Few sneakers in the world are as popular as the Converse Chuck Taylor All Star. Regardless of gender, skin color or social class, this model is worn by everyone, with pride, as a synonym of freedom and equality.
But what is the origin of these classic sneakers?
The first thing to note is that the origin of this brand is older than Adidas and Nike, the two ruling houses today.
Converse Rubber Corporation, a manufacturer of rubber boots and other footwear, was born in 1908, created by Marquis Mills Converse in Malden, Massachusetts. With the passage of time, and with the consolidation of the incipient professional sports in the United States, they decided to invest in sneakers.
The first version of the All Star model (it takes its name from the famous basketball star games) emerged during the First World War, in 1917, with a predominant brown color and black details. By the 1920s, Converse All Stars were made with black base or leather versions.
The model is practically the same that survives to this day: a high-focus shoe, with laces from the instep to the ankle and a resistant rubber sole. Basic, simple and classic. Without major changes, this is the Converse All Star of a lifetime.
And who is Chuck Taylor?
Chuck Taylor, the revolutionary promoter of the Converse All Star
Many think that he is the creator of the sneakers, the Adi Dassler of Adidas or the Phil Knight or Bill Bowerman of Nike. And no.
Chuck Taylor was a basketball player from the 10’s in the United States, and by the 1920s he saw the potential of the Converse All Star. By 1921 he joined the company’s sales force, establishing himself as the “player-trainer” of the model.
Taylor traveled the United States organizing, in words from the Chuck’s Connection portal, basketball clinics, promoting All Star footwear.
“His personal salesmanship, plus clever marketing devices like Converse basketball yearbooks, They left their mark on the sport at all levels of the team.” points to the web page.
Since 1932, his name is found on the ankle patch of the Converse All Star, which from then on are called the Converse All Star Chuck Taylor.
The patriotic touch of the Converse Chuck Taylor All Star
For the 1936 Berlin Olympics, the Converse Chuck Taylor All Star got a new twist: they were made in white, with red and blue trim like the United States flag. Taylor himself was in charge of the design, which to this day remains one of the most popular.
And since then, the shoe has evolved in iterations and introductions. Taylor would die in 1969, with the Converse All Star empire in full swing. Since 2003, the company has been part of Nike.
Do you want to know about the era of the Converse Chuck Taylor All Star in the NBA? We recommend you follow this link of FayerWayer ICONS, where he talks about the rivalry between Magic Johnson and Larry Bird in the 80s, with the two legends of the league as figures of the shoes.