The All Star “Chuck Taylor” Converse is known to be the oldest and most popular, best selling basketball shoe’s of all time! 60% of all Americans own or have owned at least one pair of these converses. It was in 1908 that the Converse Rubber Corporation opened for business the company began making athletic shoes. With the popularity of basketball, the Converse Corporation saw the need to develop a shoe that people could wear while playing basketball. After lots of research and development, the very first version of the All Star basketball shoe was produced in 1917. The All Star shoe originally came in natural brown colours with black trim. In the 1920s, Converse All Stars were made in all black canvas or leather versions. The All Star was to be the first mass produced basketball shoe in North America. It consisted of a very thick rubber sole, and an ankle covering canvas. Soon basketball teams as well as American boys were wearing Converse “Chuck Taylor” All Stars. In the 1930s Chuck Taylor designed the white high top model for the 1936 Olympics, and the shoe with its red and blue trim became very popular along with the all black canvas and leather models of the All Star.
The classic black and white Chuck Taylor All Star High Top was introduced in 1949; a much more eye-catching shoe than the monochrome black models that had been produced up to that time. Basketball was now a major professional sport, with the merger of the National Basketball League and the Basketball Association of America becoming the National Basketball Association (NBA). Chuck Taylor All Stars were the shoe for professional, college, high school, and all serious players, and these distinctive black or white high tops were part of the look of each team. In 1957 the low cut All Star was introduced and became popular as a more casual alternative to the high top. By this time Converse had an 80% share of the entire trainers industry. In the 1980s and 1990s, the Converse Company began to experience hard times. The ownership and management of the Converse Company changed several times. These changes and bad business decisions along with their loss of market share took its toll on the company, and in 2001 they filed for bankruptcy. But the brand was too well established to abandon, and new ownership took over. The brand was re-established successfully and the company was eventually purchased by its rival, Nike.
Despite all of the innovations and changes in the athletic shoe industry, ‘Chuck’ Taylor athletic shoes continue to live on! Thousands of pairs of high top and low cut chucks are still sold each week worldwide. Due to the trainer’s unisex design, the same trainers are worn by males and females of all ages. As of today more than 800,000,000 pairs of chucks have been sold. Unlike other trainers that lose their popularity, the Converse All Star ‘Chuck’ Taylor still remains fashionable and people who like the brand are fanatical in their devotion to the shoes. As the decades pass, these simple but timeless trainers are rediscovered and adapted by millions of people in each new generation who like their look and feel on their feet.
Converse All Star ‘Chuck’ Taylors are over 80 years old but still going strong! And since 1949, the basic design of the ‘Chuck’ Taylor basketball shoe has not changed.