Chuck Taylor All-Stars or Converse All Stars is the brand name for a
pair of athletic shoes produced by Nike, Inc. through its Converse
Nike has owned the rights to the brand since acquiring its former
competitor out of bankruptcy in 2003. The design of the
Chuck Taylor All-Star has remained largely unchanged since its
introduction. The shoes consist of a stitched upper portion, a toe cap
usually made of white rubber, and a sole that is usually made of brown
rubber. Although Chuck Taylors are made of various materials such as
leather, the original and most widely known version of the shoe is made
from cotton canvas. The innovative detail of the original shoe was the
"loose lining" of soft canvas. This was intended to move along with
sweaty gym socks and prevent blisters. They were first produced in
1917 as the "All Star", Converse's attempt to capture
the basketball shoe market. Chuck Taylor, a basketball player and
shoe salesman for Converse, improved the shoe's design and became the
product's spokesperson in the 1920s.
More about the history of the sneaker company:
Converse Rubber Shoe Company was created by Marquis Mills Converse in
1908 in Malden, Massachusetts. In 1917, the company
designed a shoe called the All Star. The shoe was composed of a rubber
sole and canvas upper and was designed to be an elite shoe for the
professional basketball league. In 1921, a basketball
player by the name of Charles "Chuck" Taylor joined a basketball team
sponsored by the Converse Company called The Converse All Stars. Taylor
held basketball clinics in high schools all over the county and while
teaching the fundamentals of the game, he sold the All Star shoes.
As a salesman and athlete for the company, Taylor also made improvements
to the shoe he loved. His ideas for the shoe were designed to provide
enhanced flexibility and support and also incorporated a patch to
protect the ankle. All Stars were soon worn by a variety of professional
basketball players and became the envy of all aspiring basketball
players. Soon after, All Stars were being worn by athletes in the
Olympics, and during World War II American soldiers began to wear All
Stars while in training.
In the 1960s, Converse began to expand their company
and open more factories and by that time, Converse Chuck Taylor All
Stars were being worn by ninety percent of professional and college
basketball players. As the years went on, the shoe gained more
popularity and became a favorite for numerous groups and subcultures.
Throughout the years, Converse Chuck Taylor All Stars made a shift from
athletic sportswear to casual footwear.
Originally an elite basketball shoe, the Chuck Taylor All Star
evolved into the shoe of choice for many subcultures, particularly
artists and musicians. "In recent years, it has become a more mainstream
trend seemingly endorsed by everyone except podiatrists." Tree
Rollins was the last player to wear Converse All Stars in the NBA when
in the 1979–1980 season he laced up modified Chuck
Taylors which had the Circle Star patch removed on the inside ankle.
Instead these had star chevrons sewed to the sides of the canvas similar
to the Converse All Star II that had been sold earlier.
In 1923, after Chuck Taylor made improvements to the
shoe, Converse decided to incorporate his name onto the ankle patches
that displayed the Converse All Star logo. Then, in the 1930s Taylor's
signature was put into the design, which is how the shoe became known as
the "Chuck Taylor" All Star. When first created, the Converse All
Star had three main styles—a monochromatic shoe with a black canvas
upper and black rubber soles, an all white shoe with blue and red trim,
and an all black leather and rubber shoe. It was not until 1949
that Converse decided to make the toe guard, laces and outer wraps
white, which gave the appearance of the iconic black and white Converse
All Stars of today.
In 1957, Converse came out with the low-cut "Oxford"
version of the All Star and soon after started to produce the shoes in
multiple colors and prints. Today, Converse makes the Chuck Taylor All
Star in a variety of colors, styles, prints and fabrics. While the
high-cut shoes feature the iconic ankle patch All Star logo, the heel of
the shoe (both high and low-cuts) also includes the logo, which is glued
on and reads: ALL★STAR. The low-cuts do not feature the ankle patch,
however, they have a tag stitched on the tongue which has the same logo
as the heel. In 2013, the logo has slightly
altered on the heel and tongue. It contains the word "CONVERSE", in
addition to ALL★STAR. The ankle patches of the high-cut shoes are
An improved model, the
Chuck Taylor II, was announced by company management in July
2015. Incorporating Nike technology, it retains the
outward appearance of the original while employing a modern lightweight
insole for increased comfort and reduced fatigue.
Learn more about Nike.