Before purchasing a pair of Converse sneakers a common query many of us have is ‘how long do Converse last’? It’s best to have all the facts before spending money, and to have a clear expectation of how the sneakers will perform over time.
In this article I’ll be providing my own personal review of the lifetime of Converse sneakers (as a 15 year plus Converse customer and fan), including both photos and a video of my own High Top and Low Top Converse. I’ll also be covering information from the Official Converse Care Guide to help back up the opinions in this article.
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How Long Do Converse Last?
Converse typically last between 18 months and 24 months with everyday wear. With less frequent wear and proper care Converse can last without major sole and canvas depreciation for many years at a time. If used for intense sports/running Converse will last for 12 months or less.
With proper care and cleaning you can extend the lifetime of your Converse by years. For help with Converse product care check out the official Converse Care Guide here.
If you are using your Converse for light everyday activities and not working out in them they should last much longer. Regular running/jogging in Converse will depreciate the gum rubber soles much faster, reducing the lifespan of the sneakers to 1 year or less.
Converse sneakers are durable and were originally designed for playing sports. With this in mind they do perform quite well as a sports shoe, but will not last as long as when only used for casual wear.
Making sure your Converse are a perfect fit for you will also mean they last longer. Converse that are too tight will stretch and put pressure on the canvas and glue over time, and too loose will slide around, meaning the soles will see more wear.
For help getting the fit of your Converse right, I have a guide here: Converse Sizing: Do Converse Run Big or Small? (FAQs/ Chart).
Results will of course vary depending on the individual wearing the sneakers. Some individuals will have a heavier footfall, or may drag their feet when they walk, damaging the rubber soles more quickly.
Let’s look at a more in-depth personal review of how long Converse sneakers last…
My Personal Review
As an owner of more than a dozen pairs of Converse High Tops and Low Tops, I can confidently say both styles of Converse sneaker last for the same amount of time.
Here is a Converse Buyer’s Guide video on the Wearably Weird YouTube channel, where I go into detail about the lifespan of my own pairs of Converse:
For me a pair of Converse typically last for 24 months plus, as I will wear them only twice a week, swapping them out for other shoes/Converse on different days depending on my outfit.
Pick up your own pair from the iconic range on Converse.com.
I don’t run in my Converse, or play any sports whilst wearing them. However I’ll often walk my dog in Converse, but the impact on the soles is relatively low as it’s either on concrete or grass. I don’t hike in Converse either, or tackle any difficult terrain.
I have found that keeping Converse dry is key to extending their lifespan. If it’s raining out I’ll avoid wearing them as not only does the canvas soak through, making for uncomfortable soggy feet, but I’ve found the glue binding the shoes together (especially on the insole) can deteriorate when made excessively wet and not dried out properly.
How To Make Converse Last Longer
Here are some quick tips on making Converse last longer:
- Using Converse safe glue to fix separation from canvas and sole, or deciding to resole worn Converse can work wonders for extending the years you have left in your favourite sneakers.
- Cleaning Converse too can help them last even longer.
- Keeping Converse dry helps them last longer.
- Avoid running or hiking on rough terrain in Converse if you want the soles to last longer.
In this section of the post I’m going to break down how to properly take care of your Converse to make them last as long as possible.
Cleaning Your Converse
Removing dirt and debris can help make your Converse sneakers last longer. Cleaning helps avoid staining and removes any nasty chemicals, that may depreciate the gum rubber soles or Canvas upper, that your sneakers may have picked up from walking around outdoors.
In my personal experience it’s best to clean your Converse once a month (or every two weeks as needed). Here’s what the official Converse Product Care Guide has to say about cleaning methods:
‘Canvas: Using a damp cloth, rub gently with lukewarm water and mild soap. DO NOT MACHINE WASH OR DRY.
Drying: Dry at room temperature, stuff with paper to help maintain their shape. Change paper occasionally throughout drying process. To prolong the life, DO NOT APPLY DIRECT HEAT.’
What the care guide fails to mention however is how to clean and care for the gum rubber soles, so here’s a breakdown of what I do when cleaning my Converse soles:
- Prepare a gentle liquid soap and lukewarm water solution. A pea sized amount of liquid soap to a cup of water is ideal.
- Using an old soft bristled toothbrush begin to apply the liquid soap solution to the Converse soles, taking care to gently scrub dirt and debris from in between the grooves of the tread.
- Once the dirt has been removed from the soles take a soft cotton or microfiber cloth and dampen it with fresh cold water. Use the cloth to wipe away any remaining liquid soap and water solution from the soles.
- Place to air dry in a well ventilated space away from direct heat or sunlight.
If you do not have a gentle liquid soap you could also use baking soda. Mix one part baking soda to one part cold water in a small bowl to form a paste, and apply to the soles in the same way as above (with a toothbrush).
Regular maintenance of your Converse sneakers will help them last much longer, and avoid dirt or chemicals eroding the glue that binds the sneakers together.
Best Glue For Converse Shoes
If you are looking to repair damaged Converse at home to extend their lifetime, then there are a range of gum rubber safe glues you can use.
The best glue for use on Converse shoes is one designed for binding rubber and canvas. A shoe-specific glue is recommended for best results.
Personally I would recommend Shoe Goo – a product specifically designed for gluing shoes.
You could always opt for a super glue or gorilla glue, however I always like to go for a product that is designed specially for purpose, to be on the safe side.
Apply the glue to any places where the rubber sole is coming away from the canvas and then either bind the Converse with string or duct tape to hold it all together as the glue dries.
If the glue on your Converse is coming away between the canvas and sole and appears prematurely defective, then you can return the sneakers to the manufacturer under warranty. For more advice check out the Converse warranty guide here.
Can You Resole Converse?
Converse can be resoled by a professional shoe repair service for a relatively inexpensive cost. Breathe new life into your Converse with a professional resole job, or simply repair less damaged Converse at home with shoe glue.
I called a shoe repair service here in the UK and was quoted a starting price of £20, which is around $26, for a basic Converse rubber sole repair.
There are many shoe repair options available today, even postal shoe repair if you are unable to visit a store in person.
Are Converse Durable?
Converse are durable shoes thanks to the high quality materials they are made with. The gum rubber soles are made to withstand high impact and daily use, and the tough canvas upper is difficult to tear or damage without excessive force.
In my experience wearing Converse for over 15 years they hold up well for regular use, for a range of activities.
The canvas of my Converse sneakers has never torn on any of the dozen or more pairs I’ve owned. The soles last for more that 24 months with my level of use (twice weekly wear for walking my dog or running errands).
Converse are also covered under warranty, so for if any reason your sneakers aren’t durable straight out of the box (e.g. factory issues), the brand will replace them for you.
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Thank you for reading this ‘How Long Do Converse Last’ article! I hope you now feel confident to purchase your own pair of iconic Converse sneakers.
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Lorna is a footwear geek and the founder of Wearably Weird. She created a YouTube channel in 2021 for fellow footwear fanatics, dedicated to detail-rich footwear reviews and info. She has a fashion media qualification (awarded in 2011).