1. Powerlifts/All-around: Chuck Taylor All-Stars
Is there anything these shoes aren’t good for? With their hard rubber soles, durable canvas construction, and classic style, the original All-Stars have enjoyed a cult-like devotion among weightlifters for decades. Plus, unlike a lot of dedicated athletic shoes, they’re cheap and versatile.
“Go into any powerlifting gym and you’ll see Chuck Taylors all the way to the horizon,” Pelton says. “Shoes like Chucks with a thin, flat sole allow the lifter’s feet to be as close to the ground as possible, thereby reducing the bar’s total range of motion. It’s only about a half an inch, but in top-level competitions, that could make all the difference.” But don’t limit them to deadlifts, he says: They’re also perfectly good for squats, bench presses, and hanging around at the gym after your cooldown. (From $50, converse.com)
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