Wednesday, February 8

All Stars

Is this the best sneaker ever made ?

I had my first pair of 'Chucks' in Junior High, when the fashion was an off-cream. The only other acceptable canvas was the Sperry Top Sider, but that is another blog. Converse went with about anything an 11 or 12 year old could wear but especially blue jeans where they were - and are - the perfect complement. What's more, they age well : like 501's which were, like, perfect after 50 washings, the All Star even more cool when the fabric frayed and white rubber scuffed.

All Stars introduced in 1917 to capture the new basketball shoe market. Chuck Taylor, a basketball player and shoe salesman, improved the design and became the shoe's spokesperson in the 1920s.  He was successful, too : Any photo from the NBA in the '50s or '60s will have a pair of Cons - back then, players wore them with short-shorts, as was the fashion and who knows why ?  In 2002, Nike bought the company for $305 million.

Some of us liked the 'high top' which, in the summer, went well with shorts or whatever. For me, it has always been about the classic : the tight lacing and lack of sole make it a perfect match for skinny trousers, which I prefer in my middle yuf.  K-Swiss and Adidas or Nike retros all fine for boxier leggings and Michael Jordans for, you know, real basketball players. All Stars have their own place in my wardrobe and my heart. The only concession I make for now : I only wear them new.