The Clash of All-Stars: Converse High Tops vs Low Tops

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Woman wearing yellow hi top converse

Last Updated on April 21, 2021

Are you considering buying a pair of Converse to get your 90s vibes back?

It certainly is the perfect shoe to bring back the nostalgia of the decade and a great option for casual wear in general. Chucks never lose their cool and they have been brought back to stardom again and again as part of popular culture.

So, what are your options? There is plenty to choose from: slip-on sneakers, platform shoes, boots… However, the two styles guaranteed to provide the classic retro look that we cherish the most are the All-Stars high top and low top models.

The key question here is… Which converse style is best?

Converse High tops

Pros:

  • Classic look
  • Better ankle support
  • More space for creative design

Cons:

  • Ankle friction
  • Uncomfortable without socks

Aesthetic

10/10

Their basketball classic look is easily recognizable, particularly the red model. It brings to mind long shorts and muscled tees, ripped jeans and rocker t-shirts, and above all a rebel attitude!

There are a ton of amazing prints to choose from, among them a paint drip design, customizable flower embroideries, washed denim in different hues, tie-dyed effects, and more. One of my favorite models had a Van Gogh painting on the canvas. 

The options are endless and there is no limit to what you can draw, paint or print on the canvas to decorate your All-Stars. During the 90s, embellishing things with glue guns was definitely a thing, so go for it and add a little glitter to make your Converse unique!

Comfort

8/10

High tops provide more support on the ankles due to their tied-up extended upper part. This will result in fewer twisted ankles if you’re an active person, or just clumsy like me!

I was a bit afraid of the added friction but the canvas is soft and I wore them with thin socks. The cushioned sole is comfortable too, particularly the ones with thicker platform-like soles. 

Durability

9/10

Converse trainers are made with top-quality materials. They are very sturdy and can last a long time depending on the kind of use you give them. In my case, the tongue and the borders on the ankle showed signs of strain way before the rest of the shoe did, but I used mine (Converse Optical) until they frazzled on the edges! 

Stylish Inspiration

Guys

In my opinion, Chucks look great for men that are all about being comfortable and going for a relaxed vibe. The epitome of that is to pair color-matched skinny jeans and a sweater with contrasting attention-calling Converse.

If you’re not a fan of turquoise, red is a more conservative choice that will look great either with all black or all white ensembles. 

Another great streetwear combo is to go for weathered and ripped denim with a graphic sweatshirt.

If you’re wearing black and white All-Stars, try to pair them up with the same color graphic designs to keep things coordinated, or opt for the ultimate cityscape look of t-shirt and denim shirt with straight pants. 

Girls

Women have a ton of options to style their Chucks. For starters, ankle denim looks amazing with high-top sneakers because it showcases the ankle design in all its glory.

If you are going for a preppy look, tie a sweater around your neck, tie your high ponytail with your favorite scrunchie and keep your outfit minimal. Don’t forget your crew socks! Be certain they peak over the ankle too.

If you are feeling a little rebellious, roll your skinny jeans and put your favorite baggy vintage tee on! Mom jeans also look great with this look, and you can add a layer of formality by adding a tweed jacket to keep things polished. 

Pleated long skirts and animal prints are trending hard this spring, so make the most of this 90s trend revival and pair them up with your favorite pair of Converse to make the most of the changing season. The whole look can be either super casual with or without a denim jacket, or work-approved if you add a classic extra-large blazer. 

Read:

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Converse Low tops

Pros:

  • Super fresh for summer
  • Can be used without socks
  • Simple design

Cons:

  • Less of a classic look
  • Less space for design

Aesthetic

8/10

Low tops are the perfect cross between a boating shoe and a basketball sneaker, especially if we think about the classic white canvas model with blue or red stripes.

The light fresh design is perfect for summer and it looks great with all manner of summer clothing. However, there is a little less space to get creative and personalize your Chucks, and the look doesn’t scream 90s as much as the high tops do.

Comfort

10/10

Converse are comfortable and soft and they can be worn without socks with no worries since the canvas is neither scratchy nor rigid. The rubber bumper on the point of the shoe protects your toes if you are walking on rocky terrain or going boating, another great point for summer wear.

Durability

10/10

Low tops are super durable, and if the canvas is black like these Chuck Taylor’s you can expect it to endure quite a bit of dirt without looking haggard!

The ankle usually frazzles before the rest with high tops, so low tops are a better option if you want your All-Stars to look new for as long as possible.

Stylish inspiration

Guys

Converse low tops might look like they aren’t cut out for your gym routine because they lack ankle support, but they are very comfortable and have great grip so they make for good squat shoes for weightlifting.

You can wear them with baggy cotton pants to keep things sporty or go for a street casual vibe with a pair of long shorts and a cotton t-shirt. 

Don’t forget you can also dress them up if you swap your activewear gear for some dressy pants and a matching jacket. Either way, you know you are going in the right direction when movie stars choose Converse for their daily wear! 

Girls

Low tops can also be worn with a myriad of outfits. Be it skinny jeans, mom jeans, or ripped jeans, they look relaxed paired with a t-shirt and cardigan or ready to rock with a leather jacket.

That is what is so great about Chucks, they add flair to your outfit but you can style them to look as sweet or as badass as you want!

There is something very whimsical about a printed cottagecore dress and a pair of Converse. It instantly makes me think of Liv Tyler during her teen years.

They’re also a great footwear option for both denim shorts and dresses if you will be walking on stone-paved floors and don’t want to be hindered by sandals or heels! 

Read:

Your Favourite 90s Dresses – Plus Some Mistakes We’d Rather Forget

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My favorite…

It was a close call. But I am still not sold on the high tops because of their high ankle upperparts. 

I tried them repeatedly with socks, and although this solved the problem at the beginning, the crew socks weren’t tall enough and they would get sucked into the shoe due to the friction and bother me even more.

I’d rather wear low tops and go sockless or wear thin socks if I do so desire. They aren’t very warm either way so I wouldn’t pick them for winter wear anyways! 

So, if you love the Converse classic look and still want to buy them, I recommend you buy a pair of low tops in your favorite color or shop for some crazy and fun prints. There are a ton of styles to choose from!

Title
Converse Unisex Chuck Taylor All Star High Top Sneakers Optical White Size 6 Mens/8 Womens
Converse Unisex Chuck Taylor All Star Low Top Navy Sneakers - 12 B(M) US Women / 10 D(M) US Men
Converse Unisex Chuck Taylor All Star High Top Sneakers Optical White Size 6 Mens/8 Womens
Converse Unisex Chuck Taylor All Star Low Top Navy Sneakers - 12 B(M) US Women / 10 D(M) US Men
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$78.24
Title
Converse Unisex Chuck Taylor All Star High Top Sneakers Optical White Size 6 Mens/8 Womens
Converse Unisex Chuck Taylor All Star High Top Sneakers Optical White Size 6 Mens/8 Womens
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Converse Unisex Chuck Taylor All Star Low Top Navy Sneakers - 12 B(M) US Women / 10 D(M) US Men
Converse Unisex Chuck Taylor All Star Low Top Navy Sneakers - 12 B(M) US Women / 10 D(M) US Men
Customer Rating
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Prime
Price
$78.24
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Lorena Lombardo is a fashion designer specialized in trend forecasting and fashion journalism. She studied at the UAL (University of London), ORT (Universidad ORT Uruguay), and taken various courses about traditional craftsmanship while living in Tokyo. Some of her favorite memories during the 90s include wearing bucket hats and trying to copy Rachel’s hairstyle. Her absolute favorite show was Buffy: the Vampire Slayer but she was also a huge fan of Clueless because of its amazing fashion choices. Her top track of the decade is currently disputed between How soon is Now? by the Smiths and Here with me by Dido. Both also happen to be the opening songs for two great 90s shows: Charmed and Roswell. Coincidence? I think not!

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