Sneakers dominantly take their heritage from running, basketball, skate, tennis, training, hiking, and football. Still retaining a few of their performance-based technologies, these sneakers have transcended their respective niches and have successfully and popularly transformed themselves as staples of fashion footwear.
Sneakers designed for a laidback, "cool" vibe that is built for lifestyle wear right from the get-go.
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Brands are now blending elements of performance and casual appeal in basically every sneaker. One can hardly go wrong with a sports-inspired sneaker or a simple casual shoe.
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While the sneaker industry has exponentially blossomed into a prodigious industry, it’s almost too easy to forget the one who started it all - the Converse Chuck Taylor All Star. Even though it is not necessarily what sneakerheads flock to, it remains to be an extremely popular pair of shoe and a staple of almost every person's wardrobe.
With more than 60% of Americans owning a pair at least at one point in their lives, it is safe to say that these have become a global symbol of pop culture. Though the look of the shoe applies a what-you-see-is-what-you-get mantra, we all know that this old-school model is much more than that. From being a performance sneaker and transitioning as casual footwear, it is amazing how this shoe unraveled and became a part of our history. Let's dig in a little deeper to get to know more about this legend.
The Chuck Taylor recipe
For a shoe that looks utterly simple, many are wondering, what is the secret of the Converse Chuck Taylor All Star shoes? What made it overcome its competitors? What made it last 100 years? There's probably more to this list, but as the shoe, complexities are not necessary to succeed. Here are some of the reasons why fans seem to can't get enough of these:
Being a former performance sneaker, being comfortable is one of the primary features it boasts. Even though it made its transition to the streets, users can still have the same feel as it is when it was reigning on the court.
One thing to love about the Converse Chuck Taylor sneakers is its inexpensive price tag. If one is thinking about value for money, they could easily cop several pairs for the price of a shoe from its competitor.
Perhaps one of the reasons why the Chuck Taylor All Star sneakers have soared is the fact that it can be worn by anyone, despite the age, gender, race, style, or class. It's a shoe that is made for everybody, literally.
Wide Selection. Chucks are available in almost any color and material one can possibly think of. Because of this, it is unthinkable not to have a pair that suits one.
Versions of the Converse Chuck Taylor shoes
It can be hard to imagine that this century-old silhouette remains almost the same over the years. Though not seen much, there were a few changes in the Chucks recipe especially when it transitioned into becoming a casual sneaker. It can be surprising that there are also very minimal versions released from this sneaker. At first glance, each reiteration looks the same but dissecting into it will show each element that makes up the sneaker and how slight tweaks can make drastic differences. Know more about the different models of Chuck Taylors by humping below:
Converse Chuck Taylor All Star (1917)
These shoes may have been called various names – Chucks, All Stars, Chuck Taylors, and Cons to name a few. But, there is ultimately one shoe that is the foundation design of all the other versions, the Converse Chuck Taylor All Star sneakers. There are a few elements that make up these sneakers, including the canvas upper, rubber sole, and the rubber toe cap. Each of these elements plays an integral role that not only makes the Chucks identifiable but contributes highly on its comfort, durability, and weight. Some of the most notable versions of this model include:
Real fans of the Converse Chuck Taylor All Star sneakers can take much appreciation on this beauty. If the Chucks that we know is already retro in itself, the new 70 keeps all the components intact. Given that it is initially a basketball shoe, the materials and the craftsmanship draws back from its roots.
Some of the most significant differences that should be noted are that it is clad in a 12oz canvas weave which is a durable material that can endure an aggressive beating. The sole of this version is significantly thicker as well since it is composed of a single and dense rubber sole unit. The current Chuck 70 is infused with a cushiony foam insole that has an added arch support, making it one of the most comfortable classic sneakers to date. Priced at slightly higher than the regular Chucks, many are willing to pay the extra amount because the higher level of craftsmanship it exhibits. Some models from the Chuck 70 line are:
Converse Chuck 70 Floral Leather
Converse Chuck 70 Canvas Brights
Converse Chuck 70 1st Pride Parade High Top
If Chuck 70 takes you many years back, the Modern brings you a step forward. Some of the most notable updates on the shoe are the rubber toe cap. This version, though it has an outline to depict that feature, uses the same leather material as its upper. It is also infused with Nike's Lunar sole to bring the comfort of the shoe into a different height. It retails the same legendary look and feel of the Converse Chuck Taylor sneakers, only more updated for the modern time. Below are some of the sneakers under this line:
Converse Chuck Taylor Modern Suede
Converse Chuck Taylor Modern Lux
Converse Chuck Taylor Modern Future Mesh
Converse Chuck Taylor II (2017)
It's been a long time coming, almost 100 years for the company to make updates on their shoe. But in reality, why try to change something when it's already that good? The newer version of the Converse Chuck Taylor sneakers is infused with technologies that make it relevant to modern times. If these are compared to movies, the Chuck Taylor II will be a retake.
With Nike and Converse being in the same umbrella, some of the advancements are being shared by both brands. These shoes utilize the Lunarlon system, which provides the cushioning and arch support that is entirely missing on its predecessor. The padded non-slip tongue is also a significant improvement that was done for this shoe.
Converse Chuck II Lux Leather
Converse Chuck II Waterproof Shield Canvas
Converse Chuck II Woven High Top
Most recent releases of the Converse Chuck Taylor All Star sneakers
Way back, users had very few choices for the All Stars. It either comes in black or white and low-top or high-top. Even though some may find that advantageous because of its simplicity, having a wide selection of products caters to a broader range of audience. Realizing that it provides a great canvas to different designs, Converse was able to produce approximately 500 versions at their peak. Here are some of their most current releases:
Converse Japan Chuck Taylor All Star Hi "Hugepatch"
With Nike's acquisition of Converse, technologies are not only shared but trends as well. The Hugepatch trend, which was previously seen on the Air Max 95 and Air Max 90. Adapting this is the Converse Chuck Taylor sneakers which have an oversized emblem that takes up the whole heel part. Everything remains the same to give focus on the change done on the sneaker. Red, green, and white hues were released from this model.
Converse Chuck Taylor All Star "Heartpatch"
In celebration of the legend's 100-year anniversary, Converse has returned the love to its users by releasing a special edition shoe that converts the signature All Star insignia into a heart patch. To highlight this, the logos are in contrasting color as the upper, white for the indigo denim and tan for the off-white upper.
Converse Chuck Taylor 70 "Cactus Embroidery"
Released for the Spring/Summer 2018 collection is the Cactus Embroidery. These low-top Converse Chuck Taylor sneakers feature a cacti embroidery print all-over the upper and a cactus flower, which lands on its heel. To make the details stand out, it is clad in an off-white canvas upper. While this shoe is perfect to wear across all occasions and seasons, it makes an ideal fit for the Coachella season because of its desert-ready look.
Converse Chuck Taylor 70 "Flamingo"
Keeping up with the theme of summer is the Flamingo Chuck 70, which was shortly released after the Cactus Embroidery. These sneakers have two reiterations, one having a blue background contrasted with pink flamingos, and another in a pale pink opposed with black designs. Users can also choose from high-top and low-tops from this design.
Converse Chuck Taylor All Star "Manypatch High"
One of the most notable elements of the Chucks is its circular logo which can be seen on the medial side of the shoe. For this reiteration, the All Star patch gets heavily imprinted all over the upper of the shoe, making it probably the most heavily logoed Chucks. While these are not enough already, stamped logos are randomly placed on the upper, which creates a unique accent. Converse also tweaked the rubber outsole, replacing it with a black one with smaller tread patterns.
Converse Chuck Taylor All Star "NBA"
With Converse and Nike being under the same team, it is no wonder that Converse is also taking part celebrating the NBA. Not really giving any favorites, the brand released a 30-piece collection to represent each team. The upper of these Converse Chuck Taylor sneakers are built with actual NBA jersey, lined with leather and embossed with the team's logo and Converse x NBA patch on the inner tongue. Only 250 pieces for each colorway was released.
Aside from each team edition, Converse also released the Legend and Franchise edition. The former represents five history teams—Bulls, Celtics, Knicks, Warriors, and Lakers. The latter, on the other hand, is portrayed by 13 NBA teams. Each sneaker is infused with Nike's Lunarlon sock liner for a boost in comfort.
Most notable collaborative releases of the Converse Chuck Taylor All Stars
Now we may have seen the Cons in almost all imaginable looks, but collaborations have proven that there are still more to be done for the sneaker. Because of these partnerships, customers can have additional reasons to cop several pairs. Moreover, it becomes a collectors' piece. Below are some of the most notable ones to date:
Off-White x Converse Chuck Taylor All Star
After the release of The Ten, American fashion designer Virgil Abloh continues his momentum by releasing another Off White Converse Chuck Taylor collab. If his first piece of All Star reiteration featured a clean look, his second rendition highlight quite the opposite. Now inspired with skateboarding, the white sneakers gets bedecked with scribbles. The Off-White symbol, matched with his signature zip-tie, black and white midsole, and orange waffle outsole are some of the attributes of these sneakers.
Miley Cyrus x Converse Chuck Taylor
Proving her fans that she can't be stopped, Miley Cyrus releases two collaborations, released only a few months apart. The first was her own, introducing a 43-piece mix of apparel, accessories, and footwear. All of which are clad in glitters and paisley, to pay tribute to her roots and influences. The Converse Chuck Taylor sneakers are a mix of high-top and low-top silhouettes, some in chunky platforms and embellished with glitter outsoles. Reflecting the artist's playful style that is backed up with meaning, the Chuck Taylor x Miley Cyrus collabs aim to reach all gender and sex.
Her next venture was the 2018 Converse Pride Collection, which supports the LGBTQ youth community. All of the Converse Chuck Taylor sneakers included feature rainbow colors and platform outsoles.
Comme des Garcons PLAY x Converse Chuck Taylor All Star
If collaborations are to be compared to relationships, Comme des Garcons seem to be the best of friends. The first Chuck All Star released by CdG takes inspiration from the 1950s. Designed by Rei Kawakubo, the sneaker makes use of its signature heart design which becomes apparent on the succeeding collaboration. The high-top and low-top Converse Chuck Taylor sneakers come in black and white colorways, which highly reflect the CdG post-modern fashion.
Hello Kitty x Converse Chuck Taylor All Star
Sanrio fans will certainly get excited over this purr-fect collaboration. Injecting cuteness on its three models, the Converse Chuck Taylor All Star sneakers, Converse Chuck 70, and Converse One Star, all of which utilize black, white, and pink hues.
Kurt Cobain x Converse Chuck Taylor All Star
Converse was surprised that their then-performance shoe made its transition on the grunge scene. To fully tell that history, the brand collaborated with one of the faces behind the music genre, Nirvana's Kurt Cobain. Using the black and white Chuck Taylor sneakers as its canvas, this collaboration features some of the scribbles from Cobain's personal notebook.
Technologies infused on the Chucks
A basketball shoe from a century ago, the design of Chucks remaining almost unchanged. Because of these, it seems that technologies aren't the significant feature of these sneakers. However, some releases make the advance these to modern time. Here are some of those:
While most think that Cons are limited to summer and spring, think again. Read below to know more about this:
These are infused with GORE-TEX technology, a fabric lining which waterproofs the upper but keeping it breathable.
Because of this, the Converse Chuck Taylors becomes a suitable transitional pair to wear for different seasons.
It uses Chuck 70 as its foundation.
The sneakers come in five colorways—all-black, two all-over print logo, and two tonal uppers.
After the acquisition of Nike, it seems that Converse has broadened its horizons even more. Jump below to know more information about this:
The Converse Chuck Taylor All Star x Nike Flyknit High Top is the first non-Nike sneaker to use Nike's Flyknit construction.
Flyknit is an upper that is composed of polyester yarn that produces a form-fitting, featherweight, and seamless silhouette.
Because of the Flyknit upper, areas that need support, flexibility, and breathability are all accommodated.
The brand combines this with Lunarlon insoles and neoprene lining for enhanced comfort.
These kicks are available in black and teal colors.
While the Converse Chuck Taylor sneakers have been there for 100 years, a pair certainly isn't guaranteed to last for a lifetime, until the introduction of Cordura. Read below to know more about this.
This current sneaker trades the canvas upper with Cordura, super tough fabric.
It heightens the sneakers durability a thousand degrees more.
The overall look of the shoe remains intact.
The inspiration for this footwear draws back from the 1920s.
It comes in three colorways—camouflage, black, and olive.
Facts about the Converse Chuck Taylor All Star sneakers
Basically an immortal sneaker for being existent since 100 years ago, it can be quite impossible to know some all of the fascinating details about the shoe. Below are some tidbits about the Converse Chuck Taylor All Star sneakers:
Before becoming the Converse Chuck Taylor, it bears the name All-Star, and it was released in 1917. Seemingly, a piece of history, you might say.
Deeply embedded in the history of the sport, the Team USA wore the Converse Chuck Taylor sneakers during the first Olympic game in 1936.
While Team USA experienced a winning streak of 63 wins and seven consistent gold medals, they, unfortunately, ended this momentum in 1972. The shoes weren't to blame though.
For someone who played a considerable role in the success of Converse Chuck Taylor sneakers, many are surprised that he didn't receive a commission on this. Instead, Converse provided him with a salary and a spot for his signature on the shoe.
Nothing spells popular than Converse Chuck Taylor sneakers. In the 1960's basketball players, college and professional were wearing these.
Even though the Converse All Star found its niche on the basketball arena, contrary to what most believe, it was constructed for netball and soccer.
As mentioned, the Converse Chuck Taylor sneakers play an integral part in our history. The American soldiers, while training for World War II, all sported the iconic trainer.
Chuck Taylor's name was only added in 1923.
In 1979, the basketball shoe choices in the market were vast. Tree Rollins was the last NBA player to be seen sporting Converse Chuck Taylor sneakers on the court.
As of current data, a pair of Converse Chuck Taylor sneakers is sold every 43 seconds.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the history of Chucks?
The All-Star sneakers were released in 1917 to cater the growing popularity of basketball. The first version of these sneakers come in an all brown upper, high-top silhouette and black trim. Shortly after, Converse released an all-black number, in canvas and leather, which served as the first mass-produced basketball kicks in North America.
Who is Chuck Taylor?
Though most knew his name because it is attached on a popular shoe name, not many know that he also made an imprint on the basketball scene. Chuck Taylor was already a fan of the All Star shoe before he was even included in the Converse sales force. It made it easy for him to fulfill his role of promoting it by hosting basketball clinics across the United States.
More than anything, Taylor became known for his excellent customer service skills which were also given action to as he was relaying them and being translated to shoe improvements. He eventually became the company's asset, and its success made his name included on the ankle patch logo of all All Star sneakers.
Why were the Off-White Converse Chuck Taylor sneakers released on a later date than the other nine sneakers from the collection?
While sneaker collaborations are easily thrown these days, Virgil Abloh's Off-White project "The Ten" is probably one that needs your attention. Properly released in 2017 and anticipated by many, a significant number questions why there are only nine that were seen. The one missing is the Converse Chuck Taylor 70.
According to Converse, there were last-minute minor tweaks that needed to be done to produce the shoe that is perfect for the consumers. The 70 was amongst the hardest one to create from the collection because of its see-through upper.
Are Converse Chuck Taylor All Star sneakers true to size?
Since most of the population have, at one point, experienced the magic of Converse, they would most likely have an idea of what its sizing would be. Those who aren't aware should know that Converse Chuck Taylor sneakers fit large but narrow. Those with wide feet need to size up to accommodate their feet.
What does the logo on the side of the sneakers mean?
Not most people know about this, but the logo patch on the shoe was something that was later on added. The idea was pitched by no other than Chuck Taylor himself. Given his first-hand experiences from playing basketball, the purpose of the patch on the ankles was to protect the bone from knocks.
What are the different ways to style the Converse Chuck Taylor sneakers?
There is no questioning the Chuck Taylors for its versatility. It is a unisex shoe that can be styled in different ways. From having the most extensive selection of colorways and patterns, users will find it impossible to find a pair that suits their liking. After all, it's not called a wardrobe staple for nothing.
Here are some pointers on how to style these:
Low-top Converse Chuck Taylor sneakers work best for casual looks while the high-tops create an edgy and rough-around-the-edges vibe.
If you want to channel your inner Kurt Cobain, pair these with a distressed or loose-fitting jeans for a rebellious and effortless look.
Those who want to achieve a more put-together look can reach for the black or white pair of Cons.
Make your outfit look more summer-ready by pairing these with white or bright-colored Chucks.
Feeling a bit adventurous? Match your high-tops with rolled-up trousers or shorts to show-off your shoes.
Women do not need to lose or decrease their femininity with the Converse Chuck Taylor sneakers. Pairing these with dresses and skirts is a fool-proof combination.
Those who want to achieve sporty chic may want to pair these with jeans and leggings.
For the adventurous and comfortable, they could wear these with more formal clothes.
Those who are on the short side may also want to opt for the low-top version as it gives the illusion of longer legs.
Given that there are many colorways and patterns already available for Chucks, can customers customize it?
Surprisingly, yes. Going to the brand's website, users can channel their inner fashion designer and choose each element of the shoe that fits their personality. The site offers the high-top and low-top Chuck Taylor sneakers to be fully customized.
Which is better, high-top or low-top Converse Chuck Taylor All Star sneakers?
Though it would always boil down to each person's preference, it should also be noted that each silhouette has their advantages and disadvantages. High-top sneakers provide more support, which is why this is the silhouette used when it was still performance footwear. The low-top version, on the other hand, offers more freedom on the ankles. Moreover, in terms of style, it is also much easier to pair it with almost any type of clothing.
What do the diagonal lines on the outsole mean?
While most have the impression that the lugs on the Converse Chuck Taylor sneakers have something to do with its traction, many are surprised to know that the purpose of the design was to lessen the import tax. A particular provision on the tariff system classifies each footwear, and each classification has specific tax rates. Though Chucks are sneakers, the fuzzy bottoms, as what most people call them, play an integral role in reducing the importation rates. Since it composes 50% of the outsole, the Converse Chuck Taylor sneakers fall under the category of slippers. Slippers only have a 3% tariff rate while those categorized sneakers go as high as 37.5%. Smart move, Converse.
How do you clean your Converse Chuck Taylor All Star shoes?
Though a distressed and beaten-up shoes are becoming a trend, cleaning your Converse is essential to prolong its lifespan. Different materials are used for Converse Chuck Taylor sneakers, but for your standard canvas, there are different ways to clean them. Below are some of them:
Powder detergents: Mix them with a small amount of water to create a paste. Scrub that in a circular motion with an old toothbrush then rinse it with warm water and air dry.
Toothpaste: They're not just used to clean the teeth but out shoes as well. It works well for white Chucks. Keep in mind to use a non-gel white toothpaste though as colored toothpaste may stain the shoe.
Baking soda and vinegar: Combine baking soda, vinegar, and hot water until you achieve a pasty substance. Apply this on your Converse Chuck Taylor sneakers with a toothbrush and rinse.
Washing machine: The fastest and easiest way to clean Chucks is by throwing it in the washer. Just make sure to throw it in without any garments in, wash in cold cycle and refrain on putting it in the dryer.