'All Stars', 'Chuck Taylors', 'Chuck Taylor All Stars', or alternatively, 'Chucks', 'Cons'. WHATEVER you want to call them, they are the shoe people have been sporting, and loving, for almost a century. First manufactured in 1917, the Converse
All Stars have become an icon of so many different movements, so many different trends and, of course, was the shoe of basketball for years on end.
We probably all know a little bit of the Converse
story, but here is an abbreviated history lesson for those that missed out.
The Converse Rubber Shoe Company was born in 1908 and started out making winterised rubber soled footwear. Shortly after, Converse
decided they wanted to get in on the athletic market, and so the first Converse sport shoe was created. But it wasn't designed with basketball in mind. Nope! Netball and Soccer were the sports of choice when the design went into action. It wasn't until a certain high school baller, Mr Chuck Taylor, came along and liked what he saw that Converse even contemplated creating shoes for the sport. Chuck loved his Cons so much so that, after high school, he asked Converse for a job. They said, "yes". He said, "yes!" (we are sure he did), and the rest of that story became history. Every b'baller got wind of these shoes and started throwing out their Spaldings and grabbing a pair of Chucks.
Converse subsequently dominated the basketball scene for years, and with good reason. The Converse offered the first ever 'non-skid' outsole technology. A few other changes like air vents and a pivot point on the outsole helped tremendously. These trainers were winners in every sense of the word. Chucks were the shoe of choice for the first Olympic b'ball team ( and continued to be for many more Olympics to come) in 1936 and shared in the win of the first of seven consecutive gold medals - amazing. Wilt Chamberlain scored 100 points in Cons in 1962 - huge. 90% of college and pro b'ball players were sporting the All Stars in 1960 - now that's massive. A total aside, the US army used Chucks to train in during WWII - what?! Chucks continued to be worn in basketball until 1979 with Tree Rollins being the last to sport the iconic shoe. That's a pretty good innings, wouldn't you say? Unfortunately, the other big brands came through with some pretty high-tech footwear for the sport and, well, that was that. But it should be known that during that extensive period, other Converse styles were born and loved in the sporting world.
But Converse didn't have to fret, because something incredible happened. Cons crossed over from the sporting world and made it big on the streets. They became the shoe of choice to just kick about in! They even crossed over in to film and TV - we all remember that loveable Dennis the Menace! The Rolling Stones made Chucks their official shoe of their 1989 tour. And, what is the grunge scene without Chucks on the feet of the angst and angry?
Seriously, these shoes have done some major mileage and have pretty much remained exactly the same since the day they were created. That's quite unheard of. Let's just put into perspective how big Converse was. Back in their heyday, Chucks held 80% of the US sneaker market. That's bigger than what Nike holds now! So much love for this one shoe that was only available in one colour, all black (all white became available in 1936, and black and white after WWII), for the first 19 years of it's existence.
Anyway, that's probably enough harping on about the past and how ridiculously amazing Converse's rise to fame was. All we need to know is that we still get to wear these icons. And what better way to celebrate all this awesome-ness than to grab a pair of the new, re-released 70's edition of the Chuck Taylor All Star. Made with almost the same as the original, but with a few perks, this shoe is definitely one for the collector and highly recommended for the first time wearer! Features of this release include a higher grade canvas upper, more cushioning and a higher rubber sole for extra comfort and a more pronounced look. Extras include a vintage brand license plate on the heel and augmented stitching on the sides.
At Number Six, we offer the Parchment and Crimson in the Oxford, or low, and the Black and Sunflower in the high. Available in store and online now, pick up a pair of these bad boys soon and make Chuck Taylor one happy man.
Made simply from canvas and rubber, not much needs to be said about this classic. You either love 'em or you don't.