Converse History // An ‘All Star’ Basketball Shoe
To understand the present and affect the future, you must first know the past. Converse opened shop in 1908, and since that time, their shoes have adorned the feet of some of the greatest legends in basketball. From Chuck Taylor in the original All Star to college-aged Michael Jordan in Pro Leathers and Dennis Rodman wearing his own signature styles, Converse has made its mark on the world of basketball and continues to tell its story to a new generation of athletes.
To completely grasp the impact Converse sneakers had on the hardwood, rewind to the early 20th century. It was a time before the NBA, multimillion-dollar pro endorsements, and ground-breaking innovation. It was a time of simplicity. Shoes were not crafted of man-made compounds; they were built with natural materials like canvas, leather, and rubber. Just short of ten years after founder Marquis M. Converse unleashed the Converse brand, came their coveted All Star. This shoe was the first of its kind. It was designed with the specific purpose of enhancing a players’ performance on the court.
In 1917, the Converse All Star entered the sports arena. Featuring a high-top design to cater to the ankle, the All Star was one of the initial sneakers made specifically for basketball players. It was the first lightweight basketball sneaker to feature double-strength toe guards, ultra-cushioned insoles housing arch supports, and non-marking, molded rubber outsoles that could deliver traction on any surface. This performance-specific design caught the attention of hoopers all over the nation — most notably of world-renowned basketball player Chuck Taylor in 1923. From that point forward, fans of the shoe began calling All Stars “Chucks”. And the “Chucks” craze began.
Although the early days of Converse lie in the sports world, they now have taken on a whole new focus. The once-loved basketball sneakers are now cherished styles among individuals all over the world who choose to live creatively, optimistically, and rebelliously. From sitting courtside to walking the concrete sidewalks, Converse shoes are a versatile style that transcends generations and still comes out on top.
So, if you consider yourself to be a leader in sports knowledge or a trendsetter on the street, having at least one pair of Converse sneakers in your collection is a necessity in order to show your appreciation for the heritage of both court and street style. Also, if you claim to be an expert in either the game of sneakers or basketball, you must remember that long before Nike and adidas and their futuristic shoe designs took over the world of athletics, there was Converse, a simple yet effective sneaker company with the goal of providing top-notch styles to athletes everywhere. Today, Converse sneakers may not be what you see the pros wearing on the court, but their roots lie in the game, and their legacy has forever affected court-inspired style.