THE PROBLEM WITH CUSHIONING
It disperses and displaces energy. The connection between yourself and the ground must be solid — no gaps, no squishy room, no “other” place for the force to go but to exactly where you “tell” it to (the implement). How much more difficult would it be to press a bar or bell overhead if you first have to compress all the foam beneath your feet before anything else happens?
Plus, it’s safer, allowing for greater proprioception. Our feet were designed to give us feedback about the environment, not be blinded from it. Arches and the common fallacy of arch support are yet another component to this — but that’s a discussion for another time.
Chucks have long been favored among lifters for their no-frills, retro-cool style and flat, inflexible (unpadded) sole… which was difficult to find, prior to the modern barefoot/minimalist revolution triggered by Born to Run and brands such as Vibram (Five Fingers) and Vivo Barefoot, and which then moved quickly into the mainstream. For decades prior, the simple-as-can-be Chuck Taylors reigned in the parks and gyms… and are still as ubiquitous as ever.
THE INTERSECTION OF PERFORMANCE, STYLE, AND CULTURE
We are champions of substance over style, so if the substance (or lack of in this case… read: cushioning) is replicated elsewhere, then have we become a bunch of crybabies griping about style? Over the past 6 years, the market has exploded with minimalist shoe options with thin, flat soles — perfect for lifting. (No, we will not attempt to list them all here.) So maybe the Chuck Taylor devotees should just suck it up and stop throwing chairs and give the NB Minimus or whathaveyou a chance.