Our verdict

Inheriting the lasting appeal of the original All-Star, the Converse Chuck 70 High Top adds a few tweaks to elevate the sneaker's quality. We are amazed at how well-made and durable the Chuck 70 turns out to be at such a moderate price. As popular today as it was a century ago, we believe that the Chuck is impervious to time or trends. You will always find a pair or two of these in our closet because it's such a versatile go-to silhouette. The shoe's cost efficiency, street style cred, and numerous collaborations make it a classic that is here to stay for perhaps many generations more.

Pros

  • Ever-popular, iconic silhouette
  • Versatile for any outfit and occasion
  • Highly durable construction
  • Light for a high-top sneaker
  • Grounded platform
  • Surprisingly flexible
  • Affordable price point

Cons

  • Not breathable
  • No arch support
  • Very narrow profile

Audience verdict

92
Great!

Who should buy

In our opinion, it is impossible to go wrong with the Converse Chuck 70 High if you want:

  • a high-top sneaker that can be styled with nearly every outfit
  • a go-to-pair that fits into any occasion, from a music concert to a wedding
  • an affordable and very cost-effective sneaker for only £100
  • a more reinforced version of the Chuck Taylor All Star (£70): thicker canvas, taller rubber sidewalls, etc.

Converse Chuck Taylor All Star High Top review

Who should NOT buy

Style-wise, we have zero gripes about the Chucky But when it comes to day-to-day comfort and support, we just cannot recommend this Converse kick for prolonged wear.

A better alternative would be the Converse Run Star Hike as long as you don't mind the platform. This high-top sneaker offers much better cushioning and support for daily walks.

Among other classic trainers, we found that the Air Jordan 1 Mid is a solid option for spending hours on your feet.

Converse Chuck Taylor All Star High Top lab test

Breathability

Choosing the Chuck 70 for summertime is not the best idea considering the shoe's solid canvas upper.

Filling its upper with smoke in our breathability test, we weren't surprised to see just a tiny streak of vapor. It primarily passed through the metal eyelets and the gaps in between the tongue and the upper.

Two ventilation holes on the inner side of the sneaker didn't help the airflow as much either.

Converse Chuck 70 High ventilation holes

Even when we investigated the canvas through our microscope, we didn't see any pores that could potentially help the ventilation.

Converse Chuck Taylor All Star High Top Breathability microscope test

On a 1-5 scale, where 1 is the least breathable, we gave the Chuck 70 a low score of 2. It is not a great option for temperatures above 70°F (21°C).

Converse Chuck Taylor All Star High Top Breathability microscope canvas test

Test results
Chuck 70 High Top 2
Average 3
Compared to 46 trainers
Number of shoes
1
Breathability
5

Durability

Toebox durability

Let us not forget that the original Chuck All Star was intended for basketball. It explains the sneaker's reinforced design, especially in the toebox.

We used a Dremel with a sandpaper tip to check the wear resistance of the shoe's toe cap. After drilling it for 12 seconds at 5K RPM speed and 3.2N pressure, we found it to be very sturdy indeed!

Converse Chuck Taylor All Star High Top Toebox durability comparison

Compared to the unprotected mesh uppers on some other sneakers, this Converse boasts excellent durability.

On a 1-5 scale, where 5 stands for maximum durability, the Chuck 70 earned a solid 4.

Finally, a shoe which you can knock around and bump into things without worry!

Test results
Chuck 70 High Top 4
Average 3.7
Compared to 46 trainers
Number of shoes
1
Toebox durability
5

Heel padding durability

Unfortunately, the same cannot be said about this kick's inner lining.

The textile inside the ankle collar got torn after a mere 4 seconds of drilling it with our Dremel. Compared to other sneakers, the result is worse than the average.

Converse Chuck Taylor All Star High Top Heel padding durability comparison

We think that this will be the first part of the kick to show signs of wear. On a 1-5 durability scale, where 1 is the least durable, the Chuck's heel lining gets only 2.

Test results
Chuck 70 High Top 2
Average 3.4
Compared to 46 trainers
Number of shoes
1
Heel padding durability
5

Outsole hardness

On a lighter note, we are not worried about the outsole of this Converse sneaker at all!

Converse Chuck Taylor All Star High Top Outsole hardness

The kick's rubber shows a durometer measurement of 82.9 HC which is close to the average. It indicates a good level of hardness which makes the outsole tougher to wear out.

Test results
Chuck 70 High Top 82.9 HC
Average 85.1 HC
We use an average of four tests. The photo shows one of those tests.
Compared to 46 trainers
Number of shoes
72.9 HC
Outsole hardness
90.3 HC

Outsole durability

Even in our highly demanding Dremel test, the Chuck 70 took all the abuse without showing significant wear.

With the speed set to 10K RPM, we applied the tool's sandpaper tip to the rubber for 22 seconds. We were pleased that the damage was just the same as the average - only 1.1 mm.

Converse Chuck Taylor All Star High Top Outsole durability
Test results
Chuck 70 High Top 1.1 mm
Average 1.0 mm
Compared to 46 trainers
Number of shoes
0.0 mm
Outsole wear
2.0 mm

Outsole thickness

As a hoop shoe in its past reincarnation, the Chuck 70 features a very thick rubber layer underfoot. Measuring it with our caliper returned 7.4 mm which is 2 mm thicker than most kicks!

All things considered, we are not surprised that some wearers of the Converse Chuck 70 don't need to replace their old pair in less than a year! It is a truly durable sneaker.

Converse Chuck Taylor All Star High Top Outsole thickness
Test results
Chuck 70 High Top 7.4 mm
Average 5.5 mm
Compared to 47 trainers
Number of shoes
3.4 mm
Outsole thickness
8.2 mm

Weight

Among the high-top sneakers we've tested in our lab, the Chuck 70 is on the lighter side. It tips the scale at 17.0 oz (482g) in a men's US size 9.

Converse Chuck Taylor All Star High Top Weight

The bulkiest part of the shoe is obviously its sole. That's why it may feel somewhat bottom-heavy at first.

Converse Chuck Taylor All Star High Top shoe weight

Test results
Chuck 70 High Top 17.00 oz (482g)
Average 14.18 oz (402g)
Compared to 47 trainers
Number of shoes
8.54 oz (242g)
Weight
22.61 oz (641g)

Cushioning

Heel stack

With a moderate heel stack of 26.2 mm, the Converse Chuck 70 offers a very grounded underfoot experience.

Converse Chuck Taylor All Star High Top Heel stack

Don't expect much impact protection for the heels as about two-thirds of the shoe's heel stack is made of hard rubber and firm foam.

Test results
Chuck 70 High Top 26.2 mm
Average 29.8 mm
Compared to 47 trainers
Number of shoes
18.2 mm
Heel stack
41.8 mm

Forefoot stack

This Converse sneaker also felt very close to the ground under the balls of our feet. Stepping on pebbles, bottle caps, and other urban debris certainly didn't go unnoticed.

Converse Chuck Taylor All Star High Top Forefoot stack

Based on our caliper measurement, the shoe's forefoot stack is only 17.6 mm thick which backs up our personal experience.

Test results
Chuck 70 High Top 17.6 mm
Average 18.9 mm
Compared to 47 trainers
Number of shoes
10.6 mm
Forefoot stack
28.3 mm

Drop

The heel-to-toe difference inside the Chuck 70 comes in at a moderate 8.6 mm, a little lower than average.

Converse Chuck Taylor All Star High Top Drop

But it's hard to notice unless you have worn dozens of sneakers with different drops.

Test results
Chuck 70 High Top 8.6 mm
Average 10.9 mm
Compared to 47 trainers
Number of shoes
6.7 mm
Drop
17.2 mm

Midsole softness

Note: a low durometer measurement equals a soft material, whereas a high measurement means it's firm.

If we tell you that the Converse Chuck 70 is not a plush sneaker, we are probably not breaking the news.

For the most part, this is due to the shoe's hard vulcanized outsole paired with a tall rubberized overlay.

But on top of that, the shoe's midsole layer (the blue one) is not very soft either. Pressing our durometer against it, we got a reading of 25.1 HA. It is not as hard as the average sneaker but still firmer than popular shoes like the Nike Air Force 1 07 and the New Balance 9060.

Converse Chuck Taylor All Star High Top Midsole softness
Test results
Chuck 70 High Top 25.1 HA
Average 28.5 HA
We use an average of four tests. The photo shows one of those tests.
Compared to 37 trainers
Number of shoes
15.0 HA
Midsole softness (soft to firm)
46.4 HA

Insole thickness

To make the walking experience pleasant enough, the Chuck 70 features an impressively thick and comfy OrthoLite insole.

It is a whopping 13.9 mm thick! Maybe it should be considered the shoe's midsole instead?

Converse Chuck Taylor All Star High Top Insole thickness
Test results
Chuck 70 High Top 13.9 mm
Average 5.4 mm
Compared to 47 trainers
Number of shoes
3.1 mm
Insole thickness
13.9 mm

Stability

Lateral stability test

We found that the Converse Chuck 70 High feels stable but not supportive. Does that make sense? Let us explain.

The shoe's firm and nearly flat sole creates a stable platform that doesn't compress or collapse. Back in the day, this sensitive ground contact even made the kick popular for weightlifting, especially deadlifting!

Converse Chuck 70 High support

But if we are talking about side-to-side stability or arch support for people with overpornation, we wouldn't recommend this kick. Unfortunately, its canvas upper has no structure to it, and the sole is too narrow in the heel.

This is a recipe for spilling your foot over the sole or even rolling the ankle!

Torsional rigidity

The Converse Chuck 70 High comes across as a very stiff and unforgiving kick.

But as our manual test showed, it is actually more pliable than the average sneaker! On a 1-5 scale, where 1 is the most flexible, we rated its torsional rigidity as 2.

This is another reason why it bends well with the foot but doesn't offer much lateral stabilty.

Test results
Chuck 70 High Top 2
Average 3.5
Compared to 46 trainers
Number of shoes
1
Torsional rigidity
5

Heel counter stiffness

There is basically no heel counter in the Converse Chuck 70.

Giving it a push and squeeze in our manual test, we found that there is pure canvas and nothing else.

There is pretty much no heel hold or ankle support in this Converse shoe but you do get the benefit of an adaptive fit. It is a high-top sneaker that conformably moves with your feet letting you be the one in charge.

Test results
Chuck 70 High Top 1
Average 3.2
Compared to 46 trainers
Number of shoes
1
Heel counter stiffness
5

Midsole width in the forefoot

The Chuck 70 inherited the narrow sole of the original silhouette.

Measuring it in the widest part of the forefoot, our caliper showed 103.0 mm. It is more than 5 mm narrower than average!

Converse Chuck Taylor All Star High Top Midsole width in the forefoot

Even though the narrower sole detracts from stability, it creates a slimmer profile that feels like a break from the highly popular chunky kicks of today.

Converse Chuck 70 High narrow profile
Test results
Chuck 70 High Top 103.0 mm
Average 108.5 mm
Compared to 47 trainers
Number of shoes
100.0 mm
Midsole width in the forefoot
121.0 mm

Midsole width in the heel

The shoe's platform gets even narrower in the heel.

Here, our caliper showed only 73.6 mm in the widest part. That's a whole 10 mm narrower than in the average sneaker.

Such a slim profile can make people with flat feet and overpronation feel less than surefooted in the Converse Chuck 70 High.

Converse Chuck Taylor All Star High Top Midsole width in the heel
Test results
Chuck 70 High Top 73.6 mm
Average 82.8 mm
Compared to 47 trainers
Number of shoes
69.4 mm
Midsole width in the heel
103.1 mm

Flexibility

Stiffness

As we already mentioned, this Converse silhouette has a surprising amount of flexibility to it.

As our force gauge shows, it takes only 13.9N (Newtons) to bend the Chuck 70 to a 90-degree angle. That's 63% less than it takes an average sneaker! Also, note that our tested pair is not even fully broken in.

This Converse sneaker has the same flexibility as the Adidas Samba and Gazelle.

Converse Chuck Taylor All Star High Top flexibility

One of the common complaints about Converse kicks is that, eventually, the rubbery overlay starts to detach from the upper at the pinky toe, where the shoe bends most of the time.

We found that the newer (and improved) Chuck 70 version of the sneaker takes that issue into account. The sealing looks much more solid than in the cheaper Chuck Taylor All Star. 

Test results
Chuck 70 High Top 13.9N
Average 23.0N
We use an average of four tests. The video shows one of those tests.
Compared to 47 trainers
Number of shoes
5.8N
Stiffness
51.8N

Grip / Traction

The shoe's signature diamond outsole hasn't changed much from the OG silhouette....just because it works!

Remember that it was a basketball shoe in the very beginning. What's more, it was the official shoe of the Olympics from 1936 to 1968, and was even chosen as the athletic training shoe by the U.S. armed forces during World War II.

Converse Chuck Taylor All Star High Top outsole

Anyway... That was an extravagant way of telling you that we never had issues with the Chuck's grip on wet floors.

Size and fit

Internal length

On its official website, Converse recommends ordering a half-size smaller for the Chuck 70 High model.

We can back it up with our own experience and measurements.

Measuring the internal length of the Chuck 70, we got 280.1 mm in a men's US size 9. For some folks, that could even mean the need to go a full size smaller than their regular athletic shoe size!

Converse Chuck 70 High Internal length
Test results
Chuck 70 High Top 280.1 mm
Average 272.2 mm
Compared to 43 trainers
Number of shoes
265.3 mm
Internal length
280.1 mm

Toebox width at the widest part

The Chuck 70 High is a very close-fitting sneaker. In addition, the tall rubber sidewalls around the toebox make it feel even more cramped, especially in the beginning.

Measuring this Converse shoe in the widest part of the toebox, we got 100.1 mm. Even though it is the same as the average, it doesn't change the fact that the shoe's toebox is extremely tapered.

Converse Chuck Taylor All Star High Top Toebox width at the widest part
Test results
Chuck 70 High Top 100.1 mm
Average 99.1 mm
Compared to 47 trainers
Number of shoes
94.0 mm
Toebox width at the widest part
107.7 mm

Toebox width at the big toe

Measuring the shoe's toebox width where the big toe ends, our caliper returned 66.5 mm. That is about 10 mm narrower than the average! It is a very aggressive tapering.

Unfortunately, the Chuck 70 is not offered in wide widths, unlike the original Chuck Taylor All-Star model.

Converse Chuck Taylor All Star High Top Toebox width at the big toe
Test results
Chuck 70 High Top 66.5 mm
Average 74.8 mm
Compared to 46 trainers
Number of shoes
63.7 mm
Toebox width at the big toe
82.7 mm

Tongue: gusset type

The shoe's tongue is not attached to the sides of the upper. It can shift sideways a little but not critically.

Converse Chuck Taylor All Star High Top Tongue: gusset type
Test results
Chuck 70 High Top None

Comfort

Tongue padding

Converse kicks have some of the thinnest tongues in the industry. Measuring one on the Chuck 70 High, we got as little as 1.3 mm.

It's just a small piece of canvas that lies in between the metal eyelets and the wearer's skin.

Converse Chuck Taylor All Star High Top Tongue padding
Test results
Chuck 70 High Top 1.3 mm
Average 9.3 mm
Compared to 47 trainers
Number of shoes
1.0 mm
Tongue padding
38.4 mm

Heel tab

The Chuck 70 High doesn't come with a pull tab but it's pretty easy to slide into anyways.

Converse Chuck Taylor All Star High Top Heel tab

The laces, on the other hand, take some time to fiddle with.

Converse Chuck Taylor All Star High Top lacing
Test results
Chuck 70 High Top None

Removable insole

The insole of this Converse shoe is easily removable. But we wouldn't recommend replacing it for two reasons:

  • it is very thick (13.9 mm) and basically works as the shoe's primary cushioning
  • it follows the narrow and tapered shape of the shoe (not every insole can be adjusted to this Converse kick)
Converse Chuck Taylor All Star High Top Removable insole
Test results
Chuck 70 High Top Yes

Misc

Reflective elements

The base model of the Converse Chuck 70 High doesn't have any reflective elements.

Converse Chuck Taylor All Star High Top Reflective elements
Test results
Chuck 70 High Top No

The origins of the Converse Chucks

Believe it or not but the Converse Chuck Taylor silhouette is over 100 years old! Buying this shoe is almost like touching history.

Converse Chuck Taylor All Star High Top heel logo

The sneaker got its name from a Converse salesman (Charles Taylor) who was also a semi-professional basketball player and coach. Back in 1922, he suggested several improvements that helped to make the shoe more flexible and supportive and consequently, more popular among basketball players at the time.

That's when the Converse Chucks also received its signature All-Star circular patch on the ankle.

Converse Chuck Taylor All Star High Top profile

As a basketball shoe, the Chuck Taylor All-Star took up about 70-80% of the market by the '60s. After declining in popularity, it was reintroduced as a retro lifestyle sneaker in the '80s.

This Converse silhouette is now considered an icon among musicians, artists, subcultures, celebrities, and ordinary people alike.

Converse Chuck Taylor All Star High Top shoe pieces

Chuck 70 vs. Chuck Taylor All Star

In this lab review, we tested the updated version of the sneaker called the Converse Chuck 70.

Released in 2013, it comes with a slightly higher price tag (+£30) but offers several welcome updates to the silhouette:

  • thicker canvas upper
  • higher rubber midsole and foxing
  • thicker and more comfortable OrthoLite insole
  • smaller toe cap
  • extra material behind the toe cap for reinforcement
  • one-piece rubber bottom sole (versus the three-piece sole)
  • stitched-on circular logo (as opposed to the printed one)
  • modernised black heel patch (versus the old-fashioned white one)
  • glossier sole (as opposed to the matte one)

Converse Chuck 70 High vs Chuck Taylor All Star