Converse Chuck Taylor All Stars for Powerlifting | Low Tops Review

Converse All Star Low Tops

The Converse Chuck Taylor All Stars are perhaps one of the most iconic shoe designs around, and rightfully so. The instantly recognizable canvas upper with white rubber toe box has been around for decades and has transcended countless fashion trends along the way.

The Chuck Taylors have also managed to make a name for themselves in the sport of Powerlifting and many consider them to be an excellent Powerlifting Shoe choice on a budget.

The Converse All Star Chuck Taylors are a popular choice in the Powerlifting community for a reason. Their flat, relatively stiff sole makes them a great option for Squatting and Deadlifting alike and their low cost makes them very accessible for beginners. If you’re looking for a great budget shoe that can do it all, look no further than Converse!

In this review, we’ll look at the low top variant specifically. Alternatively you can check out my review of the Converse All Star High Top instead.

Converse All Star General Review


I really don’t think I would change a thing about the way this shoe looks.

Even before I became interested in Powerlifting, I was a Chuck Taylors fan. The style and looks of these shoes have always been timeless and I do not doubt that in 20-30 years, Chucks will be just as popular as they are now, if not more so!

One of the great things about this shoe is just how many choices you can have, there’s a color for everyone and Converse even allow for you to create your own custom design if the stock choices aren’t enough.

I really don’t think I would change a thing about the way this shoe looks.

Rating – 10/10


I am a US size 10 and have gone through many pairs of Chucks over the years and always buy them in my regular size. I have never had any issues with the fit, this is in large part down to the thin canvas upper.

It’s pretty hard not to get a good fit with these shoes as the material just conforms to your foot shape with minimal resistance and the toe box provides enough room for toe spread without being overly large.

Something to be mindful of if you’re someone with high arches though, there is little to no arch support so an insert is a worthwhile consideration.

Rating – 9/10


Now, when it comes to walking, many people will agree that Chucks are not the most comfortable shoes out there. That flat, hard rubber sole can admittedly feel like walking on concrete.

Of course, we’re Powerlifters, and an uncomfortable shoe kind of goes with the territory. The way I look at it is, if you find Chucks to be uncomfortable to the point you can’t walk around in them, it probably says more about your foot health than the shoes themselves.

Shameless plug… if you do want to improve your foot health, check out my article on Foot Strengthening Exercises!

Uncomfortable sole aside, the canvas upper is the complete opposite in my opinion, and in being so thin and lightweight, it’s unbelievably breathable too. The fit conforms so well to your foot shape, as I mentioned, so it’s pretty hard not to like it!

Rating – 6.5/10

Straps & Lacing

It’s pretty common for a Powerlifting or Weightlifting Shoe to have some form of metatarsal strap, or similar. Obviously, Converse All Stars are not specifically designed for these sports so a strap is unsurprisingly absent. Its a shame really, I’d love to try out a pair with a strap of some sort, I’d be particularly interested to see how it affects them.

The lacing system is up there with any shoe I’ve tried though. I can get it as tight or as loose as I need and the laces themselves are very robust and don’t come undone easily once they’re tied. Chucks usually have metal eyelets too so they hold up well over time.

Rating – 7/10


Grip is another reason why the All Stars have become so popular as a Lifting Shoe. The rubber sole has grip in abundance and should satisfy the needs of all but the most elite Powerlifters. Having said that though, I have seen many seriously strong Powerlifters lifting in nothing more than an old worn pair of Chucks without any complaints!

The Converse Chuck Taylors scored admirably in the Powerlifting Perfection Grip Test, achieving a friction factor of 0.63. Check out the Grip Test article where you can compare their score with every other shoe I have reviewed.

Rating – 7/10

Converse All Star Performance

Overall, the Converse All Stars perform perfectly well for most lifts. they aren’t by any means the best out there, (and why would they be? They weren’t designed specifically for lifting!) but they do a great job.

The low top is pretty beneficial in the Squat as there’s nothing to get in the way of your ankle joint and restrict movement here.

I would highly recommend them for those that have just started with Powerlifting and may or may not keep going with it. I spent my first 2 years of weight training in nothing more than a pair of Chucks and they served me very well indeed.

Converse All Star for Squats

In the Squat, you’ll find that they give a reasonably solid base to push from, however, the flat heel may favor low bar Squatters most. As someone who prefers high bar and has some mobility issues in his right ankle though, I tend to favor the raised heel of a Weightlifting Shoe.

If you’re unsure of the differences between low bar and high bar Squatting, check out my article on how to decide which is right for you.

As previously mentioned, there’s enough room in the toe box for toe spread and the sole is grippy enough to really screw your feet into the ground.

The low top is pretty beneficial in the Squat as there’s nothing to get in the way of your ankle joint and restrict movement here.

Converse All Star for the Deadlift

I feel the Deadlift is where the All Stars really come into their own. The sole is a little on the thick side, which isn’t ideal, however, they’re super flat and as stated, provide plenty of resistance to push against.

For Sumo Deadlifters like myself, the one thing that can catch you out is that there’s not a great amount of lateral support and your feet can spill slightly over the side of the shoe. For now, I can manage this by lacing up well, but I imagine as I progress to heavier weights, this could become more of a problem.

The low tops do miss out on a bit of additional ankle joint support when it comes to the Deadlift, sadly.

Converse All Star for the Bench Press

The shoe does a fine job in the Bench Press, again providing a stable base for leg drive. I’m pretty short, so I tend to bench in a Weightlifting Shoe for that added heel height, though the thickness in the Chucks isn’t the worst and does provide a touch more lift than some other lifting shoes out there.

If you’re someone who prefers to Bench with your heels off the floor, the super flexible canvas upper doesn’t cause any issues so you should feel right at home in the Chucks.

Rating – 6/10

Converse All Star Price

The Converse All Stars are dirt cheap and given their popularity, it’s easy to shop around and find bargains.

There’s not really much more to say on that, even if you’re on the fence about buying them, they’re cheap enough that you don’t have much to lose by just getting a pair and trying them out for a while. Worst case scenario you end up with a good looking shoe you can wear for everyday use!

You can check out the latest prices on Amazon here.

Rating – 10/10

Final Thoughts on the Converse All Star

I’m a little biased when it comes to the Converse All Stars. I’ve loved them long before I was interested in Powerlifting and regularly wear them outside of the gym. That said, I’ve tried to be as objective as possible and it really is hard to knock them.

Yes, they’re not the best shoe for Powerlifting by any means, but for someone who’s only just started their Powerlifting journey, the investment required for a good pair of Powerlifting Shoes can seem like a bit of an unnecessary expense.

Regular trainers are just way too soft and bordering on dangerous in fact, so the All Stars are a fantastic bridge between both worlds.

If you’re fairly new to Powerlifting (or any type of Weight Training really), the Converse All Stars are a great shoe to start with and learn your craft.

Overall Rating – 7.4/10