Where It All Began
Converse designed one of the most iconic shoes of all time back in 1915. The Converse sneaker was originally built for basketball, earning the name All Star, but the shoe lacked mobility and support, so legendary basketball player Chuck Taylor partnered with Converse to design what would become the eras perfect basketball shoe: the Chuck Taylor All Star. The redesign debuted in 1923 and has been celebrated ever since.
The original Chuck Taylor All Star was a high-top, white canvas shoe that had a round white stamp and a star inside with Chucks signature. Today, the shoes known worldwide as a street-style staple.
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Off The Courts Converse Keeps It Fresh
When Marquis Mills Converse founded a company in 1908 that began providing rubber shoes for men, women, and children, he probably never imagined his last name would one day be known as a staple of a worldwide sneaker culture.
But here we are.
The Converse Rubber Shoe Co. of Malden, Mass., began turning its attention to rubber-soled shoes for athletic usage in 1917. Shortly after, a fellow named Chuck Taylor walked into Converses shop complaining of sore feet. Converse not only hooked him up with a pair of shoes but with a job as well, as a salesman and advocate for the shoemaker.
And the rest, as they say, is sneaker history.
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From The Courts To The Streets
As other brands and styles began to take hold on basketball courts and other fields of play, Converse began to realize increasing popularity away from sports. The brand had actually begun taking on a rebellious sort of tone as far back as the 1950s, with icons like James Dean rocking them with his jeans and leather jacket. But the shoe began to gain a stronger foothold in those lifestyle circles as punk and grunge bands adopted the footwear in the 1980s and 90s.
When Nike acquired Converse in 2003, it opened up even further design and tech options for a shoe that had become famous for being decidedly low tech. Variations have included the chunky lugged outsole, Lunarlon dual-density foam midsoles, and collaborations that have brought a variety of visual variants.
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