Are Vans Good for Lifting? (Top 3 Options!)

Are Vans Good for Lifting?

Shoes have an important purpose when it comes to properly working out. Using the wrong shoe during a session could cause serious damage, whether immediately or over time. If you were a “skater kid” growing up, you know all about Vans. If not, we’ll fill you in. Vans are a staple in the skating community for their rubber sole which provides stability on the skateboard. They come in different varieties such as classics, high tops, and slip-ons.

Vans are a great footwear option for lifting weights because they offer a flat-foot stance. This gives stability and balance when lifting heavy weights. Additionally, the rubber waffle sole provides a good grip for traction. Although they are a solid option for weightlifting, Vans should not be your footwear choice for activities such as running, jogging, or plyometrics.

In this article we will discuss the benefits of wearing Vans while working out, the best type of Vans to choose, and exercises to avoid while wearing Vans. Let’s go!

Is It Okay to Wear Vans to the Gym?

Wearing Vans to the gym is perfectly fine. Most gyms have a closed toe show policy, and Vans fall into this category.

If you choose to wear Vans at the gym, it is a good idea to plan your workout ahead of time. This is because Vans are a good option for weightlifting, but not high-impact exercises such as running.

Vans provide a 0mm heel-to-toe drop. This means that your foot is completely flat when wearing a Vans shoe. A shoe with this feature provides stability and balance during a weightlifting session. But, for running you need more cushion to absorb the impact of your forceful steps.

Are Vans Good for Squatting?

Vans are a killer footwear choice for performing squats. In addition to the 0mm heel-to-toe drop, Vans also have a wide toe box.

A toe box is the part of the shoe where your toes sit. Making sure you have a shoe that is wide enough for your toes to spread provides a better grip on the ground.

This grip will enhance your balance allowing you to squat those heavy weights.

Why Are Vans Good for Lifting?

We know that Vans can be a great option for footwear when it comes to lifting weights. But what makes this true? If you are a beginner in the world of weightlifting, you might be searching for the perfect shoe to invest in.

Take a look at the list below to see why Vans are good for lifting:

1. Zero Drop Arches

Zero drop construction, also known as the 0mm heel-to-toe drop, can be a very important element when it comes to a proper weightlifting shoe. Although not necessary, it does provide an added benefit. A flatter shoe during training offers a more dependable feel. This is noticeable on weight machines and with free weights. Compared to a more arched shoe, which will create a shin angle that bends your knees forward.

2. Rubber Waffle Soles

The sole construction of Vans is probably one of the most important reasons these are top-notch lifting shoes. Vans vulcanized rubber sole resists impact which provides a firmer platform for your foot to rest when lifting weights. Basically, this makes your foot more stable. Compared to a running shoe, which is usually made of a foam sole that compresses to absorb the shock while you run.

3. Wide Toe Box

As mentioned before, the toe box provides space for your toes in a shoe. Allowing your toes to spread out while doing exercises such as squats and deadlifts gives your body better balance. This is a key element in being able to lift heavy, as wobbling could cause injury.

4. Great for Everyday Wear

Unlike other weightlifting shoes, Vans are perfectly fine to wear during everyday activity (plus they boost your street cred). For a reasonable price point, you get a multipurpose shoe that can be worn for function and fashion.

Why Do People Lift in Vans or Converse?

If you frequent the gym, you may have noticed quite a few weightlifters opting to wear Vans or Converse during their sessions. Both of these shoes are a quality option for this activity. Vans offer the benefits of zero drop construction, a stable vulcanized sole, and a wide toe box. Each of these elements combines to make a weightlifter’s workout much more stable.

Because of the similarity of construction when it comes to Vans and Converse, both are popular options for weightlifters. Just like Vans, Converse provide a zero-drop arch and a stable rubber sole. Converse have a slightly slimmer toe box than Vans do, so that is important to note if you have a wider foot. Additionally, the price point of Converse is comparable to Vans.

Overall, the question of, “Are Vans or Converse Better for Lifting?” is based on the personal preference of the user. Each of these shoes provides a stable basis during lifting exercises.

Are Vans Good for Running?

Ironically, the same elements of the construction of Vans that make them great for weightlifting, make them a poor option for running. Let’s break it down.

When you are running, your body is making high-impact motions on the pavement or treadmill from your foot, up your legs, and to your joints. A proper running shoe has enough cushion to provide support against that impact. With a flat, hard sole shoe like a Van, your joints are left defenseless with each stride. Additionally, Vans do not have any mesh or breathable materials, so your feet will be extra sweaty after a run.

Running in Vans can suffice for a short run every once in a while. However, it should be avoided in general to prevent injuries and discomfort.

Are Vans Good for CrossFit?

Vans are an approved shoe for CrossFit and even recommended by some gyms. This is because the average CrossFit workout does not involve a lot of high-impact movements. Generally, you will be focused on heavy lifting using a barbell or dumbbells.

During a CrossFit class or workout, it is best to have a shoe that gives your body stability and balance, this is why Vans are good for CrossFit workouts.

Best Vans for Lifting

With the wide variety that Vans has to offer, you might be wondering which Vans are the best option for weightlifting. Take a look at the list below to see the best collections of Vans for weightlifters:

1. Vans Authentic

The Vans Authentic are the definition of “classic.” If you are wearing these while lifting, you will get all the benefits of a 0mm heel-to-toe drop, vulcanized rubber waffle sole, and an affordable price point.

2. Vans Sk8-Hi

The Vans Sk8-Hi are a popular shoe amongst lifters. This is because they provide the classic stability and balance of the Authentics, but the added benefit of ankle support. The high boot-like structure around the ankle makes sure there is no rolling or swaying during a lifting session. Vans Sk8-Hi are optimal for barbell training, squats and deadlifts, and everyday wear.

3. Vans Ultrarange

Vans Ultrarange is a newer model that aims to provide more variation when it comes to the ability of Vans. They provide the classic stability of Vans but offer more breathability for workouts. This makes them a better option for cross-training and recreational lifting.

What Kind of Exercise Should You Avoid When Wearing Vans?

When wearing Vans to work out, you should avoid any kind of exercise that requires explosivity from your legs. This could be running, jogging, and plyometrics. This is because vans do not provide cushion needed for jumping and high-impact workouts.

Additionally, it is advised to avoid exercises that require your foot to bend. Examples of this are lunges and calf raises. The hard rubber sole of Vans does not do well with bending motions.

Can You Work Out in Vans Slip-Ons?

Vans Slip-Ons can give less stability than those with laces. You might find that these shoes are a bit looser than the Authentic or Sk8-Hi versions.

Although Vans Slip-Ons do provide a stable rubber sole and wide toe box for gripping, you may want to choose a different version of Vans for more stability.

Best Alternatives to Vans for Lifting

Although Vans are a good option for lifters, there are also equally or better-suited choices for the purpose. If you are looking for an alternative to Vans for lifting weights, we’ve got you covered. Check out the list below:

1. Converse Chuck Taylor All-Star High-Top Sneaker

We’ve already covered why Converse is a great alternative to Vans. They have a similar build which provides grip and stability. Another reason they are an alternative to Vans is the comparable price point.

2. Nike Metcon

The Nike Metcon offers a snug fit throughout to give you that stable feeling when you’re lifting heavy. The mesh at the toe allows your foot to breathe while you are exercising. The downside to these shoes is the higher price point, but if you are looking for quality from a reputable brand, the Nike Metcon is a solid option.

3. Under Armour Charged Commit Training Shoe

This Under Armour shoe features lightweight mesh and a heel cup that enhances the stability of your foot. Their price is just slightly higher than Vans or Converse, making them a good alternative.

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