Over the past few weeks I’ve been preparing for an upcoming trip and giving a lot of thought to what shoes to pack. Of course, I have to be very thoughtful about how many I pack because three weeks ago I experienced severe back pain and therefore, I am trying really hard to NOT over pack, and especially shoes. So I’ve packed clothes in the same color palette so that I could limit the number of shoes, or I’ve chosen neutral shoes. One such pair are Converses. I really didn’t become a fan of the Converse brand (the traditional style) until a few years ago when I noticed the expanded styles and vibrant color options. I just didn’t like the canvas shoe back in the day because they didn’t flow with my shoe aesthetic and after all, they were originally worn by men and later by basketball players. I also thought that the white canvas fabric would be hard to keep clean.
The first Converse shoe store was opened in 1908 by Marquis Mills Converse, a shoe manufacturer and it was in 1917 when the Converse All-Star basketball shoe was introduced. Then in 1921, a professional basketball player named Charles H. “Chuck” Taylor, went to the Converse shoe store seeking a job. Converse gave him a job and shortly after he became the first athlete shoe endorser. He was very involved in improving the design of the brand. In 1932, Chuck’s signature was added to the ankle patch of the high top shoe.
An interesting tidbit: “Converse also customized shoes for the New York Renaissance (the “Rens”), the first all-African American professional basketball team. On March 2, 1962, Wilt Chamberlain, an American basketball player for the Philadelphia Warriors, scored 100 points in a game while wearing his pair of Chucks, taking a 169–147 victory over the New York Knicks.” -Wikipedia
Converse is now a division of Nike, and although the shoes haven’t been worn by professional Basketball players for quite sometime, the shoes are very popular. It is a unisex shoe and is worn by all age groups. I didn’t realize the shoes were now in white or black leather, so I thought I’d buy a pair and wear them on my trip.