It is true to say that certain countries around the world are synonymous with fashion trends. France and Italy have their high-end designer labels, the United Kingdom their patriotic love of the flag and Australia their love of boardshorts and causal shirts. America is no different. Denim, white tees and converse shoes truly define the American spirit: to get and do rather than sit around and watch.
Converse shoes have come a long way since their infamous Chuck Taylor All-Stars, All-Stars, Converse All-Stars, “Chucks” or Cons” hit the streets in the early 1900s. Targeted to the basketball players of the era, these rubber soled canvas shoes have now become an American icon entrenched within all facets of society: the street, schools, city malls and even the office block.
The Converse Shoe Company is a classic example of how to stay in the game. While their original shoe design were overshoes and seasonal shoes, they saw the need to maximise their potential by lifting the limit of selling shoes constrained by yearly climatic conditions, moving their designers towards the ever growing sporting circuit. Hence the Chuck Taylor, a shoe endorsed by the basketballer of the same name, came into play. The first shoe linked to the game to be mass-produced, the initial designs were high tops in earthy tones highlighted with black trim. Consumers wanted more however and eventually black and white also became available and the monotone laces became substituted with colours and patterns, depicting America’s basketball teams of the time.
Throughout the journey of the Converse Shoes evolution, and still current today, the limited variety of colour and fabric in which the shoes are manufactured has become extensive. They now exist in low-tops, high-top and knee length in not only canvas, but also denim, leather, suede, vinyl and hemp: with or without laces.
Despite a lull in popularity, Converse has managed to remain in manufacture if not under the original owner and management format. They are a shoe that can be worn by the famous: Kurt Cobain, Tom Morello, The Edge, Johnny Knoxville and Snoop Dog and babies, children, teenagers and adults alike. This is testament to not only their high quality but also their extreme flexibility and comfort. It may as well be due to the fact that they come in a multitude of colours and print designs. You can still purchase them in solid colours: black, white, red, blue, green, yellow and pink for example but it is not uncommon to see someone wearing them in stripes, houndstooth, sporting peace signs, swirls, cartoon characters, images of famous people or leopard print. It is little wonder that some have taken to collecting them as one does anything with so many choices at the ready.
Converse shoes truly have stood the test of time. Those who have or do own a pair understand what makes them so appealing. Those who have not or do not: do yourself a favour, go and buy a pair. It will be the start of a very new and different love affair.