The best sneakers in all the land are 100 years old. To celebrate and commemorate, buy yourself a pair of black, high-top “Chucks.” 

Converse at

One of the first pieces that I wrote and published on extolled the virtues of the perfect exercise shoe, Converse All-Stars.  Little did I know when I posted the piece about a year ago that these canvas beauties were so close to celebrating such an important event. You might think I’m crazy, but Converse sneakers really are the perfect sneaker to wear during exercise.

I’m particularly fond of black, high-top Chuck Taylors, but have over 25 pairs of Converse sneaks in all styles and colors.  I wear them to lift, to do agility and footwork drills, I wear them around the house, I wear them when I go out.  As a personal trainer/strength coach I wear them all day – almost every day – and they are the best athletic shoes I’ve worn. 

As a guy who hates to wear shoes, and takes any footwear off as soon as possible after I get home or when I have a break at the gym, I can wear my Chuck Taylor’s for 12 hours straight and not be uncomfortable.  The low-tops and lace-less Chucks are regularly on my feet, and the lace-less model is really the perfect shoe to wear almost all the time. Converse’s Chuck Taylors are perfect to wear while exercising (and personal training!) because they fit to your foot rather than forcing your foot to fit into a mass-produced, molded sneaker that might not be right for you. 

The canvas construction allows your body’s and lower leg’s built in support and strength mechanism to work as nature intended while protecting your feet from stuff that you don’t want to step on.  If you check out any of my exercise videos you will see that I’m in Chuck Taylors pretty much all of the time, except when I’m in the snow or in bare feet.  My personal training clients will attest to this fact.  And yes, I also spend time exercising in bare feet.  This is good for you, but not good for Nike, Rebook and the rest of the high-tech sneaker purveyors, so you won’t hear too much about the benefits of working out in bare feet. 

The benefits of wearing Chucks go beyond comfort and support, as they can be washed numerous times without the risk of them being ruined.  Try throwing a $100 pair of cross trainers into the washing machine and see what happens.  Converse go in dirty and come out looking as good as new, and are ready to go.  I have been using a couple of pairs of Chuck Taylors to exercise in for at least 10 years.  They get dirty and sweaty and thrown in the washing machine at least 3 times a year, so conservatively they have been washed at least 20 times and they still are holding up.  Not bad for an initial investment of about $25 back in the late 1990s.

So hoist up your glass, or click your rubber heels together, and join me in a toast to Converse.  And do yourself a favor and buy a pair of foot ware history; you’ll be glad you did. Converse at


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