive into our recent Converse size chart. It’s an invaluable resource to ensure you get the perfect fit for your Converse shoes.

What You Can Do In Converse

Converse sneakers initially stepped onto the scene as high-tops designed to provide ankle support to basketball players.

However, as time marched on, they adapted to embrace a broader, more versatile lifestyle, securing their status as a go-to option for casual footwear and fashion.

People wear these classic sneakers for everyday activities, like running errands, attending school, or simply hanging out with friends.

They’ve also cemented their place in streetwear, making appearances at music festivals, art exhibitions, and cultural events, and even finding favor among urban sports enthusiasts like skateboarders, thanks to their durable construction.

Now, let’s dissect the specific features of Converse and how they play into the equation when it comes to running.


Check out our article: Are Yeezys Good for Running? for insights on whether these sneakers are a good choice for your running needs.


Cushioning takes center stage when evaluating Converse for running. Here’s the thing: Converse sneakers generally offer minimal cushioning, which isn’t the best news for running enthusiasts.

Running shoes are crafted with a different purpose in mind. They’re equipped with generous cushioning, designed to absorb the impact of each stride, effectively lessening the strain on your joints.

In comparison, Converse shoes, while cozy for everyday wear, may not serve up the kind of cushioning that running, especially on harder surfaces, demands. So, while they’re a hit in many scenarios, running might not be their shining moment.


If you own a collection of Nikes and are wondering if your Prestos are suitable for running, be sure to check out that article too.

Arch Support

Converse sneakers tend to have a flat profile, and this can be a potential hurdle for runners with high arches or specific arch support requirements.

Now, here’s why that’s a significant consideration: Adequate arch support is pivotal for maintaining foot alignment and preventing problems like overpronation or underpronation, which could potentially crop up during running.

It’s all about ensuring a comfortable and injury-free running experience, and that’s where specialized running shoes come into play.


Ankle Support

High-top Converse sneakers do offer a bit of ankle support, but here’s the catch: this support is tailored for lateral movement in sports like basketball. It’s not exactly primed for the forward motion and the constant impact that comes with running.

When it comes to low-top Converse sneakers, which are the darlings of casual wear, you’ll find even less ankle support. So, while they have their perks, optimal ankle support during running isn’t one of them.


Want to know whether your Nike Huaraches are cut for running, give it a read!


Converse sneakers often sport a flat and minimalist outsole, and this minimalism might leave you wanting when it comes to grip, traction, and support, especially during running.

Here’s the deal: running shoes boast specialized outsoles. They’re engineered to elevate grip, provide stability, and smartly distribute the forces generated during your run.


In contrast, Converse, with their minimalist outsoles, might not offer the same level of performance for running, especially in challenging terrain.


No doubt about it, Converse sneakers are comfortable for everyday wear and short strolls. They’ve got your back for casual outings.

But here’s where they differ from dedicated running shoes: running shoes are all about marathon-level comfort. They’re designed to keep your feet content during extended runs, featuring plush padded insoles and breathable materials that let you go the extra mile without any fuss.


Known for their distinctive cushioning technology, are Nike Shox good for running?


When it comes to the high-intensity demands of running, the materials and construction of Converse may not quite measure up.

The result? A shorter lifespan and the possibility of wearing out faster than you’d like. So, if you’re aiming for the long run, consider switching to proper running shoes to ensure your footwear can handle the distance.

Upper & Breathability


Converse shoes often sport a flat, unstructured upper design that leans toward simplicity, whereas running shoes take a different approach.

Running shoes often come equipped with overlays, reinforced panels, and support structures in the upper to keep your feet secure and comfy.

Here’s another twist: Many Converse sneakers are crafted from canvas, which might not offer the breathability and moisture-wicking prowess found in running shoes.

When it comes to running, the breathability factor can be a game-changer, helping your feet stay cool, dry, and comfortable during those more demanding workouts.

Below are two running shoes with super breathable uppers…



Converse sneakers boast impressive flexibility, and that’s fantastic for everyday activities and easy movement. But here’s the catch: when it comes to running, that same flexibility might not serve you well.

Running shoes strike a smart balance between flexibility and support to enhance the natural motion of your foot while ensuring the stability you need during a run. It’s all about finding that sweet spot for your feet to perform at their best.



Converse sneakers have their charm in part due to their lightweight design, which works well for casual wear.

On the other hand, running shoes might tip the scales a bit heavier due to their cushioning and support features. That extra weight, however, is a vital ingredient for a comfortable and safe run.

Now, making the switch from Converse to proper running shoes may seem like a challenge, but fear not.

To ensure you find the perfect pair that matches your running form and objectives, here’s a breakdown of everything you need to know before taking that leap.


Does the Nike Air Max’s cushioning unit make it good for running? Give it a read!

Running Shoes 101

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the vast array of running shoes on the market, don’t worry; you’re not alone. The sheer variety of choices can be mind-boggling, but I’m here to demystify the process of choosing your running shoes.

I’ll explain the different running shoe styles, models, and types, so you can gain a clear understanding of their unique purposes and which might be the best fit for you.

Before we dive into the specifics, here’s a crucial piece of advice: Make a visit to your local run specialty store and let them guide you through a genuine shoe fitting experience.

While some folks tend to stick with what they’ve used in the past, that approach isn’t always the best match for your unique foot. After all, every foot is different, and there’s no one-size-fits-all solution in the world of running shoes.

When it comes to running shoes, there are essentially three primary categories to consider, particularly in terms of support or stability…

Neutral Running Shoes


Now, when you step into a store or browse online, you’ll find that the majority of shoes fall under the category of neutral shoes, such as the Nike Pegasus 40, the New Balance 1080, and the New Balance 880. But what exactly is a neutral shoe?

Well, a neutral shoe essentially means it doesn’t come with built-in support or guidance in the midsole. There’s no special medial or lateral support baked into the shoe, and the midsole maintains a consistent feel from the heel to the toe.

But here’s the catch: neutral shoes come in a wide array of sizes and shapes, and they’re not all cut from the same cloth.

Some neutral shoes are going to be more stable than others mainly because some might have a more firm midsole giving you inherent stability and some might be very soft creating some instability.

Overall, neutral shoes are pretty unique and happen to be the most popular type of running shoe. However, if you’re in the market for a bit more support, it might be time to consider a stability option like the Brooks Levitate GTS. It’s all about finding the right balance for your unique running needs.

Talking about stability shoes… 


For a deeper dive into the world of lacing, check out these 10 great techniques to lace your running shoes.

Stability Running Shoes


Now, when you venture into the realm of stability running shoes, here’s what’s happening: these shoes bring some extra support to the party, specifically on the medial side.

What’s that support’s job, you ask? It’s there to prevent your foot from rolling inwards, a phenomenon known as over-pronation.

Now, pronation, in its natural form, is a key part of your running gait, and not everyone who overpronates necessarily needs a stability running shoe.

But for those who tend to roll excessively inwards or, as mentioned earlier, overpronate, this category of shoes can be a real game-changer.

It’s worth noting that the concept of stability varies slightly from brand to brand, with each one putting its unique spin on it. For instance, Brooks employs something called GuideRails, which is like a friendly foam wall on the lateral and medial sides of the shoe, keeping your foot confidently headed in the right direction.

On the other hand, New Balance takes their 860 model and introduces what they call a “medial post,” where the inner foams pack a little extra density to prevent that unwanted inward roll.

As for Asics and their latest Kayano, they’ve got something called “3D Space Construction.” In a nutshell, it involves geometric shapes within the midsole that work as a sort of GPS for your foot, ensuring it stays on the correct path and doesn’t venture into incorrect territory.

Different brands, different approaches, but all with the same goal: providing you with a stable, supportive running experience.


While they’re a popular choice for those looking for stylish and environmentally conscious shoes, are Allbirds good for running?


Motion Control Running Shoes


Motion control running shoes are designed for those who excessively overpronate or roll drastically to the inside.

Now, think of them as the beefed-up big brothers of stability shoes. They’re all about delivering a stiff and super firm midsole, loaded with a plethora of stability features and technology.

The goal here is to ensure an extremely stable ride, surpassing what you’d find in your typical traditional stability running shoe.

Now, it’s essential to be aware that these aren’t the most common picks, and they might come across as a bit bulkier and heavier compared to your run-of-the-mill running shoes.

However, they’re a solid choice for folks who, once again, find themselves excessively rolling inwards or battling overpronation with all they’ve got.

And with that, let’s pivot and explore the overall purpose behind running shoes, starting with the trusty everyday running shoes.

Daily Running Shoes


Daily trainers, as the name suggests, are the shoes you turn to for your regular training runs, it’s a long run, short run, fast run, or whatever it may be. This category is delightfully diverse, with options to suit just about every preference.

If you’re craving for a plush experience, you might want to slip into the Nike Invincible. Or, if versatility and ample cushioning are your calling, the Hoka Clifton is an excellent pick.

But, if a more minimalistic shoe with an ultra-wide toe box is your thing, the Altra Escalante has you covered.

In essence, daily trainers offer a wide array of choices, making it possible to find the perfect match for your running style or even an all-in-one solution that does it all. That’s what daily trainers are all about.

Now, let’s lace up and explore the other type of road running shoes: the race-day shoe…

Race Day Shoes


These gems are all about optimizing your performance, and they’ve got a few key features to make it happen.

First off, the midsole foam in these shoes tends to be among the lightest and bounciest materials the brand has in its arsenal. It’s all about that spring in your step.

But here’s the real kicker: many of these shoes pack a full-length carbon fiber plate in the midsole. This plate is like a secret weapon. It stiffens up the shoe, amps up the rocker geometry, and pushes you forward with each stride, ensuring top-notch energy transfer.

Plus, let’s not forget, these shoes are often incredibly lightweight.

Take, for example, the New Balance SuperComp Elite, their heavyweight contender for marathon and half marathon racing. These shoes might be a tad pricier and not the most durable, but come race day, they’re your go-to for gaining that winning edge.

Now, let’s hit the trails and explore the next type of running shoe: trail runners…

Trail Running Shoes

Trail running shoes, as their name implies, are your trusted companions for conquering rugged, unpaved terrains. They’re not just for running, though. They’re a fantastic choice for hiking and backpacking, offering a lighter and more nimble alternative to the often bulkier hiking boots.

Much like daily trainers and road running shoes, the trail running category unfolds in a myriad of configurations. Some boast max stacked midsoles, some sport waterproof uppers, and some even incorporate carbon fiber plates. There’s a complete spectrum, and it’s pretty cool to witness the soaring popularity of trail running shoes.

So, what makes trail running shoes special?

First and foremost, it’s the outsole. Trail running shoes are decked out with substantial rubber coverage and beefy lugs, a far cry from their road-running counterparts.


This design provides durability and exceptional grip in outdoor environments. The uppers are also beefed up, providing extra security. Some models even come in waterproof materials like Gore-Tex, a feature more common in the trail running space.

Now, there are hybrid or road-to-trail running shoes, a prime example being the Nike Pegasus Trail 4. These hybrids don’t boast super aggressive lugs, making them versatile for the trail, gravel paths, and even roads.


And there you have it, a high-level, basic overview of the diverse shoe options available for your running and exercise needs.

As always, I strongly recommend paying a visit to your local run specialty store. They’ll get you properly sized, fitted, and walk you through the different options, ensuring you find the perfect match for your unique needs.

You can check your favorite Converse sneakers here:

Converse FAQs

Is it OK to workout in Converse?

It is generally acceptable to work out in Converse, but the choice depends on the nature of your fitness routine. If the fitness workout you’re doing is lifting-focused, then yes, Converse shoes can be a decent option. However, for a fitness class that requires you to jump and run, we would suggest not wearing Converses.


While it’s great for high-intensity training and cross-training, are the Nike Metcons good for running?

Are Converse shoes athletic?

Converse shoes are known for their classic and versatile style, but they are not specialized athletic footwear. While they can be comfortable for everyday activities and even some light physical activity, they lack the specific features and support found in dedicated athletic shoes.

Why do people run in Converse?

Some individuals with narrow feet find that Converse shoes provide a snug and comfortable fit, making them a suitable option for shorter, lighter runs. However, Converse lack the specialized cushioning, arch support, and shock absorption for extensive or high-impact running.

What sport is Converse for?

Converse was originally designed for basketball and is most closely associated with that sport. However, their versatile and casual style has made them popular for a wide range of sports and activities.

Why do girls lift in Converse?

Many girls and athletes, in general, choose to lift in Converse shoes due to their flat and stable sole, which provides a solid base for weightlifting movements. The flat sole helps with balance and allows for better force transfer during exercises like squats and deadlifts.


In summary, Converse sneakers are not ideally suited for running due to their lack of adequate cushioning, arch support, ankle support, outsole design, and other factors.

They are designed for casual wear and may be comfortable for short walks, but they may not provide the necessary support and protection for running.

To enjoy running while minimizing the risk of injury, it’s advisable to invest in a pair of dedicated running shoes that are specifically engineered for the demands of the sport.

So, are Converse good for running? Now you have the answer. Happy running!

About Eric Barber

Eric Barber is a happy father of two little angels, a husband, and a runner. He eats, sleeps, and dreams anything foot related: running shoes, walking shoes, sneakers, you name it. It all started when Eric was a shoe store specialist watching and fitting people's feet day in and day out.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.