Skip to Content, Navigation, or Footer.
The Daily Cardinal Est. 1892
Thursday, September 28, 2023
Image from iOS (1).jpg

A Concise conversation about Converse

The Converse Chuck Taylor All Star, nearly everyone owns a pair or has at some point in their life — maybe they’re still sitting in the back of your closet from middle school — regardless, they are a staple shoe for anyone's closet. No matter the gender identity, nor the age range, these shoes are perfect for everyday wear, and they’ve somehow managed to stay relevant for even the highest of high fashion connoisseurs. Others have come close when it comes to replicating the quintessential silhouette, but the tried and true will always be Converse! When it comes to versatility, Converse is as close as it gets, proving that sometimes less really is more. 

The iconic rubber-soled, canvas high top sneaker first emerged over a century ago in 1917 as a basketball shoe, tied to none other than Chuck Taylor himself. Marquis Mills Converse began his new company, Converse Rubber Shoe Company, with the production of rubber soled winter shoes. Looking to expand, Marquis and the Converse brand turned to an appealing new market: sport footwear. Basketball was a relatively new sport having emerged in the later half of the 19th century and was steadily growing in popularity post-war. After Taylor’s death in the 60s, Converse hit a decline as sports footwear brands like Adidas, Puma, Reebok and Nike began gaining momentum with their technological innovations, to which Converse fell short of. By switching its target audience to everyday street wear, All Stars reemerged as an essential to youth culture — no amount of advertising campaigns could rival the sales that followed after Kurt Cobain sported a roughed up pair of black Chuck Taylors. Converse became synonymous with the subcultures of the world. 

Over the last hundred years it has massively evolved with countless variations, colorways, and collaborations being turned out year after year. It is arguably one of the most universal sneakers out there, satisfying the needs of many and extending its reach into every niche social group that may exist. Sitting at $55 brand new from the Converse official website, they are a fairly inexpensive, yet durable shoe that will never go out of style. Dirty from darties1? They’re canvas, toss them in the washing machine and there you have it, clean as the day you bought them! The ability to remain popular over time is obviously a very difficult thing to accomplish as a brand, sure Nike and Adidas are able to do so, but keep in mind they offer a multitude of products outside of the footwear realm, and engage in rather aggressive marketing techniques. While Converse does offer other products, the few t-shirts that are available aren’t anything noteworthy. But hey, why ruin the good thing they’ve got going on, after all, there is a Chuck Taylor out there for every occasion. No other model for a sneaker has remained classically the same for nearly as long as Converse’s All Stars have — every 43 seconds, someone in the world purchases a pair of Chuck Taylor All Stars. 

A shoe so old yet seemingly everlasting that even if you are looking for something a bit more unique than the average pair, they’ve got you covered as well. With collaborations from the past couple years ranging from the likes of Comme des Garçons — you have definitely seen someone strut by you with a slew of red smiling hearts on the side of their high tops, but maybe now you know it comes from this Japanese fashion house collab — to Maison Margiela, Virgil Abloh (Off-White), Tyler, The Creator (GOLF), etc. The list goes on and on, and ranges vastly from that of Carhartt, in their most recent drop to appeal to the rise in workwear and craze for the color brown, to that of Dior’s Designer, Yoo Ahn and his reimagined spin on the winter boots that Converse actually used to produce for the United States military way back when. In conclusion, the high-top converse is truly a timeless shoe. 

Support your local paper
Donate Today
The Daily Cardinal has been covering the University and Madison community since 1892. Please consider giving today.

Powered by SNworks Solutions by The State News
All Content © 2023 The Daily Cardinal