Hiking in Converse, How Bad Is It Really?

So you’re wondering if you can go hiking in Converse shoes. And when I say Converse shoes, I mean Chuck Taylors, the same shoes that were invented in 1922 for basketball players and hasn’t changed much since. Let’s take a look…

Can You Go Hiking in Converse Shoes?

Technically, yes. You can go hiking in lots of things, or nothing at all. In fact, Grandma Gatewood, who was the first woman to hike the Appalachian Trail, wore Converse for part of her hike.

But Grandma Gatewood was pure badass. She brought nothing more than a shower curtain and ate wild edibles. But just because it’s possible to hike in converse, doesn’t mean it’s a good idea.

There are a few things that make Converse a poor fit for hiking:

  • Very slippery when wet
  • Lack of arch support
  • Not waterproof

Depending on the hike you are doing and how comfortable your feet are in Chucks, it might not be the worse thing in the world. There have been people who hiked fine in them, but most people don’t have a good time.

I’ve scoured the web for other people’s experiences hiking in these thick-soled shoes. Here’s what others had to say:

First, the good:

  • You CAN hike in these ill-suited, slippery shoes
  • I do most of my hiking in Converse All Stars. They are simply what is most comfortable for me.
  • I once spent a whole summer in Colorado with nothing but a pair of high-top Converse All Stars. Bagged about ten peaks and hiked lots of miles.

And the bad:

  • Went hiking in converse, would not recommend
  • Nearly died hiking in converse
  • I don’t recommend hiking in converse…EVER.
  • 10/10 would not recommend hiking in converse
  • I was hiking in converse. I’m an idiot.
  • Hiking in converse sucks
  • Hiking in converse is never a good idea
  • I decided hiking in Converse may not be the best choice
  • Foolishly, I did the hike in Converse sneakers
  • Never hike in converse; Jos and I learned the hard way.
  • So I just finished a 10-mile hike in Chuck Taylors… And holy shit my feet have never been in more pain than they are now.

If the jury were out, wearing you chucks to go hiking probably isn’t a good idea.

Tip for Hiking in Converse Shoes

Wearing Converse shoes hiking

If you do try out hiking in Converse, here are some tips to follow

  • Try going for a long walk in Converse beforehand to get a feel for how they will do on a hike.
  • Make sure you are comfortable wearing Converse. If not, try other shoes you have like running sneakers (see my article on hiking in running shoes).
  • Make sure the shoes are broken in and wear comfortable socks. If you don’t, you could get blisters (sometimes wearing two pairs of socks can help).
  • Be careful getting the shoes wet, as they could be slippery.
  • Take it slow and easy and have fun!

And if you do love Converse, they do have a more rugged sneaker boot with better traction and better toe spring. Check out the Converse sneaker boot on Amazon.

Conclusion

Overall, hiking in Converse doesn’t seem like the best idea and could be dangerous when they get wet. If you find them to be very comfortable and they are broken in, it could be fine after all. Take a long walk beforehand to see how your feet hold up

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