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February 15, 2019

There are three times it's OK to work out in these retro sneakers, according to a podiatrist

Converse All-Stars, a.k.a. Chuck Taylors, have stood the test of time

Fitness Weightlifting
converse sneakers unsplash Mitch Lensink/Unsplash

Converse are one of the few sneaker trends that has never *really* been out of style. That said, their wear and use overtime has certainly changed.

These flat sneakers, which were once the gold standard for basketball shoes, have since proven to be some of the least supportive for arches and ankles, rendering them unacceptable for athletic wear in the following years.

But Monara Dini, doctor of podiatric medicine and associate clinical professor at UC San Francisco, tells Popsugar that there are three weightlifting exercises that can really benefit from a flat shoe like Converse All-Stars: squats, bench presses and deadlifts. 

RELATED READ: We tried it: KTL Philadelphia, an educational kettlebell weightlifting workout

Apparently Converse’s flat surface simulates being barefoot, which forces you to use your entire foot to "grip the ground and remain planted," and help push through the heel — a crucial part of benefitting from weightlifting, Dini tells Popsugar. She adds that it is most important to wear flat shoes when lifting HEAVY weights — a quick dumbbell session doesn't require specific footwear. 

Wire Cutter echoes this enthusiasm for Converse All-Stars when it comes to weightlifting.

“When it comes to squats and deadlifts, for example, the cushion of a squishy athletic shoe can actually compromise the lift,” Eric Emig, a certified personal trainer, tells the website. “The extra effort to keep the ankle stable [on a padded surface] can take away from your ability to produce power for the lift making your lift weaker.”

“They’re cheap, flat, and you can wear them to and from the gym, so you don’t have to carry a second pair,” wrote Wire Cutter staff writer Chris Heinonen.. 

While they’re great for weightlifting, Converse sneakers are by no means the perfect shoe for every workout. If you’re big on aerobics, weight training and multidirectional workouts, then cross training sneakers are your best bet, according to Popsugar. And for running, everyone has their own preference when it comes to their footwear of choice, however Runner’s World has a few suggestions, too. 

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