Converse: An Icon in the World of Men’s Sneakers


Among items on the global market today, few deliver iconic style and fascinating history along with product quality as Converse sneakers do. For more than a century, this company has produced one of the most popular footwear choices in the world. By most counts, the All Star “Chuck Taylor” has been owned and worn by more than half of the adult population in some countries.

The company now responsible for this amazing success began as a maker of galoshes and work-related shoes with rubber as the primary material. According to the company’s own history, the owners and managers decided to keep their workers employed all year so they added athletic shoes to the product line. As the game of basketball gained popularity, so did the All Star shoe.


This remarkable product story began with basketball shoes made with black canvas or leather. The shoes always had thick rubber soles, making use of the company’s expertise with that resilient material. In the first few years, sales of this special footwear were slower than the company had hoped for. But this was to change in 1921 when Charles H. “Chuck” Taylor, a professional basketball player, joined Converse in the sales department.

He played and coached for the company’s industrial-league team and promoted the shoe he believed in. Because of these efforts and his contributions to improvements to the shoe, his name was added to the product. The rest, as they say, is history. One of the most recognisable athletic shoes ever produced was the first white canvas model (1936). The now-classic black-and-white model came along in 1949.

Currently, the company counts its total sales over the last 100+ years at approximately 800,000,000. It would be safe to say that when people talk about men’s sneakers and tradition, they think of Converse. But in recent years, the name has also become synonymous with change. Not only did the places where Chuck Taylors were worn change, but the look of the shoe has adapted to the changing tastes of the buyer.

Rock, Rap, Rebels

Converse All Star became the shoe of choice for people in all walks of life. One sportswriter of the 1980s and 1990s wore a pair of Chuck Taylor high-tops to every basketball game he covered. But the shoes have also become extremely popular with rock musicians, rap singers, and individuals who were making anti-establishment statements every day.

Of course, you can still purchase the traditional white or black high-top, but you may want to browse the website of a leading supplier to see the other colours available such as Polar Blue, Fatigue Green, Dark Chocolate, or even Antique Sepia. If you prefer a low-cut Chuck Taylor, these are also available in an array of colours. (A few people have chosen Frozen Lilac as their favourite.)

Along the way, there have been a few design changes in the overall Converse line, with the Jack Purcell Signature model gaining in popularity. The CONS One Star Pro is the choice of a significant percentage of the buying public. But all models maintain the quality and distinctive look that only comes from Converse.