If you can believe it, Chuck Taylor All-Stars have been in existence an entire century. The Converse Chuck Taylor made its debut in 1917, in the midst of World War I, and throughout the last 100 years it’s earned its reputation as one of the most ubiquitous basketball shoes in existence. Originally marketed under the name “Non-Skids,” the shoe was composed of a canvas upper and rubber sole, primarily designed for basketball players. In 1922, the shoe was redesigned after star basketball player Chuck Taylor asked Converse to create a better basketball shoe with enhanced flexibility and support. The sneaker became known as “Chuck Taylor All Star” in 1923, after Converse added the star basketball player’s signature to the heel patch, along with a distinctive All-Star logo, where they still remain today.
As the first celebrity-endorsed athletic shoe, Taylor oversaw basketball clinics in high school and college gyms and taught fundamentals of the sport. During the 1926-27 season, the star also acted as player-manager of Converse’s sponsored basketball team, the Chicago-based Converse All Stars, which was founded to help promote sales of the All Star basketball sneaker. The shoe’s popularity continued to surge, and in 1936 they became the official shoe of the Olympics, a designation which lasted until 1968. The All Stars were even the official athletic training shoes of the U.S. armed forces during World War II.
By the 1960s, Converse dominated approximately 70 to 80 percent of the basketball shoe market. In fact, 90 percent of both professional and college basketball players were wearing Chuck Taylor All Stars. However, by the 1970s the company began to struggle, as many basketball players turned to shoes with leather uppers and harder rubber soles made by both Converse and other sneaker companies. After Converse decided to pivot to retro-style, casual footwear in the 1980s and 1990s, the company regained popularity. Musicians and artists began to adopt the All Star, and, by the new millennium, the company had sold more than 600 million pairs of All Stars since its inception.
In 2003, Nike acquired Converse for an estimated $315 million, and the apparel giant continues to manufacture All Stars today.
Why Is Converse So Popular?
What makes Converse so popular is the timeless design of the All Star sneaker. It’s a simple, yet classic, sneaker that can be worn for any occasion, and it’s easy to dress up, or dress down. It’s also affordable. The retail price for a pair of Chuck Taylors begins at $60, and you can find below retail prices for them right on StockX. Furthermore, the rubber sole makes it a strong, durable sneaker, but it’s light enough to easily pack in a suitcase for a weekend trip, when you’re light on space.
Why Do They Call Converse All Stars Chuck Taylors?
All Star Chuck Taylors are named after American basketball player Chuck Taylor, who helped improve, promote, and popularize the now ubiquitous sneaker. Taylor also lent his signature to the heel patch after Converse sought his help in designing the iconic sneaker.
Who Owns Converse Shoe Company?
Converse has been a subsidiary of Nike since 2013. The shoe empire acquired Converse for $315 million, two years after Converse filed for bankruptcy.
What’s the Difference Between Converse and Converse 70s?
Converse launched the Chuck Taylor All Star ‘70 in 2013, which featured construction similar to the basketball Chucks manufactured in the late 1960s and early ‘70s, as a tribute to the original sneaker. The design differed from the modern Converse All Star, in that features a premium canvas upper that is double ply for extra strength and durability, as well as a higher rubber midsole. Compared to the original Converse, the 70 utilizes yellow tinted rubber to give the sneaker an aged, vintage look. The stitching near the toe is reinforced but still designed to maintain the original’s classic design. The 70 also features extra padding to the insole, in order to provide additional arch support and more cushioning for comfort.