It’s the most iconic sneaker of all time. Loved by everyone from rappers, to rockers, to fashionistas, to people who don’t care about shoes at all. It’s the Converse Chuck Taylor
Originally produced in 1917 as the “All-Star” before Chuck Taylor himself signed on to promote the shoe in the early 1920’s, the shoes were the go-to athletic shoe for everything from basketball to track for several decades.
As shoe technology evolved, the Chuck Taylor was pushed out of the forefront of performance sneakers….but that didn’t much matter, as by that time it was firmly ingrained as a casual staple.
So now that today’s brief history lesson is over, you may be wondering why the Chuck Taylor is held in such high esteem. Sure, there are other iconic shoes out there like the Jordan I, the Nike Air Force I, the Adidas Superstar, and the Puma Suede (or possibly Clyde, depending on who you ask), but the Chuck Taylor takes the top spot for two reasons: its longevity, and its total acceptance across various subcultures.
What other shoe do you know that’s remained cool for almost 100 years? Can you even begin to imagine how many times trends in the footwear industry have came and gone since the Chuck Taylor was first released? (the answer is hundreds, if not thousands…if you couldn’t put that together). Furthermore, what other sneaker has garnered such widespread acceptance? As stated in the intro, people from all walks of life love Chucks, both the high and low top variety. You’re just as likely to see someone rocking Chucks with a dirty t-shirt and ripped up pants as you are to see someone rocking Chucks with designer denim and a Bape T-shirt. They’re a shoe that looks great fresh out of the box, but also looks great dirty and beat up (that’s called character).
There’s also no shoe that’s been collaborated on more. Everyone from Maison Martin Margiela to Concepts to Lupe Fiasco have had their chance to put a spin on the iconic sneaker.
Even now, the demand for Chucks is so high that Converse is releasing an updated model with a Lunarlon sole and premium materials. Time will tell how those are received…but if the continued popularity of the original model is any indication, they’re sure to be a hit.
And who knows? Maybe another century down the road, the next generation will speak of the Chuck 2 with the same reverence we speak of the original Chucks with today.