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If asked “why did you start wearing chucks?” many people will say something along the lines of “I thought they looked cool.” There’s nothing wrong with that response, chucks have been an undeniably cool fashion statement since the 1920s. While some people just wear them purely for fashion, there are those who wear chucks for a more personal reason. Austin Whitehead of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania said “I fell in love with Converse the first time I saw my cousin wearing them and I literally bought the shoes off his feet. This was back in like Freshman or Sophomore year of High School. Ever since then, it's the only brand of shoes I wear or buy, besides work shoes.”
Who wears the chucks in your family?
When Ariana Shields of Fort Worth, Texas was asked why she started wearing Converse, she said “Because my dad wore them when I was a kid — still does but not as frequently.” Ariana’s father Bradly Shields was then asked the same question, to which he said “I started wearing them in high school. I bought them because they were a good shoe for skate boarding.” Other people like Jason Becker of Erie, Pennsylvania, have a less personal role model who inspired their first pair of chucks. Jason said, “Honestly man it was Bart Simpson. I know he’s not actually wearing chucks, but they look pretty similar. Anyway, I got my first pair online, part of a special Simpsons edition. They were the ones that have the picture of Bart writing “I will not waste chalk on the black board.”
The Bart Simpson black high top.
Lisa van der Lynn of Pittsburg, Pennsylvania also had a fictional role model to influence her purchase. “I never really wore chucks before, I thought they were kind of cool, but they never really stuck out to me. Then I saw some special edition chucks All Stars with Harley Quinn and I just had to have them. I love them so much I only wear them to conventions so they don’t wear out.”
The Harley Quinn print high top.
Even though chucks are just plain stylish some people wear them for more than mere fashion. Whether it’s due to a Converse-wearing family member or a fictitious character, chucks can have a personal touch to them.
It’s officially summer, and with the heat comes an opportunity to switch up your footwear. This summer, Converse has got you covered with options for any warmer weather function and festivity. One of those major summertime festivities is the Fourth of July. A holiday that celebrates the signing of the Declaration of Independence deserves the ultimate display of patriotism with the Chuck Taylor Americana. With BBQ’s, fireworks, and good times on the docket, no shoe will better show off your love for your country and give you the freedom to have fun than these $60 high tops. The Chuck Taylor All Star has a rich history of being the quintessential American shoe, so there is no better footwear for the Fourth than these chucks.
Nothing is as American as a Chuck Taylor emblazoned with Old Glory.
Summer isn’t just about BBQ’s and fireworks though. It’s also about spending time with the kids as they enjoy their summer vacation. That can mean taking them to a thrilling theme park, or just spending a day at your local park. A perfect pair of chucks for either of these fun days out are the Chucks Taylor Looney Tunes High Top. These colorful shoes also go for $60, and contain all the classic Looney Tunes characters you love while giving off a fun summer vibe that your kids will love.
These Looney Tunes chucks are a fun look to rock while spending the summer with your kids.
So this summer, whether you spend your days cooking burgers on the grill, spending time with your kids, or just heading to the beach to catch some rays, there is most definitely no better shoe to wear than the Chuck Taylor All Star.
The change from spring to summer involves switching to a practical outfit for the heat. Many choose flip flops or sandals, but if you’re looking for something more functional and fashionable, the best choice for you is a pair of light colored, low top Converse sneakers.
In terms of functionality, the low tops outshine flip-flops in pretty much every situation except for going to the beach and swimming pools. But whenever you have to walk long distances, a pair of flip-flops become uncomfortable, they break if the heel gets stuck on something, fall off and are completely useless for running or jogging. Not to mention, it’s really easy to stub your toe without a shoe to cover them up. Low top chucks are cool and breathable, the lighter color also assists in reflecting off heat. More importantly, they stay on your feet when you run or jog and they don’t break if you catch your heel on something. These chucks are also appropriate in almost every summer social situation you might find yourself in, unlike flip flops; at a bar or night club your toes are going to get stepped on if you’re in a pair of sandals, some establishments like restaurants or stores might even have a rule against wearing flip-flops.
Left to right: optical white low cuts, different shades of blue, white high tops at the beach.
In terms of fashion, there is literally nothing that stands out on a pair of flip-flops. Low top chucks have the classic Converse style, a distinct retro appearance that perfectly complements any summer outfit. If lighter colors aren’t your style, then the darker ones do the job almost as well while still providing all the fashion chucks are known and loved for. (If you prefer high top chucks, they also can work for you.) When choosing your summer outfit, light colored low tops are always the way to go if you’re looking for a balance between fashion, function and comfort. Core colors are optical white and natural (unbleached) white, and there are many seasonal issues in bright and pastel colors appropriate for summer wear.
Chucks have been a timeless fashion statement spanning back all the way to 1920s, when they first gained popularity from basketball player Chuck Taylor. Chucks have stood strong since then, and have been worn by countless people for their athletic value or purely for style. Most of these people are kids, teens or young adults, however, some of the most devout wearers of Converse sneakers are fully grown, fully functional adults. For many of these older converse enthusiasts, they started wearing them when they were young and fell in love with the shoes, and so they continued to wear them well into adulthood.
When asked, “Why and when did you start wearing Converse?” James Shields, 55, of Dallas Texas replied “They were the only thing available, for sport shoes I mean. I was just a kid at the time, it was around 1973 or maybe 74. They were kinda like the Model-T car of the athletic shoes you know? They were like, the first of their kind. Everybody had them, they came in any color you wanted just as long as that color was black or white.” Carl Barry, 43, of Altoona Pennsylvania responded “Dude I can’t even remember when I got my first pair. It was like mid 1980-something. I don’t even know. My first pair was the white high tops, I wanted them in yellow but the store didn’t have them in stock, so I took a can of yellow spray paint to them. When the paint dried, they got all stiff and rigid. For a little while, I thought they looked really cool but after some time the paint began chipping off and I left a trail of paint chips everywhere I walked.”
James Shields and other baby boomers still like to wear chucks.
When John Ullman, 47, of Altoona Pennsylvania was asked, he responded with a more personal answer. “Aw man I remember the EXACT day I got my first pair of Chuck-Ts. It was 1980 and I got them for my 10th birthday. At first I was mad, I mean, what ten year old kid wants a pair of shoes for their birthday? But they really started to grow on me. A ton of the other kids at school wore them too, and it made me feel like fit in. Since then, when a pair wears out I immediately get new ones. I dunno, I guess they make me feel like a kid again.” While the younger generations wear chucks like they’re a new fashion statement, the old timers are truly the ones who know what’s up. They weren’t even the generation who started the Converse craze, but they did pass the torch to an eager generation of millennials.
Most people wear Converse purely for fashion, or for their athletic value. However, a pair of chucks have more to offer than just sports and style, they are also outstanding dance shoes. Think about it, they are so simple, yet very robust. Essentially, they are like ballet shoes with a rubber sole, allowing greater movement of the foot and toes inside the shoe and thus better balance.
Elizabeth Rankin, a ballet dancer, revealed exactly why she wears chucks while dancing. “Chucks are more rigid than normal ballet shoes, the rubber parts in the front are have much more support and its way easier to go on point. The fuzzy parts on the [inner] sole allow you to slide around too. Almost everyone in my 12th grade ballet class used them for practicing, then switched to our normal shoes for performances.” Converse now even makes a couple models of low cut ballerina Chuck Taylor All Stars.
A high top chuck paired with a traditional ballet shoe.
Break dancer Ross Kirby, described how he incorporates chucks in his dance routine. “They’re really light on your feet, you know? Not bulky and awkward like a pair of tennis shoes with that super thick sole, they’re flat and level. The felt on the soles makes it easier to preform things like the moonwalk, or really any move that involves a lot of foot work.”
Break dancer wearing chucks for his performance.
Be it ballet or break dancing, a good pair of chucks can do it all. With their light weight, felt inner soles and foot-freeing design, they can help a ballerina go on point or help a break dancer moonwalk.
Cuba has had an antagonistic history with the United States due to its embrace of Communism during the Cold War. Many Americans viewed Cuba the same way they viewed the Soviets; hostile and ready to launch a warhead at any given moment. However, since the Cuban Missile Crisis ended, Cuban-U.S. relations have slowly healed, and now U.S. tourists are allowed to visit.
Jody Shields and her daughter Lizzie recently visited Cuba, and were surprised to see that Converse Chuck Taylors, even with their distinct American design, are quite fashionable in post-Cold War Cuba. “I first noticed Converse in a shop window close to the market,” Jody explained. “The shop was pretty high end, selling fine leather hand-made handbags, chucks and other shoes. When I went inside the shop was completely empty aside from the cashier. I think this shop was meant for tourists since the prices were so high.” After seeing the chucks for sale, they began noticing chucks all over the place. Many of the chucks seen were worn by tourists, mostly Americans, Germans and French. All of them were younger people in their twenties, but a few locals wore them as well.
A pair of chucks are quite pricey in Cuba.
One of these native Cubans in Converse was Renee, a tour guide at Ernest Hemmingway’s house. According to her, “The young people love Converse, but they are impossible to afford. I got mine from saving the tips I make.” Due to their high cost, those who wear chucks treasure them and regard them as the height of fashion. With the Cold War over, American culture has slowly worked its way into Cuba along with the tourists. Sure the Cubans might have been our bitter rivals, but through tourism, our American culture and even our chucks have found their way into Cuban life.
Kids love wearing chucks from a very early age, and Converse has issued some fun new models of chucks for the upcoming summer months. Before we look at the new models, let's take a minute to discuss what is actually meant by chucks for kids. These are released in three size types, chucks for infants and toddlers (sizes 1C-10C), little kids (10.5C - 3Y) and big kid/youth (3.5 - 6Y). The C refers to a narrow width shoe meant for small feet, and the Y is for youth sizes, sometimes referred to as pre-school, slightly wider but not yet the D width, which is the standard width for chucks in adult sizes (2-17 US). You can download sizing charts and sheets to determine the proper size for your kid if you are not sure. The longest foot length is 9 2/3 long for a youth size 6. Your child would normally switch over to adult sized chucks by the time he/she is in middle school, if not before.
The most popular models of chucks for kids are the same as for adults, in the perennially popular core colors. For little kids black, navy, optical white, red, and pink high tops and low cut chucks are available in toddler, little kid and youth sizes. In 2017, summer seasonal issues for kids include their Americana collection which has a number of flag based patterns in high and mid high models. Like core chucks these are unisex in design and come in little kid and big kid sizes.
Simple Step Americana high top, Americana Street mid high top.
Another pattern out this summer is called the gamer camo print high top, which is meant for boys but could also be worn by girls.
Black and bright blue Gamer Camo Print high top.
Now more than ever, the video game community has reached a momentous population and practically has its own culture. It’s so massive that the subcultures within the main video game culture have formed rivalries with each other. Be it Xbox vs PlayStation, Call of Duty vs Battlefield, Team Fortress 2 vs Overwatch, or Mario vs Sonic the gamers of this generation has always found ways to get into heated arguments on online forums.
Despite this, there are still a few things all gamers can agree on, and style is one of them. Thick rimmed glasses, and video game themed clothing and jewelry are typically part of any gaming enthusiast’s wardrobe, but more so than these are a pair of Converse. If you go to any Video Game convention, EB Games or any Game Stop, you’ll very likely to find at least one person wearing a pair of chucks.
Some models of tribute chucks for the 25th anniversary of Super Mario Brothers.
When it comes to why gamers choose Converse, it really depends on who you ask. For some, they wear chucks because the characters in their favorite games also wear them, such as Zoey from Left 4 Dead or Father Gregory from the Half Life series. For others, they choose Converse because of the connotations chucks have with the geeky/hipster sides of style. In fact, it’s probably safe to assume the majority of Converse owners wear them not for the athletic propose that they were originally designed for, but purely for their style. And hey, can you blame them?
When it comes to warm weather fashion for men, there isn't much to talk about besides cargo shorts, tee shirts, and a pair of chucks. Regrdless of your footwear preferences, cargo shorts are the pants of choice these days for men. While some don't consider them fashionable, cargo shorts are comfortable to wear and practical because you can carry everything you need in the variety of pockets. Cell phone, wallet, keys, glasses all have their place in a pair of cargo shorts so you are not stuck having to carry anything else and everything you need is right there with you.
Cargo shorts with grey, classic black, and optical white high top chucks.
In places where the weather is warm most of the year, you see guys of all ages wearing nothing but cargo shorts most of the time. Certainly it is their preference. Pair them up with a tee shirt and your favorite pair of chucks and you have a winning combination.
Cargo shorts with black, white, and natural white low cut chucks.
Although many like to wear their chucks without socks in the summer, if you do a lot of walking, wear socks. A basic pair of quarter high socks works well with high tops and no show socks worn with low tops protect your feet and will be more comfortable. This is certainly advisable if you are breaking in a new pair of chucks. The low profile of these socks allows you to show plenty of leg, basically the same look as with no socks. You can see that look in the gray high top (white quarter) and natural white low top (black no show) images above.
Correspondent Connor Shields writes: The way I see it, a pair of chucks has always been a way to express yourself. They stand out from say, a pair of Air Jordan’s, because chucks have that distinct retro look to them which has remained unchanged since their creation in the early 1900’s. Even with their unmistakable design, wearers of chucks take it upon themselves to make them more personalized, myself included.
With my first pair, I saw the white rubber toe-caps as a blank canvas begging me to draw on them with marker. I let my imagination run wild, inking them up with video game logos and emblems such as the Left 4 Dead “hand” logo, the Fallout title, and the tri-force from The Legend of Zelda. This is embarrassing to admit, but I also drew on my chucks to cheat on my French 101 final in high school; I wrote French phrases on the white side walls and toe guards as a cheat-sheet on my feet. I totally got away with it too, as quoted from the Shawshank Redemption, “how often do you look at another man’s shoes?”
For others, a pair of customized chucks was a way to express one’s interest in music; such was the case for my friend Kirk: “So I can remember exactly when it was, what color they were, and why. At that point in my life I was going to concerts all the time. The lead singer or guitarist of one of my favorite bands at the time, Escape the Fate, had them. I marked up my first pair with a BRIGHT neon orange marker. I wanted everyone to see I had them. Used them for everything from practicing the moon walk for a play to wearing them in mosh pits. They were so worn down by the end they were almost nothing besides strips of neon orange fabric and duct tape.”
Monochrome black high tops with an added Americana design.
For me, I marked up my current pair of chucks with Americana designs. I did this to remind me; no matter what country I go to, no matter what path I walk, no matter how far from home I am, I can look down at my chucks and remember who I am and where I call home.
We all know that a pair of chucks is great footwear for any casual occasion, and for many people that includes going to school or work. For some, that desire to wear their favorite high top or low top chucks extends to formal wear, a suit, or even a tuxedo. This change in attitude has taken place over the past twenty years or so to the point where you can regularly see advertisements of adults and kids wearing business suits with brand new pair of chucks, something now considered hip and fashionable. There are also many reports of weddings where the entire party is decked out in tuxedos and matching pairs of chucks.
Ads showing kids wearing suits, wedding parties wearing chucks with formal wear.
Where did trend come from? Going back in time to the 1990s, two examples come to mind. Filmmaker and comedian Woody Allen was up for an award at a formal presentation ceremony, and he wore the standard black and white tuxedo with a pair of brand new black high top chucks. The reaction at the time was, here is Allen making another funny commentary. But when you look at it, the crisp art deco look of a pair of black high top chucks — with its black canvas uppers and racing stripes contrasted with smooth white outer foxing, toe caps, stitching and shoelaces — is a perfect match to the black tuxedo jacket, trousers and cummerbund, starched white shirt, and black bow tie. Another such moment was when we saw Disney CEO Michael Eisner in a three piece suit kicking back at his desk and putting his feet up, wearing a pair of black high tops, as part of his introduction to the film The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes.
These celebrities look great wearing chucks with suits.
With today’s trend of wearing sneakers all the time gaining in popularity, you will continue to see more adults wearing them with business and formal attire. As adults have footwear choices, wearing chucks with a suit has to be a conscious decision. However, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to wear a fine looking suit with an old beat up pair of chucks, so the expectation is that your chucks look brand new, or close to that. If you want to sport this style, but don’t want to run out and buy a brand new pair, there are a couple of ways to make a worn pair look brand new. Get yourself some Star Cleaner and use it to restore your toe caps and outer foxing to a clean state. If your shoelaces have gotten dirty, replace them with a new pair. This upgrade will cost under $15 and the cleaner will last for many cleanings of your favorite pairs of chucks. Many celebrities like this look, so why not join them?
Correspondent Marcus Angelo writes: Can a city have an identity? Can it have its own look, its own style? To answer this you have to ask yourself what you see when you hear the name of the city. New York. Chicago. Paris. London. Los Angeles. Now what was it that you saw? Was it a famous landmark, perhaps a sports team? When I think of L.A., the first thing that comes to mind is the people. It’s the people of every neighborhood and city in the L.A. area, from South Central to Hollywood, from Malibu to the Inland Empire. The people of L.A. are like none I’ve ever met before. Their attitude, heart, and style is completely unique, and it’s that last facet of style that is so iconic, and so indelible to the culture of the city that it is the topic of discussion for today.
Runners participate in a marathon in East L.A.
When I say “L.A. style”, what do you first think of? Is it the style of a surfer on the beach in Malibu, or that of a boy trying to make a living in Compton, or maybe that of a celebrity in Beverly Hills strolling down Rodeo? The L.A. style is so unique because of how it’s an amalgamation of all those parts of L.A, and that in turn lends it to be extremely versatile. Chucks are undoubtedly the perfect shoe of this look as they fit every subculture in the city. The laid back feel of surf culture, the attitude of the inner cities, and the trendsetting of the rich and famous all come together in this one shoe. You are just as likely to see a surfer in Huntington wearing chucks, as you are to see a celebrity in Calabasas wearing a pair. The shoe was made famous by hip-hop artists like Snoop Dogg, N.W.A., and Ice-T as the shoe of Los Angeles’ inner cities. One could say that L.A. is to cities as to what Chuck Taylors are to shoes.
(l) Celebrities like Ashley Tisdale wear chucks daily in Beverly Hills.
(r) A breakdancer wears chucks performing in front of a crowd at Venice Beach.
The L.A. style isn’t just one style, because L.A. isn’t just one kind of city. L.A. isn’t just a beach town, or just a sky rising metropolis, or a rich suburb. It’s all of those things and more. It’s a booming port, a manufacturing hub, the music capitol of the world, the home of art and culture, the place where the brightest minds go to study, and where the hardest working of us all go to make a living. The L.A. style is like the city of L.A itself: it’s everything you could ever want and dream of. It takes parts from every culture, from every person, and adds to one unique experience that the city as a whole, can call its own.
Spring is here and with that, let’s take a look at what Converse has to keep your wardrobe fresh for the new season. If you’re looking to change up your footwear, Converse has their seasonal color lineup of classic chucks. There are eighteen colors to choose from with many different shades of blues, greens, yellows, and pinks. These bright, pastel options are the perfect way to spice up your shoe lineup for Easter and beyond, and are a financially smart purchase at only $55.
Classic chucks in a variety seasonal colors.
While it may be warming up, there may still be some cold days this Spring. Instead of wearing your big, winter hoodie, try Converse’s Essentials White Star Crew Fleece. It will keep you warm on those brisk days, while not being overly cumbersome like your winter wear. It comes emblazoned with the famous Converse Star over the heart, and the word Converse over the chest. The bright gray color works with your Springtime style, and will cost you $70.
The Converse Essentials White Star Crew Fleece.
Finally, we have Converse’s Woven High Tops. These are a variation of the Chuck II model, and feature Nike Lunarlon insoles. They feature a woven exterior and woven laces that give these shoes a look different from any other Chuck Taylor out there. They come in two different color schemes: Indigo/Blue/White and Black/White/Yellow. The Indigo scheme in particular is perfect for any Spring wardrobe. The downside of these shoes is the price point, as $85 is a little steep when compared to classic chucks. Whether you are looking to ball out, or stay on the more conservative side, Converse has you covered for a number of options for Springtime fashion.
The Chuck II Woven High Tops.
Artist Spanto wearing a pair of red chucks.
Los Angeles has a reputation for creating some of the biggest and brightest stars in entertainment. At its core though, what is LA’s own style? It’s real style, not the one created by Hollywood or the perception of what LA is. Vince Staples, Spanto, and Jordan Clarkson let us get a peek at what makes the LA style and how chucks play a big role in that in a new video from Converse’s Forever Chuck series.
Vince Staples’ classic black chucks.
Vince Staples is a rapper from Long Beach, California, Spanto is an artist from Venice, California, and Jordan Clarkson is a Point Guard for the LA Lakers. They all share a deep connection with LA and its image. Spanto and Vince speak on the pride they have for their city and their community. They say that everyone not from LA wants to dress like they’re from LA. Spanto talks about how clean a Chuck Taylor is, and Vince says that it’s a necessity and part of everyone’s everyday wardrobe in LA. The best line from the video and the one that sums up the chuck mentality of LA is that “you can wear chucks to the beach, and you can wear chucks to a funeral”. Clarkson offers the viewpoint of someone who adopted the style when he moved to LA, after he was traded from the Washington Wizards to the Lakers. Spanto closes with saying that his and Vince’s aesthetic is very Los Angeles based because they “were born and raised there”. The video is a perfect example of why chucks are such a culturally significant shoe. They’ve become integral to the identity of a whole city, and it’s that identity that has made them one of the most recognizable shoes in the world.
Chucks are an integral part to the LA style.
As part of their Forever Chuck social media campaign, Converse has enlisted the help of Millie Bobby Brown from the hit Netflix show Stranger Things (where she herself wore chucks) to cover the impact of chucks in film. We’re shown many characters throughout film history wearing chucks. These include Marty McFly from Back To The Future, and Allison from The Breakfast Club. Brown starts out by saying that “when you see a movie character in chucks, you know they’re doing their own thing,” and this sentiment is echoed by the chosen characters highlighted as both Marty and Allison are rebels who their own thing.
Millie Bobby Brown tries on some red high top chucks.
Millie also speaks with costume designer Stephanie Collie about how the styling of a movie character happens and what type of character she would put in chucks. She says that she would put a character in chucks if they’re the underdog, if they’re the one we, the audience, are supposed to root for. Collie says that because the costume is meant to help the audience identify with the character, and to give a glimpse as to what their dreams and desires are. This is why chucks are the perfect show for the underdog. They’re the shoe of the underdog dreamers who we should root for.
Stephanie Collie and a selection of brightly colored chucks used in her costume designs.
Brown also talks about how it’s the collaboration between the actor and costume designer that brings a character's look together, and the look is what really helps an actor truly become a character. They close by saying that the character isn’t really complete until the shoes are on. The video is relatively short at just under two minutes long, but it gives a cool insight into the creation of a character’s look, and how chucks play a big role in defining a character’s personality.
Millie watching a movie in black chucks.
Correspondent Thomas Bragg writes: “As a guest in someone else’s home, usually you first greet your host or hostess, or perhaps comment on the interior decoration. In my house, there’s a different sequence of events. When we have a guest or a visiting family member, the first words they often say after stepping through the front door are, “Whose cute Converse are those?”
“Chucks have been a staple in my household for generations. My father wore them when he played basketball as a teenager in the 1970s. Eight kids and four decades later, chucks have remained in the family. When I became a teenager, I fell in love with the ease and comfort of chucks, but also with their classic yet forward-thinking style. It wasn’t long before they were a regular part of my wardrobe, and my siblings can attest to a similar fondness for the brand. That’s how, even as we’ve all grown beyond our teenage years, you can still expect to see at least one pair of chucks in the entryway by the door.
How many pairs do you have by the door?
“The prevalence of chucks in my house reflects how the brand itself has persisted across generations ever since its inception. Not only do chucks continue to stand the test of time, but they continue to pervade several aspects of society, including music, fashion, and pop culture. This level of industry dominance is indicative of a loyalty toward chucks that extends well beyond just one household (despite the fact that my family insists we are Chuck Taylor’s biggest fans).”
Our collection of reviews about music videos that have chucks in them has now expanded to such a point that it was time to separate them from the Musicians Wearing Chucks page. So a new page Music Videos With Chucks has been designed and posted on our site. You can access it from the Home Page shoelaces link on the upper left, or from the Musicians Wearing Chucks page. As we are rapidly approaching one hundred reviews, it was time to organize things a little better. Now you can access the reviews by title, listed alphabetically, and by genre, listed alphabetically within each category.
Title graphic for the Music Videos With Chucks page.
Another nice feature of the new music video page are all of the section graphics. Besides the title graphic you see above, graphics were made for letter of the alphabet in the song title section and for each genre like hip-hop, rock, and pop/dance in the style section. Each graphic is made up from photos of music tribute Chuck Taylor shoe releases that celebrate various bands and artists who wore or were associated with chucks. The association of chucks with popular music styles is now an acknowledged part of our culture, and still continues today.
Converse will be releasing their latest attempt to redesign the Chuck Taylor shoe starting in late February. This time their plan is to reach the Generation Z market with a series of expensive, high end sneakers, along with more moderately priced versions of this new line called the Chuck Modern. The first releases will feature the Lux, an all leather premium model, featuring embossed leather and a phylon foam sole, and priced between $130 to $140.
Since the release of the somewhat ill-fated Chuck Taylor II last year, Nike, the owners of Converse, have replaced key Converse upper management with executives from Nike. When the Chuck Taylor II was first released, sales were very good, but within a few months sales had tapered off, and by the end of the year Chuck IIs were on closeout at many retail stores. This was first reported by Bloomberg News last September, and now a new article by Chantel Fernandez posted on the Business of Fashion website talks about Converse’s strategy for another new line of alternative chucks. For both articles, The ChucksConnection was asked for commentary as to why the Chuck Taylor II didn’t resonate with consumers over the long run. Our response was based on two things: price and unnecessary design changes. Or, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” (Click here to read the Bloomberg article. Click here to view the Business of Fashion article.)
Four models of Converse black high tops: Current Classic, Chuck Modern Lux, Chuck II, and Chuck ’70.
With the Chuck Taylor being their most successful product, and by far their largest revenue stream, Converse treats this product line like a Hollywood movie franchise — keep making new releases of the same thing. But upper management still doesn’t seem to understand that the Chuck Taylor is successful because people like the way it already is, a lightweight, relatively inexpensive sneaker with a eye-catching art deco look that has been considered cool for generations. You have to wonder why they keep trying to mess with such successful design. Yet they continue to do so at their own peril. Their whole concept that every new line of shoes has to somehow relate to the Chuck Taylor is insulting to the memory of Chuck Taylor the man. What he did for the company was incredible while he was alive, and the design he developed still resonates today. But unfortunately he passed in 1969, so how do any of these new designs actually relate to him?
So Converse/Nike, our advice is to leave the Chuck Taylor All Star alone. It doesn’t need to be continually reinvented. Consumers have over and over again proved you wrong when you tried to do this with the All Star 2000, the Chuck Taylor II, and other models that are not true Chuck Taylors yet are sold under his name. If you really want to do something for the original Chuck Taylor line, preserve its quality and design while figuring out a way to lower the price. The look of today’s core chucks should be the standard along with the use of materials from chucks manufactured in the 1960-80s. Make chucks with the canvas and rubber quality of the Chuck ’70, but you don’t need to revert to the higher glazed foxing and very narrow lacing bed that the Chuck ’70 has. Keep the current design for classic chucks of the toecaps, thinner racing stripes and foxing, and continue with the current 1990’s style stitching without the third piece of canvas. If you want to add the lunarlon insole add it, but don’t raise the price another ten dollars. Instead of trying to make every new shoe release somehow a version of the Chuck Taylor, be brave and issue your new lines of sneakers on their own merits.
We invite all ChucksConnection visitors to enjoy our new cartoon series. Each month a new cartoon will be posted with a humorous look at the world of chucks and the people who wear them. For February we take a look at a love-struck young couple who met in the checkout line at a Chuck Taylor sale. You can find the cartoon by going to the monthly cartoon link on the home page or on the Books and Comics With Chucks page.
Enjoy our ChucksConnection cartoons.
We also invite you to view our other cartoon feature, The Chucks Life comic strip series which has over forty issues, and the ninth book in the Hunter & Holmes Mystery Series, Senior Year, which is a full color graphic novel. These can also be accessed from our Books and Comics With Chucks page. These days we can all use a little humor in our lives.
Converse has just announced a New Pastels for Spring line of custom made Chuck Taylor sneakers. All the models available must be custom made, which means you would pay $75 per pair for adult sizes and $50 for little kids sizes. Models you can choose include the standard canvas high and low top Chuck Taylor All Star for men, women and little kids, the shoreline slip-on for women, and the regular low top slip-on for men. Some of the colors to choose from include pure platinum, egret, khaki, dust pink, barely orange, lemon haze, and fiberglass. There are also more solid colors similar to what is available in the 2017 Fresh Colors issue discussed below. Custom designed shoes can also be made with print design uppers, with choices of dot, line, camouflage, star, and zebra pattens.
The start of a barely orange high top design.
If you want a pastel color but don’t wish to pay the extra $20 for a custom design, you can always purchase one of this year’s Fresh Color models which retail for $55. No matter what your preference is, you always have a lot of color choices when you want to buy a new pair of chucks.
Correspondent Carolina Ibarra writes: “A European summer abroad left me with tons of memories, tan lines, mosquito bites and a roughed up pair of well-loved chucks. Across the world and across cultures, wherever I went my chucks followed. They were worn down from long walks down countless airports, faded by the warm Italian summer sun, and weighed down by the salty water of the Mediterranean Sea. They were lined with the residue of summertime adventures abroad. Whatever I lived, my chucks lived it with me.
“The languages changed and the cultures transformed as I jumped from country to country. When the sun was rising over the horizon for me, it was setting back home. I was halfway across the globe a 10-hour flight away from everyone I loved and everything was different, but the chucks on my feet remained as my little piece of home. I had worn converse through the summer for as long as I could remember. The setting was different, but my shoes were the same; they fit so easily into this new world.
“Many people frame their awards or pictures or certificates for the nostalgia. I’m thinking of framing my chucks. They remind me of the time I missed my train and made an Italian friend (whom I couldn’t understand) while I stood around waiting for hours until the next one. They remind me of the melting ice cream dripping all over them on hot, sunny afternoons. Now that I’ve returned home, I look down at them and relive my adventures.
“So, dear chucks, where shall we go next?”
Correspondent Marcus Angulo writes: “In the summer of 2003, when I was only eight years old, I saw an old picture of N.W.A. on a documentary about hip-hop. I had just recently fallen in love with the music, which hit a certain nerve in me that other music couldn’t. Hip-hop struck me at my core, and made me a believer of the spoken word. I looked up to rappers like 2Pac, Eminem, The Notorious BIG, Jay-Z, and N.W.A. like they were gods. So when I saw this picture of the world’s most dangerous group, and they were all wearing Chuck Taylors, you can bet I was sold. I had to have a pair of these if I ever wanted to be like them.
“That summer I saved up my money from doing odd jobs around the neighborhood, and bought a pair of black and white high top chucks. They were the first pair of shoes I ever bought on my own, and that fact was very important to me. In keeping with the do-it-yourself nature of hip-hop, I wanted to get these chucks on my own. The first time I laced them up, I felt so powerful. I blasted “Straight Outta Compton”, and ran around my room singing along, feeling like I could do what they did. This moment is where I started down the path of a career in music.
“In my brand new chucks, I wrote my first song. I wrote more and more, everyday trying to get better. It’s been 13 years since I first bought that pair of shoes. In those 13 years, I have lived a lot, and written even more. In that time, I made the decision that music was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life because that feeling that I had the first time I wore those shoes, where I felt like an All-Star, was one I never wanted to give up. I’m now a 21-year-old about to graduate from Cal Poly Pomona with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music Industry Studies, and you can bet that on graduation day that I will be wearing my Chuck Taylors. I wouldn’t be here without them.”
Converse has come out with nine new seasonal colors for 2017. They include Sunset Glow, which is a salmon color, Camo Green, a very grey looking color from the photos, Menta, which is a bright green color, Yellow, the return of a seasonal color from before, Soar, this year’s version of a bright royal blue, Light Olive, which is a very faded green with tinges of light gray, Hyper Orange, a bright orange color similar to neon orange, Fuchsia Glow, a very light purple color, and Shark, which is dark grey. The colors are all listed as unisex and come in whole and half sizes. All colors come in both high top and low top oxford models. This year’s colors do not include anything in a red shade, brown, or off white.
Hyper Orange is one of the new seasonal colors for 2017.
There are a number of seasonal models from 2016 that you still can purchase. Most of these colors will be on closeout soon. Go to our Shoe Outlook page to see the new and older seasonal colors.
For all of our visitors and regulars, The ChucksConnection wishes you a happy New Year. Here are some thoughts about what to expect in the new year. On this site you can expect a continuation of our reporting on new models of chucks, articles about chucks and the Convese company, and the presence of chucks in the media. Some new films we will report on are A Monster Calls featuring Lewis MacDougall in black low tops and Life Now, Life Then with Maxwell Apple, Keidrich Sellati, John Budion wearing various pairs. There is the expectation of a DVD release (finally) for Don’t Let Me Go aka The Between and The Healer, a film with Joel Courtney. We will continue to report on television series where a main character wears chucks, and provide reviews of music videos with chucks. A big thank you to all of our regulars who contribute information and articles for our various feature pages.
Joel Courtney and Isabelle Fuhrman in Don’t Let Me Go.
Shortly there will be a release of new seasonal colors for 2017, and new models released under the Chuck Taylor umbrella. We will continue to report on the changing dynamic between Converse and their corporate owners, Nike, Inc. Come here to ChuckTalk or visit our Outlook page which will be updated as information about new models of chucks becomes available. If you have something to contribute, see above for how to participate. As always, we encourage you to stay laced in your chucks throughout the year.
Hal Peterson’s book Chucks! The Phenomenom of Converse Chuck Taylor All Stars is now newly revised and updated from its original 2007 release. There have been many changes and additions to the world of chucks since the book was published which are addressed in the new edition. In revising the book, Peterson spent a lot of time adding new photographs and graphic displays of chucks. The all color book has hundreds of pictures that include new lines of shoes like the Rock Band tribute chucks, Comic Book and Superhero print chucks, the Chuck Taylor ’70, the Chuck Taylor II, distressed chucks and chucks made from special materials. There are many updates to the Chucks in the Media chapter addressing new films, television shows, and music videos where chucks make an appearance. Changes in the marketing of chucks since the book came out are also discussed.
The cover of the second edition.
In the intersecting worlds of fashion, sports, and popular culture, the Converse Chuck Taylor All Star has become a beloved icon. Based on many of the features contained in this website, the book explores the reasons why chucks wearers are so loyal to the product, what people like so much about chucks, and how chucks have helped to change the world of fashion. The book examines the art and design of chucks, and what makes them the classic American sneaker. For a more complete description of the contents or to order a copy, use this link to go to our Books About Chucks Page.
As we wind 2016 down, Winter is here and your footwear is going to need to adjust with the change in weather. As the streets get snowy and wet, Converse has got your mission to stay dry covered with their brand new Chuck Taylor Waterproof Leather Boots. These boots are part of their Counter Climate Collection, which take your favorite Converse styles and enhance them for rain-or-shine comfort. They come in two style varieties: the solid color scheme based off the Chuck II’s, and the dual color scheme Tekoa model based off the original Chuck Taylors. Each variant costs $120 on Converse.com, and comes in 4 different colors.
The Chuck II style boot is stylish and street ready.
The Chuck II style are solid color boots that come in Bone, Black, Medium Brown, and Terracotta. They feature the iconic Chuck Taylor emblem on the side, and the Converse All-Star logo on the back heel. This variant is much more similar to the chucks you know and love than the Tekoa, and are less boot-like.They are made from a meshed leather material that gives them a cool look, and keeps your feet dry. They also include Nike Lunarlon insole designed for cushioning and added comfort. The inner sleeve is made from Neoprene to keep your feet extra warm during the cold months of Winter.
The Tekoa boot is more rugged and durable.
The Tekoa model is very similar to the Chuck II style. It also has neoprene sleeve to protect your feet from the elements, and is also made of leather to ensure maximum dryness. However, it is different in that it does not contain Nike Lunarlon insoles, and comes in styles that are both mono and dual color (White/Black, Black/White, All Black, and Tan/Black). The outsoles are also vastly different. The Tekoa is much more like a boot in that it is a Lugged rubber sole designed for extra traction, while the Chuck II has the standard rubber outsole. Whichever style you choose, your feet are sure to stay warm and dry this Winter, while still getting to wear the same chucks style you love!
The differences in their soles (Top: Tekoa, Bottom: Chuck II).
Finding the right gift at the right price is often difficult, especially if you are on a budget. If you know (or are) someone who is an enthusiatic fan and wearer of chucks, what do you get that person besides a new pair of chucks? These days a new pair is a big gift, with the prices ranging between $50 to $100 for most new pairs. Luckily The ChucksConnection is here to assist you with a short list of credible gifts that range in price from $2 to $20 and appropriate for people of all ages. Go to our Gifts Page to see the complete list of our recommendations.
This past December Sony held Playstation Experience 2016, their annual expo used to reveal and advertise PlayStation games and game-related merchandise.The showcase was deemed a success by fans before it had even ended, but then it was announced that there was one last thing to show. That turned out to be the announcement trailer for the highly anticipated sequel to Naughty Dog’s 2013 smash hit action-adventure survival game The Last Of Us.
Our first glimpse of 19 year old Ellie.
Amidst a raucous crowd in Anaheim, CA, the trailer started with a shot of a very green forest that has overrun what looks like a small town. We see that the Fireflies (a revolutionary militia group from the first game) insignia branded on a stop before the Naughty Dog logo flashes on screen. We cut to a bloodied up hand holding & tuning a guitar. Once in tune, we finally hear Ellie, our protagonist from the first game, sing a hauntingly beautiful rendition of Shawn James’ “Through The Valley”, as we’re shown the carnage around her. A silhouette of a man appears in the front doorway of the house, and he walks past a few dead Firefly members before stopping in the doorway of the room she’s in. We hear a voice ask “What’re you doing kid?”, and we find out that it’s Joel, her protector from the first game. When he asked if she’s really gonna go through with this, she responds that she will kill every last one of them, and we end with the title The Last of Us: Part II flashing across the screen.
Released concept art features Ellie wearing her chucks.
In the trailer we see that Ellie is wearing the same pair of black and white chucks that she wore throughout the whole first game. Throughout this whole post-apocalyptic world, while fighting against hostile humans and cannibalistic creatures infected by a mutated strain of the Cordyceps fungus, Ellie’s chucks have somehow managed to survive. We’ve seen that she’s the ultimate survivor, and that whatever threats lie ahead in The Last of Us: Part II, her and Joel will be ready to fight.
What lies ahead in her future? We’ll have to wait to find out!
Do small details in the looks of our chucks matter? Here at The ChucksConnection we think so. Over the years we have seen this happening with the stitching (only the core models have the traditional stitching of white on the uppers and the canvas color on the back spine). Perhaps it is a little thing but it does make a difference in the appearance of the shoe. The look of the stitching is part of the unique look of the Chuck Taylor sneaker. Why mess with that look with all one color stitching?
This chuck doesn’t have a size number.
Another one of the cool features of the Chuck Taylor shoe was you could always see your shoe size on the outer sole of each shoe. It was there on the indented part of the outer sole under the Converse name. Now that number has disappeared, not only in seasonal models but in the core models issued by Converse lately. This is supposedly another money saving feature. They don’t make the outer soles from one piece of rubber anymore, but instead use a textile combination made from pieces. Without the numbers, there are less pieces. It would be one thing if it was going to save the consumer money, but as you know, the price of chucks continues to go up. It’s too bad that the traditions of the Chuck Taylor shoe aren’t very important to the Converse Company any more.
Over the past months, Nike has consolidated its control over the Converse Company by taking over its website and incorporating it into their main Nike site that now includes Nike clothing and shoes, the Michael Jordan line, Converse, and Hurley. It used to be that you could type Converse.com into any web browser and that would take you to the Converse USA home page. Now that URL takes you the the UK Converse site. The new address for Converse USA is http://www.nike.com/us/en_us/c/converse. You can type in this URL for Converse, www.converse.com/us/en_us/c/converse, but it just directs you to the Nike site. All customers are encouraged to join Nike+, which will give you some options like free shipping on shoe orders. And of course the strategy behind this is to get you to order Nike products as well as Converse shoes and clothing.
A brown Converse Chuck II Waterproof Mesh Backed Leather High Top.
One of the latest campaigns for Converse is called Counter Climate, which features a number of different waterproofed shoes for the winter months like the Converse Chuck II Waterproof Mesh Backed Leather pictured above, now available on the Nike+ website. Only time will tell if this consolidated strategy will be a winner for Nike/Converse or whether it will end up confusing customers who dial up Converse but end up at Nike.
One year after Converse introduced the Chuck Taylor II, a remake of the classic Chuck Taylor sneaker, the new line of shoes is not doing well in sales and consumer acceptance. There are two main problems with the new products, their high price and the fact that they no longer have the classic look of chucks that generations of fans expect to see in a Chuck Taylor product.
A September, 2016 article in Bloomberg News cites declining sales for the shoes, which were retailing at between 50 to 100% more than the traditional Chuck Taylor high and low tops, already a little pricey at $50 to $55 a pair. Since the introduction of the Chuck Taylor II, Converse sales have declined “after averaging 15% growth the past four years” and are being sold at large discounts by many athletic shoe retailers in order to move the product. Click on this link to view the complete story on Bloomberg. You can also read it in our articles section.
Four of the original Chuck Taylor II low top models.
The removal of the racing stripes from the Chuck Taylor II models makes it much harder to distinguish them from other brands. This really was an unnecessary change, and as was mentioned on this website when they were first introduced, they no longer have the complete iconic look that chuck-wearers like.
One of the other new features was the new insole for the CT II, which was to provide more comfort. Having tried wearing chucks with and without the insert, there isn’t a lot of difference in the feel and comfort. This is something that could have just been added to the classic models of the Chuck Taylor shoes, maybe as a payback to the consumer for the now high prices for high and low top chucks. If you want to experience this in a black high top or low top sneaker, Converse has a skater version, the CONS CTAS Pro that looks mostly like the standard black and white Chuck Taylor and includes the new insole. (See the feature on this below.)
As we have reported before on this site, this isn’t the first attempt at a Chuck Taylor makeover that was unsuccessful. Lately Nike has been taking firmer control over Converse and so far their efforts are backfiring. Corporate types who most likely never wear chucks shouldn’t make decisions about them without getting more feedback from the legions of chuck enthusiasts who wear them daily and have some definite opinions about the product. If Converse/Nike wants to do something to improve the Chuck Taylor line, one thing they could do is go back to the original standards for manufacture: quality canvas duck uppers and all rubber outer soles instead of the composite textile used today. Wouldn’t it be great to open a box containing a new pair of chucks and smell that great rubber aroma again that used to be part of the experience of owning a brand new pair of chucks? They started to do this with the Chuck 70 line, but didn’t go all the way. Maybe now is the time to do so.
With an increasing amount of our web traffic coming from mobile phone users, it was time to make The ChucksConnection more mobile friendly. Our pages had all been redesigned in recent years to accommodate tablets; now it was time to do the same for mobile phones. There was an interim period where some pages were meant for mobile phones and small devices while others, the original pages, continued to look best on desktop, laptop, and large tablets. In the long run, we decided it was better just to have one set of pages that accomodated everyone. Most of our pages could be modified without changing their basic look or losing content, so we have done that to all of our feature pages.
Our new home page.
This page, ChuckTalk, is an example of that. Readers on desktop, laptop, and large tablets will notice the bigger font sizes and simpler table layouts, but none of the content has been compromised, and the newer layouts are still space efficient. Our home page took some rearranging and redesign, but we are happy with the result, that still preserves the original look and has larger navigation icons for the many feature pages on this website. The only thing we couldn’t keep there was the weekly Chucks Life comic strip. For 2017 we plan to commission new single panel comics that can once again appear on the home page. The shoelace ordering and information pages have been redesigned to a simpler format. Photo galleries are being updated with large type making them easier to view on mobile phones. Don’t forget to take advantage of all the smart controls that adjust the picture size for whatever screen you have, and present information for each photo in the galleries. Click on the Help link at the bottom of any gallery home page for a complete explanation of all the controls and features.
Because many of the articles are long and detailed, you may wish to read them in landscape view, by turning your phone sideways. This is preferable to OS reader views, which leave out things on the page, and the font sizes are the same. Whatever your device or viewing preferences, we hope you will continue to come to The ChucksConnection for information and features about chucks.
Do you have some things to say about Chuck Taylors? If you have an article or other interesting information about chucks to submit to this website, please contact us at email@example.com.
Chuck Talk Archives
ChuckTalk articles from previous years