Conversation and commentary from people who care about chucks.
Personal Stories and Opinions, Chucks Fashion and Lifestyles, and Chucks in the Media
New or Updated Photo Galleries with interactive slide shows:
New Articles or Stories:
(Reviews and Features are now all mobile friendly)
How to Participate in Chuck Talk. Let us know what you think! We are also happy to try and answer your questions and inquiries about chucks, and listen to what you are thinking about. If you have some opinions, information, pictures, suggestions, or an article to submit, just click on the link, How to Participate in Chuck Talk to access our email address.
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