Americana: Chuck Taylor All-Stars

Before 1966, Chucks were available in two colors - black and white. Boy, has THAT changed. Uploaded by openphoto.net.

Used to be, any sport shoes that didn’t have cleats were called “tennis shoes.” And if you needed a new pair of sneakers, you got Pro-Keds or Red Ball Jets. Unless you were really serious – then you got Chuck Taylor All-Stars by Converse.

“Chucks” were first made all the way back in 1917 as just the “All-Star.” Then Chuck Taylor, a noted basketball player in the early twenties, went to work for Converse. It’s said that everyone knew him and liked him, and when he made improvements to the shoes, they became an instant hit. Converse soon added his name to the brand.

Uploaded by ruggedelegantliving.com.

Until 1966, the shoes were only available in black or white. Then, as the psychedelic era demanded, Chucks became available in a variety of colors and materials.

They went out of fashion for a while when expensive leather basketball shoes (Air Jordans, et. al.) became the rage, but came back into fashion in the nineties. It was the music scene that revived them – the Ramones, Nirvana, Rage Against the Machine, and U2’s The Edge have all worn them regularly.

You won’t see Chucks on the basketball court anymore. They don’t offer the arch and ankle support athletes can get from today’s athletic shoes. But go to a college, or a rock concert, and you’ll see that the love for Chuck Taylor All-Stars has been passed to a new generation.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s