Chuck Taylor All-Stars or Converse All Stars
Chuck Taylor All-Stars or Converse All Stars (also referred to as “Converses“, “Chuck Taylors“, “Chucks“, “Cons“, and “All Stars“) is the brand name for a pair of casual shoes developed and produced by Converse, which has been a subsidiary of Nike, Inc. since 2003.
The design of the Chuck Taylor All-Star has remained largely unchanged since its introduction. The shoes consist of a stitched upper portion, a toe cap usually made of white rubber, and a sole that is usually made of brown rubber. Although Chuck Taylors are made of various materials such as leather, the original and most widely known version of the shoe is made from cotton canvas. The innovative detail of the original shoe was the “loose lining” of soft canvas. This was intended to move along with sweaty gym socks and prevent blisters.
Converse Rubber Shoe Company was created by Marquis Mills Converse in 1908 in Malden, Massachusetts. In 1917, the company designed the All Star. The shoe was composed of a rubbersole and canvas upper and was designed to be an elite shoe for the professional basketball league. In 1921, American basketball player Charles “Chuck” Taylor joined a basketball team sponsored by the Converse Company called The Converse All Stars. Taylor held basketball clinics in high schools all over the county and while teaching the fundamentals of the game, he sold the All Star shoes. As a salesman and athlete for the company, Taylor also made improvements to the shoe he loved. His ideas for the shoe were designed to provide enhanced flexibility and support and also incorporated a patch to protect the ankle.
A variety of professional basketball players soon wore All Stars and they became the envy of all aspiring basketball players. Soon after, All Stars were being worn by athletes in the Olympics, and during World War II American soldiers began to wear All Stars while in training.
In the 1960s, Converse began to expand their company and open more factories and by that time, Converse Chuck Taylor All Stars were being worn by ninety percent of professional and college basketball players. As the years went on, the shoe gained more popularity and became a favorite for numerous groups and subcultures.
Throughout the years, Converse Chuck Taylor All Stars made a shift from athletic sportswear to casual footwear. Originally an elite basketball shoe, the Chuck Taylor All Star evolved into the shoe of choice for many subcultures, particularly artists and musicians. “In recent years, it has become a more mainstream trend seemingly endorsed by everyone except podiatrists.”
Tree Rollins was the last player to wear Converse All Stars in the NBA when in the 1979–1980 season he laced up modified Chuck Taylors which had the Circle Star patch removed on the inside ankle. Instead these had star chevrons sewed to the sides of the canvas similar to the Converse All Star II that had been sold earlier.